A new era began at Boston University on Friday night.
After 40 years behind the Terriers’ bench, Jack Parker was a spectator for the first time as David Quinn took the helm for his first game, which was also the home opener and first foray into the Hockey East schedule.
After a scoreless first period, the Terriers erupted for three goals in the first eight minutes of the second on the way to a 3-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts at Agganis Arena in front of 3,885.
It marked the first time someone other than Parker has been the coach since Leon Abbott in 1973. It was the fourth year in a row the Terriers opened with a victory, the longest such streak since winning nine straight from 1989-1997. BU improved to 12-2-2 against UMass at Agganis.
“I thought [UMass] took it to us in the first period,’’ said Quinn. “I thought we were a little bit surprised by their speed and their aggressiveness. I didn’t think we matched. At the start of the second period, we did and obviously, we got up, 3-0. During that stretch where we scored three goals, we were very opportunistic. I thought after that we were sloppy. The sign of a good hockey team is to win when you don’t play great. I didn’t think we played great tonight but I think our effort was there physically but I think we need to be a little bit more purposeful when we have the puck.’’
The Minutemen outplayed the Terriers in the opening frame, outshooting BU, 11-6. Penalty killing was the key as UMass survived a five-minute major on sophomore left wing Shane Walsh, who earned a game misconduct for hitting freshman defenseman Doyle Somerby from behind at 3:53.
The Terriers lost the man advantage at 6:05 when Sam Kurker was assessed a two-minute minor for holding.
One of the best chances for the Minutemen came late in the period during a power play. Freshman Steven Iacobellis raced down the slot and tried to slam the puck in from just outside the left post but sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire (39 saves) kept the bid out with his pad.
“It was a good start for us,’’ said UMass coach John Micheletto. “I think we just came up a little bit short in the details category tonight and those opportunities wound up in the back of our net.’’
One of the BU captains, defenseman Garrett Noonan, put his team on the board at 1:02 of the second. He took a backhand pass from fellow blue liner Ahti Oksanen and fired a shot from the right point that beat netminder Steve Mastalerz (21 saves).
The second goal came just more than four minutes later. UMass center Steven Guzzo was sent to the box for slashing at 3:43, putting BU on the power play.
That set the stage for freshman Tommy Kelley, a former standout at St. Sebastian’s and a native of Natick. Cason Hohmann dished a pass from the left circle and Kelley one-timed it past Mastalerz for his first collegiate goal at 5:07.
BU made it a three-goal lead at 7:32 when Evan Rodrigues scored from the slot. It was his 17th career goal.
UMass thought it had a goal midway through the period when Conor Sheary went barreling down the slot. It appeared the puck was close to crossing the line beneath Maguire, but was ruled no goal after a video replay.
The Terriers had a chance for a fourth tally with 2:03 remaining during a three-on-one break. But highly-touted freshman Robbie Baillargeon was denied by the right pad of Mastalerz.
The Terriers had another chance to build on their lead when freshman Brandon Wahlin was whistled for interference at 18:11. He was joined in the box by 6-foot-7-inch defenseman Oleg Yevenko, who was called for holding with 54.1 seconds remaining, giving BU the two-man advantage but it was unable to take advantage.
UMass broke through at 10:24 of the third on a power play.
With Somerby off for hooking at 8:36, the Minutemen worked the puck around with Adam Phillips feeding Iacobellis in the left circle. Iacobellis launched his shot past Maguire for his first collegiate goal.
UMass had an opportunity to close the gap in the late going when BU was called for a penalty and Mastalerz was off for an extra attacker but Maguire held the fort until Yevenko was called for a five-minute major with 11.8 seconds to go.
Maguire and the Terriers came through with the victory for their new bench boss, getting the Quinn era off to a celebratory start.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.