Friday, November 2, 2012

UPDATED: No. 12 Terriers drop matchup with No. 5/6 North Dakota 4-2

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- After flying more than 1,700 miles across the country to take on No. 5/6 University of North Dakota, the No. 12 Boston University men’s hockey team fell short in the first of two matchups at Ralph Engelstad Arena Friday night.

UND sophomore forward Connor Gaarder carried his team to victory with a hat trick, which accounted for all but one of North Dakota’s goals in its 4–2 win over BU.

"It was a really exciting game obviously," said BU coach Jack Parker. "There was a lot of great chances and I thought the penalties wore us down as the game progressed."

The Terriers (3–2, 3–1 Hockey East) got on the board first when freshman center Danny O’Regan scored his fifth point in three games on a rebound from right in front of UND goaltender Clarke Saunders. O’Regan found the rebound after a shot from freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and danced around Saunders to give himself an open net and score his third goal of the season.

O’Regan’s goal was the lone score from the first period, but North Dakota (3–1–1, 1–0–1 WCHA) came storming back in the second. Gaarder scored his first goal of the season 1:11 into the frame when a Mark MacMillan pass deflected off his skate and flipped into the net.

Gaarder was not done in the period though, as just under six minutes later he fired a slap shot in transition under freshman goaltender Sean Maguire’s blocker for his second goal of the game. The Edina, Minn., native used a long pass from freshman Drake Caggiula to get past the defense and record the first multi-goal game of his career.

North Dakota controlled momentum until 10:08 into the period when North Dakota captain Andrew MacWilliam was whistled for a contact-to-the-head penalty after he elbowed freshman defenseman Ahti Oksanen at the blue line. Oksanen went down with an apparent injury following the hit and MacWilliam went to the locker room with a game misconduct penalty, giving BU five minutes on the power play.

Oksanen returned to the ice during the power play and made North Dakota pay when he fired a low slap shot through traffic in front of Saunders and into the back of the net. The goal was not only Oksanen’s first goal of his career, but his first point as well.

"That was huge. He’s a tough kid," said senior defenseman Sean Escobedo. "Even though Europeans get cracks sometimes for being soft, that was a vicious hit he took going across the middle, so for him to get back was a gift in itself but for him to bury it on the power play and get us kind of going and tying up the game, it was huge for us."

The teams traded chances for the rest of the period, but neither team could find the scoreboard again until 4:24 into the third period, when Gaarder completed his hat trick.

North Dakota took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play when freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi flew around BU’s goal and fed the puck to an open Gaarder in front of Maguire. Gaarder snuck a quick shot short side on Maguire, completing North Dakota’s first hat-trick since Matt Frattin and Jason Gregoire both completed the feat two seasons ago.

Grimaldi sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute. The goal was his third goal of the season.

Despite the loss, Maguire had a strong game in net for the Terriers, stopping 31 of 34 shots. UND had a lot of good scoring chances that Maguire made saves on, including multiple fully-extended glove saves.

"I thought he played great, especially when the puck was around his crease area," Parker said. "He was strong on the puck and strong on people and he covered pucks up. I thought he played extremely well."

BU freshman forward Sam Kurker made his return to the lineup Friday, replacing senior forward Ben Rosen on the fourth line. Parker said Rosen was a healthy scratch for breaking a team rule, but would not detail which rule he broke.

Kurker was held without a point in the game.

The Terriers will have a rematch with North Dakota Saturday night at 8 p.m.

4 comments:

  1. Fun game with some terrible reffing

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  2. I agree, the refs left something to be desired. The "vicious" hit on oksanen was a great shoulder to shoulder hit.

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  3. Agree. Strong game by both teams. Bet Rosen stays off Twitter for a while. And Sioux rule!

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  4. yep especially since your first goal was from someone who should have been tossed for hitting from behind.

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