BOSTON UNIVERSITY UPENDS NORTHEASTERN, 4-2, TO SWEEP WEEKEND SERIES
Sophomore forward Matt Lane scores two goals for Terriers
BOSTON, Mass. - Matt Lane scored two goals and Matt O'Connor had 39 saves in goal to lead Boston University (10-20-4, 5-12-3) to a weekend sweep against No. 9 Northeastern (18-12-4, 10-8-2) on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, 4-2.
With the loss, the Huskies earn the No. 5 seed in the 2014 Hockey East Tournament, and will travel to No. 4 New Hampshire for the quarterfinals on the weekend of Mar. 14.
Braden Pimm and Zach Aston-Reese scored for the Huskies, who outshot the Terriers 41-21 in the game. Clay Witt made 17 saves in goal for Northeastern. BU was 1-of-3 on the power play while NU went 0-of-5.
After back and forth play through the first five minutes of play, Boston University drew first blood with a power play tally 5:13 into the game. With John Stevens in the box for hooking, the Terriers struck just six seconds into the man advantage as Matt Lane hammered home a rebound off a shot from Doyle Somerby at the point for his sixth of the year.
Pimm leveled the score at one for the Huskies with 7:47 left in the frame on his team-leading 20th goal of the season. After Jarrett Fennell poked the puck away from a Terrier forward looking to exit the zone, Pimm picked up the loose puck and fired it towards goal. O'Connor got a piece of the shot with his shoulder, but the puck popped up into the air and behind the BU netminder to make it 1-1.
Evan Rodrigues had a chance to regain the Boston University lead with 3:30 to play in the period when he took a long pass and tried a wraparound at the far post, but Witt was able to come across to make the save. Moments later, Adam Reid crashed the net at the other end looking to pound one past O'Connor, but he held his ground to make the stop.
The line of Kevin Roy, Mike Szmatula and Zach Aston-Reese began pressuring the cage into the second period when Szmatula found Aston-Reese on the doorstep for a pair of chances of O'Connor handled.
NU had a big defensive stand midway through the stanza when Witt made consecutive saves on Rodrigues and Robbie Baillargeon before Fennell and Mike McMurtry sprawled on the ice to block several shots bids before the official blew the play dead.
On the ensuing face-off, the Huskies took their first lead of the weekend when Mike Gunn chipped a puck off the glass and through the skates of a Terrier defender. Roy then picked up the puck in the neutral zone and fed Aston-Reese in the slot before Aston-Reese ripped a shot under the glove of O'Connor for his eighth goal of the season and a 2-1 NU lead with 8:31 left in the period.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Boston University knotted the game at two less than three minutes later when Lane picked the pocket of an NU defender at the attacking blue line before going in on Witt uncontested and tucking a puck inside the right post for Lane's second of the game.
The Boston University attack persisted, and the Terriers took a 3-2 advantage with 3:50 left in the second when Tommy Kelley caused a turnover in the defensive zone, created a two-on-one with Somerby. Kelley lost control of the puck in the slot, but Somerby's backhand beat Witt, who was screened on the play.
Northeastern had two chances on the power play early in the third period, but a minor penalty on the Huskies during NU's second man advantage forced four-on-four play, resulting in a goal from the Terriers with 12:21 left in regulation. After Garrett Noonan forced the puck out of the zone, Nick Roberto hit Mike Moran with a pass on a two-on-one. Moran then fired a shot from just inside the blue line that caught the left post and fell into the cage for a 4-2 BU lead.
Witt kept the deficit at two with seven minutes left in the stanza when he flew across the crease to make a save on Rodrigues, who was staring at an open net.
Northeastern would pull Witt with 2:54 left in regulation, and drew a penalty on Noonan for roughing with 1:28 to play for a six-on-four skating advantage. Following a timeout, the Huskies put on a final effort, but O'Connor stood his ground to earn the Terriers the sweep.