Saturday, December 10, 2016

Oettinger, BU Blank Vermont

BURLINGTON - Shooting percentage isn’t normally a stat tossed around in hockey. However, it is when a team shoots the lights out and that's exactly what BU did in the third period. The Terriers shot 100% in the third period tonight, going three for three to break open a 1-0, nail-biting contest at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Nick Roberto celebrates after scoring in the third to put BU
up 3-0.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
It started just 45 seconds into the final frame. Clayton Keller, after setting up some very promising looks last night on the man advantage, found the back of the net to double the Terrier lead. Jordan Greenway won a battle in the corner and worked the puck up top to Keller. From the dot, Keller patiently waited for a shooting lane to open. When he got his look, he didn’t miss, ringing a shot off the far post and in.

“Greenway did a great job retrieving the puck; we were able to keep the play alive and get a huge goal. A game changing goal. The power play delivered in a key time. Our power play was pivotal all weekend,” noted Coach Quinn after the game.

Nick Roberto scored on the second Terrier shot of the third with 3:56 to play. It was a high rising dart that beat Lekkas up stairs. Pat Curry picked up the lone assist on the play.

Back in the first, Chase Phelps opened the scoring on his first goal of the year. Oskar Andrén let go a shot from the high circle, and the rebound from UVM goalie Stefanos Lekkas dropped right in Phelps’ lap. From the bottom of the crease, the junior forward was able to swat home what turned out to be the eventual game winner.

Jake Oettinger was excellent in net. He turned aside 28 shots in total for his first road shutout of the year. Without a doubt, his most notable save was on a two on none at the tail end of the second period. He calmly followed the play and was in position to make a strong save after some quick passing.

“He made some huge saves,” mentioned Quinn. “A 2 on 0 and a 1 on 0, you don’t want to give those up and we obviously have to limit those opportunities. I thought we did a pretty good job defensively. We minimized our turnovers compared to last night and I thought we managed the puck better tonight.”

Brandon Hickey made it three for three in shots with an empty netter with a little over a minute to play.

Coach Quinn was pleased with his team’s effort tonight. “To come in here and play a really good hockey team and to play in the fashion we did after having a tough loss last night, I’m really proud of our guys.”

Yes, BU only generated three shots in the third, but there were some dominant stretches of hockey by all four lines. They didn’t generate shots, but there was no way Vermont was getting the puck out. Like Quinn said, the second goal was huge. It was a totally different game after that and with the way Oettinger was playing, a Vermont comeback didn’t seem possible.

BU is back at it on Tuesday at home against Yale in the final game before the semester break.

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