BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Junior Jake Oettinger made 39 saves and sophomore Ty Amonte scored the game-winner early in the third period to lift the Boston University men's ice hockey team to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over UConn in the opening round of the 2018 Friendship Four tournament on Friday evening at SSE Arena.
BU erased deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 with goals from junior Patrick Curry and sophomore Logan Cockerill. Amonte scored at 2:39 of the third and Oettinger made 16 of his saves in the final period to help the Terriers advance to Saturday's championship game against No. 11/12 Union.
The Terriers improved to 4-5-1 overall and 4-3-1 in Hockey East play. UConn moves to 5-7-1 with a 2-6-1 league mark.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- UConn got the first power play of the game and took full advantage of it as Karl El-Mir potted a rebound 5:20 into the contest.
- BU got an equalizer on the latter of back-to-back power plays thanks to Curry cleaning up a rebound in the slot at the 14:46 mark of the first.
- Jachym Kondelik gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission when he cleaned up a rebound off a point blast by Philip Nyberg with exactly two minutes left in the opening period.
- Oettinger didn't allow a goal from there on out, stopping the final 29 shots he faced to allow the Terrier offense to complete the comeback win.
- The Terriers once again drew even midway through the second as junior Patrick Harper picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and had a wraparound bid denied before Cockerill popped the rebound over UConn netminder Adam Huska at the right crease.
- The game-winner came on a second effort by Amonte as the sophomore punched in the puck at the left crease on helpers from freshmen Mark Cheremeta and Hugo Blixt with 17:21 left in regulation.
- The Terriers gave the Huskies a great chance at a late equalizer with penalties 57 seconds apart on the back end of the third but the penalty kill and Oettinger were up to the task.
- Amonte's goal was his first since last season's Hockey East semifinal victory over Boston College.
- Freshman Mark Cheremeta assisted on BU's first and third goals to pick up his first collegiate points.
- Blixt's assist was also his first collegiate point and graduate student Max Willman picked up his first point as a Terrier with a helper on Curry's tally.
- This was the fourth straight BU/UConn meeting that was decided by a single goal.
- Including the postseason, the Terriers have won the opening game in each of the past seven tournaments they have competed in.
- Huska made 27 saves for the Huskies, who held a 41-30 shot advantage.
- BU went 1-of-2 on the power play and held UConn scoreless on its final four power plays after the initial goal.
- BU will look to capture the "Belpot" title on Saturday when it faces No. 11/12 Union at 2 p.m. ET.
- The game will be televised on NESNplus and streamed on ESPN+ and TSN Direct.
- The previous winners of the Friendship Four tournament were UMass Lowell (2015), Vermont (2016) and Clarkson (2017).