Snapped Streak: Boston University beats men’s ice hockey 4-1

Tanner Harding and Tom Cunningham

Photo: Rebecca Castagna
Photo: Rebecca Castagna

Going unbeaten for over two months is an impressive feat in just about any sport, especially one like hockey when one fluttering puck or one deflection goal could be the difference between winning or losing. The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team was 15-0-2 going into Saturday’s game when the Bobcats welcomed the Boston University Terriers to High Point Solutions Arena. The No. 11 Terriers handed the No. 2 Bobcats their first loss of the season, with a final of 4-1.

“It was a huge game and we’ve shown up for all of our huge games this year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We had some guys that really played poorly tonight. They’re disappointed with it and they know it, they’re accountable and they’ll be better the next time we play.”

Quinnipiac (15-1-2, 6-0-2 ECAC) took an early 1-0 lead over the Terriers just six minutes in to the first period when junior forward Sam Anas received a pass from sophomore Landon Smith. Anas made his way through the slot and got his backhanded shot past Boston University’s goaltender Sean Maguire. The goal was Anas’ 10th on the year.

The lead did not last long for Quinnipiac, as Boston University (9-6-3, 4-4-2 Hockey East) knotted the game up at one when Jordan Greenway, who stands at 6-foot-5 and is a draft choice of the Minnesota Wild, won a puck battle in the corner and found Matt Lane in the slot. Greenway also picked up an assist in his team’s 3-2 loss to Yale on Friday night.

“He [Greenway] keeps getting better and better,” Boston University head coach David Quinn said. “He’s tough to defend. I’d like to talk to the Quinnipiac defensemen and ask them what they think about going in the corner with him.”

The goal was the first goal that Bobcats’ senior goaltender Michael Garteig had given up in 209:21, dating back to the team’s 4-1 win on Nov. 27 against the University of Massachusetts. Garteig came in to the game with three straight shutout performances for the Bobcats.

Early in the second period, Robbie Baillargeon would give the Terriers a 2-1 lead on a backhanded shot just after the Bobcats’ power play ended, ultimately proving to be the game-winning goal.

The Terriers would extend their lead with a goal by Bobo Carpenter early in the third period when Carpenter spun around from the faceoff circle and fired a shot through Quinnipiac defenders and found the top corner over Garteig’s shoulder to extend the Terrier’s lead to 3-1.

The Bobcats had two chances on the power play late in the third period, but Maguire stood tall in goal, saving everything the Bobcats fired his way. Maguire finished the night with 36 saves. The Bobcats’ power play went 0-for-5 on the night, despite generating 15 shots on goal with the man advantage.

While a loss to end a streak such as this stings and is disappointing in the moment, Anas believes going in to the extended break after this loss could be a good thing.

“Realistically we weren’t going to go undefeated,” Anas said. “So I think it’s not good that we lost, but I think it was necessary. It’s good to lose to a good team as opposed to coming back and maybe lose to a weaker team in the Pairwise that might affect us more so in the grand scheme of things it’s not the worst thing in the world.”

With the end of the semester nearing, despite a disappointing performance against Boston University, Pecknold is still happy with the way his team played for the first half of the season.

“Still a great first half of the year, I’m proud of the guys and how we battled,” Pecknold said. “15-1-2 is a pretty good record.

With the team now having a two-week break, they will not return to action until things start back up again on Dec. 29 when they travel to Hobey Baker Memorial Rink to take on the Princeton Tigers. The Bobcats return home to conclude the home-and-home series with the Tigers the following night.