Game Recaps

Terriers snap three-game losing streak, beat UNH 6-3 on the road

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The last time the Terriers walked into Whittemore Center Arena, they got a dose of reality. In the scarlet and white’s first conference contest of the season on Oct. 13, the once bottom-dweller of Hockey East stunned the top-ranked Terriers in a 6-4 victory.

This time around, in the two teams’ third matchup of the season, the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team (17-7-1, 12-4-1 HE) had something more to prove. 

And it did just that — putting together a convincing 6-3 win over the No. 18 University of New Hampshire Wildcats (13-9-1, 6-6-1 HE) on Friday night, snapping its three-game losing skid.

“I thought we had a lot of guys going, and I thought some guys had some tough nights tonight, too,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said postgame. “We were sloppy at times…[but] there were a lot of guys that came to play tonight.”

After getting swept by Boston College and adding on a deflating 4-3 overtime loss to Northeastern in the span of five days this past week, the Terriers needed a big response — and quick. 

BU has been snake bitten offensively over its last stretch of play, dominating possession but being on the wrong end of every bounce. Being outscored 12-7 over that three-game span, the Terriers’ offense opened up on Friday night and was headlined by some new faces. 

With sophomore forward Devin Kaplan still sidelined for a lower-body injury and things not going the Terriers’ way as of late, the BU coaching staff shook up the offensive lines, and the first and third line dominated all night.  

Most notably, freshman forward Jack Harvey — who has not been given a legitimate role yet this season — was elevated to first-line right wing with junior Jack Hughes and former Chicago Steel teammate Macklin Celebrini. 

“It’s just kind of staying ready for when your name’s called,” Harvey said postgame. “Just doing the little things every day, and then when you get the opportunity, you make most of it.”

And the new trio did make the most of it. 

Giving the Terriers the 1-0 lead for the first time in four games, Harvey fed Hughes just 71 seconds into the opening frame. 

Hughes forced the initial turnover in BU’s end to start the 2-on-1 with Harvey the other way, and the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect showed patience with the puck before finding Hughes open backdoor. Embracing his new role on the top line, Hughes notched his third tuck in his last five games. 

“He just keeps getting better, and credit to him, he’s wanted to do more for our team,” Pandolfo said. “You can see his patience and the plays he makes…very happy for him.”

Following the goal, the Terriers were given back-to-back power plays to try and pad their lead, but failing to convert, BU lost all momentum after taking two penalties of their own. In similar fashion to the last time these two teams played on Jan. 13, junior goaltender Mathieu Caron remained sharp to bail out his team’s discipline issues. 

In the middle frame, the goals came pouring in for BU. 

Just as it converted in the first period, the Hughes-Harvey connection doubled the Terriers’ lead early on in the second at 1:41. Hughes tapped in Harvey’s rebound for his second of the night and his fourth goal in his last five games. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

“If I’m playing well, I gotta be moving my feet,” Hughes said postgame. “And then when I get the puck is when I’m at my best, so [I’ve] been working to get pucks back and get open for my linemates.” 

Senior forward Nick Zabaneh and M. Celebrini added another pair of even-strength goals to BU’s lead at 9:33 and 11:04 respectively to make it 4-0 before UNH’s sophomore forward Kristaps Skrastins got the Wildcats on the board 45 seconds later. 

“I thought that line right from the start was excellent,” Pandolfo said on Zabaneh’s third line. “We’re a really good team when that line is going…they certainly helped us win that game.”

On their fourth power-play attempt of the contest, freshman forward Shane Lachance added a fifth goal for good measure. The Terrier man advantage finally broke through, and BU entered the final 20 minutes up 5-1. 

“I actually thought the power play wasn’t very good, especially early on,” Pandolfo said. “It was sloppy early…we got to make sure that [in the] next couple of days we fix some things.” 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Another early goal opened the final frame, but this time UNH struck. The Wildcats’ work down low paid off as junior forward Robert Cronin brought his team within three goals 62 seconds into the first. 

Over the remainder of the period, the two sides traded goals to finish off the night. On BU’s side,  Zabaneh picked up his second of the game and his first multi-goal performance since March 11, 2023. 

And on UNH’s side, the Wildcats’ final goal came from junior forward Liam Devlin on the power play with five minutes remaining in the game. 

“If you have a lead like that going into the 30, and you just worry about doing the job defensively…you’re gonna get your chances,” Pandolfo said on closing out the game. “I thought we did an okay job, but we still need to do a better job.”

Caron finished the night with 22 saves — a much more sound performance than his first go around with the Wildcats. 

The Terriers’ gauntlet schedule continues as they face off against the No. 1 BC for the third time in 11 days during Monday’s 71st Beanpot semifinal matchup.  

“Obviously it’s another big game against BC,” Hughes said. “It’s tough losing two in a row, but definitely getting back in the win column before we get them again Monday is huge.”

Monday’s puck drop at TD Garden is set for 8 p.m., and the Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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