By Taylor Raglin
BU News Service
It’s not after every three-goal victory that a coach is left unsatisfied, but for BU men’s hockey head coach David Quinn, his club’s 4-1 victory over the University of Maine in the first half of a weekend home-and-home series left much to be desired.
“It certainly wasn’t the prettiest first two periods,” he said. “I thought we were lethargic, and we really weren’t sharp … I don’t want to be the grouchy coach after a 4-1 win and not be happy, but we know we’re going to have to be better tomorrow night [at Maine] if we’re going to have a chance to win.”
It began with an odd-man rush for the Black Bears on the first shift of the game that forced Terrier netminder Jake Oettinger to turn aside a prime scoring chance. Outshooting Maine for nearly the entire period with nothing to show for it, the frustrated Terriers then had an apparent goal waved off due to an early whistle, whiffed on both of their first-period power play chances and gave up a late deflection to enter the first intermission down 1-0.
The second period looked as if it would be more of the same. The Terriers continued to outshoot the Black Bears, gaining a double-digit advantage in the category they would ride to a 41-14 overall advantage in the game, but were missing the spark needed to climb back into the game on the scoreboard.
With just 1:32 remaining in the middle frame, freshman Clayton Keller gave the Terriers what they were looking for. He elevated a backhand in tight on Maine goaltender Rob McGovern, piercing the netminder for his ninth goal of the season and invigorating the Terrier bench.
“When [Keller] put that one in, it kind of sparked us and showed us that we might finally get rewarded for our efforts,” junior Nikolas Olsson said. “It gave us a little more push.”
Neither team scored again in the second, and it took more than 12 minutes of third-period play before the Terriers cashed in on a power play opportunity and started their sprint toward the finish. Sophomore Bobo Carpenter fired a one-timer from the right circle for what would prove to be the game-winner, then Olsson and sophomore Jordan Greenway piled on insurance tallies to seal the victory.
Black Bear head coach Red Gendron said his team’s frequent visits to the penalty box buried any chance it had to walk out of Agganis Arena with two points in the Hockey East standings.
“Our game plan is to follow our own and play our game, and we didn’t do that,” he said. “Our job is to not take penalties, and we gave them seven power plays. That’s a big reason why we didn’t succeed … it’s not just the two goals they scored [on the power play], it’s how you ‘cook’ players on your team.”
While Gendron was displeased with his club’s discipline, he praised McGovern’s 37-save effort.
“[He] played terrific. The score was 1-1 going into the third period, and they got a couple of power play goals,” he said. “They had the edge in shots 21-10 after two, and we were in the game … Rob McGovern did his job and gave us a chance to win, and then we preceded to take penalties.”
Quinn also lauded the efforts of his netminder, who stopped the Black Bears on several breakaways and odd-man rushes and who Quinn said deserves more credit than his 13 saves suggest.
“You look at the shots and think the goalie didn’t do much, but he made some huge saves,” Quinn said. “He’s a great goalie.”
Quinn said he hopes his group will build off its strong third-period performance heading into the back half of this weekend’s home-and-home with the Black Bears.
“The third period was a whole different story in a lot of ways. We skated more, passed the puck better,” he said. “There was just a lot more to like about the third period than the first two.”
The Terriers (15-5-1, 8-2-2 HEA) will head north to Orono and Alfond Arena Saturday night to finish their two-game stint against Maine and will be in search of both their eighth straight win overall and their sixth straight against the Black Bears. The matchup is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m.