By Josh Kummins
BOSTON, MA – It was a back-and-forth affair between Boston University and UMass Amherst at Agganis Arena on Saturday night, as both teams forced their second overtime appearance this season, which resulted in a 5-4 Terries victory.
“The game was similar to last night’s [2-2 game in Amherst], but not to the same effect,” said Terriers head coach Jack Parker. “We got a goal to make it 3-1 and that ignited us.”
“I’m incredibly disappointed with our inability to sustain the level of play that we worked so hard to create,” said UMass head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon. “BU is a fine team with a lot of really good players. We managed to beat ourselves along with them picking it up.”
Following Friday’s game, BU made some adjustments to the starting line-up, including the start of Grant Rollheiser between the pipes, while the head coach also scratched junior Alex Chiasson and placed rookie Evan Rodrigues on the top line – a move that seemed to pay off as the veteran bench boss said that he was “the guy that really jumped out at [him].”
The Minutemen had a strong start in the first period, as they beat Rollheiser for three tallies in his first start of the season. Redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo potted his first-collegiate goal at the 10:39 mark of the opening stanza, crashing the net to beat Rollheiser from the middle of the slot.
At 14:11, Troy Power was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce off the end boards, as he took a carom and beat Rollheiser, who was out of place on the play.
Conor Sheary made it a 3-0 game on a great individual effort along the boards, as he took the puck away from BU defenseman Charlie Coyle and deposited the puck top shelf on Rollheiser with just 30-seconds to play in the period.
“Everything that we did the first period that was so good and so effective…just went out the window,” Cahoon said. “Things that we work on in practice were not even considered, never mind executed.”
The Terriers offense came back to life – as it tends to do on many occasions – scoring two goals in the second period to cut their deficit to one goal.
At the 14:19 mark of the stanza, Garrett Noonan took a cross-zone pass from Corey Trivino and beat UMass’s Jeff Teglia with a pretty one-timer in the left circle for his fifth goal of the season. Then, less than one minute later, Sahir Gill pounced on a rebound to make it 3-2.
BU’s offense eventually tied the game and took the lead in the third period within two minute’s time. At the 9:51 mark, Charlie Coyle scored BU’s nation-best fourth shorthanded goal of the season, as he crashed the net on a 2-on-1 chance with Matt Nieto.
At 11:59, Chris Connolly fed a sliding Corey Trivino on the right side as he beat Teglia for his ninth goal of the season to cap off a lengthy offensive zone sequence.
The Minutemen quickly tied the game at the 14:55 mark of the final stanza as Michael Pereira beat Rollheiser in front of the goal from between the circles for his fourth tally of the season before BU picked up its first overtime victory thanks to Nieto’s shot through a screen to beat Teglia from the top of the right circle.
“He’s a real good player,” Cahoon said. “He took care of business when he had opportunities. Mistakes often lead to those opportunities and we made some crucial mistakes and he capitalized.”
“It was a good competitive night for us as far as coming back from being down 3-0,” Parker said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go to become a good, solid hockey team. I certainly liked what happened after scoring the first goal. I liked how hard we played and how smart we were.”
UMass counted on the play of Teglia at many points throughout the contest, as he totaled 34 saves, including 15 in the second period.
“He certainly was following the puck,” Cahoon added. “He was aggressive and he made some big saves. I can not speak to the last goal…but I thought, in general, he made some big saves and gave us credible goaltending.”
In his inaugural start of the season and first since Dec. 11, 2010, Rollheiser was also strong between the pipes for the Terriers as he stopped 29 shots.
“I really give him high marks for really hanging in there,” said Parker. “Especially when he gave up a goal late in a period like that…”
The Terriers return to action next Saturday night at UMass-Lowell before returning home to Agganis Arena on Nov. 11 against Merrimack.