From the FreeP: Terriers top US-18s, 3-2, in final exhibition game

By Jake Seiner, Daily Free Press Staff

With less than a week until it officially began its national championship defense, the Boston University men’s hockey team took down the US National Under-18 Team, 3-2, Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

Before the game, the Terriers raised banners commemorating last season’s Beanpot victory, Hockey East regular season and postseason titles, NCAA Frozen Four appearance and NCAA national championship. The banners were dropped by parents of graduated players from the 2008-09 season.

Junior Joe Pereira put home the winner for the Terriers at 19:52 of the second period, when he and Andrew Glass found themselves with a 2-on-1 opportunity following a defensive-zone faceoff win by senior Luke Popko.

Pereira hesitated just inside the left wing circle, leaving US-18 goalie Jack Campbell guessing on whether Pereira would pass to Glass or fire a shot. Campbell, apparently anticipating a pass, floated to the center of the crease, leaving the top left corner of the net open for Pereira to snipe the puck home.

“Popko won the faceoff,” Pereira said, “and right before the faceoff he said, ‘We’re going to go off the wall,’ because they’d been trying to catch us off our defensive zone faceoffs. Popko said, ‘Just go up the middle and we’ll try to find you.’”

“Andy Glass made a great play off the boards and kind of laid it for the defense to commit to me, and I just kind of used it as a screen to put it on net, and I was lucky enough for it to go in.”

Junior Nick Bonino and sophomore Chris Connolly registered BU’s other two goals.

At the 12:07 mark of the first, Bonino beat Campbell to the right post on a forehand wrap around, tying the game at a goal each. Senior Zach Cohen and sophomore Vinny Saponari assisted on the goal.

Connolly gave the Terriers at 2-1 lead 17:55 into the first on a power play goal. From the right point, sophomore David Warsofsky passed the puck to freshman defenseman Max Nicastro at the left point, who one-touched a pass to Connolly waiting at the right dot. Connolly one-timed a laser top shelf past Campbell.

The BU goals came after the US-18 squad punished the Terriers for a pair of early penalties. Freshman Alex Chiasson and Saponari were sent to the sin bin in the game’s first two minutes, giving the US-18s 1:04 of 5-on-3 time.

Twelve seconds into the Saponari minor, Justin Faulk whizzed a one-time shot over sophomore goaltender Kieran Millan’s shoulder and into the top-left corner of the net.

For the second-straight week, the Terriers offensive efforts resulted in few relative goals. In its first game against St. Francis Xavier University, BU registered 53 shots on goal, but beat freshman netminder Joseph Perricone just twice.

Saturday night, the Terriers again blistered their opponents with a multitude of pucks, but Campbell turned away on 39 of BU’s 42 shots on net.

“If you take a look at the shots, you don’t have to be Scotty Bowman to realize that, you know, Jack gave us a chance,” US-18 coach Kurt Kleinendorst said. “The one thing we get every night with Jack between the pipes is he gives us a chance to win, and I think he did that.”

Among the leading shot takers for BU were Warsofsky (6 shots), sophomore Colby Cohen (6 shots) and junior captain Kevin Shattenkirk (5 shots).

Two US-18 players drew particular attention from Terrier fans. Matt Nieto and Adam Clendening, both verbally committed to BU for 2010, were cheered before the game when announced on the US-18’s starting lineup.

Nieto, a Long Beach, Calif., native, tallied an assist on Faulk’s first-period goal.

“Matty’s a nice player –– he’s got very good skills,” Kleinendorst said. “You watch him play, and he’s kind of one of the new breeds. He’s out of California and you’d never know it. He’s from the L.A. area. He’s a strong skater, he’s a good skater, he’s a solid skater, he’s got good skills and thinks the game very well.

“I talk about a good get –– I think that’s a good get for Jack [Parker]. I think he’s going to come in here and he’s going to be a nice player. You guys will appreciate him for four years.”

Kibbles and BitsSophomore Ross Gaudet missed Saturday’s contest with a dislocated left shoulder. Parker expects him to be back in a couple weeks. . .US-18 center and Boston College recruit Bill Arnold was welcomed to the Green-Line Rivalry in fitting fashion. The Needham native was booed and harassed by the BU student sections throughout the game. . .Bonino (2 goals) and Glass (2 assists) finished the exhibition season tied for the team lead in points with two each.

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