BOSTON - Senior John Curry stopped 29 shots to post a school record-tying 13th career shutout, as the No. 8 Boston University men's ice hockey team earned a 2-0 victory over Vermont on Friday evening at Agganis Arena to force a third and decisive game in its Hockey East quarterfinal series with the Catamounts. A trip to the conference semifinals will be on the line when the teams meet on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Junior Pete MacArthur got the Terriers on the board midway through the second and freshman Brian Strait added an insurance goal with just over six minutes left in regulation to help BU improve to 19-8-9 on the year.
Vermont, which opened the series with a 3-2 victory on Thursday, fell to 18-15-5 and got a 23-save performance from junior Joe Fallon.
Curry's shutout was his seventh of the season - tops among Division I netminders - and tied BU's career mark of 13 held by Jack Ferreira '66. It was also Curry's third straight 2-0 shutout in a elimination game during the league quarterfinals. In 2005, the Terriers opened their quarterfinal series versus Providence with a 4-1 loss, before Curry, then a sophomore, blanked the Friars by a score of 2-0 on back-to-back nights.
Despite a scoreless first period, the Terriers put together one of their best periods of the year, setting up numerous chances and outshooting the visitors, 15-5.
Vermont controlled the shot differential the rest of the way by a 24-10 margin over the final two periods. However, BU took full advantage of their first power-play opportunity of the night following a tripping call on Vermont's Mark Lutz at the 9:44 of the second.
Sophomore Chris Higgins deflected a UVM clearing attempt along the left boards before classmate Brandon Yip knocked down the puck just inside the blue line and sent it across the ice to MacArthur. Upon receiving the puck, the junior blasted a slapshot to the back of the net at the 10:59 mark.
Curry had to work for his shutout in the third, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the final stanza, including an impressive point-blank stop on a Corey Carlson shot with just over 11 minutes remaining. He later watched his team get a little breathing room when Strait notched his third goal of the season with 6:08 left in regulation.
Just seconds after a Vermont penalty expired, junior Bryan Ewing dove for a puck along the right side, enabling sophomore Jason Lawrence to feed Strait at the right point. The freshman blueliner wristed a high shot that eluded Fallon and gave the Terriers their first multi-goal lead at home in over three months (excluding a 3-1 victory over Vermont on Feb. 23 that was aided by a last-minute empty-netter), as BU last had such a cushion in a 4-2 win over Providence on Dec. 8.