By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff
For much of the No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 3-2 loss to No. 3 Boston College, it looked as though the Terriers were going to overcome an early 3-0 deficit.
Along the way, several BU players put the Terriers’ rocky first period in the rear-view mirror with stellar individual performances. Freshman Garrett Noonan netted his first collegiate goal while continuing to assert himself as a legitimate Hockey East defender. Junior Chris Connolly netted two assists. Junior David Warsofsky scored a goal and put four shots on net. Senior Joe Pereira put six shots on goal –– including five in the third. Junior Kieran Millan put on a goaltending clinic, including the save of the season to rob Jimmy Hayes of a sure goal on a 2-on-1 break.
But seemingly every time something positive happened for BU, sophomore Alex Chiasson was in the middle of the play.
In the first period, as the Terriers fell into a deflating 3-0 hole, the team managed to attempt just two shots from the slot. Chiasson took them both.
The team’s leading scorer (8 goals, 14 assists) picked up the primary assist on Noonan’s goal, putting the puck on a platter from behind the BC goal line. The puck hit Noonan’s stick exactly where the rookie had placed it. Due to the angle of the pass, BC goaltender John Muse was powerless to stop the easy tap-in goal.
Seconds later, after sophomore Sean Escobedo’s interference penalty put the Terriers down a man, Chiasson kept BU’s momentum alive with a stellar individual effort. As a pair of BC players worked the puck near center ice trying to find an alley into the BU zone, the sophomore broke for the puck and knocked it loose.
Chiasson would have had an easy run at the net, except BC senior Joe Whitney opted to slow him illegally, sending the action to 4-on-4 with a hooking penalty. Though the Terriers didn’t capitalize on the resulting 29 seconds of power play, the time BC spent playing 4-on-4 instead of 5-on-4 can’t be understated. BC scored on two of its six man-up chances, and according to BC coach Jerry York, the Eagles didn’t even score on their best-executed power play.
Then, with BU on the power play, Warsofsky cut the lead to one goal with an absolute snipe from the right point. The shot would’ve been hard enough to save, but it’s doubtful Muse ever actually saw it –– Chiasson was planted perfectly between the goalie and the shooter.
As BU tried and failed to finish the comeback in the third, Chiasson twice turned normally harmless 1-on-2 transition plays into scary moments by handcuffing Muse with quick shots partially screened by the BC defenders.
Last week, in a mid-week discussion with the media, Parker said he was somewhat frustrated by the effort and focus of most of the sophomore class. The coach excluded Chiasson from that group, Though the sophomore only finished the game with a fairly standard one assist and three shots on goal, BU coach Jack Parker had no hesitation recognizing the winger as a standout performer in the contest.
“”I thought he played extremely well,” Parker said. “He’s been playing great all year. He’s our leading scorer, and he works very, very hard. I thought he gave us the type of effort we have to have from him.”