Spartans Can't Solve Terriers in 1-0 Loss
Jake Hildebrand makes 39 saves in the loss.
Spartan netminder Jake Hildebrand stopped 39 of the 40 shots sent his way, while BU goaltender Matt O'Connor made 29 saves in the shutout effort. Fourteen of O'Connor's 29 saves came in the final period when the Spartans (1-2) mounted heavy pressure on the Terriers, but couldn't break through.
"It was certainly an entertaining game. There were lots of shots and great saves - not a lot of goals, but a lot of scoring chances within the game," MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "I thought we played hard and weathered some storms and the goaltending was excellent at both ends of the rink.
"I was happy with our effort, just disappointed in the result."
BU (2-0) generated a majority of the scoring opportunities from the outset, but several stops by Hildebrand on shots from deep in the MSU end kept it a scoreless game.
"With it being their home opener, we expected them to come out with energy and we hung in there," Anastos said. "I didn't think we played a complete 60 minutes, but as the game went on we got better."
The lone goal came in the first minute of the second period when Okanen got the puck in the right circle and lifted a backhander over Hildebrand's shoulder while cutting toward the net.
Both teams had power play opportunities as the second period progressed but the Spartans' best scoring chances came in the later stages of the stanza at even strength. Hard work by MSU in the BU corners led to several quality shots below the hash marks, but O'Connor was able to locate the puck each time, keeping it a 1-0 game.
A turnover and chipped puck in the neutral zone led to a breakaway for the Terriers' Danny O'Regan less than a minute into the third period, but Hildebrand stuffed O'Regan as he tried to jam the puck in on the right side.
Following Hildebrand's breakaway stop, the Spartans' offensive momentum from the end of the second period kicked back in as MSU outshot the Terriers, 14-9, in the third period.
Helped by a power play, MSU kept the puck in the BU zone for the majority of the game's final minutes but could not find the back of the net.
"I thought we got some good looks," said Anastos. "They made it difficult to get shots through and packed it in there pretty well."
MSU finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play, while BU went 0-for-5.
The Spartans will look to bounce back tomorrow night when they take the short trip to UMass-Lowell to face the No. 8/7 River Hawks at 7 p.m.