Saturday, February 07, 2009

Power plays save the day

Number 1-ranked BU used two third-period power play goals to break a 3-3 tie and defeat UMass Lowell, 5-3 at Agganis Arena. The Terriers had raced to a 3-0 lead in the first on goals by David Warsofsky, Joe Pereira and John McCarthy—all in a two-minute span. Lowell got one back late in the first, closed the gap to one midway through the second and tied the score late in the second on shot that deflected off a Terrier’s skate.

The game-winner came off of Vinny Saponari’s stick in a goalmouth scramble half-way through the final period. Jason Lawrence converted a Colin Wilson pass for the final score and BU weathered a last-minute surge when Lowell had a power play and pulled its goalie.

We have recaps from, USCHO, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. Also a detailed boxscore. Video highlights. Audio of the post-game press conference can be found below.

With the victory, BU improved its conference record to 13-5-1 and remained 2 points behind Northeastern, who edged Merrimack, 4-3, in the Hockey East standings. BU and NU meet Monday night in the Beanpot championship game--a non-conference game.

► Coach Jack Parker was honored prior to the start of the game for his 800th career win, which came in last Friday’s victory at Merrimack. He’s one of three Division 1 coaches to reach that milestone and the only one to do so at a single school.

Eric Gryba (photo), who played a strong game at both ends, assisted on two of the first period goals—his first multiple-point game at BU—and just missed an empty-netter in the final seconds.

►Goalie Kieran Millan, who stopped 20 Riverhawk shots, improved his record to 17-1-1.That equals the mark set in 1974-75 by Brian Durocher—now coach of the BU women’s team—for fewest losses in the first 19 decisions of a career.

►Lawrence’s power play goal was his 11th man-advantage marker, tying him for most in the nation with Air Force forward Jacques Lamoureaux.

►Warsofsky's goal was the first of his career to go with 14 assists, making him one of the top-scoring freshmen defensemen.

►With a goal and an assist, McCarthy earned the game's number one star. He now has 17 points, one more than his first three seasons combined.

► Add one more to feature stories on co-captain Matt Gilroy that have appeared recently as interest in the Hobey Baker Award hopeful and much sought-after free agent (for the NHL) increases. Elliott Olshansky of the New York Daily news penned this profile.

►Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald, former associate head coach at BU, is being assisted this season by former Terrier All-American and Hall of Famer and NHL standout Shawn McEachern.

Looking ahead
2009 recruit Alex Chiasson had a four-point (1 g, 3a) night for Des Moines as the slumping Bucs broke out the offense to double up Waterloo, 8-4. Chaisson, who played in Wednesday's USHL All-Star game, now leads the Bucs in scoring with a 14-19-33 line in 34 games.

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