ORONO, Maine — Boston University’s Terriers showed no signs of a Beanpot Tournament hangover Friday night.
Sophomore center Colin Wilson scored just 16 seconds into the game and senior right wing Jason Lawrence added two more within the next 8:35 as the Terriers scored on their first three shots on goal en route into a 7-2 victory over the University of Maine Friday night at Alfond Arena.
It was Boston University’s ninth-straight win and its 16th in its last 18 games including a tie.
BU, the nation’s number one ranked team, improved to 23-5-1 overall, and 14-5-1 in Hockey East. Maine fell to 12-14-3 and 7-11-2, respectively. It was BU’s seventh consecutive win over Maine and the Terriers are now 10-0-1 in the last 11 meetings with the Bears.
BU coach Jack Parker said the score wasn’t indicative of the game.
“Maine worked hard in the first period but didn’t score and everything we shot went in,” said Parker. “The shots were just 16 to 15 after two periods [but we were leading 5-1].”
Wilson and Chris Connolly added second-period goals before Maine’s Spencer Abbott got the Bears on the scoreboard with 29 seconds remaining in the period. Abbott’s goal was on the power play.
Wilson opened the scoring by cruising down the right wing and one-timing a Chris Higgins pass over the glove of Maine freshman goalie Scott Darling and into the short-side corner.
Wilson said he was just trying to get his shot on net.
“Everything fell silent. I didn’t even know it went in,” said Wilson.
“He was fumbling the puck at his feet and all of a sudden he shot it,” said Darling.
Just 1:17 later, Maine’s Will O’Neill received a hitting-from-behind penalty and Lawrence capitalized. Brandon Yip circled to the top of the left faceoff circle and snapped a thigh-high wrist shot that Lawrence deflected past Darling.
BU made it 3-0 at the 8:51 mark. Wilson lifted the stick of Maine’s Chris Hahn and stole the puck just outside the Maine zone. He quickly transitioned to offense thus creating a 3-on-2. Wilson slid the puck across to Higgins and Higgins alertly fed it back across the slot where Lawrence had a simple tap-in.
“There’s no way you can spot BU a lead like that,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said.
Maine had its best chance with six minutes left in the first period when Brian Flynn fed an unattended Gustav Nyquist in the middle of the low slot just beyond the crease. Nyquist chipped the puck toward the BU net but freshman goalie Kieran Millan cut down the angle and absorbed the shot in his midsection.
Parker told his team after the first period, “It should be a 1-1 game, so don’t get high on yourselves.” He felt his team felt played much better in the second and third periods.
Wilson wasted little time expanding the lead to 4-0 in the second period as he scored his second goal just 11 seconds after the opening whistle.
Wilson, set up by defensemen Brian Strait and Matt Gilroy, beat Darling with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The wrister snuck between Darling’s body and his right arm.
“It went through a defenseman, but I should’ve had it,” Darling said.
Whitehead called BU’s Wilson “a special player.”
“It felt good [to collect his first college hat trick],” said Wilson. “It was [also] good that they were able to score those early first-period goals and to set the tone [for the rest of the game.]”
Darling was replaced by Dave Wilson at that point, having allowed four goals on six shots after posting a 31-save shutout in his last outing, a 1-0 win over New Hampshire last Saturday.
Darling said he had never given up three goals on the first three shots in his career.
“I just didn’t have my game tonight,” said Darling.
Wilson made a series of good saves upon entering the game. However the Terriers capitalized on the Black Bear turnover with 2:40 left in the second period to make it 5-0.
Maine turned the puck over at its blue line and Nick Bonino quickly fed the puck to Lawrence who was positioned to Wilson’s right. Lawrence calmly held the puck until Connolly broke free between the faceoff dots and Connolly one-timed Lawrence’s feed past a helpless Wilson.
Abbott gave the large crowd something to cheer about when he was able to swat the rebound of a Simon Danis-Pepin shot past Millan.
The Terriers’ Wilson notched his hat trick goal on the power play 1:40 into the third period. Wilson positioned in the faceoff circle to Dave Wilson’s left and one-timed a diagonal pass from Matt Gilroy into the short side. It was Wilson’s first career hat trick.
In a penalty-marred third period, Maine’s Will O’Neill and BU’s Kevin Shattenkirk scored power play goals. Several altercations broke out with Maine’s O’Neill, Jeff Dimmen and Mike Banwell all receiving 5-minute majors and game disqualifications. BU’s Brian Strait also got a 5-minute major and game disqualification.
“That’s not what we’re about and there’s no excuse for that,” said Whitehead.
The teams play again tonight at 7 p.m. The four players who received disqualifications will have to sit out Saturday’s game.
It is the most goals allowed by Maine this season.