BOSTON -- Never, never count out Boston University.
Friday night at Agganis Arena, the second-seeded Terriers allowed their opponent to score the first goal for the seventh straight game.
It still didn’t matter.
The Terriers were 3-2 winners in the Hockey East quarterfinal opener, coming back from a two-goal deficit to score in each of the last three periods. Sophomore Jordan Greenway’s power-play strike from the left circle won the game just 3:11 into overtime.
“To play a team like that and be down 2-0, when you know it could be 5-0 in a hurry, to hold the fort, play well and do the things we did, I’m very proud of our team tonight,” BU head coach David Quinn said.
Special teams were the difference.
The Huskies’ power play ― a unit that clicked at 28.9 percent entering the night ― managed just four shots over as many power plays, while the hosts took 11 shots and scored on two man-up chances.
“We’re much better than that,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “It seemed like we were tentative out there. No one wanted to take the shot.”
Following a hooking call to Northeastern freshman Jeremy Davies, Greenway delivered the winner. Defenseman Chad Krys and Charlie McAvoy set the play up, feeding Clayton Keller who passed to the Canton, N.Y., native for a wrister from inside the left circle.
The goal was Greenway’s third in 14 games, but first since a Feb. 17 tie with New Hampshire.
“They were caught on a line change, and Keller made a great pass to me,” said Greenway. “I saw an open corner and did everything I could to put it in there. It was a big goal.”
Long before the comeback, the Huskies were the better team in the first period, scoring twice in less than a three-minute span to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Senior Zach Aston-Reese got the scoring started at the 7:23 mark, winning the puck from behind the net before spinning into the right circle and beating BU freshman Jake Oettinger high to the blocker side.
Aston-Reese’s 31st goal of the season preceded junior Dylan Sikura’s 21st, which came at the 9:52 mark. Freshman defenseman Jeremy Davies made a great pass to Sikura down low, where he was wide open for an easy finish at the doorstep.
“They got out of the gates fast and furious,” and I thought we looked like a a team that hadn’t played in a while,” Quinn said. “I thought we did a really good job of keeping it 2-0.”
The Huskies held a 16-10 shot advantage in the first period, BU’s first following a near two-week break following regular season’s end against Notre Dame.
Of course, Oettinger was a major reason why the Terriers kept their deficit at two. The freshman allowed two goals in the first, but still made 14 of his 33 saves in the frame. Four came in overtime.
It could have been a different game if it were not for a key first-period save. Oettinger dove across the crease to his right to rob Davies of his ninth goal of the season as he was alone below the circle.
BU bounced back with a 14-shot second period and moved within a goal at the 7:33 mark as freshman Dante Fabbro beat a screen and Northeastern sophomore netminder Ryan Ruck under the arm with a wrister from the right point.
Junior partner Brandon Hickey’s pass across the top of the offensive zone set Fabbro’s sixth goal of the season up.
“We have a really deep team,” Greenway said. “All four lines were going tonight. We had big goals out of (junior Chase) Phelps and Fabbro. Everyone was buzzing, so that really helped us out a lot, and pretty much summed it up.”
The third period saw each team take seven shot, but only Phelps found the back of the net. At 9:28, freshman Patrick Curry found Phelps after winning a puck battle along the wall. Phelps charged down the slot and slid his third goal of the season through Ruck’s five-hole.
Saturday night’s game is ‘do or die’ time for the Huskies; lose, and the season’s over. The Terriers know how hard ending another team’s season will be.
“I thought we were good tonight,” Quinn said. “We’re going to have to be great tomorrow night.”