By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
Santana helps the power play
BU coach Jack Parker made a personnel change to his second power play unit, moving senior forward Ryan Santana onto the line and moving sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues back to the point.
The change proved effective Saturday night, as that unit scored twice with a man-advantage. On both goals, a shot from the point kicked back out into the slot, where Santana won a battle for the puck and helped move it to freshman forward Danny O’Regan to shoot on a wide open goal.
“I thought he looked great,” Parker said. “He did a good job taking faceoffs for the power play. He was in their crease. He is the reason why our point men are shooting it low from the point, because there is a screen there.”
The BU power play had recently had an 0-for-12 stretch and had been struggling to get shots toward the goal before Santana’s addition.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, it looked as if Maine was going to run away on the scoreboard. The Black Bears led the Terriers in shots 10–3 through the first half of the first period, and then 18–8 by the end of it.
However, BU clung to its short deficit through the first frame thanks to 17 saves from freshman goalie Sean Maguire. The only goal that snuck past the Powell River, British Columbia native was a power-play goal that deflected off senior defenseman and to Maguire’s side, where he did not have a chance to make the save.
Maguire made a career-high 40 saves on the night, and made some key saves in the third period despite allowing three goals.
Holding on in the standings
The Terriers have struggled of late, but they have not fallen out of contention for the first place in Hockey East. With the overtime win Saturday night, BU has pulled even with the University of New Hampshire at third place in the league, only trailing first-place Merrimack College and second-place Boston College.
BU has a crucial series with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell coming up before its re-scheduled game against Merrimack College on Tuesday, Feb. 26. After those games, BU has weekend series with the University of Vermont and Northeastern University, who are both among the bottom four teams in the league.
“Not getting points in a weekend puts you way down. Every weekend is so important,” Parker said. “We are back in the thick of it.”
Start of the game
The Terriers got outshot 18–8 in the first period, but it was more than just the shots totals that made Maine look like the better team. The Black Bears controlled the puck for much of the frame, dominating time of possession.
A bad start did not hurt BU in the end Saturday night, but BU could have left Alfond Arena with only one point on the weekend instead of three had Maguire not bailed the team out.
End of the game
BU started the game poorly, but it ended the game on an even worse run. The Terriers allowed three goals in the final period after earning a three-goal lead, including a goal in the final minute of play that sent the game to overtime.
This is not the first time BU has surrendered a three-goal lead this season. The team did it twice to Harvard on Jan. 9 before accomplishing the same feat Saturday night. However, Maguire said no one on the team lost its composure when they lost the lead.
“No one was scared on the bench,” Maguire said. “We kept our composure and I think that’s one of the traits of a strong team, and we have it. That’s why we won 5-4.”
Maine captain Joey Diamond agitated senior forward Wade Megan enough to take a double-minor penalty Friday night and then capitalized with a power-play goal on the ensuing man-advantage.
Diamond gave the Terriers fits again Saturday night, as he totaled a game-high nine shots and scored his team’s second goal to start a run in the third period. Fortunately for the Terriers, BU will likely not have to face the Long Beach, N.Y., native again, as he is graduating after the end of this season.