For Terriers and their fans, it’s a banner night
They didn’t come to see Boston University take on the US Under-18 national team. They didn’t come to see how the freshmen look and where they will fit into the 2009-10 landscape. They didn’t come to see an exhibition game. The real motivation for the 5,403 fans who came to Agganis Arena last night was to celebrate not what they’re hoping will happen this season, but what already has occurred.
Last night, the Terriers and their fans watched a video presentation of the 2008-09 team’s vast achievements and then cheered as five banners were raised to the rafters in the rink named after their veteran coach - Jack Parker. The first four, which were white with red lettering, represented the school’s Beanpot victory, the Hockey East regular-season title, the Hockey East championship, and reaching the NCAA Frozen Four. The fifth, which was red with white lettering, was to commemorate the NCAA title.
The ceremony had originally been scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Terriers’ first regular-season home game against Notre Dame, but the school elected to move it up so there would be more time to properly introduce the banners and so this year’s team could put the festivities behind it and focus on trying to repeat.
“It was nicely done,’’ said Parker, after his team skated to a 3-2 victory. “I certainly wanted to do it on this night instead of the game after UMass when the season had already started. I was real happy with the crowd. A lot of banners went up and that’s pretty nice.’’
Against the US Under-18 squad, BU fell behind at 2:01 of the first period when defenseman Justin Faulk’s shot from the left point eluded goalie Kieran Millan during a five-on-three advantage. But the Terriers tallied a pair to take the lead heading into the first intermission. Junior center Nick Bonino scored on a wraparound at the right post at 12:07 and sophomore left wing Chris Connolly connected on goalie Jack Campbell (39 saves) from the right circle during a power play at 17:55.
The US team rallied to tie it at 10:54 of the second on a power-play goal by right wing Brandon Saad, but junior right wing Joe Pereira popped in a shot from the left circle to the short side with 8.9 seconds left in the period to give BU the lead for good. BU netminder Adam Kraus made several strong stops in the third period.
The Terriers open the regular season Friday at UMass. Parker said the players should now be focused on where they’re going, not where they have been.
“I don’t think we’re anything but a hockey team trying to find out who we are this year,’’ he said.