Saturday, February 20, 2016

UNH Steals A Tie From BU.

To say BU should have won last night’s game at the Whittemore Center vs UNH that ultimately ended in a 3-3 tie would be a total understatement. BU controlled the pace of play and had numerous scoring chances to put the game away.

After a scoreless first period, that saw BU do everything but score, it took Danny O’Regan just twelve seconds to put BU on the board in the second frame. Jordan Greenway and Matt Grzelcyk picked up the assists on O’Regan’s first of three on the night. 

O’Regan put the Terriers up 2-0 later in the period on the power play. Grzelcyk fed him with a cross-box pass that O’Regan one-timed past out-stretched UNH goalie Danny Tirone. Charlie McAvoy also had an assist on the play.

Just as BU looked to be running away with the game and finally cashing in on some opportunities, UNH struck back on their second uncontested breakaway. Connor LaCouvee, who was in goal in place of the injured Sean Maguire (broken finger), turned aside a shorthanded breakaway attempt in the first period. He wasn’t so fortunate this time around as Jamie Hill got in behind the BU defense and slipped a backhander through LaCouvee’s legs for his third goal of the year. The goal came just 38 seconds after O’Regan’s second goal.

UNH tied things up on a power play less than three minutes later. Grzelcyk was in the box for both cross checking and slashing that gave UNH a four-minute power play. Michael McNicholas wasted little time as he slammed in a goal to LaCouvee’s blocker side off the rush set up by Andrew Poturalski and Matias Cleland.

Then things got ugly. As if there hadn’t been enough penalties in this game already, Shane Eiserman took things to the next level. He completely destroyed Brandon Hickey from behind into the boards. Hickey stayed down for quite a while before he was helped off the ice. He could barely put any weight on his right leg. He did not return. Eiserman was tossed and BU had a five-minute power play the bridged the end of the second and the start of the third period.

The split seemed to really hinder the Terriers, as it was not their best power play. BU managed just two shots on the entire man advantage.

Some incredibly horrendous fundamental hockey by UNH helped BU dominate the third period. Turnover after turnover led to some long extended attacking zone-time for the Terriers. Jordan Greenway was toying with UNH players in the corner when they tried to get the puck out. Matt Lane also had a bid right out in front that Tirone absolutely stonewalled him on.

Finally, UNH stepped too close to the fire. A failed breakout and a turnover right in front of Tirone lead to a rebound bid by Greenway and eventually the puck made its way from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson’s stick to O’Regan at the top of the crease. O’Regan finished off his hattrick and put BU in the lead with 2:32 left.

The lead lasted all but 35 seconds.

Cameron Marks sent a shot into the mixer and Marcus Vela got a stick on it to redirect it on goal. LaCouvee made the initial save, but Maxim Gaudreault was Johnny-on-the-spot for a loose puck in the crease and put in the game tying goal with 1:57 left.

JFK just missed winning the game with a buzzer beater shot that went though the crease with less than two seconds left in regulation. The Terriers continued to dominate in overtime. They threw four shots on Tirone, but the netminder stopped all four. Tirone finished with 37 saves. LaCouvee made 19.

This was one of the more disappointing ties in recent memory. BU was by far the better team and really needed the points from this weekend to gain ground on Lowell in the standings.

The two teams go at it again in about three hours in Boston.

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