Terriers overcome UNH with late offensive explosion

In their first game at Agganis Arena in 2019, the Terriers fought to a 5-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire in Hockey East play.

BU (7-8-3, 6-5-2 in Hockey East) dominated the Wildcats (6-8-6, 2-5-3 in Hockey East) immediately from the first puck drop, and scored a well-deserved opener after two minutes and 17 seconds of play. It was freshman Jack DeBoer who got the Terriers on the board early, knocking in his first collegiate goal after receiving the centering pass from senior linemate Ryan Cloonan.

BU’s hot start in the first period was reminiscent of their early effort against Harvard earlier this week. In that contest, it was Matthew Quercia who tallied his first collegiate goal, lighting the lamp just 2:05 into the game. Cloonan was the provider for that goal as well.

“It’s nice to see a senior leading “said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “It’s also nice to get a guy on the board from a confidence standpoint.”

After the UNH defense temporarily quieted the Terrier attack, BU got back into an offensive rhythm on the power play . During the man advantage, junior Dante Fabbro took in a pass from sophomore Shane Bowers and launched a seeing-eye wrist shot that found its way through a sea of bodies and into the Wildcat net to double BU’s lead. It was the captain’s fourth goal of the season, and his team-leading fourteenth point.

The Terriers would hold a 2-0 lead and a 12-5 advantage in shots at the end of the first, but it was UNH who took hold of the middle frame. On a power play of their own halfway through the period, the Wildcats managed flurry of opportunities before junior Liam Blackburn finally poked the puck behind BU netminder Jake Oettinger. By the end of the second, BU still led 2-1, but the teams were level on shots, with 16 apiece.

“We weren’t really clean through that second period on the breakouts”, summarized O’Connell.

2:23 into the third, Blackburn brought UNH level with his second short-range goal of the game, but BU responded quickly through a Joel Farabee laser into the top right corner to restore the Terriers’ lead. It was the second goal in as many games for the standout freshman, who has become a major contributor in just his first season with the squad.

“We’re creating a lot more offense for ourselves, and it’s helped me out too,” said the forward.

Sophomore Cam Crotty gave BU some insurance at 13:21 in the third, sneaking in on the weak side and shoving the puck home for his third goal of the season. Just 58 seconds later, Bobo Carpenter sealed the victory with a pinpoint shot from the goaltender’s left, getting the co-captain’s senior season goal total to double digits.  With the points secured, the Terriers put the finishing touches on a strong 5-2 victory.

After surrendering a two-goal lead, the offensive outburst in the third brought the Terriers some confidence ahead of taking on a high-powered Providence team tomorrow night. The Friars will be BU’s biggest test in their busy three-game week, and puck drop will be at 7:30pm at Providence’s Schneider Arena.

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