Men’s Hockey: No. 7 BU Ends Regular Season with 2-0 Shutout
By Stevie Potter
Cover Photo Credit: Joe Eachus
In its final regular season game, No. 7 Boston University Men’s Hockey (24-10-0, 18-6-0 HE) shut out the Providence College Friars (14-13-7, 9-9-6 HE) 2-0 Saturday night, sweeping the weekend series.
“It was a good road win,” BU Head Coach Jay Pandolfo said. “It was a close game. You have to be able to win those games.”
On the Friars’ Senior Night, they started senior goaltender Austin Roden. BU placed junior goaltender Drew Commesso in net on the opposite side of the ice. Commesso’s 20th consecutive start yielded his second shutout in the past three games.
“He was solid,” Pandolfo said. “You could see it right from the start of the game. He was tracking the puck well. He was covering everything up in front of him… He was excellent tonight. Really happy for him.”
Senior forward Matt Brown was not in the lineup for BU, as he was reportedly taking a maintenance day. Brown scored a goal and had an assist in the 6-4 win over Providence on Friday.
To make up for the loss of Brown, a fourth forward line of seniors Jamie Armstrong, Sam Stevens and freshman Devin Kaplan was put together for the first time since January. Armstrong and Stevens netted the goals for BU, with Stevens picking up an additional assist.
“They’ve been a big part of our team all year long,” Pandolfo said. “They bring an identity to our team. They accept their roles. They play the right way every night, and they’re a big part of the success we’ve had this year.”
The first period saw no shortage of opportunities, including a 2-on-1 chance involving BU junior forwards Dylan Peterson and Nick Zabaneh. Still, there was only one goal scored, which BU tallied just 1:34 before the end of the period.
The goal began when freshman defenseman Lane Hutson shot from the blue line went wide of Roden’s net, and bounced off the boards. Armstrong, who was perfectly placed just to the right of Roden, gained possession of the puck and tucked it home for BU. Stevens was credited with the secondary assist.
Despite being outshot 15-5 in the first 20 minutes, BU entered the second period with a 1-0 lead.
No goals were scored during the second period, but there were 18 shots on goal and seven penalties between the two teams.
Commesso came up big for the Terriers and saved all 11 shots he faced to help the Terriers kill off four penalties.
BU captain Domenick Fensore took two penalties and a 10-minute misconduct, starting with a roughing penalty at 7:51 alongside Providence captain Parker Ford. Fensore found himself in the box again after cross-checking and taking down Ford in Commesso’s crease. Due to Fensore’s reaction, he received a misconduct penalty and was sent to the locker room. Sophomore forward Tristan Amonte served the remainder of the cross-checking penalty in his place.
Just 3:36 into the third period, Stevens scored what would be BU’s second goal of the game and the final goal of the night. The goal was once again assisted by Hutson, who made a pass across the ice to Stevens, who was all alone in the left circle. Stevens’ shot slipped through Roden’s legs while his teammate was screening him. Sophomore defenseman Ty Gallagher had the secondary assist on the goal.
Providence pulled Roden at 17:18 in an attempt to come back from their two-goal deficit, but they were unsuccessful.
The final shots on goal were 39-18 in favor of the Friars, which certainly highlights Commesso’s importance in BU’s final win of the regular season. The game also saw a total of 11 penalties throughout the night, but both of the goals scored occurred at even strength.
After the Hockey East Tournament opening round occurs on Mar. 8, BU will match up against the lowest-seeded team remaining on Mar. 11.