BOSTON, Mass. - For the second straight night, the No. 2 Boston University men's ice hockey team dropped a 4-3 home contest to No. 15 Vermont, as the Catamounts completed the weekend sweep on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena. Faced with a 3-1 deficit, freshman Chris Connolly and senior Brandon Yip scored for the Terriers to tie the game, but senior Corey Carlson netted the game-winning goal in the third for Vermont.
Carlson, junior Viktor Stalberg and sophomore Dan Lawson each recorded a goal and an assist for the Catamounts, who got a 32-save performance from junior Mike Spillane and improved to 7-3-2 overall and 4-3-1 in conference play.
Just over eight minutes into the third, Carlson broke a 3-3 tie with a wrister from the right side in transition off a set-up by Lawson. The goal stood up the rest of the way and the Catamounts became the first team in 16 years to pull off a weekend sweep on BU's home ice.
Senior Chris Higgins opened the scoring with his team-leading seventh goal of the season and sophomores Colin Wilson and Colby Cohen each earned two assists on the night for the Terriers, who fell to 7-4-0 on the year with an even 4-4-0 Hockey East mark.
Freshman Kieran Millan made a career-best 28 saves in goal for the Terriers, who held a 35-32 shot advantage. BU came up empty on all three of its power-play chances while allowing the Catamounts to go 2-of-3 with the man advantage.
Higgins got the Terriers on the board first at 10:55 of the first when he followed up a rebound at the right crease off his own redirect that originated from an offering at the top of the zone from sophomore Kevin Shattenkirk. Wilson also assisted on the play. Stalberg started a run of three straight Vermont goals off a shorthanded breakaway with a delayed penalty less than two minutes after Higgins' tally.
Sophomore Josh Burrows blocked a Terrier pass and the puck made its way to junior Colin Vock, who sent a lead pass up the ice for Stalberg. After winning a race to the puck, Stalberg drew a penalty, and even though he misfired as he approached the crease, the puck ended up eluding Millan and sneaking just inside the left post at 12:20. Following a cross-checking call on Yip late in the first, the Catamounts converted on the ensuing power play to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Lawson gathered a rebound following a saved shot by Carlson and fired the puck to the top right of the goal from the left circle with exactly a minute left in the period.
Another power-play goal completed the three-goal run for the visitors, as sophomore Justin Milo's second effort from the right edge of the slot got past Millan just 1:18 into the middle stanza. Stalberg fed Milo from the right corner and junior Brian Roloff also assisted on the tally.
Faced with a 3-1 deficit the Terriers battled back, beginning with an impressive effort from their penalty kill following an interference call to freshman Vinny Saponari at 12:01 of the second.
After sophomore Kevin Shattenkirk dumped the puck from the BU zone, the other three Terriers on the kill invaded the other end to set up a great scoring chance. Cohen moved the puck to the left side, where Wilson collected it and sent it to Connolly, who got to the right post just in time to beat Spillane at 13:13.
The Terriers continued to put on the pressure throughout the second and into the third, where they tied it up just 1:13 into the period. Cohen started a rush with a lead pass to senior co-captain John McCarthy along the left boards. From the left circle, McCarthy sent a puck towards the net that glazed off Spillane's pads but Yip was instant to the rebound and knocked it in to tie the game.
BU nearly took the lead just over a minute after the Yip goal when a shot by Connolly from the left circle got a piece of Spillane and trickled behind the netminder, but sophomore Chris Atksinson lunged in to flick the puck out just before it crossed the line.
Carlson provided the heroics for the visitors at 8:07 and the Terriers' chances the rest of the way were few and far between. Despite pulling Millan for over a minute in the final stages, the Terriers were unable to force overtime.