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UConn Men’s Hockey Weekend Preview: No. 5/4 Boston University

The Huskies have a chance to grab a marquee win in a weekend series with the Terriers.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Live Updates- Saturday

First Period:

0:00- Spencer Naas, Benjamin Freeman, Kasperi Ojantakanen, Derek Pratt and Wyatt Newpower will start for UConn, with Adam Huska in net.

3:54- Patrick Howell goes off for tripping and UConn has their first power play.

9:28- Max Kalter off with a slashing penalty. No. 5 Boston University’s first power play.

17:29- Keiffer Bellows gets the gate for interference. UConn with their second power play, they are 0-for-1.

20:00- end of the first period, no score from Boston.

Second Period:

0:00- and the second period has begun. UConn from right to left.

10:04- Karl El-Mir! Charlie McAvoy turned the puck over and he makes them pay. His fifth of the year makes it 1-0.

14:08- Brandon Hickey off for boarding.

16:08- as time expires on the power play, Kasperi Ojantakanen takes a feed from Benjamin Freeman and puts UConn up 2-0.

20:00- the horn sounds and UConn goes into the second intermission with a 2-0 lead over No. 5 Boston University.

Third Period:

0:00- the period is on. UConn will be going from left to right.

1:48- David Drake goal, from Evan Richardson and Tage Thompson. He put it in down low and it’s 3-0 Huskies.

5:44- Corey Ronan forces a turnover and scored an unassisted goal. 4-0 #icebus.

Live Updates- Friday

First Period:

0:00- Karl El-Mir, Max Kalter, Corey Ronan the starting forwards. Joseph Masonius and David Drake are the defensive pair, with Rob Nichols the goaltender.

3:28- Jordan Greenway took a lofting shot that got over Nichols and in the back of the net. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson the assist. 1-0 Boston University.

11:38- no penalties called so far. Not sure if the players or the refs are adjusting. 1-0 in favor of the Terriers.

12:21- Keiffer Bellows off for holding, right after I say no penalties. Still 1-0.

16:01- Gabriel Chobot scores his first career goal. He took his shot from the high slot and Nichols was screened by one of his own defensemen. He didn’t even see it. 2-0 BU and Masonius goes off for hooking.

20:00- End of the first period. Boston University up on shots 11-8 and up 2-0 on the scoreboard.

Second Period:

0:33- Max Kalter off for holding, with Greenway offsetting. 4x4 on deck.

0:47- Bobo Carpenter off for goaltender interference. 4x3 for UConn.

1:19- now it’s 1:14 of 3x3. Brian Morgan off for holding.

3:19- back to five-on-five hockey without any goals. 2-0 No. 5 Boston University.

6:54- BU has been quicker to the pucks and UConn hasn’t had any sustained zone time so far this period. The Huskies have only two shots this period. 2-0 Boston University.

9:46- Jesse Schwartz off for high sticking.

17:11- UConn has played really well the last few minutes and gets a power play. 2-0 BU lead.

20:00- end of the second. UConn has played really well, especially in the second part of the period. 1:44 of power-play time to start the third stanza. BU leads, 2-0.

Third Period:

1:06- Masonius off for elbowing. BU gets a power play after 38 seconds of 4x4.

6:56- Spencer Naas pots on off of a juicy rebound and slides into the boards in celebration. Assists to Kasperi Ojantakanen and Benjamin Freeman.

13:00- seven minutes left, UConn searches for a game-tying goal. Up in shots, 26-to-25.

20:00- it was a furious finish, but UConn could not come up with the goal they needed to tie the game. 2-1 Boston University final.

Preview

Mike Cavanaugh’s UConn Huskies (3-3-5, 1-1-1) will be in Hartford on Friday and in Boston on Saturday for a weekend series with a BU team ranked 5th in the USCHO Poll.

UConn had trouble holding leads in its recent road series against No. 14 Ohio State. On Friday, the Huskies held a lead of 4-2 after Brian Morgan scored his second goal of the year at 13:23 of the second period. Unfortunately, UConn allowed five unanswered goals in the final 27 minutes, two of which were on the power play, to go down to the Buckeyes 7-4.

While the Huskies salvaged a draw in Saturday’s re-match, they squandered a 2-0 lead built in the first 10 minutes of the game thanks to two goals from Tage Thompson.

The Buckeyes responded with three straight goals to take a lead 1:11 into the third period. Morgan tied it up by scoring halfway through the third period as the game ended 3-3.

The Hockey East schedule offers no breaks as they get ready to take on a very talented Boston University (5-3-1, 1-0-1) team. The Terriers headed out to Ann Arbor, Michigan last weekend to play No. 18 Michigan and left with a split with the Wolverines.

On Friday night, Michigan scored early and often en route to a 4-0 victory. In the first period, the Wolverines scored 37 seconds apart on two separate power plays, six and 14 seconds into those power plays, and rode that to a win after scoring two goals in the third period.

Saturday, the Terriers fell down 1-0 early on but took a 2-1 lead at 9:04 of the third period behind Charlie McAvoy’s goal. Michigan tied the game 1:21 later, but Boston University put it away with two goals in the second half of the third period to win, 4-2.

Patrick Harper, a freshman forward, leads the team in points and in assists through nine games this year (5-9—14). Harper also shares the lead in goals with sophomore forward Jordan Greenway (5-7—12) and freshman forward Clayton Keller (5-4—9).

Ten of Boston University’s skaters also have been drafted by NHL teams, three of which were top-20 picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Keller was taken 7th overall by Arizona, Charlie McAvoy (1-8—9), a sophomore defenseman, was the 14th selection by the Boston Bruins and Kieffer Bellows (3-1—4), a freshman forward, was selected by the New York Islanders with the 19th pick.

The Terriers are one of the best defending teams in the country, allowing 18 goals in nine games for a 2.00 goals against average. They also have the fifth-best penalty kill in the country, killing 90.3 percent of penalties. Boston University also has scored the most shorthanded goals in the country, tied with Bentley for the lead at five.

It is going to be strength on strength, as UConn is 13th-best in the nation on the power play (22.2 percent) and has a goals per game average of 3.09.

Last season, the Terriers and Huskies split their two games, with each team taking the home matchup.

In last year’s matchup at Agganis Arena, UConn fell two goals behind in the third period, when Brandon Fortunato scored to make it 3-1. Tage Thompson scored inside a minute left with Rob Nichols pulled, but the Terriers got an empty-netter to make it a 4-2 final.

On Tuesday at XL Center, Tage Thompson scored a hat-trick, with all three goals coming on the power play, to best Boston University 5-2.

Friday night’s matchup in Hartford will begin at 7:05 p.m. The teams travel to Boston for Saturday, with puck drop coming at 7:00 p.m.