By James Garrison
After dropping yet another Friday contest, the Boston University men’s hockey team (7-4-0, 5-3-0 HE) looked to avoid being on the wrong end of a weekend sweep for the first time this season against the Northeastern Huskies (7-4-3, 6-4-2 HE). The Terriers came up with yet another big Saturday win, taking down the Huskies 4-3 in overtime.
The Terriers were once again lifted by their leadership group, with captain Domenick Fensore and Drew Commesso coming up big at crucial moments. Fensore opened the scoring in the first period and assisted on Ryan Greene’s game-tying goal in the third period.
Commesso made a number of enormous saves in overtime while going toe-to-toe with Devon Levi. In five starts since returning from injury, Commesso has posted a .943 save-percentage for the Terriers.
“[Overtime] was nerve racking,” Fensore said following the win. “They’re two great goalies, they’re making big-time saves. I thought it was over a couple of times for us and them, so it was awesome.”
The Terriers opened the scoring in a physical first frame. Fensore jumped up in the play and found a crack in the armor of Levi to get on the board for the first time this weekend at 5:36 of the first period.
The chippiness and physicality that carried over from Friday night continued to escalate throughout the first. The rivalry between the two sides was on full display.
“I think we wanted to make sure we were playing hard, we know they do,” head coach Jay Pandolfo said. “They have some D that are big, they’re physical and we wanted to make sure we responded as well as we could.”
Gunnerwolfe Fontaine got the home crowd back into the game early in the second period. The Huskies found the equalizer off the rush after another passed-off shooting opportunity by Lane Hutson.
The physicality and intensity of a rivalry game seemed to get to the Terriers in the second period. The Huskies would strike on the power-play, with Huskies captain Aidan McDonough returning from suspension in style and giving the Huskies the go-ahead marker at 8:51 of the middle frame.
With momentum breaking heavily in favor of Northeastern, a single strike from senior forward Matt Brown brought the Dog House back down to earth. Brown picked the bottom right corner and beat Levi for his sixth of the year.
“That was huge,” Fensore said. “Going into the third down one, it’s a big hole to climb. It was a big time goal from a big time player.”
The Huskies were able to recapture the lead off of a net-front tip by Sam Colangelo. Colangelo’s go-ahead tally bought the Huskies the lead for only 2:50, until another big time play from Fensore.
Fensore lugged the puck through three zones and handed the puck off to Ryan Greene, who buried his sixth of the year to even the contest at three.
“Personally, I’m just feeling better with the puck,” Fensore said. “For me, I think I’ve just got to keep leading by example, just do the little things right, and just be positive for my teammates. I just want to make them better and whatever I can do to help the team out.”
A high hit by Ty Gallagher midway through the third period went under review for contact to the head. The Terriers, not exactly benefactors of the first two periods of officiating, may have gotten away with a non-call on a potential major penalty.
If Friday night was not close enough of a contest, Saturday required a thrilling overtime period. Lane Hutson buried the winner in a 3-on-3 period marked by a goaltending duel between Commesso and Levi, both of whom made multiple game-saving stops.
“We found a way to win so it’s a huge win by our guys,” Pandolfo said. “Credit to them, they played hard tonight. Overall, that was a good college hockey game.”
The Terriers will face a quick turnaround with a pre-Thanksgiving matchup Wednesday evening against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The pre-Thanksgiving schedule gauntlet for the Terriers will soon meet and end after Wednesday’s contest.
“Just a little shorter week than we’re used to,” Pandolfo said. “But I think it will be good for our guys coming off this win. Hopefully we’re ready to go.”
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