By Kat Hansenauer Cornetta
Like many Northeastern – Boston University matchups, Friday’s affair was filled with animosity, and therefore, penalties. Players began visiting the penalty box just over four minutes into the first period, and seemed to average a penalty every two or three minutes throughout the evening.
Why the chipiness? Both teams were jockeying for Hockey East playoff position, with the Terriers trying to secure home ice, and the Huskies trying to assert their late season comeback. At the end of the night, it was Boston University that ended up accomplishing their goal heading into the evening, winning 3-2 and ensuring a home ice position for the Hockey East quarterfinals that begin next weekend.
The game began with a penalty shot, as Northeastern Brodie Reid tripped BU senior Joe Periera just five minutes into the first, and was awarded a penalty shot. However, strong Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings wasn’t having any of that, and easily stopped Periera.
It was BU’s second line that stepped up Friday night, with junior Corey Trevino snapping a five game goal scoring draught with his first period tally, with help from leading scorer right winger Alex Chiasson. Northeastern didn’t answer until the second period, where they came right out of the gate after the intermission and scored thanks to their top freshman winger Cory Ferriero.
Despite the prevalence of penalties, neither team was successful on the man advantage. Knotted up entering the third period, the
chippiness elevated, with nine penalties assessed in with in 40-seconds just seven minutes into the frame. Each team had a player go
off on a game misconduct (Northeastern’s Randy Guzior and BU’s Adam Clendening) and multiple players off the ice for seemingly every penalty possible. BU’s second line took advantage with Trivino and Matt Nieto helping out Max Nicastro on a power play goal to put them up 2-1. Northeastern struck back though short-handed, with senior center Steve Silva netting the tying goal just two and a half minutes later with help from fellow senior winger Wade MacLeod.
With Silva’s goal came a slashing call on Terrier defenseman Ryan Ruikka, seemingly the advantage Northeastern would need to take the lead. But their power-play frustration continued, and it was BU who ended up scoring a short-handed goal. Freshman right winger Sahir Gill scored the game-winner with help from Nieto and sophomore defenseman Sean Escobedo.
In the waning seconds, BU’s Nieto took another hooking call, but Northeastern was unable to convert. Terrier fans suffered a scare as the Huskies pressured, as BU starting goaltender Kieran Millan was attended to after a fight in front of his net. He was able to stay in the game.
BU’s 3-2 win secures home ice for the playoffs. It also gives Millan his 60th win, moving him to a tie for second all-time in program history for wins. He needs just 3 more to set the program record. He made 39 saves Friday night. Northeastern netminder Rawlings made 24 saves.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7pm at Boston University to close out the regular season.