Men’s Hockey: Terriers conquer demons to defeat No. 16 UNH

By Joe Eachus


Not if No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey has anything to say about it.

After riding through two and a half scoreless periods against the team that knocked them down from the No. 1 ranking back in October, the Terriers (14-4-1, 9-1-1 HEA) scored twice in 39 seconds to knock off the sixteenth-ranked Wildcats (11-7-1, 4-4-1 HEA), adding the empty-netter to seal the game with two minutes remaining.

BU has junior goaltender Mathieu Caron to largely thank for the win, as he turned away all 36 shots faced to notch his first shutout as a Terrier.

“We had one guy ready to start the game… he was our goalie. [UNH] plays hard, and we weren’t ready for it in the first period, but we found a way to win,” coach Jay Pandolfo said.

The penalty kill was also a huge factor, going a perfect 5-for-5 on the man-down, including a long 5-on-3 opportunity for UNH.

BU’s defensive prowess was on full display, with 25 blocked shots as a team. Graduate defenseman Cade Webber ate 8 shots, and Case McCarthy saved 7.

The Wildcats’ first major opportunity on the power play came as both Hutsons were simultaneously called, Lane serving a minor for tripping and Quinn receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing.

BU, with some help from their netminder, kept the game scoreless. Caron had 18 saves in the first frame alone.


“Caron in the first period kept us in the game and gave us a chance to come back,” Pandolfo added.

Though the Terriers were able to generate some scoring chances, UNH junior goaltender Jakob Hellsten impressed between the pipes, turning away all eight shots he faced in the first frame.

The second was much of the same, with both goaltenders remaining perfect. BU had three attempts on the power-play, but could not solve Hellsten or the UNH defense.

Into the third, the arena had a palpable tension. UNH, off to their hottest start in recent memory, had a real chance at knocking off the highly-touted Terriers for the second straight matchup.

And then came Sam Stevens.

Just over halfway through the third period, a streaking Dylan Peterson threaded a pass to the graduate forward crossing the blue line, who fired it past Hellsten to give the Terriers the lead.

“I obviously play with some really good players. In practice with my linemates, just working and getting in those spots that get rewarded, I’m glad to see it pay off,” Stevens said, who has now scored in two straight games. “We didn’t forget the feeling of that night in October. They embarrassed us, outplayed us for 60 minutes.”

39 seconds later, freshman forward Macklin Celebrini found the back of the net, after senior forward Luke Tuch’s effort on the forecheck against Hellsten, who was playing the puck behind the net, sent the puck right into the slot for a wide-open goal.

From a tie game with nine minutes remaining to a two-goal lead with eight minutes remaining.

Celebrini’s empty-netter at the two-minute mark sealed the game for the Terriers, and gave Caron his first shutout in the scarlet and white.

“A big part of the college season is you keep getting better as the season goes on. Coming in, transferring… there’s a lot of factors that make it that much more difficult. At this point I’m very much comfortable, and I’ve really settled down,” Caron said.

The No. 2 Terriers will be back in action next weekend as they travel up to Gutterson Fieldhouse to face the University of Vermont Catamounts on Friday and Saturday, with both games available to stream on ESPN+.