Mathieu Caron was the unquestionable MVP for BU in semifinal win

Photo by Matt Woolverton.

Mathieu Caron was, unquestionably, the biggest factor in BU’s 4-1 win over the University of Maine in Friday’s Hockey East Semifinal game. 

While the Terriers got goals from Ryan Greene, Sam Stevens and a highlight reel one from Lane Hutson, it was the play of Caron that ultimately decided the game for BU. 

The junior goalie faced down a Black Bear offense whose shots on goal nearly doubled the Terriers’, putting in 32 saves to secure the win.

“He was calm, he was poised, he held onto pucks, he was obviously a difference maker,” Maine head coach Ben Barr said postgame.

The Black Bears at the podium, Barr and senior captain Lynden Breen, were peppered with questions about Caron’s night in net. 

“I guess we didn’t get his eyes as much as we probably should have, that’s probably what it came down to, we got our chances and just didn’t make his life too hard. That’s something we could’ve done a little better,” Senior captain Breen said. 

BU head coach Jay Pandolfo passionately defended his goalie after a reporter identified Caron as the team’s weak link. 

“I disagree,” Pandolfo said. “From where I sit he’s been unbelievable for us.”

It’s been that kind of a season for Caron who transferred to Comm Ave from Brown University this offseason. He was the darling of the ECAC conference in his sophomore campaign, posting a 2.49 goals against average to go along with a .921 save percentage. 

However, upon entering the Terrier roster this season, praise for Caron as a key piece of the nation’s second ranked college hockey team has been limited. 

In January, Caron was omitted from the Watch List for this year’s Mike Richter trophy for the country’s top goaltender while eight other goalies from Hockey East were. 

“He’s gained more confidence, and he’s won a lot of hockey games for us, so he was excellent again tonight and it was great to see,” Pandolfo said.


It’s easy for him to slip through the cracks amid an uber-talented roster on the Terriers. The incredible defensive play from Cade Webber and Lane Hutson certainly would make any goalie look good. 

But his play goes beyond that, with a 2.26 GAA this season paired with a .919 save percentage. 

“Knowing he’s back there, it makes it really easy for all our D…no one’s gonna be perfect and mistakes are gonna happen, but knowing he’s back there, he always has our back,” sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson said postgame. 

Caron has also been in a unique position this season as the Terriers’ only legitimate option at the goaltender position. As a result of that, Caron has been called on to start all 34 of the Terriers’ regular season games and leads all Hockey East goaltenders in minutes this season. 

He managed to stay fresh in the workhorse role all while adjusting to a more competitive conference in one of its most competitive years ever. In conference play Caron finished second in save percentage and goals against.

In media availability following practice on Thursday this week, Caron said that his role as the team’s sole option at goaltender was the “expectation” going into the season. 

“That was the goal for me and I feel like, for me, I’ve always taken pride in taking care of myself physically and mentally and yeah, I just feel like I’m in a good rhythm right now,” Caron said. 

If Friday’s win was Caron’s biggest start thus far, the one he’ll face Saturday night in the championship game will be even bigger. 

He’ll have to repeat his stellar performance against an electrified Boston College offense, fresh off its 8-1 win over UMass. 

Caron let in a total of nine goals in the three meetings against the Eagles this season. His approach in these first two games of playoff action should instill some confidence for his fourth start against the Eagles. 

“You can’t overthink it,” Caron said on his approach to playoff hockey. “It’s one of those things where you’ve done so much to learn throughout the season and build your game to progressively get better every week, so it’s kind of just letting the game play itself and not trying to do too much.”

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