Game Recaps

BU survives season-opening scare at Bentley with 3-2 overtime win

Lane Hutson in Boston University’s season opener at Bentley. Photo by Molly Potter.

WALTHAM — Lane Hutson’s celebration said it all. 

The sophomore defenseman raised his arms in triumph after scoring the overtime winner for the Boston University men’s hockey team, which sealed a 3-2 win over Bentley in Waltham Saturday night. But Hutson hardly cracked a smile as his teammates skated over to celebrate.

The reaction resembled relief, not jubilation. 

BU, tabbed as the number one team in the country by preseason polls, found itself in a dogfight with lowly Bentley, an Atlantic Hockey foe the Terriers disposed of, 8-2, in last season’s opener. By the skin of their teeth, the Terriers survived.

“I thought we were sloppy through a lot of the game,” said BU head coach Jay Pandolfo postgame. “We definitely have to tighten up. It wasn’t our best, but we found a way to win.”

Hutson’s comments carried a similar tune. 

“They came at us hard, and that’s how games are going to be,” he said. “There’s a big target on our team, and we obviously love it. We want every team’s best, and Bentley definitely showed out. We’ll only learn from it. We can do a lot better.” 

From the opening face off, it became clear that BU would not be able to simply walk all over the Falcons.

Nonetheless, graduate defenseman Case McCarthy broke through at 11:40 of the frame, ripping a slapshot past Bentley netminder Connor Hasley to earn the Terriers a 1-0 lead. That score held through the end of the period. 

Bentley continued to play the Terriers tight into the second period, and the Falcons killed off a five-minute BU power play with ease after sophomore forward Stephen Castagna was whistled for a game misconduct major.  

But a few minutes later, Macklin Celebrini announced his arrival on the NCAA stage in emphatic fashion, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Quinn Hutson by deking to his backhand and slipping a goal past Hasley to make it 2-0. 

“Once he got his legs going, I thought he was really great,” Pandolfo said of Celebrini postgame. “His game really got better over the course of the game.”

Bentley remained unfazed. The Falcons rallied back with spell of offensive pressure, and their hard work paid off with just over three minutes to go in the second. Freshman forward Kolby Amici gathered a loose puck in the slot and ripped it past BU goalie Mathieu Caron to bring Bentley within a goal. It was a sign of things to come. 

The Falcons carried their momentum into the final stanza, and A.J. Hodges capitalized with a one-timer from the top of the circle on the power play to tie the game at two, sending the Bentley faithful into a frenzy. 

From there, BU turned up the intensity — seemingly in desperation mode to seal a win in regulation. Lane Hutson weaved through Bentley players on zone entries. Macklin Celebrini generated chances with his speed and incisiveness, even drawing a penalty on Bentley’s Nick Bochen at 10:42 of the third. 

The Falcons’ defense stepped up to hang on. Bentley blocked 13 BU shots in the third period alone — and 25 in the game — diffusing several efforts from the Terriers’ most dangerous offensive threats. 

So, despite BU’s last-ditch efforts to knot the game up in the final minutes, the Falcons forced overtime.

The two squads traded chances in the first few minutes of the 3-on-3 period, but the tables shifted firmly in BU’s favor after Bochen was sent to the penalty box for a holding penalty at 3:03 of overtime. 

Lane Hutson ended the contest nine seconds later with a top-shelf wrister that beat Hasley glove side. The goal marked his sixth game-winner at BU, and his fourth overtime tally with the program. 

“He enjoys big moments, clearly. I think we saw it last year.” Pandolfo said of the star defenseman. “He wants to be a difference-maker, he was then and I’m sure he’ll continue to be.” 

Next, BU will face off against New Hampshire next Friday in Durham, N.H. in the Terriers’ Hockey East opener. 

The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage on Friday. Follow along on Twitter @BosHockeyBlog, Instagram and our website, hockey.daily


  1. Frustrating night. Happy for the win (well, 0.66 of a win per the PWR) but Bentley honestly deserved better. Despite Mack and the BU players saying that they know the stakes and it’s basically title or nothing this season, only one team played with the required effort and intensity tonight.

    Sure, it’s early and just one game, but effort is effort. BU played like a team planning to win on talent alone while Bentley gave it everything they had – something you expect every team playing the #1 ranked team to offer up. BU finally consistently played hard after Bentley tied it up at 2-2 so it was in their locker but only showed up when it was needed. Playing with a bit of fire.

    Hopefully, it’s lesson learned.

    Some other thoughts…

    Caron was excellent.

    Lane must have played 35 minutes but still had the energy to end it. Special player.

    The 5 min PP was diabolical.

    Zabaneh was slowed down by his line mates.

    Peterson had two open nets roll off his stick.

    Amonte deserved his spot and ice time. One of the few who played hard, and played well, every shift.

    Tuch and Kaplan continue to tease. Moments of great play undone by moments of laziness or stupidity.

    McCarthy the elder was solid. McCarthy the younger played well. Frechette was solid enough in his limited minutes.

    Webber and Gallagher were a little clunky. Just not in rhythm tonight.

    Lachance is a monster in front but needs work on anticipating rebounds and getting ready to pounce. He’ll get better each game.

    Greene was probably the biggest disappointment. So, so very lackadaisical.

    Long story short, better to win while learning a lesson. And gives Pandolfo and the staff plenty to work on.

    Side note: It was an embarrassment of riches to have both Lane AND Fensore last season. Fensore was missed. Hopefully Willander’s return will help.

    Great BU representation in the seats. Lots of red around the rink and good to see so many students at a road game.

    Also, as a friend smartly noted, Mack needs to play 1st line minutes. Suspect he will as he gets more and more game fitness.

    On to UNH…

    Go BU


    • Mike, Excellent insightful objective analysis – poignant observations, credits, and criticisms. PSD

  2. Mike B Siroky, MD

    One of the rare games under Pandolfo when the team was not prepared for what their opponent threw at them. Still, a real victory is better than a moral victory. Let Bentley enjoy the moral victory.