Saturday, February 03, 2024

Terriers double up the Wildcats; Goalie commits for '25; Women blanked


#3 Terriers got back on the winning track with a road win at New Hampshire, taking the rubber game of the season's series with the #18 Wildcats, 6-3. The offense, which exploded in the second period for four goals, was led by junior Jack Hughes and senior Nick Zabaneh with two goals apiece. Freshmen Macklin Celebrini and Shane Lachance also found the net for BU. Another freshman, Jack Harvey, getting a chance to skate on BU's top line, had the primary assist on both Hughes tallies. 

After the game, a generally please head coach Jay Pandolfo assessed the win, noting “I thought we had a lot of guys going, and I thought some guys had some tough nights tonight, too. We were sloppy at times…[but] there were a lot of guys that came to play tonight.”

Among his keys for the game were scoring even-strength goals and getting on the board first--something the team hadn’t done in the recent three losses.

Just a minute into the game, they accomplished both. Hughes blocked Luke Reid’s shot from the right point and was off the races on a 3-on-2. He passed to Harvey in stride at center ice and the freshman wing carried the puck deep into the UNH zone. With Celebrini trailing the play, Harvey waited for the defender to commit and slid the puck across the crease for an easy tap-in by Hughes for his fifth goal.

A few BU turnovers threatened to become Wildcat goals but Mathieu Caron snuffed them out. One came moments after Hughes’ goal. Another, at the 7:00 mark, produced the save of the game. Marty Lavins stripped Lane Hughes right at the BU crease, but Caron made a great pad save to keep the score 1-0, which is how the period ended.

In the second, Terriers scored early again (1:38) and again it came off Hughes’ stick. Harvey took a Cade Webber pass, wheeled into the high slot and fired a hard wrister that goalie Jakob Hellsten blocked, but Hughes pounced on the rebound and fired it home for his sixth tally and a 2-0 lead.

Midway through the period, Dylan Peterson took a Jeremy Wilmer pass coming out of the defensive zone and head-manned the puck to a streaking Zabaneh. The senior center fired a bullet from the top of the left circle that beat Hellsten high to the stick side. It was his second goal of the season and upped the lead to 3-0.

A minute-and-a-half later, BU was on the attack again. Tom Willander took a Hughes pass at center point and quickly sent a shot-pass to the left of the cage where Celebrini was able to redirect it home for his 19th of the season, stretching the lead to 4-0.

UNH got one back just 45 seconds later, when Kristaps Skrastins controlled a loose puck in the high slot. His turn-around shot whizzed past Caron, who was screened by a Terrier and a Wildcat.

The fifth goal of the period would restore BU’s four-goal margin and came on a late power play. Quinn Hutson recovered a puck in the offensive zone, skated to center point and passed to Macklin Celebrini in his “office”—the right face off dot. Instead of shooting—which Hellsten clearly expected—he zipped a pass to an unmarked Lachance just outside the crease for an easy redirect. His ninth of the season made it 5-1 after two periods.

@BUHockeyStats tweeted: "With his 9th goal of the season, Shane LaChance ties his grandfather, Jack Parker, for the family lead in goals scored in their first season as a Terrier."

The third period began with yet another early goal, but this one belonged to the home team. A good forecheck behind the BU cage sent the puck to Robert Cronin who banged the puck home from the top of the crease.

Then, with the teams skating 4-on-4, Lane Hutson sent Zabaneh flying up the left side. As he skated through the left circle, instead of cutting back across the crease—his usual move—he wristed a shot that flew past Hellsten on the short side, past his blocker. It was his second of the game and third of the year. 6-2.

A few late Terrier penalties gave the Wildcats opportunities to close the gap and they got one on a Liam Devlin power-play goal, but that was as close as they would get.

After the game, Pandolfo offered praise to several of the game's top contributors:

Hughes: "He just keeps getting better. Credit to him. He’s wanted to do more for our team. I think he believes in himself that he can do more for us offensively. Getting the opportunity to play with Macklin, he’s another guy that took advantage of it. You can see his patience and the plays he makes."

Harvey: "I thought he was excellent. Good for him. He hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity this year, and he’s handled it very well. He works everyday in practice and we know the type of skill he has. He’s got a lot of talent, a lot of composure with the puck. He can make plays, he can shoot the puck too…I really liked his game tonight."

Third line: "I just thought that line, right from the start, was excellent. They were creating every time they were out there. Him [Zabaneh] and Petey were skating all over the place, and Willy with the little plays he makes, they complement each other well." 

For player quotes, see the Boston Hockey Blog recap, linked below.

● recap and box score

Video Highlights

Post-game comments Pandolfo

● Boston Hockey Blog Terriers snap three-game losing streak, beat UNH 6-3 on the road


Looking ahead

USHL Rink Report: Scores, standouts and takeaways from Week 9 around the  USHL - The Rink Live | Comprehensive coverage of youth, junior, high school  and college hockey

Journal Mark Divver tweeted that BU has received a commitment for 2025 from Omaha Lancers goalie Mikhail Yegorov. While neither Elite Prospects nor Heisenberg have yet reported the commitment, Associate Coach Joe Pereira "liked" my tweet about Yegorov, so we'll take that as confirmation.

Yegorov is the #4 North American goalie in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings—the second highest ranked among USHL goalies.

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, the 6’4.5” netminder is in his first season in the USHL having previously played for CKSA Moskova’s U17 and U18 teams.

Yegarov has played in 23 of the last-place Lancers’ 36 games and has a 3.66 GAA and a .897 save percentage. He succeeded current UMass goalie Michael Hrabel as Omaha's prime netminder. One of his best efforts came in early January when he stopped 28 of 30 shots in a 3-2 overtime win over defending USHL champion Youngstown.

He’ll join one of the best 2025 recruit classes in Division 1, which includes forwards Conrad Fondrk, Jack Murtagh, Zach Morin, John McNelis and Callum Hughes, and defensemen Charlie Trethewey, Sascha Boumedienne and Aidan Souligny.

Elite Prospects Page

Boumedienne scored his third USHL goal—on a power play—and added his 18th assist in Youngstown’s 6-1 win over Cedar Rapids. With 21 points, he’s the highest scoring rookie defenseman in the USHL.

2025 recruit Callum Hughes' 17th goal was the game-winner for West Kelowna in its 6-3 victory against Nanaimo. His linemate, 2024 recruit Jack Pridham assisted on the goal, his 21st.

Women’s Team

Terriers dropped a hard-fought 3-0 decision to BC at Walter Brown Arena in contest not decided until the final three minutes.

BU escaped a barrage of 17 Eagle shots in the opening period that ended 0-0. BC broke the deadlock late in the middle period on Julia Pellerin’s goal. The Eagles defense limited to BU to four shots in the final period, adding an empty net goal at 17:41, followed by one more. Callie Shanahan had 26 saves for BU. recap and box score






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