BOSTON, Mass. – UConn freshman Max Letunov (Moscow, Russia) scored a pair of goals but the Boston University Terriers posted a pair of third period power play goals on the way to a 4-2 win at Agganis Arena in the Hockey East opener for both clubs Saturday afternoon.
Letunov scored his team leading fourth and fifth goals of the season in the loss that evens the Huskies record at 2-2-0 overall (0-1-0 HEA). The No. 7/8 nationally ranked Terriers got goals from four different players with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Brandon Fortunato each scoring a goal and picking up an assist in the win.
UConn junior goaltender Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) made a season-high 29 saves. BU held a 33-18 edge on shots including 15-3 in the third period. UConn finished 0-for-4 on the power play while the Terriers were 2-for-5 with the extra skater.
The first period got off to a fast paced start with the Huskies pushing the action. The Terriers came up just shy of the night’s first goal as senior Ahti Oksanen rang the post twice on their first power play. The Huskies also came-up empty on their first power play but BU prevented the game from going into the first break scoreless with a goal at 17:29. Nichols made a pair of stops but freshman Ryan Cloonan was able to chip a loose puck near the left post just over his pad for his second of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies got three power plays in the second period but came up empty on each. Freshman Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) had a great look on the Huskies first extra man chance of the second, firing one low of the outside of the left post just missing tying the game up at 1-1.
UConn would pull the game even at 4:48 of the second as Letunov found the back of the net for the fourth time in as many games this season. The Huskies broke the puck out with Thompson carrying into the zone on the right wing. He lost the puck but senior Kyle Huson (Parker, Colo.) found it and chipped it up to a streaking Letunov who collected and shoveled a back-hander past the glove of Maguire to knot the game at 1-1.
The Terriers came out flying to start the third and got their first power play at 4:52. BU capitalized just 58 seconds later as Forsbacka Karlsson worked a little give and go with Danny O’Regan on the left wing, getting in the puck back right in the slot to bury a wrister for a 2-1 lead. UConn’s Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) was called for a 5-minute major at 6:38 and the Terriers took advantage again.
Senior Ahti Oksanen dug a puck out of a scrum in front and shoveled a pass over to Fortunato at the right post who put it home for a 3-1 lead at 8:50.
The Huskies pulled Nichols with just over a minute left for the extra skater and they pulled within 3-2 with 23.6 seconds left. UConn forced the puck to the net where Letunov swept in to clean up a rebound at the right post for his second of the night. The Terriers put it out of reach off the ensuing face-off as Brandon Hickey put home the empty netter to produce the 4-2 final.
The Huskies and Terriers will close out their season series on Tuesday night from the XL Center in downtown Hartford. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05 pm. The game will be the first broadcast of the season on the UConn IMG Audio Network on WTIC 1080, the flag Huskies flagship station.
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