BOSTON – Freshman Eric Gryba tallied an unassisted goal with 1:24 left in regulation to push the Boston University men’s ice hockey team to a 3-2 victory over New Brunswick in an exhibition contest on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena. Senior Eric Thomassian recorded a goal and an assist for the Terriers, who will open their 2006-07 regular season with a road contest at Rensselaer on Saturday, Oct. 14.
The Terriers led 2-1 after the first period behind goals from Thomassian and sophomore BrandonYip and it looked as if that would end up being the final score. A scoreless middle period yielded just one shot on goal for the Varsity Reds before a competitive third period came down to the final minutes.
UNB took advantage of BU’s seventh penalty of the evening, as an interference call with 4:08 left in regulation led to the visitors’ second power-play goal of the contest. Dustin Friesen sent home a rebound off a shot by Brad Efthimiou to knot the score at the 17:21 mark.
However, Gryba made the most of his Agganis debut and prevented overtime when he collected a puck just inside the right circle and fired away. The shot went between the legs of UNB netminder Reg Bourcier, who appeared to lose his balance as the puck approached the goal.
Thomassian was the difference maker in the first period, scoring the first goal before earning the first assist on BU’s second tally. Just over three minutes into the contest, the senior charged the net and took full advantage of a rebound off a shot by junior Brian McGuirk. Thomassian stopped just shy of the cage and got just enough of his stick on the loose puck to slip it past UNB’s starting netminder, Michael Ouzas, at the 3:21 mark.
A power-play tally by New Brunswick’s Colin Sinclair just over four minutes after Thomassian’s tally tied the contest, but Thomassian helped to ensure a lead for the home team entering the first intermission. With less than three minutes left in the opening stanza, Thomassian collected a pass from sophomore Matt Gilroy and fired a puck that hit the pipe. Yip gathered the rebound and took two hacks at the puck before blasting the latter effort to the net to help the Terriers regain a 2-1 edge.
Each of the Terriers’ three goaltenders played one period in the exhibition. Senior John Curry made eight saves in the first period, junior Karson Gillespie stopped the only shot he faced in the second, and freshman Brett Bennett recorded six saves. Ouzas made 24 saves before being relieved by Bourcier midway though the second period. Bourcier stopped 13 Terrier shots.