Sunday, December 11, 2022

Commesso shines as Terriers edge UConn

Rebounding from Friday’s disappointing effort, the #7/6 Terriers traveled to Hartford and brought home a 3-2 win over UConn to end first semester on a positive note. 


The victory gave BU an 11-5-0 record with eight wins in the last 10 games. It moved the Terriers into a third-place tie with Providence, four points behind Merrimack and UConn.

                                   Photo credit Jenna Van Sickle
Terriers scored three second-period goals—two on the rush, one from a face off—and held off a late charge by the Huskies. Junior Drew Commesso, sub-par in the BC loss, was outstanding, especially in the third period when UConn launched 20 shots on goal. They’d been held to just 10 in the first two periods.

BU had a big territorial and shots (13-3) advantage in the opening period, keeping the pressure on netminder Arsenii Sergeev. But only former Terrier Ty Amonte found the net, converting a loose puck after John Copeland blocked an initial shot.

Five minutes into the middle period, Nick Zabaneh scored for the second consecutive game. Taking a pass from Ty Gallagher in the defensive zone, turned on the jets in center ice, deked a defender and whipped a backhander high to the blocker side to even the score. Dom Fensore also assisted.

Terriers took the lead two minutes later when Devin Kaplan brought the puck into the zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Jamie Armstrong for shot from the left circle that was defended. The rebound slid to the slot where Lane Hutson, following up the play calmly waited for Sergeev and defenseman Andrew Lucas to commit and flipped a backhanded into the half-empty net for his seventh goal.


The eventual game-winner was scored with four minutes left in the period. After BU controlled an O-zone draw, Gallagher slid the puck to Matt Brown at the right point. He threw the puck toward the net where Skoog was camped in his familiar screening spot. The senior from Tyresö, Sweden redirected the puck under the crossbar on Sergeev’s glove side for a 3-1 lead. After a slow start this season, Skoog has four goals and 10 points.

Late in the middle period, Commesso made a pair of huge stops, including one on Hudson Schandor’s rebound attempt, to keep the margin at two.


Terrier penalties gave UConn two power plays in the first nine minutes of the third period, but Commesso stopped five man-advantage attempts. In between the two penalty kills, UConn had a 2-on-1 rush that was foiled by Fensore’s lunging break up.


Then at the 11 minute mark with BU on a power play, the Huskies’ Chase Bradley broke in alone but Commesso stoned his shorthanded bid.

 In the final minutes of regulation with both teams down a player, Matthew Wood redirected a Lucas shot through Commesso's five-hole to bring the home team within one. BU prevented further grade-A chances and claimed the 3-2 victory.

With his assist on Skoog’s goal, Brown sits alone atop the Hockey East scoring chart for all games with 23 points (8G,15A). Hutson is tied fifth with UConn’s Ryan Tverberg with 18 points (7G,11A) and is the conference’s top-scoring blueliner.

“It was good response by our group,” said a pleased Coach Jay Pandolfo. “For whatever reason, Friday nights haven’t been our night. Credit to our guys. They bounced back, they responded. Everyone had a good effort tonight. Drew Commesso, huge response from him. Late in the game they were pushing. We knew they would and he held it.”

“I think the guys have a lot of pride,” Pandolfo added. “They take ownership when we don’t play well, and they respond.” If they didn’t take ownership, you probably wouldn’t have the result we did today. It’s the responsibility of the coaching staff and the players together to get a response and that’s what we’ve done.

“We were much better (than Friday) in the D zone,” he pointed out. “Throughout most of the game, we didn’t give them much. They didn’t have a lot of plays in the slot. Our defensive game was much better. The Hutson goal started from D-zone coverage. We ended the play quick, we transitioned, the next thing you know it’s in their net. That’s the way we want to play.”

● recap and comprehensive box score

Post-game Coach Pandolfo

● Boston Hockey Blog recap

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