Boston University overcame two one-goal deficits Saturday night at Agganis Arena to force a 3-3 tie with Providence in Hockey East action. It was an action packed game, which both coaches called a good college hockey game.
The Terriers had some problems in transition, including some costly turnovers especially in the early going. Coach Jack Parker attributed some of the trouble in transition to the way opposition is forechecking. He said early in the season teams were sitting back more whereas lately they are seeing more pressure on the forecheck from opponents. "Teams watch video. Teams are playing us differently now. Teams will go 1-2-2 [on the forecheck] if we're playing well with the puck, but pressuring more if not," said Parker. He added, "We were jumpy with the puck and hesitant."
One of those sloppy plays allowed Providence a chance to score five minutes in. The puck found the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed when the referees ruled the whistle had already blown. Leaman was upset that the referees didn't review the play when they reviewed a no-goal for BU later in the game that was overturned, which gave the Terriers the equalizer.
Both coaches were impressed with the play of the goaltenders. Providence coach Nate Leaman said "[Gillies] played terrific," of his freshman goaltender. Parker was equally pleased with his goaltender. "I thought O'Connor played well tonight. [He's] not as comfortable or dominant as he was in the first semester, but playing really solid now." Parker continued to emphasize how important goaltending is in a league that is so tight. "We got good goaltending and so did they. Both goalies came up with big saves."
BU's second line, missing Evan Rodrigues, continued to play well with Matt Nieto and Danny O'Regan being joined by Ryan Santana. Nieto and O'Regan each had a goal. Parker and Nieto praised the efforts of Santana. "He works really hard. He got some pucks for us. Santana did a real good job and didn't try to get too cute," said Nieto about his right wing for the night.
Rodrigues is expected to rejoin the line Friday night. Parker said they got good news earlier in the day when it was discovered Rodrigues didn't have a fracture. BU will also welcome back the services of defenseman Garrett Noonan who will return following his two game suspension for spearing.
With the tie, BU moves to 13-9-1 overall and 10-6-1 in Hockey East and into a tie for second place with New Hampshire. It was BU's first tie since October 28, 2011 at UMass-Amherst. The tie for Providence (10-10-4, 8-6-3 HE) moves the Friars into fourth place, one point ahead of Merrimack and Lowell for the final home ice spot in the league playoffs.