By Eric Getzoff
BU News Service
Tuesday night was the third game in five nights for both the Boston University Terriers (10-5-2, 5-2-2) and the Yale Bulldogs (4-6-2, 2-6-1) and, coming into the game, the all-time series between the two teams was tied 31-31-3.
Thanks to a 5-2 victory at Agganis Arena, the Terriers now lead the all-time series 32-31-3.
BU kicked off the scoring 10:03 into the game when sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy found himself in front of the net at the right time and deflected a shot by Jordan Greenway into the net.
Later in the first period, Terriers sophomore defenseman Shane Switzer struck gold for the first time this season and for the first time in his collegiate career when Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson found Switzer cutting in front of the net. Switzer laid the puck behind Bulldogs goalie Sam Tucker, giving BU a 2-0 lead after the first quarter.
“[The first goal] felt really good,” said Switzer. “Just being out there is good … to contribute on the scoreboard is just a bonus.”
BU attempted 22 shots on goal in the first period. The Bulldogs came into Tuesday’s game allowing, on average for the season, 26.5 shots through all three periods.
The Terriers dominance continued in the second period and it started early. Clayton Keller found himself stickhandling the puck on the side of the net within the first minute of the period looking for a cutting teammate. Sophomore forward Bobo Carpenter found some space, got the pass from Keller and laid it into the net at the 0:59 mark to increase the Terrier lead to 3-0.
Shane Switzer then wristed a shot behind Tucker two minutes later for his second goal of the game.
Yale finally scored on Terrier goaltender Jake Oettinger a few minutes later, when Bulldogs senior captain John Hayden snuck one past the netminder 6:39 into the second period. Hayden came into the game fourth in the NCAA with 0.82 goals per game.
The Terriers found the net once more, before the second period concluded, on a Clayton Keller power play goal off a beautiful pass by Karlsson with 4:30 to play in the period.
Bulldogs goalie Sam Tucker was replaced by Patrick Spano to start the third period after Tucker trailed 5-1 through two periods.
The third period was quiet for both teams. Yale registered only nine shots on net and BU’s shot total was only seven. Yale connected on one of their shots, a Ryan Hitchcock goal 3:42 in the frame to cut the Bulldogs deficit to 5-2.
But Oettinger and the Terriers held on to give Oettinger his eighth win of the season, improving the Terrier record to 10-5-2, and 5-2-2 in the Hockey East, a record worthy of 12 conference points.
“I think everyone was glad to be out there one last time just to get a good win,” said Carpenter. “I think the team wanted to end the first semester off on a good note.”
With the win for the Terriers, BU jumped up in conference standings from sixth place to third, leapfrogging Vermont, Notre Dame and New Hampshire who all have 11 points. The only other Hockey East team to play last night, the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, lost to Princeton leaving them ninth in the standings.
This is the fourth time in six seasons BU has entered the holiday break with at least 10 wins.
“It’s been a really good first half for us,” said Terrier head coach David Quinn. “They’re forming some of those characteristics that you’re going to need to have as a group to win important games in late March and April. We feel our best hockey is ahead of us.”
BU’s next game will be in 2017, on Jan. 5, at home against No.13-ranked Union College.