Roundup: Late Goals Cost Quinnipiac, UND, Lowell
Northeastern, Vermont Cruise in Openers
CHN Staff Report
When people think Boston College hockey, they think of names like Gaudreau and Eaves. Gerbe and Gionta. Prolific goal-scorers and playmakers that lead dominant offenses. That's how it's been for some time in Chestnut Hill.
However, entering this season, it was clear BC's most important player would be goaltender Joe Woll. Goals were always going to be at a premium for the Eagles this season, so saves would be absolutely vital. They got plenty on Friday night. Woll stopped 28 Quinnipiac shots and guided BC to a hard-earned 1-1 tie against the Bobcats at Conte Forum.
"It was a good battle of goaltenders," BC coach Jerry York said. "It required a late power-play goal from us. ... (Andrew Shortridge) played really well for (Quinnipiac) them in goal. ... (Woll) made spectacular saves for us."
"Both teams battled," Qunnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "Both goaltenders were the best players on the ice. I liked the way we played tonight. We made some mistakes. We made some bad changes, and it cost us a win there at the end."
After a scoreless first period, Alex Whelan put QU on top with 4:50 left in the second. However, Woll kept BC within one, and BC freshman Jacob Tortora equalized for the Eagles with just 3:01 to play.
Midway through the first period, Quinnipiac defenseman Brandon Fortunato, a Boston University transfer, was called for a delay of game after covering the puck in the crease. BC received a penalty shot as a result. However, Shortridge saved David Cotton's attempt.
Following the game, York noted Quinnipiac would likely become a more regular opponent for the Eagles in the coming years.
"Quinnipiac. They're going to be more staple of our schedule here. The only times we've played them has been in a Christmas tournament or a Frozen Four. Jack McDonald, who was the athletic director there for a number of years, is a person friend of mine, a BC graduate and did a phenomenal of starting the Q program and helping out with Rand down there. We got there next year to play. I envision that as one of our non-conference rivalry type games as we go through the stretch here. It's pretty phenomenal if you think about 10 years ago for BC and and (Quinnipiac) to be a rivalry-type atmosphere. They've come so far, so quick to become a real player on the national scene."
Northeastern 7, Sacred Heart 3
An opener against Sacred Heart isn't exactly a measuring stick game for a team like Northeastern. The Huskies want to play for trophies this season. A beatdown of a middling Atlantic Hockey team is a good place to start, though.
The Huskies' skilled propelled them to a 5-1 win over SHU in both teams' opener Friday night at Matthews Arena. The teams will play another Saturday night.
A flurry of power plays in the first period helped Northeastern find its first goal of the goal; the Huskies skate from there. Grant Jozefek redirected a Ryan Shea at 10:14 of the first period. Eric Williams doubled the lead at 17:40.
Sacred Heart controlled play early in the second, testing NU goaltender Ryan Ruck often. The junior held strong, though, keeping them scoreless long enough for Lincoln Griffin to make it 3-0.
Jozefek and fellow sophomore Matt Filipe each finished with a pair of goals for the Huskies.
Vermont 3, Colorado College 0
A year ago, Vermont goaltender Stefanos Lekkas was one of the nation's best for the season's first three months. He had a .925 save percentage in the first half of the season. However, things went south the rest of the way. The freshman had just a .901 save percentage in the second half.
His performance needed to be better if Vermont was going to start the year on a positive note. A 33-save shutout is exactly what the Catamounts had in mind. Lekkas' brilliance kept UVM in control as it defeat Colorado College, 3-0, at Gutterson Field House Friday night.
"Stef was sensational tonight," UVM coach Kevin Sneddon said. "We put a little too much work on his shoulders. We never want to take unnecessary penalties, and we took a few tonight."
Ross Colton, Owen Grant and Christian Evers each scored for UVM. The goals came in just 3:19 of game time, with Colton scoring at 19:57 of the first period, Grant striking just 51 seconds into the middle frame and Evers adding to the lead at 3:16. Grant and Evers are both freshman defensemen.
"First college game in front of a great crowd, you never know how freshmen are going to respond," Sneddon said. "Owen, in particular, defensively was outstanding. Christian just looked like he had done this before ..."
Colton's goal, coming with just 3 seconds left in the first period, was an especially frustrating site for CC.
"We talked about it all preseason, not giving up goals in the final minute of a period," CC coach Mike Haviland said."
The Tigers took over at that point, peppering Lekkas with 23 shots the rest of the way. He stopped each of them in guiding UVM to its first victory of the short season.
The teams play a second game Saturday night in Burlington.
Maine 4, UConn 3 (OT)
Nolan Vesey's goal just 28 seconds into overtime lifted Maine over Connecticut, 4-3, Friday night at Alfond Arena.
"That was a great shot," UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh said. "It was a goal-scorer's goal."
The marker prevented a potentially devastating loss for the Black Bears, who led, 3-2, in the final seconds of the game before UConn's Jeff Wight equalized with 16 seconds left in regulation.
After Maine went ahead, 3-2, at 12:53 of the second period, it was all Huskies. UConn would outshoot Maine, 14-8, in the final regulation period in search of a game-tying goal. Junior goaltender Rob McGovern stopped 13 of the shots before Wight leveled the game late.
"He played extremely well," Gendron said of McGovern. "We started turning the puck over and getting caught out of position, giving up breakaways and odd-man rushes and things like that because we lacked a little bit of poise. McGovern did his job. He stopped the puck."
The teams traded goals with out regulation, with Maine claiming and wasting three separate one-goal leads throughout the game.
UConn will have a chance to split the season series with the Black Bears Saturday night with Game 2 from the Alfond. The teams will not play again this season.
UNH 4, UMass-Lowell 3
Massachusetts-Lowell thought it had sent the game to overtime. Jake Kamrass scored with 1:14 to play in regulation, tying the game 3-3.
The deadlock didn't last long. Shane Eiserman scored exactly 1 minute later, giving New Hampshire a 4-3 win over UMass-Lowell in both teams' Hockey East and season openers.
"We all knew were somehow going to pull out a win," Eiserman said.
Lowell led after 20 minutes through Connor Wilson before UNH went ahead with two goals in 45 seconds midway through the second period. The goals came from Marcus Vela and Frankie Cefalu. Despite the goals, it could've been even worse for Lowell. Sophomore goaltender Tyler Wall stopped 13 shots in the period to keep Lowell just a goal back.
"I saw four shots in the second period," UML coach Norm Bazin said. "I didn't see a whole lot of urgency. We were on the wrong side of the puck the whole second period. We had four shots despite getting two power plays, and that's not enough to win in any league."
The win is No. 587 for UNH coach Dick Umile, who announced before the season that this would be his final season as the leader of UNH's program. He has coached at his alma mater since the 1990-91 season. He is currently ninth all-time in wins in Division I Men's Hockey history. Former Colorado College (1971-1982) and Wisconsin (1982-2002) coach Jeff Sauer is eighth with 655.
Air Force 3, Alaska 2
The unexpected departure of Shane Starrett for a professional contract during the summer left a major hole in Air Force's lineup. The goaltender was a key piece of a team that came just short of a Frozen Four trip last season.
Now, he's gone. Enter, Billy Christopoulos. The junior goaltender made 32 saves, including 10 in the third period, to give Air Force a 3-2 win over Alaska at Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Goals from Matt Koch and Erik Baskin gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead before Alaska's Tristan Thompson cut the lead to one. Zach Frye tied it just 11 seconds into the third period. Brady Tomlak scored the game-winning goal for the Falcons just 3:27 later. Christopoulos stopped 10 shots in the third period to seal the win.
Alaska was 0-for-7 on the power play in the game, including three wasted man advantages in the third period.
North Dakota 1, Alaska-Anchorage 1
For much of the night, things looked exactly like Brad Berry wanted them to. North Dakota always had the puck. The Fighting Hawks took shots on goal, created chances and scored.
The problem is they only scored once. Alaska-Anchorage scored once, too.
The Fighting Hawks and Seawolves skated to a 1-1 tie Friday night at Sullivan Arena. Both teams had chances to win the game throughout.
UAA goaltender Olivier Mantha made 33 saves to hold UND to just one goal. It looked it would be enough for the Fighting Hawks until 18:45 of the third period. Jordan Xavier scored to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Seawolves had a chance of their own to get the win in the extra session. A 1:34 5 on 3 saw UAA test UND goaltender Cam Johnson and the team's penalty-killers. No shots fell, however, and the Fighting Hawks held on for an important tie.
Arizona State 5, UMass 3
Even when they don't result in power-play goals, penalties often decide hockey game. Arizona State went just 1-for-6 on its power play in its season-opening win over Massachusetts. However, the Sun Devils turned their extended attacking zone time into goals to claim the win.
ASU won, 5-3, in large part to a two-goal outburst at the end of the second period. Brinson Pasichnuk scored with 1:45 left in the period and Louie Rowe added another just 1:23 later to turn a tie game into a 3-1 ASU lead after two periods.
After ASU added fourth, UMass scored twice to make it a game before an empty-net goal sealed ASU win.
The collegiate debut of Cale Makar, the fourth-overall pick in June's NHL Entry Draft, was largely unremarkable. The defenseman assisted on UMass' first goal and finished the game with one shot on goal.
The teams will play a second game Saturday night.