Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Two First Period Goals Push Terriers To Beanpot Final

Someone with no rooting interest who just buys Beanpot tickets every year may have called tonight's 3-1 win over Northeastern boring or dull. That was not the case for anyone in a BU sweater in the stands. It was a stressful grind from the start.

With a two goal lead late in the third, BU was back on their heals and sitting on the lead. At the 9:02 marker of the third, Danny O'Regan almost broke through and got the definitive third goal. But, upon further review, the puck never crossed the line. It was sweat it out time from then on in.

Northeastern aggressively pulled goalie Ryan Ruck with almost 3:30 left. The move paid off. John Stevens swatted home his eighth goal of the year from just outside the crease to make it a one goal game with 3:12 left. The goal finally solved Sean Maguire, who was stellar all night. He made 24 saves, including 11 in the third period.

Way back in the first period, BU opened the scoring at the 13:14 marker. A shot came in from the outside by Ryan Cloonan and was tipped past Ruck by Bobo Carpenter. On it's way toward goal and after the tip, Robbie Baillargeon batted it in out of mid-air. It was tough to tell if the Carpenter tip would have sent the puck wide or not but, nevertheless Baillargeon put away any doubt. It was his third career Beanpot goal and second against NU.

Not long after, BU struck again, this time off the stick of Charlie McAvoy. Oskar Andérn hit Danny O'regan with a hot pass coming through the neutral zone. Just inside the blue line on the far side, O'Regan dropped the puck off for McAvoy and two Huskies followed him. This allowed McAvoy to gather the puck, take a few steps and set up a screen shot off a curl and drag move. The shot pierced through the screen and caught the top right corner over Ruck's shoulder. He never saw it. It was McAvoy's first goal since opening night at Union.

BU would not score another goal until the last minute of the game. It wasn't for not trying, though.

Ruck played out of his mind to keep the Huskies in it. He stopped Matt Lane on a onetime rocket in the second frame on the power play. Earlier in the second, he denied Matt Grzelcyk in tight with a strong right leg save, again on the power play.

Late in the third, Ryan Cloonan drilled a wrister off the elbow of the goal. That and the O'Regan almost-goal would have sealed it long before Doyle Somerby nailed a 190ft empty net goal with 40.3 seconds left.

After NU made it 2-1, Oskar Andrén beat out a very close icing call. It was a great hustle play that set up a solid minute of attacking zone time for the Terriers. This really helped kill clock for BU.

The Terriers will face Boston College in the Final next Monday. BC dropped Harvard 3-2 in the earlier game. First up, though is UMass on Friday night in Amherst.

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