Game Recaps

Terriers Earn Weekend Split with Gutsy Win in Ann Arbor

By James Garrison

Photo by Caroline Fernandez

The No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team (2-1-0, 0-0-0 HE) looked for a bounce-back outing Sunday evening in the second of two matchups against the No. 6 University of Michigan Wolverines (3-1-0, 0-0-0 CCHA). The Terriers responded in a resounding way, taking down the Wolverines on the road tonight, 3-2.

After surrendering six goals on 19 shots on Friday, junior goaltender Drew Commesso was unavailable Sunday due to a hamstring injury, forcing junior Vinny Duplessis into the starting role. Duplessis put on yet another stellar performance in a high-stakes game, stopping 32 of 34 shots en route to victory. 

In front of Duplessis, the Terriers received contributions all throughout the lineup. Junior defenseman Cade Webber scored his first collegiate goal in his 48th game. Physical efforts from the entire group, especially junior forward Luke Tuch and senior forward Sam Stevens, helped frustrate a high-flying Wolverines squad. 

“Great road win by our guys,” Head Coach Jay Pandolfo said following the victory. “After what happened the other night, to come back out tonight and play that way, big character win for our group.”

Despite an early tally from T.J. Hughes, the Terriers would carry over their strong first period five-on-five play from two nights before. Even with a 10-8 shot margin and a number of high-danger chances in the first period, BU was unable to solve Michigan goaltender Erik Portillo. 

Much like Friday night, the Terriers would once again have to fend off the deadly Michigan man-advantage. Midway through the first period, captain and senior forward Domenick Fensore and freshman forward Jeremy Wilmer would each take successive minor penalties, forcing the Terriers to kill off a five-on-three for 37 seconds. 

“We were more disciplined, we still can get better at that,” Pandolfo said. “The end result was what we wanted.”

After continued strong five-on-five play early on in the second period, the Terriers would find the equalizer. Freshman Ryan Greene found Webber bursting towards the net on a 2-on-1 to even up the contest at 6:56 of the middle frame. 

“I knew [Greene] saw me so I anticipated a little bit (…) I was thinking about that, he was going to give it to me and he put it right there for me and luckily it went home,” Webber said post-game. “To be honest, I didn’t even know it went in.”

The contest didn’t stay even for long as Michigan collected their fourth power-play goal of the weekend. Wolverine sophomore forward Dylan Duke was able to find the wide-open back of the net on a de-facto five-on-three after Fensore had lost his stick further up ice. 

The Terriers showed their resolve though, finding the equalizer just 1:17 later. Fensore’s wrister from the point made its way past Portillo to tie the game once again and continue the special teams dogfight. 

From that point on, the Terriers did not look back. 

Senior forward Matt Brown buried his second goal of the year in the slot after a slick feed from senior forward Jay O’Brien, giving the Terriers their first lead of the weekend. With their second power-play goal of the night, the Terriers had turned special teams in their favor. 

BU carried their lead into the third period, where their physicality continually frustrated Michigan. After avoiding a late push by the Wolverines, the Terriers heard a victorious final buzzer, earning themselves a weekend split against a top opponent. 

“We have a good, sound defensive structure,” Webber said. “I think when we kill plays and play fast, no team in the country can play with us.”

A strong bounce-back effort was headlined by another strong performance by Duplessis in yet another big game. 

“Vinny’s a gamer,” Pandolfo said. “He’s always ready. Anytime we put him in there, he’s going to do the job for us. He did that again tonight”

The Terriers will have another tough contest next weekend, where they will be welcomed back by the home comforts of Agganis Arena against the undefeated UConn Huskies. With momentum in their favor heading into Hockey East play, a hot start to the Terriers season seems to be back on the rails.

“It’s big, you know,” said Duplessis. “Even with the 9-2 loss on Friday, we still had some confidence coming in today (…) A win like this is unreal. We’ve got to keep it going and can’t take it for granted.”

For continued full coverage of Terrier hockey, be sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram


  1. I agree with coach P – that was a character win

  2. it will be interesting to see how this important victory in michigan affects the terriers confidence in the next round of games in which they have 5 of 7 at home. will they be overconfident vs the uconns and lowells thinking that just showing up will be enough to win or will they show the same determination and discipline which they will need against opponents who do not have the talent of a michigan but have always been difficult.. opponents for BU?. They should want to avoid the poor start they had last season against these same teams so they don’t have to play catch up again this season.

  3. Glenn Carey Staub

    It would be nothing short of insane of them to be overconfident against a team like UConn. The Huskies have arguably the most potent offense in Hockey East and an outstanding young goalie.