The Boston University men’s hockey team surrendered a late lead to tie the University of Vermont 3-3 on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena.
“They kept working and they found a way to get a goal to tie it up,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.
For the first time this season, freshman forward Trevor Zegras was not in the lineup for BU (4-4-5, 3-3-4 Hockey East). Freshman forward Sam Stevens took over as first-line center in his second game returning from injury.
Zegras had been ejected from Friday’s game against Vermont (1-8-1, 0-6-1 Hockey East) for a hit described by Coach O’Connell as “really undisciplined,” and his omission from the Terrier roster on Saturday was by “coach’s decision,” according to the second-year BU boss.
BU got on the board less than three minutes in when Stevens cashed in at the left post on the pass across from freshman defenseman Dom Fensore.
About Stevens, O’Connell said, “he jumped up a couple lines there and did a good job.”
Having scored his first collegiate goal less than 24 hours before, Fensore became the provider in game two, setting up Stevens for his first tally in his scarlet and white.
“Fensore was unbelievable all weekend,” said O’Connell. “He’s shown really good signs.”
Towards the halfway point of the period, senior forward Gabe Chabot and junior defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo were both assessed five-minute major penalties and game misconducts.
“We can’t have that in our game”, O’Connell said.
The back-to-back majors left BU defending 5-on-3 for four minutes, and junior defenseman Christian Evers took advantage for UVM, firing one in to level the score at the first break.
The Catamounts took the lead 3:20 into the second period, breaking through for another power play score as senior forward Derek Lodermeier converted from the slot.
“He hadn’t scored yet this year,” noted UVM head coach Kevin Sneddon. “[It was] great to have our captain get on the board tonight.”
Stevens responded three minutes later, bringing BU even with his second goal of the game. Fensore picked up his second assist of the day, dumping the puck in front for Stevens to stuff in.
“Dom made two really nice plays, so just right place, right time, I guess,” said Stevens.
Junior defenseman David Farrance regained the lead for BU with 8:20 left in the period, becoming the first Terrier to ten goals this season.
On a power play, sophomore forward Matt Quercia and senior forward Patrick Curry worked together to win a faceoff back to Farrance, who found his spot and zipped it in.
“David is about has hot as I’ve ever seen a guy that I’ve been involved in coaching,” said Coach O’Connell. “He’s playing on another level right now.”
When asked if he can keep this rate of production going, Farrance grinned and said, “Who knows, you know. I hope so.”
With BU still leading late in the third period, junior forward Alex Esposito sent the game to overtime when he gloved down a pass from behind graduate goaltender Sam Tucker’s net and knocked it by the keeper, who finished the game with 34 saves.
“The biggest thing tonight is we had a net-front presence in front of Tucker,” said Coach Sneddon. Neither side could break through in the additional five minutes and the game would end 3-3.
“I thought the guys did a good job regrouping today,” said Sneddon. “I think it’ll be a building block.”
Leaving conference play for the first time in a month, BU will have a short rest before hosting Sacred Heart University on Tuesday night at 7pm.