By Gillian McMahon
In a full team effort, the Boston University men’s hockey team (18-10-3, 12-6-3 HE) earned a 6-3 victory over the Boston College Eagles (11-17-5, 6-12-3 HE) on senior night at Agganis Arena.
Before the puck drop, senior forwards Ty Amonte, Max Kaufman, Logan Cockerill, and defenseman Joseph Campolieto were celebrated for their contributions and success at BU.
Following an 11-day break in game action, there was potential for a flat start, but the Terriers came out firing. The showing was nothing less than expected for the second battle of Comm Ave this season with aggressive play on both sides.
Sophomore forward Luke Tuch opened up the scoring for the Terriers halfway through the first period off a shot from the point from junior defender Domenick Fensore. Tuch was due for a goal, with his last coming in early January against Arizona State.
Tuch’s goal propelled the rest of the scoring for the night and the Terriers put a couple more in before the end of the first period.
A two-on-one play by sophomore forwards Nick Zabaneh and Dylan Peterson, reminiscent of the Beanpot winner, put the Terriers up 2-0 with under two minutes to go. 14 seconds later, junior forward Wilmer Skoog found himself all alone in front of BC’s goaltender grad student Eric Dop and scored on the backhand for a 3-0 lead going into the second period.
The first period was dominated by the Terriers’ style of play Head Coach Albie O’Connell said in the post game press conference.
“After being off for a little while, we started well and the first period set the tone for the game,” O’Connell said. “We played really well, getting the lead, and [it] probably was our best period.”
The second period saw frequent penalty calls. In the second period alone, the Terriers were called for five penalties compared to three for BC.
BU’s defensive effort throughout the game was effective. It was cohesive as guys got stops and put bodies in front of pucks on the regular.
Sophomore goaltender Vinny Duplessis played well between the pipes in his fifth straight start despite classmate Drew Commesso’s return home from the Olympics in Beijing earlier this month.
“I think it’s important when you are part of a team when you perform, that you get rewarded,” O’Connell said. “Vinny performed at a really high level and the team played well in front of him. It’s hard to tell a guy who just went 4-0 with two shutouts who won a championship to say ‘oh we’ve got a guy back from the Olympics, you’re not going to play.’”
Senior forward Jack McBain put BC on the board with the score off the face-off, yet another familiar play as Skoog and junior forward Sam Stevens both did it successfully earlier this year.
Peterson scored his second of the night after a scrum in front of the net. The play was reviewed but called a good goal giving the Terriers a 4-1 lead halfway through the second. Campolito had a diving assist on the goal.
Junior defenseman Case McCarthy went down with an apparent injury after blocking a shot on the penalty kill. He flew off the ice dropping both gloves and his stick. McCarthy did not return for the rest of the game.
After a BC tripping penalty on junior defender Marshall Warren, Tuch scored his second goal of the night on the power play. Cockerill dumped the puck in front of the net, and with perfect positioning, all Tuch had to do was find the back of the net.
O’Connell was impressed with Tuch’s showing, “He was a horse tonight, he was good (…) when he’s going, he’s a hard guy to stop.”
In typical rivalry fashion, the game got increasingly chippy and the penalties kept coming. Junior defenseman Alex Vlasic was dealt two minutes for interference, and McBain scored his second goal of the night on a tap-in just past the glove of Duplessis, assisted by Jack St. Ivany and Drew Helleson.
Between the end of the second and the start of the third period, the teams combined for 16 penalty minutes, as junior forward Robert Mastrosimone was sent to the box for 10 minutes for misconduct, Liam Izyk called for hooking, and then cross-checking penalties on Peterson and Marc McLaughlin.
Early in the third, freshman forward Brian Carrabes found the back of the net, deflecting in a blast from junior defenseman Domenick Fensore at the point to make it 6-2.
Halfway through the third, sophomore forward Nikita Nesterenko was dealt a five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing Ty Gallagher. Senior forward Casey Carreau scored a shorthanded goal to cut the score in half but even after pulling Dop, the Eagles weren’t able to close the scoring gap. BU finished the game with 43 shots on goal compared to BC’s 26.
Though a strong effort, Cockerill emphasized that there is always room for improvement.
“ Even though our offense was great, I think we could probably simplify a little bit and give them less,” Cockerill said in the post game press conference. “I don’t think we made them earn what they got enough. We still had a few too many turnovers, we didn’t really fully get to our forecheck where we were stringing shifts together, and changing the offensive zone, and wearing them down. I think we were more opportunistic tonight than we were playing a full solid game, but with that being said we still played a great game.”
The Terriers will look for the sweep as they take a ride out to Chestnut Hill tomorrow afternoon for a 4:00pm puck drop at Conte Forum. The Boston Hockey Blog will have live coverage from our social media channels: Instagram @boston.hockey.blog and Twitter @BOShockeyblog.