BOSTON - The No. 4/5 Boston University men's ice hockey team secured home ice for the Hockey East quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory over No. 17 Vermont on Friday evening at Agganis Arena. Hobey Baker candidate John Curry stopped 22 shots, helping BU stay undefeated in February (5-0-2) and improve to 18-5-9 overall and 13-4-8 in Hockey East play.
Senior Kenny Roche scored on the Terriers' first shot of the game before classmate Tom Morrow added a goal early in the third to make it a 2-0 contest.
The visitors cut the deficit in half when junior Mark Lutz scored his first goal of the season on a power play with 12:17 left in regulation. The Terriers, however, sealed the victory on an empty-netter from sophomore Chris Higgins in the final minute of play.
Vermont, which got a 12-save performance from junior Joe Fallon, falls to 16-13-4 on the year with a 11-9-4 conference mark.
BU's forecheck helped it take an early lead, as junior Bryan Ewing and sophomore Jason Lawrence battled for the puck before Roche potted his 11th goal of the season just 1:41 into the contest.
After neither team scored in the middle period, the Terriers doubled their lead on a goal in transition at the 4:30 mark of the third. Freshman Zach Cohen slid the puck to Ewing, who entered the UVM zone and attacked the net. Morrow trailed on the play, and after the puck was deflected, the defenseman was positioned just inside the left circle to send home his second goal of the year.
Vermont had the only power-play chance for either team in the third and took full advantage of it. Two perfect passes from sophomores Peter Lenes and Dean Strong set up a good look from the slot for Lutz, who beat Curry high on the glove side to make it a 2-1 affair at the 7:43 mark.
Curry, who stopped the first 17 shots he saw, also stopped all six shots after Lutz's tally. Higgins empty-netter sealed the victory, pushing the Terriers' undefeated streak to eight games.
Despite being held to a season-low 15 shots, the Terriers secured their first home win in over a month and can finish no lower than third in the Hockey East standings.
Vermont and BU will close out their weekend series on Saturday at Agganis Arena beginning at 7 p.m.