The University of New Hampshire spent Friday evening beating up on UMass-Lowell at the Whittemore Center. At Agganis Arena, Boston University coach Jack Parker spent his postgame news conference giving his team a verbal flogging for a hideous third period that should’ve cost the Terriers their one-goal win over Vermont. He described his players’ performance as both selfish and stupid.
Last night the 16th-ranked Terriers seemed to have gotten the message.
BU answered the bell and turned in a much smarter, crisper performance for a 4-1 victory over UNH in front of 4,994 at Agganis.
“I thought we were pretty thorough tonight,’’ said Parker. “I liked how hard we played from beginning to end. It was really a close game. [UNH] had some really good chances, especially in the third period.
“I thought we did a good job of controlling the speed of the game and controlling where the puck was going to go. We got it out of our zone pretty well. They tried to bottle us up pretty good at center ice and we figured that out and we did a good job possessing the puck down low in their end.’’
After a scoreless first period, in which BU outshot UNH, 9-4, the Terriers (6-4-1, 5-3-1 Hockey East) got on the board at 8:25 of the second. Junior left wing Wade Megan chased the puck down in the left circle and wristed a tough-angle shot past senior netminder Matt Di Girolamo (23 saves).
The Wildcats (5-5-2, 4-4-1) pulled even in the third period on freshman defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk’s first goal. Van Riemsdyk, positioned in the middle of the point, took a couple of strides to his right before firing a shot that beat senior goalie Kieran Millan at 5:05. That ended BU’s shutout streak against UNH at 140 minutes 5 seconds, dating to Jan. 22.
The Terriers potted a pair of goals 36 seconds apart to buy some breathing room. Junior defenseman Max Nicastro put BU back on top at 7:29 when he beat Di Girolamo from the left point, his first goal of the season passing through a screen. Senior center Corey Trivino was in the slot when Chris Connolly’s feed from the right circle ricocheted off his right skate and sailed into the net for a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore left wing Matt Nieto sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 18:57. With Di Girolamo off for an extra attacker, BU blocked a UNH shot and Nieto sent the puck all the way down and into the cage.
UNH outshot BU, 23-8, in the period but couldn’t get anything else past Millan (33 saves). Neither team scored on special teams, with the Wildcats going 0 for 4 on the power play and BU 0 for 2.
“Both teams played hard for the first two periods and we didn’t give each other too many opportunities,’’ said UNH coach Dick Umile. “I thought overall at the beginning that even though we were outshot after two [19-11], most of the shots were in the perimeter. In the third, we got after it. We needed to score a goal to tie it up, which we did. It was a great play by Trevor to tie it up. Just bad puck management and one coverage play that should not have happened. [Trivino] got to the net uncovered and there’s no excuse for that. So, very disappointing.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at email@example.com.