Game Recaps

Mathieu Caron earns shutout in 3-0 Terrier win over University of New Hampshire

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

There are no easy wins in Hockey East. 

The Terriers learned that lesson in their first conference game of the season where they lost 6-4 to the University of New Hampshire on the road. 

Saturday night, the No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team (14-4-1, 9-1-1 HE) found themselves in another battle that went down to the wire against the same Wildcat team. 

Although it did not show its lessons learned early on, BU figured it out by the final horn and has gone 9-0-1 in conference play since then, including Saturday’s 3-0 rematch victory over the No. 16 Wildcats (11-6-1, 4-3-1 HE). 

“We didn’t forget that feeling in October. They embarrassed us,” graduate forward Sam Stevens said postgame. “So I think that was a little more motivation tonight. Glad we could come out with the win. Still not perfect, though. A lot of things to address in practice.”

However, if it were not for junior goaltender Mathieu Caron – who posted a 36-save shutout for his first as a Terrier – this one could have gotten out of hand quickly. 

“We had one guy ready to start the game — it was our goalie,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said postgame. “For whatever reason, we weren’t ready to play.” 

While this season’s first matchup between these teams featured 10 goals, tonight was a battle of the netminders. 

BU spent most of the first period short handed, racking up three minors and a major penalty. Although the Wildcats were never able to capitalize, UNH gained all the momentum over its nine minutes on the man advantage. 

Highlighted by their strong forecheck and quick transition game, the Wildcats barred the Terriers from setting up anything offensively. UNH led in shots 10-2 at the halfway point of the period as BU struggled to get the puck out of its own end. 

The worst of the brunt for the Terriers came at 16:18 of the first period when sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson was assessed a tripping minor and his brother Quinn was ejected from the game for spearing. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Playing down two skaters for the remainder of the period, UNH stunned the Terriers with an 18-7 shot-on-goal advantage by the end of the first 20 minutes.  

“If anything, it almost calms me down more,” Caron said postgame. “I made all those saves, kind of saw a bit of everything … overall, it’s almost easier going into the second period after an 18-shot period.”

BU had more jump in its game to start the second after killing off the remainder of the major, and the Terrier skaters backed up their goaltender — sacrificing their bodies to prevent the puck from making it on net all night long.

The home team finished the contest with 25 blocked shots, including six from graduate defenseman Cade Webber and five from BU captain Case McCarthy. 

“I thought our guys dug deep in front of [Caron],” Pandolfo said.“Very impressive from those two guys.”

Down at the other end, UNH’s junior netminder Jakob Hellsten remained perfect for his squad. It did not matter the play — a Stevens and Jeremy Wilmer 2-on-1, a Macklin Celebrini one-timer, or a Shane Lachance stuff attempt — Hellsten flashed the leather on every Terrier attempt. 

The BU forward lines were heavily shuffled throughout the game, as the team tried to feed off of any spark. But most notably, sophomore forward Jeremy Wilmer was promoted to the top line for the first time this season after bringing consistent offense to the lineup and scoring the game-winner against Northeastern on Tuesday. 

If things could not get any worse for the Terriers, Lane Hutson went down the tunnel early in the third period after taking a hard hit, but he returned later in the period. 

“He will be evaluated, I think he’s fine. He came back out. I actually haven’t checked in yet with the trainer to see, but he seemed fine when I saw him in the room after the game,” Pandolfo said. 

BU’s first bright spot of the game came as Stevens finally broke through for the Terriers at 11:25 of the final frame. Senior forward Dylan Peterson weaved through all three zones before dishing the rubber to the assistant captain for his fourth goal of the season and third-straight goal at home. 

“I play with some really great players,” Stevens said. “I think in practice with my linemates — just working, getting in those spots — and you’ll be rewarded for it.”

With the Dog Pound still taunting Hellsten’s name, the UNH netminder’s miss-handle behind the net cost his team. Senior forward Luke Tuch forced the turnover on Hellsten, and Macklin Celebrini was ready for the net-front tap in 39 seconds after Stevens’ goal. 

To finish off the night, Macklin Celebrini scored on the empty net for his second goal of the night and third since returning from World Juniors. The freshman phenom continues to make his case for the Hobey Baker, leading the NCAA in scoring with 13 goals through 17 games. 

After one late, final block from Case McCarthy, the Terriers escaped the game with their first shutout of the season. Caron finished the night with 36 saves for arguably his strongest and most complete game as a Terrier. 

“Coming in, transferring — the course load I was taking first semester — there’s a lot of factors that make it that much more difficult coming into the season,” Caron said. “I’m very much comfortable. I’ve really settled down and just look to get better a little bit every game, every practice.”

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Up next, the Terriers will head north this weekend for a road series against the University of Vermont. It will be all important to pick up a full six points against the Catamounts ahead of BU’s toughest test of the season the following week — the first Battle of Comm. Ave.

“We just have to go out there and make sure we’re playing our game the right way,” Pandolfo said. “I still feel that we got more to give here as a group. The consistency piece for me is still an issue where we can’t find a way to play a full 60 minutes.” 

Friday’s puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram


  1. Tonite’s game was similar to what we’ve seen from the Terriers most of the season, a rather uneven first two periods with BU at times creating some exiting passing plays and creating chances from their breakout plays and at other times losing puck battles all over the ice and turning the puck over to give the opposition opp0rtunities to score.. In addition the lack of discipline in the team, taking stupid penalties in the offensive zone and after the whistle blows put them in deep trouble early on and only the terrific goaltending from Caron kept them in the game early on. Caron has really been a revelation, IMO providing the best Terrier netminding since the days of Kieran Millan.
    Finally following the same script they win the game with a flurry, (2 goals in 38 seconds) in the middle of the final frame. Again more and more they remind me of the Terrier 2009 edition that won it all, however i really don’t think that they are as good as that team and given the state of college hockey at the moment with BC and BU at the top of the heap in college hockey and the only seemingly teams with outstanding talent, they may not have to be to cop some hardware. Obviously the real tests lie ahead with the two games vs BC before the beanpot and vs Providence who may also pose a threat. After that we’ll have a better idea if BU has the stuff of national champions.

  2. well said, Vito

    As Caron goes, we go

  3. I’m just saying yes Bc will be a test but look back at some of thr games we had I Think they passed a few good “tests” north Dakota
    Maine, Quinnipiac etc.. Enjoy the season its a good one and gettimg better ..

  4. totally agree, Rui. this season has had some many satisfying moments. they just keep winning

    love this entire coaching staff and the team/culture they have created

    when they do play BC, i just hope they are not starry-eyed. According to hockey writer, Mark Divver on Twitter: “BC’s offensive skill is dazzling.” gotta play them with swagger

    Onto Burlington. the catamounts are playing decently