UPDATED: Terriers blow 3-0 lead, tie Catamounts

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

The No. 15 Boston University Terriers blew a 3-0 lead in the third period and had to settle for a 3-3 tie to the Vermont Catamounts on Friday night.

The Catamounts nearly won the game in overtime, but H.T. Lenz hit a post on a two-on-one to keep the game tied.

“We tied a game that we should have won,” senior co-captain Joe Pereira said. “That hurts. We can’t sit here and keep making excuses that we’re young or that we’re this. We just have to get over it.”

Through the first 47 minutes of the game, BU looked dominant, and it was the youth of the team that was leading the charge. Freshman forward Sahir Gill started the scoring for the Terriers at 16:40 in the first period when he intercepted a Jack Downing pass in the slot, drew Madore out to the right, and then wrapped the puck around Madore for the score. The goal was Gill’s first since Nov. 20 against UNH.

Another freshman, Adam Clendening, improved the lead to 2-0 on a controversial goal in the second period. The blue-liner recovered a blocked shot and skated in toward the net, then out-waited Vermont netminder Rob Madore before sneaking the puck past him. A Catamount defenseman quickly swept the puck out of the net and it took a lengthy review before the referees determined that Clendening did indeed score.

“I thought that Adam Clendening had his best game in a BU uniform,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “I thought he played great tonight not just because he scored a goal but because he just looked sharp and moved the puck and played great defensively.”

BU increased its lead to 3-0 at 5:33 in the third when sophomore forward Ben Rosen potted his second goal of the season. Madore stopped sophomore forward Justin Courtnall’s wrap-around bid, but the shot drew Madore to his left. When Rosen collected the rebound, he had a virtually empty net in front of him, and the sophomore easily cashed in.

But after that, the Terriers made three deadly mistakes that ended up costing them a point in the standings.

The Catamounts tightened the score to 3-1 at 6:37 in the third when Sebastian Stalberg, Chris McCarthy and Anders Franzon crashed the net. Franzon skipped a rebound past junior goaltender Kieran Millan.

The Catamounts narrowed the BU lead to 3-2 at 12:57 on a Drew MacKenzie goal and then tied the game 32 seconds later when Lance Herrington buried a rebound off a Matt White shot.

“To only get one point out of this game is demoralizing to say the least,” Parker said. “We made a couple of huge mistakes. In reality, we made three huge mistakes that gave them three goals. Horrible non-backcheck on Herrington’s goal that was the tying goal, bad play on the four-on-four play by the defenseman stepping up and then bad play by a wing, leaving the defenseman all alone when he should have been on him from the get-go. Miscommunication or not being as alert as we should be.”

While the loss was certainly disappointing for the Terriers, they still moved into 15th place in the PairWise rankings thanks to losses by Western Michigan University and the University of Wisconsin. That means that if the season ended today, BU would be the last team included in the NCAA tournament.

Still, the Terriers cannot rely on other teams or hope to slip in to the NCAA tournament by luck alone. As Pereira said, letting leads slip away as the Terriers did tonight will not fly in the playoffs.

“We haven’t really put three games together, three wins together in a long time,” Pereira said. “We’re up 3-0. Playoff hockey, we have to win those games. We let it slip away. It keeps happening. That’s something that, we need to get over the hump especially for playoffs coming up, and it’s something we need to learn from.”