Men’s Ice Hockey: Six Different Goal Scorers Lift No. 2 Terriers Past RIT, BU Advances to NCAA Regional Final vs. Minnesota

By Miranda Lemus

No. 2 Boston University Men’s Hockey will continue their hunt for the NCAA National title following a 6-3 win over the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. The win is thanks to the depth of BU’s scoring and junior goaltender Mathieu Caron. 

“You never know what you’re gonna get in a playoff-type game, but our guys came through,” said coach Jay Pandolfo. 

BU has never been known for having great first periods, this game proved to be the same. The Terriers ended the first frame with four shots on net, the Tigers topped BU’s total with 12 shots on net. Miraculously, two of BU’s four shots found the back of the net. 

Who other than sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson to open up the scoring with a highlight reel goal. Built off a pass from freshman forward Macklin Celebrini, Hutson danced through RIT junior forward Tanner Andrew, to find a wide-open net to bury the Terrier’s first goal of the tournament. 

“Credit to Lane, whenever he gets a chance in the slot he buries… It’s a cheat code,” said Celebrini. 

A minute later, sophomore forward Ryan Greene joined the scoring party with an unassisted snipe from the top of the circles to make it 2-0 with seven minutes remaining in the first.

Meanwhile, the Tigers continued to pounce at every chance they could, and finally, their hard work pulled together a power play. The man-advantage gave RIT a fighting chance and a goal. Assistant captain Elijah Golsalves broke the ice for the Tigers and cut the Terrier’s lead to one. 

The second frame showcased how dominant the Terriers can truly be. This time, BU outshot RIT 17-9 and doubled their goal total. 

The Terriers spent the first ten minutes of the second stanza relentlessly creating offense and ultimately connected for their third goal. Assistant captain Sam Stevens snuck the puck past RIT junior goaltender Tommy Scarfone on a feed from Hutson to make it 3-1. 

While yes, BU’s offense kept their foot on the gas for a majority of the period, Caron stood tall and made stop after stop to maintain the Terrier’s lead throughout the game. Although, at the end of the day there are only so many breakaways a goalie can stop.

“[Caron’s] been our rock all year and you never want to give up that many high-quality chances, but you know he stood tall for us and you know he’s always gonna have our back,” said Huston. 

At this point in the game, Caron stopped two of the Tiger’s breakaway chances before letting the third one past him. Fifth-year defenseman Gianfranco Cassaro used his quick release to once again cut down BU’s lead to one. The goal was reviewed for offsides but was deemed onside. 

Celebrini and senior forwards Dylan Peterson and Nick Zabanah linked together a nifty passing play for a quick response less than two minutes later to put the Terriers back up by two goals. 

The final frame brought on much of the same, two goals from the Terriers and one from the Tigers. 

Freshman forward Jack Harvey continued his monstrous second-semester campaign with a back-handed chip over the pad of Scarfone. BU now had a three-goal cushion with a little over 18 minutes remaining in regulation. 

As time ticked, RIT continued their attempt to rally a comeback. The Tigers eventually pulled Scarfone from the cage with five minutes left to give them a 6-on-5 advantage. Peterson went on to score the empty-net dagger a minute later.

RIT did not let that stop them from getting on the scoreboard again. Senior forward Cody Laskosky scored with 56 seconds remaining to end the game 6-3. 

The No. 2 Boston University Terriers will live to fight another day, but their days are still numbered. BU will face the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Regional final this Saturday at 6:30 pm. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+ and ESPNU.