By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
Amidst all the scoreboard watching and formula tinkering marking the final weekend of the regular season, the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team did the only thing it could have to help its cause Friday night: It won.
The Terriers (17-15-2, 14-10-2 Hockey East) beat Northeastern University, 4-2, on the hosts’ senior night at Matthews Arena to stay within striking distance of a home-ice spot in the conference quarterfinals with one game to play.
Four different Terriers scored against the Huskies (9-20-4, 5-17-4 Hockey East) for BU’s third win in four games.
“Hats off to Northeastern for how hard they worked,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They didn’t have anything to go for and we are still looking to get home ice. It was a good college hockey game to watch, I thought, and a good college hockey game to win.
“Both teams are missing a lot of bodies. But the guys that are out on the ice are working like heck.”
During the game Parker added another name to BU’s list of missing bodies: junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan.
Noonan got hit hard — but cleanly, the coach insisted — by Northeastern forward Josh Manson early in the second period.
“It was an absolutely clean hit,” Parker said. “Northeastern kid just caught him coming on to the net and just caught him shoulder to shoulder. It was an absolutely clean hit. There was no problem with that. He just caught him the wrong way.”
The Terriers didn’t miss a beat, though, even without one of their top defenseman and even after losing to the Huskies twice earlier this semester.
For BU, senior forward Jake Moscatel – a walk-on who joined the team for the second half of last season after going to the University of New England for two years — scored his first goal in the scarlet and white at the 12:19 mark.
Junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen, whose shot from the point got kicked away by senior Chris Rawlings. Moscatel was on the right side of the crease, however, to bang home the rebound.
It was his first point for the 24-year-old Lexington native and former BU club team member since the 2009-10 season with UNE.
Senior captain Wade Megan netted his 15th goal of the season less than five minutes later off a pass from junior forward Sahir Gill. From the left circle Megan ripped a wrister, which initially looked like it got trapped by Rawlings but ended up trickling through his legs and into the net.
Neither team scored in the second, although the Huskies controlled play for much of the frame.
Junior forward Matt Nieto and his linemate, center Danny O’Regan, connected on a give-and-go at 2:14 in the third to give BU a 3-1 lead.
O’Regan started the play, sending Nieto down the left wing. Nieto centered from the circle and O’Regan, his fellow San Jose Sharks draft pick, tipped it past Rawlings.
O’Regan leads the team with 31 points on the season, and in Parker’s eyes is a top-three pick for Hockey East rookie of the year with Providence College goalie Jon Gillies and Northeastern forward Kevin Roy, who was out hurt for Friday’s game.
At the 5:28 mark in the third, freshman forward Matt Lane gave BU some more insurance — insurance it would later need — when he took a pass from sophomore forward Cason Hohmann, cut toward the net from the bottom of the left circle and roofed it by Rawlings.
Lane’s goal completed the BU quadfecta — it got a goal from each of its four forward lines.
The Terriers got a bit unlucky at 7:28 when junior Cody Ferriero shot wide of BU’s not, only to have the puck bounce hard off the end boards and back near the crease for sophomore Adam Reid to tap it in.
Reid’s goal cut BU’s lead to 4-2, but the Terrier defense held the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way to cement the win.
Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire made 30 saves for the win in his first game since Matt O’Connor was ruled done for the season with a collapsed lung.
“Sean Maguire had a heck of a night,” Parker said. “Northeastern really moved the puck. They only had three power plays but they really moved the puck well and had some good looks on it. Sean had a couple of big saves there.”
BU has its final game of the regular season 7 p.m. Saturday at Agganis Arena against Northeastern.
Sitting in fifth place, the Terriers need a win as well as a loss from one of Boston College, New Hampshire of Providence College to get home ice for the conference quarterfinals.