Friday, January 8, 2016

Late BU Outburst Shoves Terriers Past Harvard

Tonight was one of the strangest and yet still one of the most exciting games in recent memory. BU posted just 10 shots in the first two periods, but scored three goals in a 2:09 stretch late in the third period to steal a 6-5 win at Harvard. Danny O'Regan racked up two third period goals, while Matt Lane potted BU's first two goals, all before Ahti Oksanen scored the game winner with 1:49 left.

Harvard opened the scoring midway through the first period on a power play goal from Jimmy Vesey. I did not have great seats and it was rather hard to tell what was happening at the other end of the ice, so I won't go into great detail on how the play was set up. Sorry to disappoint.

The Crimson took the 1-0 lead into the dressing room and also led by a staggering 18-2 marker in shots.  The margin was at its worst in the second, when Harvard was ahead 26-3. Despite getting housed in the shot department early, BU still managed to score two goals in the second period... well Matt Lane did anyway.

Lane's first goal tied the score 1-1. Robbie Baillargeon took the puck wide on the right side and from the middle of the circle, slid a pass to Lane, who redirected it past Harvard goalie Merriack Madsen (24 saves).

Harvard regained the lead just 24 seconds later. Sean Malone lifted a rebound over Sean Maguire (32 saves) for his first of two on the night.

Lane responded to retie the game again at the 12:33 marker. Mike Moran was fresh out of the penalty box and picked off a Harvard clearing pass, crossed with Lane just inside the blue line and dropped a pass for him there. Lane took a few strides before releasing a lazar shot just inside the far post on Madsen.

Just over a minute later, Malone got the lead back for Harvard. Clay Anderson and Tyler Moy picked up the assists as they set the entire play up. Maguire was well out of position and Malone has virtually the entire net to sink a putt from thee feet.

That set the stage for a wild third period. I feel like I say that a lot here, but every third period comeback this year just keeps topping the last. This one will be hard to beat, though.

Harvard finally extended their lead to a two goal lead 3:33 (paging Pat Foley of the Blackhawks TV crew) into the third period. It was a rather weak goal that slipped through Maguire on his short side from basically the corner by Jake Horton.

Danny O'Regan dug BU out of the two goal hole, slashing the lead to 4-3 on the power play. Matt Grzelcyk found Ahti Oksanen on the far side and the Finnish forward pulled off a perfectly executed slap-pass to O'Regan, who was all alone backdoor, staring at an empty net. He did not miss.

Harvard seemed to score a back breaking fifth goal with exactly 10:00 minutes left. Vesey set up Kyle Criscuolo down low for his 11th of the year that re-uped the Crimson two goal advantage.

BU struck a little closer on another power play goal. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson won the faceoff back to Charlie McAvoy, who got it over to Grzelcyk, who scored top shelf. It took just 12 seconds of power play time to set up the goal.

1:04 later, BU tied the game. This goal was pretty much a blur and I really missed the entire set up, but Danny O'Regan banged home a rebound from in tight. JFK and MacAvoy picked up the assists.

Just over a minute later, Jordan Greenway made a hit to separate the puck from a Harvard player from behind the net. Matt Lane scooped up the loose change and dished to Oksanen, who was uncovered in the low circle. Ahti caught and released the shot all in one motion and beat Madsen over his right shoulder to give BU a 6-5 lead.

BU closed out the final 1:49 to absolutely rob Harvard of a win. The victory moved BU up to 9th in the PWR. They will face UMass at home on Saturday.

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