Men’s Hockey: BU Comes Back for 5-3 Win over Vermont

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BOSTON, MA. – 11th-ranked Boston University scored the final three goals of the game, including a late third period power play goal from Brandon Hickey for the game-winner, and came back from 3-2 down to beat visiting Vermont 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena.

The Catamounts dropped to 4-10-2 (3-5-2 HEA), while the Terriers improved to 8-5-3 (4-3-2 HEA) to earn a split of the teams’ Hockey East weekend series.

Conor O’Neil scored his first career goal in a losing effort, while Mike Santaguida came within one save of registering a career-high for the second time in his last three games with 41 stops.

“I just feel bad for our kids. They played 120 minutes with playoff intensity, the kind of hockey we’ve been looking for from them from the beginning of the year and tonight they weren’t rewarded for it,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon.

O’Neil opened the scoring eight minutes into the opening frame as he raced down the left wing and cut around a BU defenseman. The rookie curled into the left wing circle and ripped a shot under the cross bar for his first collegiate tally. Rob Darrar and Rob Hamilton picked up the assists on the play.

Two and a half minutes later, Mario Puskarich created a turnover along the right goal line and fed Brendan Bradley at the top of the crease. Bradley quickly put the puck on his forehand and beat goaltender Connor LaCouvee low inside the left post to double the lead. His second tally of the weekend came at 10:23 of the first period.

BU answered less than four minutes later when Matt Lane spun a pass toward the goal-mouth from the low left circle. The puck deflected off Jordan Greenway at the left post and trickled back door for an easy tap-in for Ahti Oksanen.

Just 32 seconds into the second period, the Terriers tied the game on Danny O’Regan’s fifth of the year. O’Regan took a centering pass in the slot from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and fanned on his initial attempt, but the senior’s second effort beat Santaguida blocker side.

Another BU turnover in the defensive zone led to a go-ahead goal for UVM with 9:15 to play in regulation. Anthony Petruzzelli took the giveaway and stuffed the puck at the right post, finishing on his second whack past LaCouvee’s left pad for a 3-2 cushion. The goal was Petruzzelli’s second of the series.

After an extended offensive shift, the Terriers equalized through Matt Lane, who wristed a shot top shelf into the short side corner from the left circle. Santaguida and Darrar were each without a stick at the end of the shift and Lane capitalized with just 3:29 left to knot the score 3-3.

Santaguida also suffered an injury on the play and was replaced by junior Pat Feeley for the first appearance of his career.

Less than a minute later, Brady Shaw was handed a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging defenseman Doyle Somerby, giving Boston University a non-expiring power play for the remainder of the third. Initially no penalty was called on Shaw, but the officials conferred after the whistle and charged Shaw with the major penalty.

Hickey reeled in a pass from Brandon Fortunato outside the right faceoff dot just 14 seconds into the man advantage and fired a wrist shot toward the right post. With Oksanen parked at the top of the crease, Hickey’s attempt snuck blocker side on Feeley to give BU its first lead of the night at 4-3.

Vermont remained a man down and pulled Feeley for a fifth skater with 30 seconds on the clock, but Fortunato finished an empty-netter as time expired to seal the BU win.

The Catamounts face former ECAC rival and 13th-ranked St. Lawrence next weekend in a home-and-home series on Friday (Dec. 11) at 7:05 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse and Saturday (Dec. 12) at 7 p.m. at Appleton Arena.

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