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BOSTON, Mass. - Paced by second-period goals from senior Chris Higgins and sophomore Kevin Shattenkirk, the ninth-ranked Boston University men's ice hockey team held off No. 11 Michigan State, 2-1, to claim the Ice Breaker Invitational title on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena. Shattenkirk and classmates Nick Bonino and Colin Wilson were named to the All-Ice Breaker team with Wilson earning MVP honors.
Higgins broke a scoreless tie with a shorthanded tally at 6:44 of the second period before Shattenkirk doubled the lead eight minutes later.
The Spartans got one back on a power play at 13:25 of the third and soon after had a 5-on-3 opportunity, but the Terriers held on to start off a season with back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign.
"Entering the weekend, I wouldn't have been surprised if we won two games," said head coach Jack Parker. "I am surprised, however, that after only five or six days of practice that we were as emotionally sharp as we were. We really look like we're excited for each other to go out and play and we certainly defended home ice pretty nice this weekend against two pretty good teams"
Freshman goaltender Grant Rollheiser made 12 saves in his collegiate debut for the Terriers, while MSU got an impressive 27-save performance from senior Jeff Lerg.
BU was 0-for-6 on the power play, but still used their special teams to get on the board. With senior Jason Lawrence in the penalty box for an elbowing call at 6:22 of the second, Higgins was rewarded for a impressive penalty kill along with Wilson and freshman David Warsofsky.
Wilson forced the Spartans into a turnover in the BU zone and in an unsettled situation around the slot, Warsofsky got the puck to Higgins, who beat Lerg for a shorthanded tally. Warsofksy earned his first career assist on the play.
The Terriers, who held a 14-5 advantage in shots in the second period, put in the eventual game-winner at 14:56 of the stanza.
After sophomore Colby Cohen dumped the puck into the Spartan zone, freshman Vinny Saponari chased it down at the bottom of the left circle and pushed it to senior co-captain John McCarthy. McCarthy then found Shattenkirk alone at the left point, where the sophomore sent home the key insurance goal.
Sophomore Jeff Petry cut the Michigan State deficit in half on a power-play tally from the top of the zone at 13:25, but that ended up being the lone blemish for the BU defense, which allowed just 13 shots on goal all evening.
With the Ice Breaker championship, BU claimed a title at an in-season tournament besides the Beanpot for the first time since the 2002 Great Lakes Invitational.
The Terriers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 17, when they close out a season-opening three-game homestand with their conference opener against Merrimack. Game time is set for 7 p.m.