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BOSTON, Mass. - The Boston University men's ice hockey team jumped out to a 3-0 lead and survived a 3-2 nail-biter against Boston College in the rivalry's first-ever outdoor meeting at Boston's Fenway Park on Friday. A light snowfall and a windchill temperature measuring 12 degrees set the stage for the historic meeting.
OTHER LINKS: BC Audio (Jerry York, Matt Price mp3) - BU Audio (Jack Parker, Nick Bonino, David Warsofsky mp3)
BU got the scoring started on a booming slapshot by sophomore defenseman David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.) at the 6:58 mark of the first period. Set up at the left point on an early power play, Warsofsky took a feed along the boards from senior Zach Cohen (Schaumberg, Ill.) and launched it at the net. The puck clanked off the far post and ricocheted off the back of BC netminder John Muse (East Falmouth, Mass.) and into the goal. Cohen was credited with the only assist, but a screen by Corey Trivino (Toronto, Ont.) was a key part of the scoring play.
In the second period, the Terriers quickly made it 2-0 on another unusual goal. Defenseman Colby Cohen's (Villanova, Pa.) slapshot sailed wide to the left but bounced straight off the end boards to Joe Pereira (West Haven, Conn.) who deftly redirected the momentum of the bounce with a backhander off of Muse's right leg pad. Almost immediately thereafter, BU was whistled for two penalties in rapid succession, awarding BC a 5-on-3 power play for nearly a full two minutes, but the Eagles were unable to convert against a stingy Terrier penalty kill that had shut them down twice in the first period already and went on to stop seven of eight BC chances on the night.
BU added to its lead again midway through the period when freshman Wade Megan (Canton, N.Y.) batted in a crossbar-high pop-up rebound of his own shot during a delayed penalty. Boston College was finally able to convert on a power play opportunity late in the period when Brian Gibbons (Salisbury, Conn.) finished off a powerful rush to the net by linemate Paul Carey (Weymouth, Mass.), to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The battle of special teams continued into the third period as the Terriers successfully killed off two more BC power plays before gaining one of their own at the 7:43 mark. But the Eagles were the ones who took advantage as Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, Conn.) finished off a 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway with Gibbons engineered by a long lead pass from the defensive zone, making it 3-2 with plenty of time left to play.
BU sophomore goaltender Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Atla.) was called on to preserve the slim lead late in the period, standing up to strong opportunities from the high slot by both Carey and Atkinson, and a quick wrist shot from the right faceoff dot from senior Ben Smith (Avon, Conn.) that nearly tied the score with under three minutes left to play. Gibbons was whistled for hooking seconds later, and BU held on for the win. Millan finished with 27 saves, while Muse finished with 28 at the other end.