Written by James Garrison
The Boston University Men’s Hockey Team (6-9-2, 5-5-2 HE) took down the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (7-9-1, 3-7-1 HE) in overtime Saturday night, as graduate forward Max Kaufman was able to roof a backhander for his second of the season.
After a tight 3-1 win Friday night at Agganis Arena, the Terriers traveled north to the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire. With the overtime win Saturday, the Terriers secured their first weekend sweep of the season.
“All in all, it was a great weekend for us,” Head Coach Albie O’Connell said in his post-game press conference. “We’ve been looking to get points and wins, and we found a way to play two pretty good hockey games,” O’Connell said.
With five out of a possible six points earned this weekend against the Wildcats, the Terriers have gained in the Hockey East standings, now only one point behind Boston College- their next opponent.
Despite the successful weekend, none of the Terriers’ goals this weekend came five on five. Alongside the three power play goals, the Terriers scored a six-on-five empty net goal and during the 3v3 overtime.
“Probably put the puck in the net,” O’Connell said when asked about what the Terriers need to do to score more 5v5. “I don’t think it was due to a lack of chances… If you have good goaltending and good special teams, five on five, if you break even, you give yourself a good chance.”
After struggling to manage the puck in the defensive zone in the first period of Friday’s game, the Terriers’ defense settled down and was very solid in front of sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso.
“We handled the front of the net really well, which allowed Drew to see the puck, our wings got out quick… Although [Commesso] was tested quite a few number of times, he was able to see it.” Commesso, as well as the Terriers defense, looked much more comfortable.
Although the Terriers controlled much of the second period after a quiet first period on both sides, UNH made a strong push in the third. The Wildcats outshot the Terriers 18-3 in the third period, with freshman forward Liam Devlin scoring UNH’s lone goal at 12:53 of the period.
After being selected to the preliminary roster for the United States World Junior roster, sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso had a very strong weekend, stopping fifty-seven of fifty-nine shots faced over both games.
“Commesso was dynamite,” O’Connell said. Commesso’s strong weekend comes off of having allowed six goals on twenty-nine shots last weekend against Cornell in Red Hot Hockey.
Junior forward Matt Brown scored his second of the season on the power-play at 10:36 of the second period. After being limited in his return from injury last Saturday against Cornell, Brown’s presence was felt much more this weekend with his two points.
Special teams were the difference this weekend for the Terriers. Three of BU’s five goals this weekend came on the power play while they held the Wildcat’s power play off the board despite their seven chances.
After scoring the empty net clinching goal Friday night, graduate forward Kaufman was able to roof a backhander past Wildcats goaltender Mike Robinson. “Max Kaufman had his best weekend as a Terrier,” O’Connell noted of his forward.
Overall, the Terriers looked like a much more disciplined and structured team this weekend. Playing strong team defense, staying patient when breaks did not go their way, and making winning plays like blocking shots.
“I just think us realizing as a group what winning hockey looks like and how we can start to implement it consistently, that’s gonna be big for us,” senior forward and captain Logan Cockerill said post-game Friday night.
With only one weekend remaining before the semester break, the Terriers look to be gaining some momentum after hard-fought weekends against top-ranked teams and finally getting some results and gaining in the standings this weekend.
BU has the opportunity to ride their current momentum into one of their biggest games of the year so far, with a chance to prove themselves as a threat in Hockey East this season. Despite the poor start, the Terriers could just be turning it around.
Next weekend the Terriers will face off against their Comm Ave rivals Boston College Friday night at Agganis Arena with the puck drop set for 7:30pm. Saturday, the Terriers will welcome the U.S. Under-18 National Development team to town for an exhibition match at 3:00pm.
As usual, live updates for both games can be found on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and on Instagram @boston.hockey.blog as well as previews and recaps right here at https://hockey.dailyfreepress.com/.