Men’s Hockey secures first home-ice win of the season against Sacred Heart

The Boston University men’s hockey team (2-2)  hosted the Sacred Heart University Pioneers (1-2) for the second time this weekend in their back-to-back series at Agganis Arena. After a late 3rd period game winning goal from Sacred Heart on Friday, the Terriers were out for redemption and garnered a 4-1 victory tonight. 

“We challenged the group today. We had some hard meetings with some lines and individuals and the team in general about how we need to play to win, and I thought we responded really well,” Head coach Albie O’Connell said in the post game press conference. “It was a different feel on the bench––it was a different energy.” 

The first half of the opening frame was a ping pong match of penalties back and forth. Pioneer junior forward Kevin Lombardi landed himself in the sin bin for a tripping penalty at 1:05. The Terriers had no success on that power play, but were back on the man-advantage at 3:16 after Sacred Heart got called for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty on the bench. 

Again, BU had no puck luck on the power play and were unable to get much of a cycle going. Given two opportunities to get on the board first early in the period is something this squad needed to take advantage of, especially after coming off a tough loss the night before. 

Sacred Heart went up a man at 5:56 after freshman forward Tristan Amonte collected two minutes for interference. The Terriers had a pretty productive PK with junior forward Robert Mastrosimone breaking out of the zone for a breakaway and attempted deke. Junior netminder Justin Robbins was able to deflect the shorthanded shot to keep the game 0-0. 

Consistent with the special teams theme that unravelled in the first, the home team finally got one to the back of the net at 16:28 with a highlight reel shorthanded goal from junior forward Sam Stevens. Set to take the faceoff, Stevens propelled the puck forward right over Robbins’ shoulder to lift his squad a 1-0 edge. 

“That was an incredible goal. Not only the shot but the intelligence and where his stick placement was going into the draw and understanding where the goalie was too,” O’Connell said. “You could see that on ESPN, it was really really well done.” 

Stevens’ tally seemed to kickstart the BU bench. Playing with a spark of  life and purpose, the Terriers were flying around the offensive zone, creating chances by throwing nearly everything on net. Ending the period on a high, the group headed into the second looking to defend their lead.

Freshman forward Tyler Boucher doubled the Pioneer’s deficit in the opening minutes of the second period. Sitting at the doorstep, Boucher tapped junior forward Matt Brown’s initial shot from the right circle past the left pad of Robbins to garner his first goal as a Terrier. 

Boucher has consistently been working hard night in and night out so it’s nice to see him get rewarded at the collegiate level. Additionally, coming out in the second, asserting dominance, and building on a lead, was a big positive for BU to maintain the momentum and their own confidence.  

The Pioneers clawed back to within one off a snapshot from senior forward Todd Goehring at 7:42. It didn’t seem to rattle the Terriers, though, as they began to find their groove and respond a little less than three minutes later.

Junior forward Ethan Phillips netted his first goal since January 24, 2020 of his freshman year campaign. Phillips only played one game for BU last season, so there’s no doubt it feels good to get back on the scoring sheet after such an extended absence. His redirect of a shot from Mastrosimone at the point put the competition at 3-1. 

“It feels really good. I had some chances in the games we’ve had this season and to finally get the monkey off the back after almost two years feels really good,” Phillips said of his goal.  

The scarlet and white sustained their refreshingly fast-paced tempo for the remainder of  the middle frame and finished the period up 19-12 in SOG. 

BU showed up to the last 20 minutes of play determined to secure their first home-ice win in what’s been close to 600 days. Junior forward Wilmer Skoog received a slick pass from junior defenseman Domenick Fensore on the left wing, wristing the puck right past the goal line for his first of the year. 

Skating with their largest lead of the regular season so far, the Terriers played with a greater sense of unity; connecting passes, communicating on defense, and finding the open shot much better than they have in recent games. 

Junior defenseman Alex Vlasic found himself in the box at 7:54 for a slashing call, but his squad held it down on the penalty kill, limiting Sacred Heart’s chances with their physical edge.  

Sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso had some key saves in those two minutes and throughout the night, playing like his usual self. The netminder ended the night with 30 saves, notching another impressive performance for the books. 

The competition got scrappy towards the end of the third. Fueled by the Pioneer’s frustration, the teams went at each other on the boards and graduate student forward Max Kaufman played a big part in sticking up for his group. 

A slew of penalties were assessed throughout the chaos, resulting in some 4-on-4 and 4-on-3 hockey, but the score stayed at 4-1 until the final buzzer sounded.

BU put together a cohesive team win after somewhat concerning performances in their past two matchups. The squad played under a single identity and seemed to be having fun for the first time in a while. They’ll hopefully carry this sentiment into their upcoming games.

“The locker room was pretty rambunctious, the music went on quick,” O’Connell said. “It’s nice to win at home, it’s nice to have a crowd of people cheer you when you win, it’s nice to salute the fans after you do it.” 

The Terriers will be back in action next weekend in their home-and-home series against the Merrimack College Warriors. The puck will drop at 7:00p.m. in North Andover on Friday, and 7p.m. back in Boston on Saturday. We’ll have a preview for the series up on the blog later this week, and as always, follow along @BOShockeyblog on twitter and @boston.hockey.blog on Instagram for updates.

24 thoughts on “Men’s Hockey secures first home-ice win of the season against Sacred Heart”

  1. Very happy for the kids. It’s easy to get caught up in the game of hockey but when your dealing with kids you have to understand it’s different then pros. I was talking with a friend of mine after the game and she reminded me of this. By no means was this a perfect game but the kids played hard they controlled most of the game and beat a decent team. bu is banged up right now and this was a hard fought win. I want to point out that bc lost to Bentley tonight. The days of 4 teams in the East leading the way are over if your off your game on any given night no matter who you are you run the risk of loosing. Hopefully we can get a few guys back and get on a roll quickly. Great job by the coaching staff to get these kids ready to play today after yesterday. I liked our. Compete level and I liked our physical play. We cycled very well. Goaltending was excellent again. Great team win. Go bu 🐾

    • I think the team must have had a meeting with the coaches out of it. They heard of the shame they brought on themselves Friday.
      2-2. Against not so great teams. PROBLEM is in their heads.
      And what is this with eight injured? Something wrong with conditioning. Never heard of such a thing.
      I will be happy when we win against good teams most of the time. LIKE EE ALWAYS DID !!!!

  2. That’s more like it. 60-minute effort. Won the neutral zone. Won special teams. Still need to generate more Grade As 5×5 and stay out of the damn box but we played well defensively. A very important win against a poor team that we should have swept but a win is a win. On to Merrimack.

  3. A fair amount of our considerable talent and capabilities were back on display for the first time since the opener at Hartford. That, combined with a BC loss to Bentley, has had the cumulative effect of putting me back on my “meds”. Ergo, I take back everything I said yesterday – all is forgiven – everything is right with the world. I have contacted the Samaritans, and have officially been taken off of suicide watch. PSD

      • Paul this kid is the real deal. He stops the ones he is supposed to and then makes difficult saves look easy. So important to have a good goalie we have 3. Program has done well with Ottinger and Comesso over past few years. Not many teams can say they have the best goalie in the league year after year. Go bu 🐾

        • Absolutely! Always square to the shooter, even while anticipating the back door pass. No unnecessary “flopping” – poised, relaxed, and exudes confidence to his teammates. Great rebound control, and an outstanding glove.

  4. Sam Stevens channeling Steve Thornton circa 1995 with a goal off a face off. Nice!

    Mike, you probably remember that one against Maine in the NCAA title game.

    No shifts off against the Mack this weekend!

  5. Colin,

    Really the best Goalie in the league. Last year he was ranked number 41 in the country with eight other HE goalies ahead of him.

    Stop drinking the Cool-Aid.

  6. It was a up-and-down weekend a horrible Friday and a much better Saturday still not where we want to be but definitely showing Improvement yes I know it was against Sacred Heart but that’s still hockey but I think we will start to make a good run starting this weekend versus Merrimack and then the following versus Lowell hopefully we can get some guys back and it was all work together still would like to see less penalties and More Physical play from our big boys #7 and #8 kids that big should be heading everything that moves near… I like what. Amonte brings you size the physical play but he needs to control his emotions at least this amount a stays on the ice which is a good thing and for my friend Ozzy if you think there is a better Hockey East goalie then Drew you must be out of your mind but that’s my opinionand the closest I e tho his level is the northeastern goalie … I like this team clean some things up and we should be fine.. See ya at Merrimack on Friday night.. Go BU 🐾

  7. Belle,
    Should have made note of your synopsis earlier. Insightful, detailed, accurate, and very well written! Your candor is refreshing and appreciated. PSD

  8. Lindberg won HE and a NCAA championship and had the best numbers in college hockey

    Knight played in the NHL in his Sophomore season

    I know winning doesn’t t matter to you Colin. You think we have the best of everything when we play 500 hockey. You seem happy with that.

    Do you think Drew will play for the Blackhawks this year?

  9. I do believe he will play for Chicago but he plays for bu this year. As to being happy with 500 of course not but I understand hockey and especially college hockey not many teams can beat other division 1 teams with 9 players out injured many of which are upperclassman. I see plenty to work on but I’m not counting them out in October my belief is when we get through this stretch we will be ok. Go bu 🐾

  10. So are you saying he will not leave after the season?
    Ok but we have been 500 since DQ left.
    How many years do you need to see 500 hockey before you wake up and make a change?

  11. Ozzie we made the national tournament last year we were not 500 we were in the top 10 teams in country. I don’t know what Drew will do next year that’s up to him I hope he stays but I don’t view a kid any differently if he leaves chasing a dream after year is out. For now he’s our goalie

  12. Our goalie is not anywhere near the NHL. Let’s wait and see what he does against the top teams.

  13. Colin,

    Four years of AOC has gotten you
    41-38-13
    No tournament wins and 2-4 in playoff games

    You might be the only person who thinks we are in good hands.

  14. 80+ percent of teams in our league have not made the national tournament we are in or around the top 10 teams in the nation year after year so I doubt I’m the only one. You may want to push that agenda to try and get the result you want but in theory bu hockey is in fine shape under coach OConnell and his terrific staff of assistants. Go bu 🐾

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