Terriers Hand Bobcats First Loss
Well, that was fun.
Tonight, BU handed Quinnipiac their first loss of the season with a 4-1 at TD Bank Arena in Hamden. That leaves just Providence as the only unbeaten team in the nation and BU tied them twice. So, against the last two unbeaten teams in the nation, BU is 1-0-2.
In a game where BU was without arguably their best two defenseman, their goaltender had to be their best player and Sean Maguire did not disappoint. He made 36 saves, including 17 in the third frame to preserve the BU win.
We will get back to Maguire in a second…
Quinnipiac opened the scoring 6:22 into the game on one of the prettiest goals you will see all year. Sam Anas was able to corral a hot pass from Landon Smith that was a bit behind him. Instead of using his stick, he caught the pass on his right skate, settled it and brought it to his forehand. In the high slot, he slipped through a BU defender and then shelfed a backhander by Maguire, who was sprawled out.
BU steadily worked their way back to tie things up later in the frame. Jordan Greenway won a battle in the near corner and skated in behind the net with the puck. When he got to the middle post of the goal, he through a pass back against the grain to an uncover Matt Lane in the low circle. Lane one touched the pass into the top corner, over the shoulder of QU goalie Michael Garteig, who had left the post to protect against the Greenway wraparound the other way.
Following a strong penalty kill, BU took the lead 2:56 into the second period. Charlie MacAvoy hit Robbie Baillargeon at the far blue line with a pass and Robbie fought his way through a defender. From the low circle, Baillargeon threw, what looked to be, a harmless shot on goal looking for a rebound. Instead of getting that rebound, the shot slipped through Garteig on the short side. It was a very weak goal to allow from a goaltending point of view.
QU had a few chances to level the game, but Bobo Carpenter separated the Terriers from the Bobcats and gave BU a two goal lead with more than 10 minted to play. Carpenter picked up a loose puck on the far wall, turned around and all in one motion, tossed a rising shot on goal. It somehow got through traffic in front and picked the top corner over the blocker of Garteig.
The Terriers had to kill off two late John MacLoud penalties to hold on to that two goal lead. Sean Maguire made one big save after another with his glove to stymie the Bobcat attack.
Matt Lane added an empty net goal with less than minute left to round out the scoring.
On a night that had so much positive, there was a downside, too. Ahti Oksanen fell awkwardly into the end-boards and then was crunched from behind. He stayed down for a while and eventually was helped off the ice by both BU and Quinnipiac's trainers. He was holding his right arm, but I don't want to speculate on what exactly the injury was.
BU is off until January 7th, when they take on Harvard at the Bright Center in Cambridge.