Game Recaps

Boston University unable to capitalize in 4-3 loss, swept by No. 2 Boston College

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The horn sounded.

Boston College goaltender Jacob Fowler left his crease flapping his arms like an eagle as the entirety of the BC bench rushed to the glass, mocking the 6,000 BU fans filing out of a sold-out Agganis Arena. 

If ever there was a college hockey equivalent to The Game, Yankees-Red Sox or El Clasico, it lived on Commonwealth Avenue. 

This weekend was different.

It wasn’t just about which team was located in Boston proper or which university had the highest academic rigor, instead, it was a battle of pride between two cornerstones of hockey in an elevation of the rivalry that 291 games before hadn’t reached. 

The No. 1 Terriers (16-6-1, 11-3-1 Hockey East) couldn’t handle the No. 2 Eagles (18-3-1, 11-3-1 HEA) in either game of the weekend’s twin bill, surrendering the top seed in the NCAA with Saturday’s 4-3 loss and keeping only the shame of a disheartening sweep.

“I want our guys to keep their heads high because I felt they competed until the end,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said postgame. “We just ended up on the wrong side.”

From the moment the puck dropped, the Terriers had a certain fire, a level of poise that could only be brought about by the palpable energy of a packed home arena and the frustration from a 4-1 defeat the night prior. BU lived in the offensive third for the start of the first period with countless opportunities. BU’s passes were crisp with even the laziest ones finding friendly sticks. 

However, the Green Line rivalry produces a hostile environment that players often embody. Senior forward Dylan Peterson and BC’s Mike Posma got into it just three minutes into the game, thus setting off a chain of three more BU penalties.

Graduate defenseman Cade Webber was called for tripping 8:20 into the period with Peterson being sent away for boarding just 54 seconds later. Despite the recent success of the Terriers’ penalty kill, Boston College’s potent offense, barring a miracle, wouldn’t be silenced on a 5-on-3.

Freshman forward Gabe Perreault received the backdoor pass from linemate Will Smith to take a 1-0 lead just over the midway point of the period. The crowd was silenced so much so that you could confuse the BC goal for a TV timeout. 

BU stayed alive for the remainder of Peterson’s penalty — but not much longer. Seven seconds after the penalty ended, Eagles’ sophomore defenseman Lukas Gustafsson took a rebound off junior goaltender Mathieu Caron’s pad and put it in the mesh behind him.

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot with discipline,” Pandolfo said. “We have to learn some things as a team moving forward if you want to win on a regular basis against these top teams.”

If there was one thing better than feeding a sold-out home crowd, it’s silencing a rival’s. The Terriers’ lack of discipline was playing them out of the contest. It was the second night in a row BU suffered from a suffocating 2-0 deficit. 

However, the Terriers didn’t hang their heads going into the locker room. Boston College’s Oskar Jellvik was called for holding at 18:37, putting its NCAA second-best penalty kill to the test.

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Sophomore forward Ryan Greene set the puck behind the net and found a charging Shane Lachance, who found the back of the net past Fowler’s left shoulder with less than 15 seconds remaining.

“No question that gave us life,” Panfolfo said. 

It didn’t take long once the puck dropped in the second period to breathe life back into the Terriers’ bench. Graduate forward Sam Stevens flicked a wrist shot into the back of the net just under four minutes into the second period.

However, it’s never that easy.

“They don’t need a lot of chances to score,” Pandolfo said about BC. “You think you’re in a good spot, you’re dominating play, and then all of a sudden, they come back at you and it’s in your net.”

BC’s Cutter Gauthier slipped it past Caron just within the outside post to steal the lead back to a 3-2 game at 14:12. 

BU was called for five penalties in the first period, yet the team kept a clean slate the rest of the game. The Eagles then started to lose poise. Senior forward Gentry Shamburger was called for boarding. Gauthier was called for a cross-check. Freshman forward Ryan Leonard was called for tripping. BC was called for too many men.  

And yet, the Terriers couldn’t capitalize. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

“This is a very good powerplay,” BC head coach Greg Brown said about BU. “We got a lot of key saves which is most important, but our guys also were not letting a lot of those backdoor passes they tried for Celebrini.”

BU had its chances in the third, but posts, pucks rolling over sticks and shots just too wide kept the comeback fruitless. Smith then shot what would be the eventual dagger past Caron on the odd-man rush at 13:45 of the final stanza.

Freshman forward Macklin Celebrini scored a goal with Caron pulled on the 6-on-5, but it was too little too late. 

The Terriers will have a chance to reclaim their pride in nine days when they take on BC in the opening round of the Beanpot. However, they have to recoup for a Tuesday-night tilt at Matthews Arena against Northeastern at 6:30 p.m. 

“It’s penalties, it’s playing the right way at the right time, knowing who you’re on the ice against. All those things go a long way,” Pandolfo said. “We’re still not there.”


  1. obviously a very frustrating weekend for the Terriers. Again and for the fourth time this season the BU went scoreless thru the first two periods in game one falling behind 2-0 with little hope of a comeback when the offense is that punchless. In game 2 tonite it was the same story, missing opportunities, open nets , not getting to rebounds and IMO too much possession on the periphery and not getting enough good shots from in close and also overpassing at times.In addition the game was eventually lost in the first period with the taking of stupid penalties again , and to BC ‘s credit the ability to cash in, led to a 2-0 deficit again. To there credit the Terriers fought back to tie the game and then seemed to dominate play but again unable to cash in let the Eagles off the hook and an opportunistic goal by Gauthier gave them the lead again. It’s tough to always have to chase the game especially vs the now #1 team in the nation. BU must regroup now for the next game against the always tough Huskies on Tues. night., which they need to win to get back on track again.
    At this juncture and in light of the results this weekend its clear BC is at the moment a better team, more poised and better organized than the Terriers. Any hardware to be won this season has to go thru the eagles and that will be a difficult task.

    • OK Vinnie, we got that. Anything else? Thingsaren’t that bad, it’s not like we got blown out and we’re still tied for first in HE

  2. let’s see how they respond in the next 3 games. proof will be in the pudding

    my concern is that the BC sweep put doubt in their minds. i hope i am wrong