The Boston University men’s hockey team needed to bounce back after their double-overtime loss in the Beanpot final, and it did.
The Terriers (12-9-8, 9-5-5 Hockey East) relied on its stars to get past the University of New Hampshire (15-13-2, 9-10-1 Hockey East) Friday night, skating to a comfortable 4-1 win at Whittemore Center.
The Terriers were outshot 9-5 in the opening 10 minutes but got on the board first as freshman forward Wilmer Skoog fired one in at 9:28 and senior forward Patrick Harper zipped a second goal home in a five-on-three opportunity with two Wildcats in the box later in the period.
BU killed a penalty before Skoog’s icebreaker, and Head Coach Albie O’Connell said he thought the successful kill followed by a pair of UNH penalties got his team going.
“It kind of woke us up a little bit,” O’Connell said. “They took a couple penalties, and kind of gave us a chance.”
Freshman forward Chase Stevenson got one back for UNH 3:27 into the second period on a one-on-one chance against BU graduate goaltender Sam Tucker, but from there it was all BU.
Freshman forward Trevor Zegras struck from the slot less than two minutes after Stevenson’s tally to restore BU’s two-goal advantage, and junior defenseman David Farrance potted a sliding puck later in the period.
Farrance’s goal was his 14th of the season — the most of any defenseman across NCAA’s Division 1 — and O’Connell said the Farrance’s confidence has helped him have a breakout year.
“He’s kind of taken advantage of kind of being ‘the guy,’” O’Connell said. “He can be a difference maker for sure, and he has been all year.”
The four goals would be all BU needed as Tucker shut the door in the third period, making 26 saves in his first start since Jan. 18. O’Connell was pleased with his veteran goaltender’s performance.
“Any time you let up one goal on the road [you’re doing well],” he said. “Overall, [Tucker] played really well.”
Returning to Boston with two crucial Hockey East points against the Wildcats, BU will look to make it a series sweep when they host UNH on Saturday night at 7 p.m.