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Junior netminder Kieran Millan made 39 saves for the Terriers
BOSTON, Mass. - Junior Kieran Millan made 39 saves and sophomores Alex Chiasson and Ryan Ruikka each tallied a goal and an assist to lead the No. 8 Boston University men's ice hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Providence on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena. The Terriers improve to 4-0-1 overall - matching their best start over the past 19 seasons - and 2-0-1 in Hockey East play.
Ruikka scored his first collegiate goal 13:59 into the contest and Chiasson added his first of the season just over four minutes later, as the Terriers held on to a 2-0 lead until Providence ended Millan's shutout bid with an extra-attacker goal in the closing seconds.
Providence got its lone goal from sophomore Aaron Jamnick and fell to 1-4-0 overall and 1-2-0 in league play. The Friars doubled up BU in shots by a 40-20 margin and junior goaltender Alex Beaudry made 18 saves.
The Terriers came up empty on three power-play chances, but also did not allow the Friars to convert on any of their seven man-advantage opportunities. BU has now successfully killed off 23 of its opponents' last 24 power plays.
BU's 4-0-1 start is its best since the 2001-02 squad had the same record as part of a 6-0-1 start. The last time the Terriers began a season with a better record was the 1991-92 campaign, when they won their first five contests.
After a slow start on both ends, the Terriers opened the scoring with a goal in transition.
Sophomore Sean Escobedo gained control of the puck in left corner of the BU zone and got it to junior Corey Trivino, who went up the ice and passed off to Chiasson. Ruikka streaked up the left side and took a pass from Chiasson before roofing a wrister from the left edge of the high slot with 6:01 left in the opening period.
Ruikka helped to return the favor soon after as a rebound off his shot was corralled by Chiasson and backhanded past Beaudry at 18:06 of the first. Freshman Matt Nieto earned his first collegiate assist on the play.
Neither team scored a goal in the middle stanza or in the first 19 minutes of the third, but the visitors tested Millan and the BU defense throughout both periods.
With Beaudry pulled in favor of an extra attacker, sophomore Tim Schaller took a shot from the slot that Jamnick redirected between Millan's legs with just eight seconds left in regulation.
The Terriers won the ensuing faceoff, however, and claimed the 2-1 victory to complete a four-point weekend following Friday's 4-3 victory at Massachusetts. BU is now in first place in the league standings with five points in three games.
The Terriers will return to action on Friday (Oct. 29) when they visit UMass Lowell to kick off a weekend home-and-home series with the River Hawks. The Friars will also start a home-and-home series on Friday with a trip to UMass.