UPDATED: BU loses Garrett Noonan, likely for season, in 4-2 win over Northeastern

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

Amidst all the scoreboard watching and formula tinkering marking the final weekend of the regular season, the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team did the only thing it could have to help its cause Friday night: It won.

The Terriers (17-15-2, 14-10-2 Hockey East) beat Northeastern University, 4-2, on the hosts’ senior night at Matthews Arena to stay within striking distance of a home-ice spot in the conference quarterfinals with one game to play.

Four different Terriers scored against the Huskies (9-20-4, 5-17-4 Hockey East) for BU’s third win in four games.

“Hats off to Northeastern for how hard they worked,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They didn’t have anything to go for and we are still looking to get home ice. It was a good college hockey game to watch, I thought, and a good college hockey game to win.

“Both teams are missing a lot of bodies. But the guys that are out on the ice are working like heck.”

During the game Parker added another name to BU’s list of missing bodies: junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan.

Noonan got hit hard — but cleanly, the coach insisted — by Northeastern forward Josh Manson early in the second period.

According to Parker, the defenseman has a severely separated right shoulder and is likely out for the season. Noonan may need surgery.

“It was an absolutely clean hit,” Parker said. “Northeastern kid just caught him coming on to the net and just caught him shoulder to shoulder. It was an absolutely clean hit. There was no problem with that. He just caught him the wrong way.”

The Terriers didn’t miss a beat, though, even without one of their top defenseman and even after losing to the Huskies twice earlier this semester.

BU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first before forward Cody Ferreiro cut the lead in half with 1.2 second left in the period.

For BU, senior forward Jake Moscatel – a walk-on who joined the team for the second half of last season after going to the University of New England for two years — scored his first goal in the scarlet and white at the 12:19 mark.

Junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen, whose shot from the point got kicked away by senior Chris Rawlings. Moscatel was on the right side of the crease, however, to bang home the rebound.

It was his first point for the 24-year-old Lexington native and former BU club team member since the 2009-10 season with UNE. 

“The boys were pretty fired up. Everybody’s been pulling for me I guess,” said Moscatel, who has dressed for 10 games this season. “It was definitely good to help the team win and anything I can do.”

Senior captain Wade Megan netted his 15th goal of the season less than five minutes later off a pass from junior forward Sahir Gill. From the left circle Megan ripped a wrister, which initially looked like it got trapped by Rawlings but ended up trickling through his legs and into the net.

Neither team scored in the second, although the Huskies controlled play for much of the frame.

Junior forward Matt Nieto and his linemate, center Danny O’Regan, connected on a give-and-go at 2:14 in the third to give BU a 3-1 lead.

O’Regan started the play, sending Nieto down the left wing. Nieto centered from the circle and O’Regan, his fellow San Jose Sharks draft pick, tipped it past Rawlings.

O’Regan leads the team with 31 points on the season, and in Parker’s eyes is a top-three pick for Hockey East rookie of the year with Providence College goalie Jon Gillies and Northeastern forward Kevin Roy, who was out hurt for Friday’s game.

“He’s certainly had a terrific freshman year,” Parker said of his second-line center. “There’s a lot of good freshmen in this league. Danny’s certainly one of the best if not the best.”

At the 5:28 mark in the third, freshman forward Matt Lane gave BU some more insurance — insurance it would later need — when he took a pass from sophomore forward Cason Hohmann, cut toward the net from the bottom of the left circle and roofed it by Rawlings.

Lane’s goal completed the BU quadfecta — it got a goal from each of its four forward lines.

The Terriers got a bit unlucky at 7:28 when junior Cody Ferriero shot wide of BU’s not, only to have the puck bounce hard off the end boards and back near the crease for sophomore Adam Reid to tap it in.

Reid’s goal cut BU’s lead to 4-2, but the Terrier defense held the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way to cement the win.

Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire made 30 saves for the win in his first game since Matt O’Connor was ruled done for the season with a collapsed lung.

“Sean Maguire had a heck of a night,” Parker said. “Northeastern really moved the puck. They only had three power plays but they really moved the puck well and had some good looks on it. Sean had a couple of big saves there.”

BU has its final game of the regular season 7 p.m. Saturday at Agganis Arena against Northeastern.

Sitting in fifth place, the Terriers need a win as well as a loss from one of Boston College, New Hampshire of Providence College to get home ice for the conference quarterfinals.

Matt O’Connor done for season after undergoing surgery Thursday

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
Matt O’Connor’s rookie season is over.
The freshman goaltender for the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team underwent surgery for his collapsed lung Thursday afternoon, according to coach Jack Parker, and will not return to action this season.
O’Connor has been hospitalized since Saturday, when he was scratched from his start against the University of Vermont, and after the puncture in his lung didn’t patch itself up over the course of the week the way doctors had hoped, they decided to perform surgery.
Team athletic trainer Larry Venis said the procedure is called VATS — video-assisted thoracic surgery — and is of the arthroscopic variety. Doctors at Boston Medical Center made a minor incision in O’Connor’s chest and used a small camera and instruments “to try to help scar down the lung tissue a little bit, so that way it would heal on itself and close it on its own.”
Venis said the long-term prognosis is “very favorable,” and the short-term includes very little physical activity for at least four weeks, maybe longer depending “on how the body reacts.”
“He’s very healthy, he’s young and fit,” Venis said. “So that’s going in his favor.”
Parker said O’Connor suspected a shot to the ribs Feb. 15 vs. Maine might have been what caused the collapsed lung — formally known as pneumothorax — but symptoms did not present in earnest until Saturday.
According to Venis, O’Connor had had some rib pain and a cough earlier in the week, then complained of shortness of breath during Saturday’s pre-game skate. That’s when Parker and team doctors made the decision to not let him play.
The goalie dressed for the contest but did not take to the ice for introductions before puck drop, and when he was absent from the bench for much the game he was actually at the hospital getting chest x-rays.
The plan had been for O’Connor to get the tests done after the game.
He dressed because he wanted to support his team, and then he started thinking about it more,” Venis said. “It wasn’t an emergency situation at all. He could’ve waited until after the game, which is what our plan was, but it just transpired where he wanted to go and get it over with.”

Although O’Connor mentioned the blunt force in Maine, Venis said the official diagnosis is “spontaneous pneumothorax,” which O’Connor has many of the risk factors for — he’s tall, thin, athletic, male and between 10 and 30 years old.
Parker said operating was not originally the plan, but about 40 percent of those who suffer from pneumothorax experience it again. With surgery, that is not expected to be an issue.
“If you have it [a collapsed lung] happen a second time you have to have the operation anyway,” Parker said. “We didn’t need to take the chance that it will happen again next December or something.”
The Toronto, Ontario, native’s mother, Lesley Hadrill, is in Boston, and Parker and many teammates have visited him in the hospital, according to the coach.
I was pretty shocked to find out how serious it was,” said senior captain Wade Megan, who is amongst those who have paid O’Connor a visit. “Obviously it’s unfortunate, but the biggest thing for him right now is to worry about himself and get himself healthy again. Hockey comes second when it comes to stuff like that. So he has our support obviously, we’ve been over there as much as we can and he’s in our thoughts and we hope he can recover quickly and get back to us.”
O’Connor will end his season with a .910 save percentage and 2.86 goals-against average. He went 8-8-2 in 19 games, 18 of them starts.
Freshman Sean Maguire, who has largely split time with O’Connor all season, is slated to be the full-time goalie, while junior Anthony Moccia, a Medford native who has not seen ice time in his two seasons on the roster, will be the backup.
He’s praying nothing happens to Sean or he’s trying to get him sick,” Parker said. “One of the two.”