Game Recaps

Macklin Celebrini has four-point night in 6-1 win over UConn

Freshman Jack Harvey (12) and the Terriers celebrate his third goal of the season at Toscano Family Ice Forum on Feb. 23, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

Good teams don’t merely win, but storm away with end-of-season, conference games. 

That’s exactly what happened Friday night as Macklin Celebrini’s four-point performance fueled the Boston University men’s hockey team to a 6-1 victory over the University of Connecticut at the Toscano Ice Forum. 

The No. 2 Terriers (20-8-2, 14-4-2 Hockey East) battled through a chippy 60 minutes against the Huskies (12-15-2, 7-11-1 HE) and came out on top thanks to top six contributions, a foolproof 27-save showing from junior goaltender Mathieu Caron and a renewed sense of urgency. 

“We’re coming down to the wire here, every game matters. Every team is going to bring their best and play to their full strength so I thought we handled it well,” Celebrini said postgame.  

Celebrini scored his first of two goals at 6:34 of the first period off a pretty tic-tac-toe play from the freshman first line. Shane Lachance carried the puck into the zone and dished it over to Jack Harvey on the left side who hit Celebrini with a tape-to-tape, cross-ice pass. Celebrini knocked the rubber past sophomore goaltender Arsenii Sergeev for the 1-0 lead. 

Harvey doubled the Terriers’ advantage with a snipe from the left hash marks at 16:07, marking his eighth point in the last seven games. Celebrini found Harvey in the slot where he took his time and picked his shot for the 2-0 scoreline. 

BU’s new first line of Macklin Celebrini (71), Jack Harvey (12) and Shane Lachance (18) prepare for a faceoff against UConn on Feb. 23, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

“I’ve known he’s pretty special for a little bit now, playing with him last year. He has some of the best hands I’ve ever seen, so it’s been fun playing with him,” Celebrini said of Harvey, his former Chicago Steel teammate.  

The first line of Lachance, Celebrini and Harvey – in their second game playing as a trio – combined for five points in the opening 20 minutes of play. 

“I think they have a bit of everything. Lachance has size, Macklin can make a play from anywhere, Harvey’s been excellent for us – he can finish, he can make plays, he’s very confident with the puck – and right now they’re complimenting each other very well,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo, who garnered his 50th win Friday, said postgame. 

The Huskies cut their deficit to one early in the second period with a goal from sophomore forward Samu Salminen, but BU swiftly responded and was up 4-1 by the end of the frame. 

It was vintage Celebrini on the power play that made it 3-1 Terriers at 4:20. Stationed at the left circle, Celebrini released a booming clapper off a Lane Hutson pass which soared by Sergeev for the first-year’s 25th goal of the season. 

Celebrini and Lane Hutson each picked up another point on the Terriers’ next man advantage to set up Quinn Hutson’s wrister from the high slot. Quinn’s tally snapped a three-game point drought for the sophomore and extended BU’s lead to 4-1 at 10:36. 

Things heated up at 12:36 when senior forward Nick Capone laid a hit on Celebrini into the boards in front of the BU bench. Capone was assessed two minutes for elbowing and a five-minute major for contact to the head on the play. The ensuing scrum saw Lachance and Aiden Celebrini head to the box for roughing, as well as UConn’s Salminen. 

“It was a tough hit, but obviously we’re family,” Celebrini said. “We stick up for each other, and that’s why you have teammates and that’s why we’re here.” 

The Terriers’ top six continued to lead the way into the final stanza. Sophomore forward Jack Hughes potted his first goal since Feb. 2 off a 2-on-1 rush with Quinn Hutson to make it 5-1 at 4:59. Jeremy Wilmer brought the game to its final 6-1 score with a tip-in goal at 7:50. 

“We’re very fortunate to have the depth we have up front, but it’s always great when your top guys are producing for you because we know we’re going to get depth scoring as well,” Pandolfo said.  

The series will shift to Agganis Arena Saturday for a 7 p.m. puck drop with tensions high following a physical bout Friday. 

“I think we’re just gonna worry about playing our game, that’s all we can do,” Pandolfo said. “We’ve just got to keep between the whistles and play hard.”

One Comment

  1. excellent road win. that is the way to take care of business

    so happy to see Harvey producing. i thought the coaches made a mistake recruiting him because he was inactive for so long.