Oksanen scores two as Boston University beats Connecticut

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Boston University utilized its special teams play en route to a 5-2 victory over Connecticut on Saturday.

A fortunate bounce for BU onto Ahti Oksanen’s stick put them up early in the first period. Although the shots might have shown 12-7 in favor of UConn in the opening period, the play was one-way traffic in Boston University’s favor. The Terriers possessed the puck for most of the period, but UConn’s effective shot blocking kept them within one after 20 minutes.

The second period had similar results. Boston University struck just 4:11 into the period, again on a power play. Cason Hohmann deflected Brandon Hickey’s bomb from the point by UConn goaltender Rob Nichols (25 saves), giving BU a 2-0 edge. The Terriers had to kill off consecutive penalties midway through the period, but kept the score 2-0 after two.

Boston University kept the momentum going into the third period, as Nick Roberto scored just 2:37 in. A packed house of 7,712 was dead silent as the Terriers opened up a 3-0 lead.

“A huge third goal,” Terriers coach David Quinn said. “When you go to the net like that and get rewarded. We had a lot more grit and grind to our game tonight.”

Despite being down 3-0 to the No. 3 team in the country, the Huskies weren’t ready to stop fighting. Cory Sharib banged in a rebound past BU goalie Matt O’Connor (20 saves) with 12:11 left to play in the game. Just 57 seconds later, UConn struck again when Corey Ronan beat O’Connor. Suddenly, the building had life as UConn trailed only 3-2.

“When it went 3-0 I was really proud of the effort our kids showed,” said UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh. “You’re playing the No. 3 team in the country, and they score on the third shift of the third period, and you think a lot of teams may wilt or may fold. We didn’t; we came right at them and got that goal.”

The Huskies’ momentum was short-lived. Boston University freshman standout Jack Eichel created a scoring chance for his team that Danny O’Regan buried into an open net, sealing the deal. The Terriers added an empty-netter for a 5-2 margin.