Saturday, February 24, 2024

Freshman line powers Terriers past UConn, 6-1


A four-point performance by Macklin Celebrini—2 goals and 2 assists—two-point efforts from four other Terriers powered #2 BU to a 6-1 win over Connecticut in its first-ever visit to the Toscano Family Forum in Storrs. Jack Harvey, Jack Hughes and Quinn Hutson each tallied a goal and an assist, while Lane Hutson had a pair of helpers. Jeremy Wilmer also found the net for BU.

The win kept BU just a point behind BC in the Hockey East standings and clinched home ice in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Shortly after BU stretched its lead to 4-1 midway through the second, the bodies and fists began flying; by the end of the evening, the teams had racked up a combined 20 penalties for 70 minutes, including two five-minute majors, two 10-minute misconducts and a game misconduct.

The initial dust-up began when Nick Capone leveled Celebrini with an elbow leading to four roughing penalties. Capone’s was a major. Things only got worse in the third period with Dylan Peterson and Matthew Wood in the featured bout.

Commenting on his team’s response to the hit on Celebrini, Coach Jay Pandolfo said, "I like it. There was a lot of stuff going on tonight. I thought our guys stuck up for each other. That is important. I was really happy with our response to some of the stuff that was going on."

Idle for 13 days, the Huskies came out fast and hard with a strong forecheck and an early shot advantage. At 6:34, BU's speed and skill on an odd-man rush put the Terriers on the board. Celebrini sent Shane Lachance into the offensive zone at the left point.  He cut across the blueline and passed to the right circle where Harvey quickly dished the puck to Celebrini for a goalmouth finish.

With four minutes left in the period, BU connected again. From the right boards, Case McCarthy dropped a pass to Celebrini skating out of the corner. He took two strides and fired the puck between two defenders to Harvey in the high slot for a hard wrister that beat Arsenii Sergeev over the shoulder, blocker side. It was his third goal of the season.

UConn had a 14-8 shot advantage and some long possessions in the BU end but Mathieu Caron kept his net clean and the lead intact with several high-end saves. 

The Huskies cut the lead in half two minutes. Jake Percival got behind the BU defense and received a centering pass at the top of the crease. Caron made a sprawling save, but Samu Salminen got to the rebound a split-second before Aiden Celebrini could clear it and UConn center poked the puck past the prone netminder.

BU would get its first of two power play goals just minutes later. In a scenerio familiar to BU fans, Macklin Celebrini passed from the right circle to Lane Hutson at center point and then one-timed the return pass for his 25th goal and a 3-1 lead. Ryan Greene had the second assist.

A Capone tripping penalty at 9:31 put BU back on the power play. Halfway through the man-advantage, Lane Hutson took a pass from Celebrini, skated down the left side and dished the puck back to Quinn Hutson. The sophomore right wing closed to within 45 feet and then fired a shot past the glove of Sergeev, who didn't see the shot until the moment thanks to a Lachance screen. Quinn's 12th goal stretched the lead to 4-1.

Two minutes later, the parade of penalties began with Capone's hit on Celebrini entering the offensive zone.

BU outshot UConn 12-4 in the second period.

Early in the third period, a Huskies defenseman lost an edge at the BU blue line sending Hughes and Quinn Hutson on a 2-on-1 break. Quinn held the puck until the lone defender committed and slid the puck to Hughes for a one-timer for the junior transfer's seventh goal of the season and a 5-1 margin. 

Terriers were back on the power play again midway through the period. They didn't convert on the man-advantage, but six second after it ended Devin Kaplan's shot from the blue line was redirected past Sergeev by Wilmer for his fifth of the season and a 6-1 lead. Hughes also assisted.

The remainder of the game was filled with one march to the penalty box--or to the locker room--after another, highlighted by Peterson's take down of Wood.

BU had 31 shots in the game while Caron delivered another strong performance turning aside 26 UConn shots. Terriers also held a 37-27 edge at the face off dot.

Post-game, Pandolfo said, "I thought early on they came out hard. They haven't played in two weeks...Caron was excellent in the first period until we got our footing. Obviously a lot of special teams, but I thought we found our game in the second...great to get a road win."

Commenting on the effort by the all-freshman top line, he noted, “I think they have a bit of everything. Lachance has size, Macklin can make a play from anywhere, Harvey’s been excellent for us – he can finish, he can make plays, he’s very confident with the puck – and right now they’re complimenting each other very well,”

Celebrini and Harvey were USHL teammates last season at Chicago, finishing at the league's top two goal-scorers.

For Celebrini, the game was his 17th multi-point game of the season and second four-point outing. His 25 goals are second in Hockey East and tops among all Division 1 rookies.

The teams will complete the home-and-home series Saturday at Agganis Arena. recap and box score

Boston Hockey Blog recap and player quotes


Looking ahead

2024 recruit Cole Eiserman scored his team-leading 39 goal in the NTDP U18s' 5-3 win against Lincoln. Cole Hutson assisted on Eiserman's power-play goal and Kamil Bednarik also had a helper. Eiserman has 106 career goals behind only Cole Caulfield's program record of 126. Hutson's 106 career points are just five behind program leader JD Forrest.

2024 recruit Brandon Svoboda, recently acquired by Fargo, scored his first goal with the Force and his eighth of the season in a 4-0 win over Omaha. 2025 recruit Mikhail Yegorov stopped 31 of 35 shots for the Lancers.

2024 recruit Michael Chambre stopped 31 of 33 shots in Sioux Falls 2-1 overtime loss to Waterloo.

2025 recruit Zach Morin's shootout goal proved the game-winner as Youngstown beat Chicago, 2-1. Morin also assisted on the Phantoms' goal in regulation.

2024 recruit Jack Pridham scored his 17th goal and 2025 recruit Callum Hughes notched his 19th as West Kelowna defeated Surrey, 5-3.

Women's Team

Terriers dropped a 4-0 decision to #11 Connecticut on Senior Night at Walter Brown Arena. With their win, the Huskies clinched the Hockey East regular-season title.

● recap and box score

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