Sunday, November 23, 2014

OREO line powers BU past UConn, 5-2

#2/#3 Terriers completed a weekend sweep of conference games defeating UConn, 5-2, at Hartford’s XL Center.  Junior Ahti Oksanen led the way with two goals, while senior Cason Hohmann, junior Danny O’Regan and sophomore Nick Roberto also scored for the Terriers. With the win, BU improves to 6-1-1 in Hockey East and is tied with Vermont for first place in the conference.

BU opened the scoring on a first-period power play when Oksanen collected a deflected pass from freshman Jack Eichel and beat Rob Nichols for his sixth of the season. Captain Matt Grzelcyk also assisted. Terriers doubled the lead in the middle stanza, again on a power play. Freshman Brandon Hickey was set up for a one-time blast by blue-line mate Brandon Fortunato and senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann (photo) deflected it home.

The lead was extended to 3-0 in the third period when Chase Phelps' shot deflected off Nick Roberto who was parked in front of the crease.  It was Phelps’ first career point and Roberto’s first goal of the season.

Meanwhile, junior goalie Matt O’Connor had held the Huskies off the score sheet through nearly 48 minutes. Then UConn scored twice within a minute. The second goal, on a wrister from the left circle, was scored by Corey Ronan, son of former BU standout Ed Ronan, a member of the Terriers’ 1991 NCAA finalist team and later a Stanley Cup champion with Montreal.

BU nearly added a third power play goal midway through the third when Hickey’s blast hit iron, but at the 17:16 mark, the Terriers extended their lead on O’Regan’s seventh goal. Oksanen sent Eichel in behind the UConn defense and after Nichols stopped the shot, O’Regan converted the rebound.  Oksanen’s empty-net-goal, assisted by Brien Diffley closed out the scoring.

BU, looking for more scoring balance, received goals from each of its top three lines and converted on two of six power play opportunities.

Oksanen earned first-star honors with his three-point performance. Second star went to Eichel who now has points in his first ten college games.  

Matt O'Connor stopped 20 shots and raised his record to 7-1-0.

► The crowd of 7,712 at the XL Center included a strong contingent of BU fans, many of whom attended a pre-game gathering sponsored by The Friends of BU Hockey and the BU Alumni Association.

Terrier Take-Away: Today’s entry from blog reader KWirf
1. After another slow start (outshot 7-zip) in the first five minutes, BU dominated the rest of the first and second periods.
2. Defense stepped up with Somerby continuing to become a defensive force, Hickey putting strong shots on net from the point and MacLeod showing some snarl (albeit with three penalties).
3. Terriers appeared to lose focus briefly in the third, allowing two goals in less than a minute. But a timely time-out called by David Quinn got the team back on track. 
4. BU limited UConn to 10 shots during the final two periods.

● recap and comprehensive box score
● Post-game interviews (video): Quinn, Hohmann, Oksanen
● Video highlights (not yet posted)
● Daily Free Press recap and feature on improved power play
Boston Hockey Blog Pluses & Minuses
● Hockey East Online recap
● USCHO recap

► Bangor Daily News recap of Friday’s overtime win over Maine

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Robert Carpenter scored a power play goal and added an assist in Sioux City’s 7-5 win against Tri-City.  A former All-Scholastic forward for Austin Prep, Carpenter has a 9-9-18 scoring line with a +12 in 18 games.

2016 recruit Clayton Keller assisted on the NTDP U17s first goal, but Team USA fell to Cedar Rapids, 4-2. The 5-9 center from Swansea, Ill., leads the U17s in scoring with a 14-16-30 line in 19 games.

Looking back
Former BU All-American Colin Wilson scored his third goal of the season in Nashville’s 3-2 shootout win over Florida.

Adam Clendening, who scored a goal in his first NHL game earlier in the week, picked up his first assist as Chicago blitzed Edmonton, 7-1 examines how a new off-season conditioning program has produced on-ice results for former BU All-American Kevin Shattenkirk. The New Rochelle, N.Y., native, now in his fifth season with the Blues, Is tied for fourth in scoring among defensemen with 16 points and second in assists with 15.

 Garrett Noonan, BU’s 2013-14 captain, scored his third goal of the season for Milwaukee in the Admirals’ 3-2 loss to Rockford.

Women's Team
#7 Terriers have a matinee Sunday afternoon, hosting New Hampshire at Walter Brown Arena in a 3 p.m. start. Earlier this month, BU rallied past the Wildcats, 4-2, with junior Rebecca Russo providing the game-winner. preview, GameTracker, Terrier TV Webcast, @BU Game Day

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