UPDATED: Terriers take season opener over Providence 4-2

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

The No. 12/14 Boston University men’s hockey team started its 2012-13 season the way it was hoping to on Saturday when it earned a 4–2 victory over Providence College at Agganis Arena.

BU (1-0) Freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor earned his first career start on the night and had a strong debut, totaling 25 saves while allowing only two goals. O’Connor earned the win over opposing Friars (1-1) goalie Jon Gillies, who made 30 saves on 33 shots.

“I thought [O’Connor] did really well for his first time in net,” said sophomore forward Cason Hohmann. “He showed a lot of poise and a lot confidence, so he played really good. He was really solid out there.”
The Terriers got on the board early with a goal from an unlikely source, as senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka blasted a slap shot off a pass from Hohmann past freshman goaltender Jon Gillies. It was the fourth career goal for the redshirt senior and only his second career regular season goal.

“I got a great pass from Cason, just kind of floated along the blueline, got a shot off and luckily it went in the net,” Ruikka said. I’ve been working with [coaches] all summer on just hands and shooting and stuff, so it’s paying off.”
BU’s lead did not last through the first period though, as Providence forward Ross Mauermann scored on a deflected a shot from defenseman Myles Harvey. The tipped shot fluttered just above freshman goalie O’Connor’s shoulder and into the net, tying the game at one.

The game remained tied entering the second period until just over five minutes into the frame, when forward Paul de Jersey scooped up a rebound from redshirt freshman Noel Acciari’s shot and flipped it past O’Connor. It was de Jersey’s second goal in as many games and third point of his freshman season.

Providence held onto the small lead until there was less than five minutes remaining in the frame when junior defenseman Garrett Noonan tied the game up. Noonan took a feed from Hohmann at the point and fired toward Gillies, where it snuck through a screen by senior captain Wade Megan and into the back of the net.

Noonan picked up where he left off last season with the goal, as he was tied for the NCAA lead in goals by a defenseman a year ago with 16.

Hohmann, who had just recorded his second assist of the game on the Noonan goal, added a goal of his own three minutes later with a hard snap shot that snuck under Gillies’ blocker. Sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues had left the pick sitting in the slot for Hohmann, who gave the Terriers a lead that they did not surrender.

Hohmann finished the game with three points, which is almost half of the eight points he totaled all of last season. His production along with the production of fellow sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues, who had two assists in the game, and defenseman Alexx Privitera, who was a plus-one on the night.

“I thought our sophomore class played really well,” Parker said. “We only have three sophomores and they are all 19-year-old kids that were 18-year-old freshmen and they all played very very well tonight.”
Freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk also earned an assist on Hohmann’s goal, making him the first freshman to earn a point for the Terriers this season. Grzelcyk was one of six freshmen in the lineup on Saturday night.

“It was nice to see the freshmen chip in the way they did,” Parker said. “You couldn’t notice Grzelcyk out there as a freshman defenseman. He was pretty poised.”
Senior forward Ben Rosen sealed the victory with an empty net victory from behind his own blue like in the third period, when he flipped the puck over everything and into the net. It was the senior’s fourth goal of the season.

BU will travel to the University of New Hampshire for its first road game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 20, where the team will look to build on its first win. UNH is 2-0 this season with two wins over St. Cloud State University.