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BU shellacks BC with Conte shutout

BOSTON -- Boston College hockey coach Jerry York will have to wait at least two more games to even the score with his longtime friend and rival, Boston University's Jack Parker.

The Eagles came into Sunday's matinee against BU with a chance to bring their coach level in the head-to-head competition between the two legends. Instead, the Terriers, still stinging from Friday's gut-wrenching 3-2 home loss to Merrimack (who may well rise to No. 1 in the country on Monday), rallied behind some timely goal-scoring, superb goaltending and stout penalty killing to hand the nation's No. 2 team its worst loss of the season, 5-0, before 7,884 at BC's Conte Forum.

"We did not play well enough to win that game tonight," York said. "BU outworked us. They won the puck battles, and that's not a good recipe."

As a result of what Parker called his team's "best effort of the year," the BU coach walked away from Chestnut Hill with a 35-33-8 record against York at their respective schools. It was also Parker's 857th career win, inching him closer to York, who is the active Division 1 leader with 889.

But Parker has always maintained that the games are about the players, and on Sunday the Terriers were by far the better squad.

"The way we played tonight was the way BU hockey is supposed to be played," BU senior goaltender Kieran Millan said.

The opportunistic Terriers (4-4-1; 3-3-1 Hockey East) built a 4-0 lead through two periods, despite being outshot 31-23, and then put the locks on in the third, recording their first shutout win over the Eagles (9-3-0; 7-2-0 HE) since March 1, 1983.

"I thought we responded real well to that heartbreaker on Friday," BU captain Chris Connolly said. "If we can harness that energy going forward, we'll really make some strides."

The Terriers literally burst out of the gate, scoring on their first shift, and first shot, of the game. Corey Trivino, trailing in the high slot on the odd-man rush, took a pass from defender Sean Escobedo off the left wall and blistered a wrist shot that beat BC's Parker Miler low glove side at 54 seconds.

"Obviously, it was a really solid effort from start to finish," Parker said, adding that his squad's quick start was crucial. "The game-changer was killing the penalties in the first period."

The match quickly turned chippy, leading to a tightly officiated first period (eight penalties -- five for BU, three for BC). That opened the door for the Eagles.

"We had three successive power plays, a chance to get back into it," York said. "We had excellent puck movement, but we didn't have that attack mentality. We didn't take it to the net."

A hooking penalty on BC's Kevin Hayes at 18:48 gave the Terriers another opportunity, and they took full advantage. BU's Wade Megan collected the puck behind the net from Connolly and attempted a wraparound on Milner. The BC goalie appeared to have the post covered, but the puck popped over his left shoulder and dropped just over the goal line for a 2-0 BU lead at 19:14.

"To come out of that period 2-0 was surprising," Millan said. "Our penalty killing was phenomenal."

A period-ending scrum led to a BC power play to start the middle stanza, but again the Eagles couldn't cash in. BC captain Tommy Cross drilled a wide-open wrister over the net, and Millan denied Barry Almeida at the doorstep with a sprawling left pad stop.

And the misses kept coming for the Eagles. At 8:03, defender Brian Dumoulin squandered a glorious bid when he opted to pass instead of shooting on a 3-on-1 break, allowing BU's Sahir Gill to break up the play.

"Grade A opportunities are hard to get," York said, admitting his Eagles weren't able to capitalize on those chances. "We have to address that."

The final straw, though, may have been a BC 2-on-0 shorthanded bid at 9:25, when Eagles defender Patch Alber fired the puck almost a foot wide. Moments later, Cross was whistled for boarding, and the Terriers went up 3-0 on the ensuing two-man advantage. BU's Adam Clendening found teammate Alex Chiasson alone at the left faceoff dot and feathered a cross-ice pass that the junior from Quebec roofed past a diving Milner at 9:58.

Millan, whom Parker lauded for his solid play despite absorbing the loss on Friday, kept the Eagles caged, robbing Chris Kreider with a nifty glove save at 12:10. The Terriers stretched their lead to 4-0 at 15:42 when Charlie Coyle, parked behind the BC net, flicked a pass to Matt Nieto in front, and the BU sophomore buried the puck behind Milner before the BC goalie could move.

The score could have gotten out of hand before the end of the second, but Milner produced a sparkling glove stop to rob Trivino in front after it appeared he had been deked out of the net. Millan again stood strong at the end of the second, blocking two quality BC bids in the crease.

"I thought the guys in the period wanted to bear down for him because he's done so much for us," said BU's Connolly of Millan, a four-year starter for the Terriers.

The final period featured more rough stuff, which figured in a game with twice as many "hitting after the whistle" penalties (10) than goals. But the Terriers didn't put a skate wrong, and Megan iced the win with his second of the game, an unassisted shorthanded strike at 18:22. The junior broke in alone and calmly fired the puck between Milner's legs.

When the final whistle blew, the Terriers took a moment to offer a stick salute to their fans who had traveled up the road for the game. Round 1 of the intracity rivalry, and local bragging rights, had gone to the visitors.

"You've got to credit BU, coming into our building" and dictating the play, York said. "It's hard to look up and see 5-0 on the board."