He stretched his arms to loosen them. “It’s all your fault,” the Superfans said, as the BU goaltender lethargically glided back to his crease to face another BC face-off in his zone. But instead of cowering to the mob of maroon and gold, he faced them. The Terrier looked into its eyes. He still had pride, even though he had been crushed by the best offense in college hockey.
Sean Maguire was peppered on Friday evening. Jerry York’s offense took the Boston University goaltender to task, hitting him for six goals and testing him 43 times in the process.
He did well to keep the Eagles at bay in the first period, making nine stops, and thwarting three grade-A opportunities. It took what seemed like awhile for anything to get by the BU goaltender.
Boston College’s deep threat was prevalent at the start of the second period. Scott Savage tested Maguire from the left, and that was just the beginning.
The sophomore goaltender was tried with eight close shots in the second, two of which the Eagles were able to get by the goalie. A huge save from Maguire on Michael Sit preceded his stop on Bill Arnold, before Gaudreau slotted it by BU’s last line of defense.
“He made some good saves,” BU head coach David Quinn said of Maguire.
Even though the Terriers tried to claw their way back into the game late, Quinn cited sloppy play as one of the reasons his team could not equalize.
“All of a sudden, we start trying to make special plays and turning pucks over,” Quinn said. “Against that team, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
The Eagles looked to beat Maguire with rapid passing, as the line of Arnold, Hayes, and Gaudreau took the game by the scruff of its neck. Maguire continued to face shots.
“He certainly gave us a chance tonight,” Quinn said.
Maguire is fighting for the BU starting job with Matt O’Connor. While the Maguire made 38 saves Friday night, O’Connor has played 15 games this season.
York finds himself in a similar predicament with Brian Billett and Thatcher Demko at his disposal. The Eagles offense scored five or more goals for the ninth time this season on Friday evening, but Billett conceded four or more for the third time this season.
In fact, his save percentage was worse than that of Maguire’s, as he saved 23 of the 27 shots he faced (.852). The BU goaltender’s save percentage was .864.
Outstanding When Outnumbered
Arnold, Steve Santini, and Michael Matheson fought the Terriers on a 5-on-3 with less than five minutes remaining. BU was within two goals and BC was looking to preserve its advantage.
Matheson blocked a shot from the game’s opening scorer, Robbie Baillargeon, and BU would not relent. The Terriers worked the puck around briskly, and Arnold got in the way of the rubber. But the senior captain could not get the puck out of his team’s zone, and the puck found its way to Garrett Noonan at the point.
The shots kept on coming, but bodies kept getting in the way.
“We took some costly penalties in the third period,” York said. “Then 5-on-3 there, I thought we blocked shots from a number of guys, Matheson, Santini, Billy Arnold.
“I mean really got down, and that’s hard to do, 5-on-3, because they can shoot the puck really well, most defensemen at this level. They’re taking shots off their chests and I was kind of really proud of the effort there.”
While the Eagles conceded after Ian McCoshen was freed from the sin bin, their power play kill had an excellent night. The evening was marred when Cason Hohmann slotted one home at 16:32 in the third period.
The Eagles killed five of six BU power plays.
Another decisive stop came near the end of the second period. Austin Cangelosi pressed on BU’s defenders, taking the puck from them to alleviate pressure on Billett. Once the Terriers found their way back into the BC zone, Michael Sit stopped a shot attempt from getting off, before Billett did his part with a save.
The Eagles boast Division I hockey’s second best penalty kill, as York’s club has stopped 90.5 percent of opposition power plays this season.
Quinn Smith’s Warpath
Going to the box three times and driving to the net on a few occasions, junior left winger Quinn Smith was a force to be reckoned with on the ice. He was penalized for hooking at the end of the first period, as well as charging and holding, either side of the halfway mark in the second.
He was relentless throughout the evening, even slamming into the boards to chase down the puck with 7:30 left in the third game’s stanza.
Smith made up for being responsible for half of his team’s penalties by giving BC a lead it would not give up nearly five minutes into the second period.