Sunday, February 18, 2024

Lachance pair powers BU past Providence, 5-2; Women blank Merrimack


Behind a pair of Shane Lachance goals, six penalty kills and another standout performance by goalie Mathieu Caron, #3 Terriers defeated Providence before 5,856 at Agganis Arena. Defensemen Lane Hutson and Tom Willander and forward Nick Zabaneh also scored for the home team, who took four of six points from the  Friars in the two-game series. The team had played to a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday.

With the win, BU moves back into first place in the Hockey East standings, two points ahead of idle BC, who now have two games in hand and play UMass on Sunday.

Head coach Jay Pandolfo succinctly summed up the weekend series: "Last night we were playing their game instead of our game..tonight we played our game right from the start."

After spotting the visitors an early goal, BU scored twice in the opening period and never yielded the lead. Terriers dominated the period in both possession time and shots, 16-5.

"I liked the way we played," Pandolfo explained. "I liked the way we started...forget the goal like that. We came out with energy. I thought we were physical. I thought we were getting to the net. We were doing all things that make us successful as a team. We were playing fast."

That goal to forget came just 2:35 into the contest when Aiden Celebrini lost control of the puck in the defensive zone and after one quick pass, Jamie Engelbert put a sharp angle shot between Caron's pads.

BU responded at the 13 minute mark. Gavin McCarthy's outlet pass was redirected in the neutral zone by Jeremy Wilmer to a streaking Zabeneh who beat the defense and fired a wrist shot over Philip Svedebäck's glove for his fifth goal of the season and his second breakaway goal of the weekend.

Late in the period BU went on what would be its only power play of the evening. The first unit produced a pair of shots on goal, but it was the second unit that produced a tally. With just seconds left on the man-advantage, Wilmer passed to Willander at center point and his hard wrister beat Svedebäck to the glove side, aided by a perfectly-timed screen by Luke Tuch. It was Willander's fourth goal with Jack Hughes also collecting an assist.

As expected, Providence came out buzzing and pressing in the second period. The Friars had a 15-6 shot advantage in the period, thanks largely to three BU penalties that led to seven shots on goal. But the Terrier penalty killers and Caron kept their cage clean. 

Right after killing off the second of the three man-advantages, BU doubled it's lead. Lane Hutson took the puck at the left point and circle around to the right circle before dishing to Hughes in the slot. The junior transfer's shot was blocked but went directly to Hutson who had driven to the net and popped the puck into the open side for his 12th tally of the season and a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Terriers came for the third period looking to close out a win--something that had eluded them in the previous two outings. Rather than sit back and go into a shell, BU stayed on the attack. 

Ty Gallagher's clear from deep in the BU zone looked to become an icing call, but Macklin Celebrini beat a defender to the puck behind the goal line and quickly passed to Lachance skating through the high slot. In stride the 6'5" freshman fired a shot past Svedebäck on the blocker side for his 10th goal, which extended the lead to 4-1.

Providence would outshoot BU, 14-11, in the third period with six coming on three more BU penalties. The Friars finally scored with just under six minutes remaining when a drop pass to a Terrier who was heading off the ice created a breakaway for Liam Valente. Caron stopped his attempt but Craig Needham got to the rebound before the Terrier defense could clear it and he slid the puck into the open side, cutting the lead to 4-2. 

Moments later BU scored an opportunistic goal when Jack Harvey pressured a Friar, forcing a turnover in his defensive zone. In one motion, Lachance controlled the puck and fired it home for his 11th goal and his fourth two-goal game as a Terrier. 

Following the game Pandolfo pointed out that Lachance "is a really smart player. He knows who he is as a player. He understands what makes him successful and he does those things when he's out on the ice."

Describing his first goal, Lachance said, “That pass that Macklin made to me was unbelievable. It’s just a lot of talking with new line mates, just gotta communicate, and I think we did a pretty good job tonight.”

The six penalty kills represented an important turnaround after BU had allowed game-tying power play goals in the previous two games. Zabaneh, one of the Terriers' best penalty killers explained, “Obviously Joe [Pereira] does a great job kind of preparing us, we do a lot of video on their power play and how to shut it down…To go kill off all six of those power plays, it means a lot and I think we’re just gonna keep building off that.”

Caron, who says seeing a lot of shots keeps him sharp, stopped 32 for a combined 67 in the two-game series. Pandolfo noted that tonight “he was really good at fighting through the traffic and finding the puck.” 

● recap and box score

Highlights, post-game comments from Pandolfo, Lachance and Zabeneh 

● Boston Hockey Blog Terriers top Providence 5-2, led by Shane Lachance


Hobey showdown graphic featuring action cutouts of Macklin Celebrini and Lane Hutson 

As voting for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award ramps up, BU's two candidates faced off for a HORSE on ice competition. 


Looking ahead

2025 recruit Mikhail Yegorov stopped 41 of 44 shots as Omaha was edged, 3-2, by league leader Fargo. The St. Petersburg native faced 94 shots in the two-game series with the Force and turned aside 88. 

Women's Team


Behind two goals each from senior Tamara Giaquinto and sophomore Clara Yuhn, BU coasted to a 4-0 win at Merrimack, completing a road sweep of its weekend games.Terriers had defeated Vermont on Friday, 4-1. Callie Shanahan stopped all 19 shots to record her second shutout in her last four starts, lowering her GAA to 1.91.

After a scoreless opening period and another 13:50 of the middle period, Yuhn connected with assists to Catherine Foulem and Lacey Martin. Then with BU on the power play late in the period, Giaquinto connected with helpers from Foulem and Andi Calderone.

Yuhn tallied her second of the game and ninth of the season midway through the third period with assists going to Martin and Nadia Mattivi. Giaquinto converted on another power play opportunity to close out the scoring, assisted by Lilli Welcke and Luisa Welcke. She has four goals this season.

With two games left in the regular season, BU sits in sixth place in Hockey East. recap and box score



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