Saturday, February 07, 2015

Red-hot Rodrigues’s hat trick paces 5-2 win

Senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues, who was named Hockey East’s Player of the Month for January, hasn’t let the calendar change to February slow him down. The winger from Etobicoke, Ontario recorded his first career hat trick and added an assist to power the #2/3 Terriers past #11/12 UMass Lowell, 5-2, at a packed Tsongas Arena.

The victory stretched BU’s winning streak to six games and maintained the Terriers’ four-point lead in the conference standings over BC, while holding a game in hand, and extending their lead on the RiverHawks to six points..

E-Rod scored twice in the first period and late in the middle period, rifling home what proved to be the winning goal and marking the sixth consecutive game in which he either scored or assisted on the game-winning goal.

Junior Ahti Oksanen opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the game, scoring his 18th goal with assists to Cason Hohmann and Robbie Baillargeon. Before the period reached its mid-point, Rodrigues had scored twice for a 3-0 lead. His first goal was assisted by freshmen Jack Eichel and John MacLeod, the second by Eichel and Danny O’Regan.

The Riverhawks, effectively shut down by BU during the first two periods, began the third with a 5-on-3 power play and ruined junior Matt O’Connor’s shutout bid when CJ Smith scored at 1:22. Four minutes later, Evan Campbell made it a 4-2 game; but BU quickly regained some breathing room when Matt Lane jammed home a power play goal, assisted by Eichel and Rodrigues.

Discussing his red-hot senior wing, Coach David Quinn said: “He’s an incredibly smart player. Works hard, competes, has a great skill set and can skate.” Quinn then quipped, “Other than that, he can’t really do too much.”

► Rodrigues now has a dozen goals and 28 assists giving him: 40 points for the season; 27 points in the last eleven games; and an even 100 points (33G, 67A) for his Terrier career. His hat trick was BU’s third of the season (O’Regan vs. Merrimack, Oksanen vs. UMass) and BU's first natural (three consecutive goals) hat trick.

► Eichel, with three primary assists, also has 28 assists and 43 total points, tops in NCAA Division 1, while Rodrigues is tied for third in Division 1 scoring.

► O’Connor stopped 27 Lowell shots—10 in the third period—and upped his record to 15-3-3.

► Terriers improved to 18-4-4 overall and 12-2-2 in Hockey East. BU’s road record now stands at 10-1-2.

● recap  
● Post-game comments: Quinn, Rodrigues, Eichel
● Hockey East Online recap and box score 
● Daily Free Press recap and Rodrigues notches milestones 
● Boston Hockey Blog Pluses & Minuses 
● USCHO recap 
Lowell Sun recap & video 
● recap
SB Nation recap

Looking ahead

2015 recruit Charlie McAvoy (photo) scored a goal and added an assist for the NTDP U18s in a 5-4 OT loss to Russia in the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic. The defenseman from Long Beach, N.Y., who earned Player of the Game honors for Team USA, tied the game in the second period with a one-timer.

2016 recruit Clayton Keller scored the only goal in the shootout as the NTDP U17s edged Sweden, 2-1, in the Five Nations Tournament in Dmitrov, Russia. In 15 international games this season, Keller scored 10 goals and 16 assists.

2015 recruit Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (photo) scored twice and added an assist in Omaha’s  5-4 loss to Green Bay. His second goal—an unassisted, extra-attacker goal—brought the Lancers to within one in the final minute, but they couldn’t score the equalizer. The 6-1 center from Stockholm now ranks second in USHL scoring with a 14-31-45 scoring line in 38 games. 2016 recruit Hank Crone also had an assist for Omaha.

2016 recruit Kieffer Bellows continues to produce goals for Sioux Falls. He scored his 21st of the season (17th in 19 games) and added an assist as the Stampede ran over Chicago, 4-1.

Looking back

Women’s Team
#6/7 Terriers travel to New Hampshire today for a 2 p.m. game against UNH at the Whittemore Center. BU has won four of its last five conference games and, with just five Hockey East regular-season games remaining, will look to solidify its hold on second place. Earlier this year, the Terriers defeated the Wildcats, 6-2, led by Sarah Lefort's (photo) hat trick and a pair of goals by Victoria Bach.

● preview, Game Notes, Live Stats, TerrierTV webcast
● Terrier Head Coach Brian Durocher is interviewed by Kat Hasenauer Cornetta on this week’s Inside Hockey East podcast.

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