October 11, 2013

Terriers triple-up Minutemen in season opener

By Joshua Kummins

Senior forward Garrett Noonan buried the Terriers' first goal of the regular season. (Photo: BU Athletics)

Final: Boston University 3, UMass 1

Recap: After a scoreless opening period, the Terriers drew first blood 62 seconds into the second as senior assistant captain Garrett Noonan (Norfolk, Mass.) got credit for the first goal of BU's season. He took a shot from the top of the slot that had eyes to beat UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz (North Andover, Mass.).

St. Sebastian's product Tommy Kelley (Natick, Mass.) doubled the lead just after the five-minute mark off a beautiful power-play setup from junior Cason Hohmann, before junior Evan Rodrigues curled, dragged and beat Mastalerz for his first of the season over the blocker side at 7:32.

UMass broke up BU sophomore Sean Maguire's shutout bid at 10:24 of the final stanza as rookie Steven Iacobellis scored his first-collegiate goal on a power-play one-timer.

Records: Boston University 1-0-0 (1-0-0 Hockey East), UMass 0-1-0 (0-1-0 Hockey East)

Key Play of the Game: Maguire made a trio of key stops on a late 5-on-3 disadvantage in the second period to keep momentum in the Terriers' favor heading into the dressing room, although they were unable to extend their lead and really put the game out of reach for the visitors.

Plus: The top line in scarlet and white was absolutely flying in their first regular-season action as a unit. Freshman Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.), sophomore Danny O'Regan (Needham, Mass.) and Rodrigues opened their time together with a very strong night, which included three or four great offensive rushes in ahead of the UMass defense.

Minus: It is only the first night of the regular season, but the Terriers had a bit of trouble converting on the man-advantage with only a 1-for-6 clip, despite holding on easily for the win.

Notable: The Terriers improved to 63-27-7 in all-time season openers and have now won each of their last four first contests. ... Only four players on the BU roster entered the night with more than four career goals at the Division I level. Kelley was the lone Terrier to score his first-collegiate goal. 

Quotable: "Winning is better than losing. ... The sign of good teams is finding ways to win when you don't play great. I don't think we played great tonight. Our effort was there, but I think we have to be a little more purposeful when we have the puck." -David Quinn on his team's performance following his first win at the helm of the Terriers.

Final Thoughts: Quinn has spoken a lot about improving as a team over the course of the week in practice, but it will be interesting to see how the team can come out in its first back-end game on Saturday night against regional non-league foe Holy Cross.

Elsewhere: The biggest news of the night in Hockey East was Sacred Heart's stunning upset of top-ranked UMass Lowell, 2-1, at the Tsongas Center. Senior assistant captain Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) scored the lone goal for UML.

Sophomore Kevin Roy scored a hat trick in Northeastern's 9-1 drubbing of visiting Alabama-Huntsville in the first of a two-game series at Matthews Arena.

Providence was also a winner in its first action, defeating fellow ranked foe Minnesota State by a 5-1 score, thanks to a pair of goals from second-year forward Mark Jankowski.

In the IceBreaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, New Hampshire downed Clarkson, 4-1, behind 33 saves from senior Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) in his first start of the year.

Next: Both sides will step back out of league action until the calendar turns to November, but will be back on the ice Saturday night. BU welcomes in-state rival Holy Cross to Agganis, while the Mass Attack will travel north to Lowell in the first game of the UMass Alumni Cup.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins
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