This weekend in non-conference play, the Boston University Terriers welcomed the University of North Dakota to the hub for a couple of tilts. Unfortunately for North Dakota, they would spend a good deal of the time on their heels defending the Terrier power play during Friday evening’s first match. In fact, in what is perhaps one of the most painful power play goals to give up, the Terriers would score what would become not only the last goal of the first period, but the last goal of the game, on a too many men on the ice penalty to North Dakota.
When asked after Friday’s game about the penalties, North Dakota’s head coach, Dave Hakstol, said “[When you] attempt to kill the first 5 or 6 minor penalties in a row, that drains your energy and you’re spending money, spending energy killing and trying to play defense rather than putting that energy into getting on our toes and playing in the offense.”
And two of the three goals the Terriers scored on Friday night were power play goals at the end of the first (too many men on the ice) and in the third (elbowing call on UND’s Drake Caggiula).
Unfortunately for North Dakota, they would take more penalties in the second game on Saturday night; the first coming just 22 seconds after puck drop, when Stephane Pattyn was called for charging. However it would be two penalties to Pattyn for roughing at 5:40 (BU’s Matt Grzelcyk, a Boston Bruins prospect, also received a roughing at the same time) and Rocco Grimaldi, a Florida Panthers prospect, for tripping at 6:47 that would put the Terriers on the board first on Saturday. During the 4-on-3 play, BU’s Garrett Noonan, a Nashville Predators prospect, beat UND’s Zane Gothberg, a Boston Bruins prospect, high glove side.
About three minutes after opening the scoring for Boston University on Friday night at 9:14 of the first period with an even-strength goal–the only one BU scored Friday night, Cason Hohmann was boarded by North Dakota’s Andrew Panzarella, and it was clear after the hit that Hohmann was in pain. He was clutching his left arm, and it was hypothesized that he had injured his left hand or wrist. He went to the bench, in obvious discomfort, and down the tunnel and did not return. Unfortunately for the Terriers, he is likely out for a while according to head coach, David Quinn, who explained during the post game presser that it was Hohmann’s shoulder and it was a recurring injury.
While North Dakota tried to change the momentum when they went with sophomore Gothberg in goal on Saturday night, after having started senior Clarke Saunders on Friday night, Terriers coach, Quinn, stated after the win on Friday night that he would be sticking with sophomore Matt O’Connor for the game on Saturday. And O’Connor, who stood tall on Friday, blocking 37 of the 38 shots he saw, managed to stand on his head on Saturday, blocking a career high 55 of the 58 shots he faced. Combined, O’Connor stopped 92 of 96 shots in the two games, which earned him 1st Star accolades on both nights.
Boston University was not as disciplined on Saturday night as they had been on Friday, taking seven penalties during the second game compared to the three they got called on the previous night. And it was during BU’s penalty kill on Jake Moscatel’s charging that alliwed North Dakota to lead in scoring for the first time in the series. Adam Tambellini, a New York Rangers prospect, found himself with an open net after the impressive power play passing of his teammates Brendan O’Connell, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, and Connor Gaarder, to get a shot off from the right circle past O’Connor.
Fortunately for the Terriers, freshman Robbie Baillargeon, an Ottawa Senators prospect, would manage to score the game-tying goal less than four minutes later and then goalies Gothberg (UND) and O’Connor (BU) shut the doors to their respect nets for the remainder of the third and throughout the overtime period. For the Terriers the weekend could be described as a big success. With approximately 17 NHL draft prospects playing between the two teams, it could have been an entirely different scenario had the University of North Dakota not spent so much time on the defensive in penalty killing mode.