Saturday, January 03, 2009

Terriers rip RPI, face Denver tonight

The Terriers shook off some early rust to dominate Rensselaer and, led by two Jason Lawrence (photo) goals, pulled away for a 6-2 win. BU advances to the Denver Cup championship game tonight against the host Pioneers, who squeaked past a stubborn Holy Cross squad in a shootout that required five rounds to settle. The game had been tied at 2-2 after 65 minutes of play.

Freshman Grant Rollheiser returned to the Terrier net for the first time in six weeks and turned aside 13 shots to earn his fourth win. Other Terrier scorers were Zach Cohen, Kevin Gilroy, Luke Popko and Brandon Yip, who also rang a shot of the RPI crossbar. We have recaps from BU Athletics, USCHO and The Troy Record, along with a box score, and Brian Kelley’s in-game blog.

► Ten of twelve BU forwards—including Joe Pereira who was DQed for a hit-from-behind in the first period— had at least one point, with both Lawrence and Chris Connolly registering two apiece.

►Pereira will have to sit out tonight's game. Freshman Andrew Glass is his likely replacement. Senior Steve Smolinsky, who was filling in for Kevin Shattenkirk on defense, also took some shifts at right wing after Pereira's DQ. EDIT: Pereira received a game misconduct, not a disqualification and will be in tonight's lineup. Glass takes Kevin Gilroy's spot on the third line.

►With Lawrence’s two power play goals—giving him seven for the season—he’s now second in that category in NCAA stats.

►Resurgent power forward Zach Cohen has five goals in his last ten starts for BU.

►Tonight is the fourth anniversary of the first game ever played at Agganis—against another WCHA school, Minnesota.

►The series between BU and DU is currently knotted at 12-12-2. BU has played Denver twice before in Magness Arena, losing both games. The last time the teams met was November 2005, when Karson Gillespie authored a 1-0 shutout of then-defending champion Denver, with Dan Spang scoring the game’s only goal.

►Tonight’s championship game will be telecast at 9:30 p.m. ET on CN8 in the New England and MidAtlantic regions. The game will match the NCAA hockey’s #2 and #3 offenses. Denver is averaging 3.8 gpg just ahead of BU at 3.71. On the defensive side of the puck, BU is #11 and DU is #12. NCAA D1 stats

►Last night, the Terriers ran their streak of successful penalty kills to 20 (and 27 of the last 28), but they’ll want to keep Pioneer power play chances to a minimum as DU boasts some highly-regarded snipers in Luke Salazar and Tyler Ruegsegger.

►DU fan and blogger “Puck Swami” posts detailed profiles of each Pioneer opponent, including a team assessment, history of the hockey program, university history and renowned alums. Here’s a link to his BU profile (look past a few typos for a really good read).

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