BOSTON - Thanks to a strong opening period and a 37-save performance by sophomore Matt O'Connor, the Boston University men's ice hockey posted a 3-1 victory over No. 14/15 North Dakota on Friday evening in the opener of a weekend series at Agganis Arena. The Terriers move to an even 6-6-0 on the year with the win.
O'Connor turned aside all but one of North Dakota's 38 shots to help the BU defense keep the UND offense at bay.
Junior Cason Hohmann opened the scoring midway through the first period before leaving the game with an injury.
BU got a power-play goal from sophomore Danny O'Regan later in the first before freshman Kevin Duane added another tally on the man advantage to push the lead to 3-0 early in the third. Senior Garrett Noonan assisted on both of BU's first-period goals.
UND (4-6-1) ended O'Connor's shutout bid with 2:36 left in regulation on a goal by sophomore Rocco Grimaldi.
The Terriers converted on two out of seven man-advantage opportunities while successfully killing off both UND power plays. North Dakota held a slim 38-37 edge in shots.
Hohmann's tally came at the 9:14 mark, as his wrister in transition from the left circle beat UND goaltender Clarke Saunders. A pass from sophomore Matt Lane sprung Hohmann up the left side and Noonan also earned an assist on the play.
The lead was doubled with 2:45 left in the opening stanza when O'Regan poked in a rebound at the left post following a shot by Noonan. The puck barely crossed the goal line before Saunders covered it up and a video review upheld the goal call on the ice.
Neither team was able to score in the second, although a BU goal was wiped off in the period following another replay where it was ruled that sophomore Mike Moran redirected a shot with a high stick.
BU capitalized on an elbowing call on UND's Drake Caggiula early in the third. A shot from the point by sophomore Matt Grzelcyk was tipped by freshman Nick Roberto before being saved by Saunders. The rebound, however, made its way to Duane, who backhanded the puck to the back of the net from the right circle at 4:59.
The teams will close out the series on Saturday (Nov. 23). The game, which starts at 7 p.m., will be broadcast live by NESN.