Millan Ties BU Wins Record in Victory
by Scott McLaughlin/
BOSTON Last Saturday, senior goalie Kieran Millan looked as bad as he's ever looked in a Boston University uniform. He gave up five stoppable goals on 17 shots in a 6-4 exhibition loss to St. Francis Xavier. After the game, though, coach Jack Parker said he wasn't worried, and that Millan would be ready to go against New Hampshire the following week.
How right Parker was.
Millan stopped all 35 shots he faced in the Terriers' 5-0 victory and tied Sean Fields' program record with his 62nd career win.
"I went in the dressing room and I asked Kieran, 'Who was that guy wearing your uniform last week?'" Parker said. "I've never seen him look like that ever. I've seen him look like tonight a lot of times. Glad to have him back."
As far as shutouts go (Millan now has six of those), Saturday night was certainly not an easy one. Millan had to make several stops on odd-man rushes, including a breakaway and a pair of two-on-ones in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Then in the second period, the Terriers made a habit of turning the puck over on the power play, and Millan had to bail them out with saves on both a shorthanded breakaway and a shorthanded 2-on-1. He wound up making 18 saves in the middle frame alone.
Millan said it was pretty easy for him to refocus after last week because it was only an exhibition game and he knew it didn't count for anything. He also said he was a little more tired than usual.
"We had a lot of practice time, and I had a couple extra fitness tests because I didn't pass them all the first time," Millan said. "So it was a pretty tough week physically, and I think that kind of just weighed me down a little bit. This week, I was back to my usual self."
Matt Nieto scored a backbreaking goal that made it 3-0 BU 1:15 into the third, and from there the only question was whether or not Millan would tie the record in shutout fashion. He had one shutout last season, but lost three others within the final two minutes of regulation. The Terriers were determined to not let that happen again.
"That was the message we had across the bench during the game tonight," said senior captain Chris Connolly. "It was definitely in the back of a lot of our heads, that we had been in this situation before and we had given up a late goal or something like that. Once it got to 3-0, 4-0, we wanted to really bear down for Kieran. He had worked so hard throughout the whole game that we really wanted to get it for him."
The Terriers did bear down and helped Millan finish off the shutout, allowing just six shots in the third period. It wasn't until after the game that Parker found out Millan had also tied the program wins record.
"Well, he's gonna go well beyond it, I hope," Parker said. "He's been a terrific goaltender. He's had the chance to play from the get-go, as a freshman. He obviously had a great year as a freshman, winning the national championship.
"He's one of the best goalies to ever play here, in a long line of really good goalies. And obviously we're tickled that he came back. There was talk that he might sign with Colorado. I think he's really happy to be back, and he's looking forward to having a great senior year for us, and he certainly got off on the right foot."
As for Millan, he didn't do a whole lot of reflecting, but instead turned his attention to the next game.
"I knew coming into the year I needed two wins to become the all-time leader," Millan said. "It's pretty nice to tie it in the first game, especially with a game like that. Hopefully I can break the record next game."