Monday, February 27, 2012

BU sweeps UVM, back on track

The BU Terriers improved to 9-0 on the road in 2012 with a pair of wins, 5-0 on Friday and 3-2 OT win Saturday at the University of Vermont. I made the trip up to Burlington for the first time so you all are lucky enough to get a first hand recap of both games. First, on Friday night BU came out flying despite all the haters out there all of last week. The team didn't let the PR problems off the ice affect them on the ice as they beat Vermont 5-0. They broke out after a long review of their first goal which was a wrist shot that hit off a UVM d-man's leg past Madore barely. The review by my favorite referee Bunyon took several minutes but it was eventually ruled a goal. In Bunyon's defense, I was right on the goal line and couldn't tell if the puck fully crossed the line. It apparently was very close as it took the referees several minutes to figure out the call. These reviews make you appreciate the NHL system that much more where one phone call is the whole review. That was Escobedo's first goal of the season. BU poured it on from there as Cason Hohmann scored on a great low wrister that beat Madore 5-hole due to a great screen by Justin Courtnall. Escobedo scored his second of the game during a 5 minute powerplay on a questionable call on UVM. Either way, we will take the call as it put BU up 3-0 heading into the third. Wade Megan added a goal in the third and Courtnall made a great move to fool Madore on a break away. It was great to not only win easily, but also get scoring from some from unusual places. Sahir Gill and Ryan Ruikka added 2 assists each and BU sailed to a win behind senior Grant Rollheiser who made 18 saves for his second career shutout, his first of this season. Rollheiser looked solid throughout the game and had great rebound control and I wouldn't be surprised to see him this Friday on Senior night at Agganis Arena. The highlights from Friday night are below.

On Saturday night, it was a total different hockey game. Kieran Millan was in net for BU and he let in a soft goal early when Connor Brickley beat him five hole. UVM stretched the lead on a powerplay goal by Sebastian Stalberg who beat the whole Terrier defense backdoor. UVM would then play well to finish out the period and keep the 2 goal lead. In the second, the only scoring was Sahir Gill on a spectacular diving goal on the pass from Wade Megan. Gill layed out full extension and pushed the puck past Madore, who played well in his senior night. BU continued to buzz and had a goal called back after it was ruled that a rebound was kicked in the net which was a questionable call at best since it seemed the puck just came out of a scrum in front of the net. I never got a chance to see the replay so maybe I was wrong, but that is highly unlikely. The Terriers continued to play hard into the 3rd but couldn't get one past Madore until the final 2 minutes when Millan was pulled for a 6th skater and Wade Megan banged home a greasy, rebound goal which is what he does best for this team. The goal was Megan's 17th of the year and sent the game to OT even as Sahir Gill hit the post in the waning seconds of regulation. BU kept the momentum going into OT and crushed the UVM crowd's spirit as freshman Alexx Privitera sent a low slapper 5 hole on Madore and completed the gutsy comeback.

This team showed some heart this weekend taking 4 points with all the controversy heading into the weekend including the tough comeback on Senior night. Privitera played outstanding in his first games back from a broke wrist and showed some guts playing through some pain after he blocked a shot on Saturday night. This team continues to battler through adversity and prove they have what it takes to win games. They return home Friday for the final weekend of the regular season for a home and home with Northeastern. I'll get to that tomorrow or Wed though. I will leave you with the updated standings and playoff picture here. BU has clinched the 3rd seed in the conference at worst case and can still win the regular season title with a little help from UVM this weekend. BU needs to gain 2 points on BC this weekend to win the regular season title. BU also reached the 20 win plateau for the first time since 08-09 and are currently sitting 4th in all three polls(Pairwise, USCHO, and USA Today). Sean Escobedo, Sahir Gill, Grant Rollheiser, and Alexx Privitera were all named Hockey East Top Performers which is great to see heading into the playoffs. Alex Chiasson was also recognized for playing his 100th game as a Terrier. Chiasson seems to be the emotional leader of the team right now in what could be his last season if he turns pro, which seems likely at this point. He set up the game-tying goal Saturday night so be sure to recognize Chiasson on senior night as well as he is also most likely playing his last home regular season game for the Terriers.

P.S. if you're not going to the game Friday night for the return of Vinny Sap to Agganis and Senior night then you have no life and no friends. That is all.

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