Boston, Mass.- Saturday night against St. Francis Xavier might have only been an exhibition game, but the game was no less important to Boston University coaches and players.
"I heard the band playing when I was doing my skates so I got a little jittery," admitted Terriers freshman forward Nick Roberto who scored the game's first goal.
Thanks to a late third period goal by another freshman, Tommy Kelley, Boston University squeaked by St. Francis Xavier, 2-1.
"Anytime you play a game without a lot of time to practice, you have to be happy with a win. I don't care what the situation is, winning always beats losing," said BU head coach David Quinn.
Boston University freshman Nick Roberto opened the scoring at 15:27 mark of the first period when he chipped in a rebound past St. Francis Xavier goaltender Drew Owsley. Fellow freshman Robbie Baillargeon and sophomore Danny O'Regan picked up the helpers on the power play tally.
Less than two minutes later the X-Men evened the score when Rob Slaney scored a power play goal, beating BU goaltender Sean Maguire. Michael Kirkpatrick and Josh Day picked up the assists for SFX.
Tommy Kelley notched the game-winning goal when he kept the puck in at the blueline by firing a turnaround slapshot that deflected off an X-Men defenseman and into the top of the net. Roberto and Grzelcyk assisted on the score. The goal came just minutes after Kelley, a freshman from Natick, Mass., hit the crossbar from in tight.
The freshmen duo of Kelley and Roberto really impressed all night, but other rookies, such as Robbie Baillargeon and Brendan Collier, showed signs of skill.
"I thought our young guys did a great job today. You always hope to get production out of your freshmen. I've said all along your success is always tied to your upperclassmen, but since we have nine freshmen, our success is going to be tied to our freshmen. I like what I saw from a lot of them. They showed some skill, and they played at a pace and played physical."
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Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.