As a capacity crowd rose to their feet and chants of “Let’s Go Bulldogs!” resounded through the Whale, just five minutes separated the Bulldogs from a tie with No. 5 Boston University.
But then Jack Baker struck.
Baker, a Terrier winger, skated by a fatigued Joe Callahan ’05 and wristed a low shot past the glove side of goaltender Dan Lombard ’02 as BU (6-0-1) beat Yale (1-2-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) 4-3.
The win was the Terrier’s third consecutive overtime triumph this year,
Each squad had seven different players contribute to its respective offensive efforts. Wingers Evan Wax ’03 and Ryan Trowbridge ’05 and captain Luke Earl ’02 all tallied goals for the Bulldogs, while wingers Frantisek Skladany, Mike Pandolfo, Mark Mullen and Baker all found the back of the net for the Terriers.
Standing in for starting BU goaltender Sean Fields was Jason Tapp, who had 23 saves. Tapp saw his first playing time since last season’s quarterfinal series against Providence College.
Tapp proved unbeatable in net during the extra frame, and the Terriers scored the game winning goal 3:28 into overtime.
Callahan, who was caught up ice seconds earlier, could not get off for a line change at the end of an unusually long shift when Baker came charging toward the Eli net.
Head coach Tim Taylor was happy with his team’s performance.
“We did a heck of a job forechecking,” head coach Tim Taylor said. “The game could have gone either way.”
If the Bulldogs had a chance to make the game go their way, that chance came 11:49 into the third period with the score knotted at three. BU defenseman Freddy Meyer went to the penalty box for holding 32 seconds after Earl drew a BU penalty for interference in front of the Terrier’s crease.
With a two-man advantage, defenseman Jeff Dwyer ’04 ran the power play from the point. Shot after shot either glanced off the side of the net or landed in front of Tapp, only to be swatted away or trickle through the legs of a charging Yale winger.
“The first period was pretty much ours; the second period was pretty much theirs,” Terrier head coach Jack Parker said. “The turning point was killing the two-man advantage.”
In the first period, the Bulldogs looked sluggish as they struggled to match BU’s speed. After two minutes of end-to-end play, Skladany scored for the Terriers.
“We got caught flat-footed a lot in the first period,” center Vin Hellemeyer said.
Although the Bulldogs were unable to repeat last season’s early dramatic upsets over then-ranked No.1 Boston College and then-ranked No. 3 New Hampshire, taking Boston University to overtime was an accomplishment in itself. The Bulldogs were projected to finish at the bottom of the ECAC, defenseman Brian Freeman said.
“We really thought we were with them the whole way,” Freeman said. “We showed tonight that we can play with any team in the country.”
With their overtime loss behind them, the Bulldogs will re-enter ECAC competition for a weekend of games against Dartmouth Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and the University of Vermont Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. Both games will be at the New Haven Coliseum, where the Bulldogs expect to rebound from last night’s loss.
“I don’t think [the loss to BU] will break our back,” said Lombard, who had 20 saves against the Terriers. “We just have to focus now on getting points in the ECAC.”
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