BOSTON — Just one week after sweeping No. 8 Massachusetts, the Boston University men’s hockey team (4-1-0) took down the University of Maine Black Bears (2-5-2) in the first of a two-game series at Walter Brown Arena. With this win, the Terriers improve their winning streak to four and will look to make the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1.
“It was not pretty,” head coach Albie O’Connell said in a postgame press conference. “I think they played a really good game, they played really hard. Maine’s got a good hockey team, and I thought through stretches of the game we played well. It wasn’t a Picasso.”
Freshman goaltender Drew Commesso, who hadn’t faced fewer than 32 shots a game this season, faced only 25 shots from the Black Bears tonight, helping to secure the Terrier victory.
“Overall, he played well. Had some key saves, especially caught a couple through traffic that looked like they might have been able to go on the net. He gave us every opportunity to win that hockey game,” O’Connell said about his netminder.
Senior defenseman David Farrance opened up the scoring with a shot from the point to collect his ninth point of the season, continuing his nation-leading two points per game scoring rate, 1:41 into the first period. Assists were credited to Luke Tuch and Robert Mastrosimone.
The Black Bears, who lead Hockey East in scoring on the man-advantage, were silenced by star penalty killers Alex Vlasic and Cade Webber early in the first. Despite the lackluster power play efforts, Maine’s Adam Dawe was able to notch his first short-handed goal of the season, tying the game at one with two minutes remaining in the first period.
The Terriers started strong but seemed to lose momentum as the Black Bears took the lead in shots on goal during the second half of the first period, taking twice as many shots on net, with 10 compared to the Terrier’s five.
Three and a half minutes into the second period, sophomore forward Markus Boguslavsky was able to light the lamp for his second collegiate goal on an odd-man rush thanks to an assist from Farrance, who picked up his second point of the night and his tenth of the season.
The second period also ushered in a battle of special teams, with five penalties between the two sides. Brad Morrissey took two consecutive penalties for the Black Bears, but neither team was able to score on the power play.
The Terriers entered the third leading by one, but seemed to have lost some of the initial energy they brought into the game. Morrissey tied the game at two with a wrister 13 minutes into the third period, leading to a momentum shift in which the Terriers struggled offensively.
Ultimately, 60 minutes of regulation hockey wasn’t enough as the Terriers went into their second three-on-three overtime of the season. The Terriers took back control and dominated overtime with early shots from Max Kaufman and David Farrance until Robert Mastrosimone took over, getting a clear shot on goal to earn BU two more points with the overtime winner.
“We’ve got some highly talented guys, and when they have three-on-three space, their eyes light up. So I think a guy like Mastrosimone scoring that goal is not shocking, you know the play that Dave made the game before was not shocking,” O’Connell said.
Having lost Ty Amonte for the season to an undisclosed injury, the Terriers added an ‘A’ to University of Vermont transfer Max Kaufman’s jersey.
“I asked the captains what their thoughts were. They decided that they wanted to make him a captain. It wasn’t me. I think just with losing Ty Amonte and not having Logan [Cockerill] out there, we thought it would be nice to have another guy with a letter on that can lead.”
In addition to Kaufman’s leadership, sophomore defenseman Case McCarthy made his season debut against the Black Bears.
“He’s tough. To get his size and strength and physicality back on the defensive side of the puck is terrific. And he can bring some offense too, he’s got a great shot, he’s really poised, he’s really confident and gives us a righty in the lineup, so I was so excited when I heard he could play this week,” O’Connell said.
With Mastrosimone’s game-winning overtime goal, the Terriers improve to a four-game win streak with a chance to complete the sweep tomorrow Jan. 23 at 1pm with coverage on Twitter @BOSHockeyBlog.