By Torrance Latham
BU News Service
In a highly anticipated rematch of the 2015 NCAA Championship, this weekend’s series somehow managed to live up to its billing.
Both games may have ended in a draw, but the fans and media members in attendance were the true winners.
Friday night’s contest ended in a grueling 1-1 slug fest. Though Saturday night’s battle would feature a different path, the end result remained the same, as No. 11 Boston University used a late rally to tie No. 1 Providence College 3-3 on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
The Friars carried the intensity into Saturday night’s game early on, before BU settled down and played with more discipline in the third period (five penalties in the second period alone). BU head coach David Quinn said he learned about his team’s character after exchanging blows with the hottest team in college hockey.
“That’s a big, strong, well-balanced team,” said BU coach David Quinn. “We showed a lot of resiliency, we showed some mental toughness, we showed great team camaraderie and there’s a checklist you’re going to need if you’re going to win championships, starting with talent, and if you’ve got enough talent, then there’s about seven or eight other things you’re going to need if you’re going to have success and I think we keep checking the boxes as the season moves on, which is a good sign.”
The Terriers scored all three of their goals in the final stanza. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson played a crucial role down the stretch, scoring two goals and an assist.
The visiting Friars scored once in each of the first two periods to take a 2-0 lead into the third.
Brian Pinho opened the scoring on a slot shot at 17:13 of the first frame. Walman made it a 2-0 lead for the visitors when his blast from the right point beat LaCouvee on a power play with 7:24 remaining in the second.
Ahti Oksanen’s goal ignited the BU third period surge, scoring off of a power-play at the 7:12 mark. Oksanen has been playing spectacular in the past five games, scoring six goals that span. Matt Gyzelcyk made a pass to the right circle where Oksanen nailed a one-time shot, finding the back of the net
“I was trying to find a lane, Ahti’s great at finding those soft areas,” said Grzelcyk. “That’s what great scorers do. He presented himself really well and I saw him slide over at the last second. He made a great shot.”
In the third frame, the Terriers converted 2 of their 3 power play opportunities into points.
After assisting with Gryzelcyk on the first score, Forsbacka Karlsson took over the scoring duties.
Forsbacka Karlsson received a pass at the front of the right circle from Danny O’Regan and tallied a wrist shot at the 9:40 mark of the third to even the score. BU took their first lead with 7:28 remaining on Forsbacka Karlsson’s second goal off an assist from Brandon Fortunato.
Providence responded shortly thereafter when Walman scored his second goal of the night to tie at 3, at the 13:49 mark of the final period.
The Terriers will now prepare to face off against the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines this weekend in a two-game series at Agganis Arena. The first match is set for 6 p.m.