Men’s Hockey: No. 9/7 BU Wins Wild Road Game Against UNH

By Michael Wax

No. 9/7 Boston University Men’s Hockey (9-4-0, 6-3-0 HE) overcame a crazy second period and put up a three-goal third period to defeat the University of New Hampshire (3-11-1, 0-9-1 HE) 6-3 on Friday night at Whittemore Center Arena.

“Give [UNH] credit,” BU Head Coach Jay Pandolfo said. “They did a really good job of blocking shots. They were very aggressive. We didn’t handle it very well, but I thought that third we just got back to playing our game.”

BU turned the reins over to junior goaltender Vinny Duplessis, as junior goaltender Drew Commesso was ruled out with a sickness hours before the game. UNH started senior goaltender David Fessenden on the other end.

BU got on the board first thanks to a goal from freshman forward Devin Kaplan. Kaplan took a shot from the right circle that went off the post, hit the back camera, and immediately ricocheted out of the net. Although senior forward Jay O’Brien raised his hands to celebrate, the play continued for another 2:50 before a whistle was blown. During the TV timeout, the play was reviewed, and Kaplan had picked up his third goal of the season.

BU doubled their lead just over halfway into the first period. In transition, senior forward Jamie Armstrong floated the puck to center ice, and UNH could not corral it. The loose puck was picked up by senior forward Sam Stevens. In a 2-on-1 with junior forward Dylan Peterson, Stevens performed a give-and-go before firing it into the wide-open cage for his fourth of the season. Stevens’ goal was also his seventh point of the season, tying his career-high.

“He prepared himself well in the offseason, and it’s paying off for him,” Pandolfo said. “I know he put a lot of work in. He’s got more confidence offensively. It’s not easy for him because most of his starts are in the [defensive] zone. So, for him to be producing is helping us.”

UNH cut the deficit in half under a minute into the second period. While on the penalty kill, BU could not clear the puck as sophomore forward Liam Devlin kept the puck in. Sophomore defenseman Colton Haurd gathered the puck before finding freshman forward Cy LeClerc. LeClerc snapped a shot by the glove of Duplessis for his sixth goal of the season.  

UNH tied the game with four and a half minutes gone in the while on the penalty kill. The puck took a ricochet out of the zone and to an area of the ice where only freshman Morgan Winters could get to the puck first. Winters beat every Terrier to the net, then went bar-down on Duplessis to tie the game with his fourth goal of the season.

“Self-inflicted mistakes aren’t gonna help you, and that’s not a recipe for winning,” Pandolfo said. “But we ended up getting away with it tonight.”

While BU was on the power play, Fessenden was ejected and given a five-minute major penalty for spearing. This forced freshman goalie Tyler Muszelik to come into the game in relief, and he was tasked with killing off 25 seconds of a 5-on-3 as well as the rest of the five-minute major. 

Freshman forward Quinn Hutson would give BU the lead back during the major. Freshman defenseman Lane Hutson found freshman forward Ryan Greene, who made his way across the blue line. Greene gave the puck to Quinn Hutson, who snapped it by the glove of Muszelik for his fourth of the season.

UNH once again tied the game on the power play. BU took their sixth minor penalty in just 34 minutes of game time. After O’Brien was denied on a big shorthanded opportunity, the Wildcats quickly got the puck up the ice. LeClerc put home his second power play goal of the game, and his seventh goal of the season, to tie the game at three.

BU regained the lead off an offensive zone face-off. After the BU face-off win, Kaplan got the puck back to sophomore defenseman Ty Gallagher. Gallagher went cross-ice to captain Domenick Fensore, who skated wide and shot the puck over Muszelik’s shoulder and under the crossbar for BU’s third lead of the night.

“When he’s going, he really controls the game,” Pandolfo said.

BU got another multi-goal lead just over a minute later. Lane Hutson’s smooth skating ability created a 3-on-2 for BU entering the offensive zone. Lane got the puck over to his brother Quinn on the other side of the ice, and Quinn’s shot was deflected by senior forward Ethan Phillips for his second goal of the year.

Fensore put the game on ice with his second goal of the game, a power play goal with just under a minute left to play.

Special teams continued to be a major concern for the Terriers, as they went 2-for-8 on the power play and gave up a short-handed goal. The Terriers also took seven penalties, allowing two power play goals.

The Terriers return to Agganis Arena to face UNH in the second half of their back-to-back Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.