By Miranda Lemus
Despite being outshot 34-20 at the end of regulation time, Boston University Men’s Hockey (4-2-1, 1-1-1 HEA) scraped together a win against the highly touted No. 3 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks (4-2-1, 0-0-0 NCHC).
The win is BU’s first over a top-three team in almost three years, with their last coming over No. 1 Boston College on Feb, 6, 2021.
“I liked our effort. We were willing to block shots, we battled,” coach Jay Pandolfo said. “It was good for our guys to go through a game like that.”
Donning their “Boston University” white jerseys for the first time since the 2018 Beanpot (@BUHockeyStats/X) for this top-10 matchup, the Terriers came out swinging in the opening minutes of the first frame until UND sophomore forward Jackson Blake snuck the puck past junior goaltender Mathieu Caron. The five-hole goal would be the beginning of an electric match-up.
The first of many penalties would be called after freshman forward Shane Lachance drew an interference call on UNDin UND sophomore forward Ben Strinden. The Terriers’s power play would lead to a multitude of chances, but the Fighting Hawks would block a majority of shots, bailing out senior goaltender Ludvig Persson.
With three minutes remaining in the first, LaChance and junior forward Dylan Peterson crowded in front of the net to help knot the game at 1-1. Peterson would be credited with the goal and LaChance and junior defenseman Ty Gallagher were awarded with the assists.
With the score at 1-1 at the end of the first, the second frame started off on a high note when Caron made a sprawling save on a deke courtesy of graduate forward Hunter Johannes. As Johannes held his hands over his face in disbelief, Terrier Nation chanted Caron’s name.
Following a missed holding call on UND, freshman defenseman Tom Willander was put in the box for holding. However, the Terriers killed off the entirety of the penalty with ease. Shortly after the UND power play, the Fighting Hawks got called for roughing and faceoff violation just two seconds into the initial roughing call.
Sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson wasted no time on the 5-on-3 after scoring on a pass from freshman forward Macklin Celebrini. Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t last long after Strinden ripped a bar-down shot past Caron to score the short-handed equalizer. The second period would end with a score of 2-2.
The third frame would only bring more penalties and powerplay opportunities for both teams. The Terriers cashed in on their second power play of the game following a tic-tac-toe passing playing from junior forward Jack Hughes to sophomore forward Devin Kaplan to senior forward Luke Tuch.
“It means a lot to our team. I think that was probably our best all-around game this year,” Tuch said. “Every time you score a goal against a powerhouse team like North Dakota, it’s special. The history with BU and North Dakota is really cool, too. Hell of a pass by Devin Kaplan on the back door. I just put my stick down and shot the puck.”
After aiding the Terriers on their third goal, Hughes was called for slashing. The penalty put UND on their third powerplay of the game. Although Hughes’s penalty was killed, graduate captain Case McCarthy was then called for tripping to put the Fighting Hawks back on the powerplay.
Luckily for BU, Peterson came up big with a number of key blocks and Caron continued his strong performance to hold the Terriers lead with 10 minutes left in the final frame. Eventually, UND called their netminder to the bench to add an extra attacker. The Terriers continued their strong defensive efforts to defeat the Fighting Hawks 3-2.
No. 8/9 Boston University Men’s Hockey are back in action at Agganis Arena this Saturday night to complete their series against the No. 3/4 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
“We’ve got to keep focused on us, play to our strengths. If everybody does their job… we’re really good as a team,” Tuch added.
Puck drop is schedule for 7pm and will be available to stream on ESPN+.
Photo Credit: Jessica Lam