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Second Period Explosion Carries Boston University Past UConn

The Terriers defeated UConn in their first of four consecutive nonconference games.

Boston University freshman Nick Roberto was the number one star of the game.
Boston University freshman Nick Roberto was the number one star of the game.
Jeff Cox

Boston -- Three second period goals helped propel Boston University past UConn, 4-1, in the first ever matchup between the two future Hockey East foes on Sunday at Agganis Arena in front of 3,755. The Terriers, who totally dominated territorially for the first two periods, snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.

After a scoreless first period the Terriers needed just 33 seconds to light the lamp in the second. Matt Lane fed a driving Danny O'Regan who cut to the right and stuck the puck past the left leg of UConn goaltender Matt Grogan.

Freshman Nick Roberto scored his third goal of the season at the 5:37 of the middle frame. As he was cutting down the right side he released a wrist shot that hit off the far post and clanged into the net.

BU added to its lead on the power play later in the second period. Evan Rodrigues slid the puck over to Matt Grzelcyk who took a shot from the right side that deflected off freshman Kevin Duane and past Grogan.

"We got the puck to the net a little bit more than we have in the past particularly in the second period. We obviously got rewarded with our goals," said BU coach David Quinn.

Brant Harris scored the lone goal of the game for UConn early in the third period. The senior, playing in just his second game of the season due to injury, beat BU goaltender Matt O'Connor high with a quick wrist shot from the left circle. Kyle Huson and Sean Gaffney assisted on the goal. It was the first points of the season for all three players, and the first collegiate point for the freshman, Gaffney.

UConn had a five-on-three in the final five minutes of the game, but could not get anything set up to draw closer to BU. Robbie Baillargeon added an empty-net goal for the Terriers after the two penalties expired to make the final score 4-1.

"In the third period they got a goal and we got on our heels a little bit. They pick up their intensity and get recharged from their goal. We obviously take two penalties in the last five minutes and make it squirrely, but I liked our penalty kill. We were smart and disciplined on the penalty kill," said Quinn.

The win was a nice bounce back game for Boston University after being blown out, 7-0, by Maine on Friday night in Orono. "We got a much needed win today. I really liked our first 40 minutes. I thought we were ready from the get-go," said Quinn.

"Overall I was very happy with the way we competed. We knew they would be hungry coming into this game. I thought our team gave a pretty solid effort," said first year UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh.

The Terriers welcome North Dakota to Agganis Arena next weekend for a two-game nonconference set. Both teams have struggled out of the gate, but it should be an exciting series between two perennial powerhouse programs.

"Everyone gets excited when the Fighting Sioux come to town," said Quinn.

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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.