SAPONARI GOAL GIVES NORTHEASTERN 6-5 WIN AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Senior forward Vinny Saponari scores game-winning goal at 17:57 of third period for Huskies
BOSTON - Despite erasing a three-goal deficit in the third period, the No. 9 Boston University men's ice hockey team dropped a 6-5 contest to Northeastern on Friday evening at Agganis Arena.
On the wrong end of a 5-2 score through two periods, the Terriers reeled off three goals - including two from sophomore Evan Rodrigues - in the opening seven minutes of the third to knot the contest.
The visitors struck last, however, as senior Vinny Saponari potted the winner with 2:03 remaining in regulation.
The loss spoiled a career-high four-point effort by Rodrigues, who added two assists. Freshman Danny O'Regan completed the rally with his eighth goal of the year and also added two assists.
The Terriers fall to 12-8-0 overall and 9-5-0 in Hockey East play while the Huskies improve to 7-10-2 with a 4-8-2 mark.
Freshman Sean Maguire recorded 32 saves for BU and had his five-game win streak come to an end. Senior Chris Rawlings posted 29 saves to earn the victory in goal for Northeastern.
The result marked the first time in 14 years that BU has lost consecutive regular-season meetings with Northeastern, as the Terriers dropped a 5-4 overtime contest at Matthews Arena on the final night of last year's regular season.
BU went 3-for-6 on its power play after tallying scoring only two man-up goals over its past six games. The Huskies converted on one of their four chances with the man advantage.
Northeastern opened the scoring just 2:03 into the contest on a tally by Robbie Vrolyk. BU quickly responded with back-to-back power-play tallies, first on an equalizer by junior Matt Nieto at 4:21 that gave him a goal in three straight games. Just 27 seconds later, classmate Garrett Noonan gave BU a 2-1 lead when he sent home a rebound for his fourth tally of the season.
The Huskies would regain the lead before the end of the opening stanza, however, potting goals just 41 seconds apart in the late stages of the period. Sophomore Adam Reid created a 2-2 deadlock at 17:26 of the first before freshman Kevin Roy scored an unassisted goal at 18:07.
The visitors made it a four-goal run with two goals in the second period to take a 5-2 advantage. Junior Braden Pimm punched in a loose puck at the goalmouth at the 8:03 mark and junior Cody Ferriero capped a rush with a nice finish at 16:21.
BU came out of the second intermission determined to get back into the game and did just that. Rodrigues converted from the high slot on a wrister just 58 seconds in the third to make it a 5-3 contest. He secured his first two-goal game as a Terrier less than four minutes later when he knocked home a rebound after a point shot by Noonan went off a post.
Down only a goal at 5-4, the Terriers fully capitalized on another power-play chance to complete the comeback. From outside the right post, O'Regan snuck the puck under Rawlings at 6:36 of the third to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
The game-winner came on an initial rush as Saponari skated in along the left side and scooped up the puck after a shot by Roy was blocked by a BU defender. Saponari drove towards the net and stuffed the puck past Maguire.
BU will return to action on Saturday (Jan. 19) with another home contest as it faces No. 15/18 UMass Lowell, which enters the game on a nation-best eight-game win streak. Game time is set for 7 p.m.