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BU 2, Providence 1

Terriers make the most of it

Outshot, 40-20, they edge Friars

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
Globe Staff / October 24, 2010

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It took Boston University 12 games to earn its first four victories of 2009-10.

A lot went wrong for the Terriers during that campaign, but they have erased that frustration and are optimistic that although they have a very young squad, there is a multitude of talent that will bring them success this season.

Last night, eighth-ranked BU (4-0-1, 2-0-1 Hockey East) reached the four-victory mark in just five outings, beating Providence College, 2-1, in front of 5,795 at Agganis Arena.

“If you don’t look at the number of shots, I’d say we played a very good game,’’ said BU coach Jack Parker. “When I look up and see we were outshot, 40-20, in our own building, I’m trying to figure out how that happened, but it’s easy when you get seven penalties and give up 14 shots on those seven power plays. Up until this evening, we’d been winning 65 percent of our faceoffs, and . . . we lost 70 percent of our faceoffs.’’

Parker said he was pleased with certain aspects of the Terriers’ play, particularly that of junior goalie Kieran Millan, who made 39 saves, 17 in the third period. Despite giving up so many shots on goal, BU’s defense also blocked 28 attempts.

But BU put itself in a pickle at times. One came at 7:26 of the opening period, when a pair of penalties gave the Friars a two-man advantage for 1 minute, 44 seconds. Providence (1-4-0, 1-2-0) didn’t generate much in the way of offensive chances, and the Terriers were able to kill off the penalties.

The home team struck at 13:59 when sophomore defenseman Ryan Ruikka, who missed the last two seasons because of injuries, potted his first collegiate goal. Alex Chiasson had the puck on the right side and dropped a pass to Ruikka, who was the trailer on the play. Ruikka skated in and, from high between the circles, rattled a shot off the post and past junior goalie Alex Beaudry (18 saves).

It was the first goal for Ruikka since the 2007-08 season, when he was playing for the Jersey Hitmen of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.

“Literally, he got hurt the first day of practice on the ice and was out for the year [in 2008-09],’’ said Parker. “His [second] year, he got hurt the second day of working out with [conditioning coach] Mike Boyle. He never even got on the ice. All you saw him do was rehab, rehab, rehab for two years. I think he’s played extremely well.’’

BU made it 2-0 when Chiasson tallied his first goal of the season at 18:06. Ruikka relayed the puck to freshman Matt Nieto, who was on the left side of the ice in the Providence zone. Nieto missed the net with his attempt, but the puck squirted around the other side to Chiasson, who skated it out from the right corner. He went right to left and patiently waited for Beaudry to commit, then fired the puck on his backhand over the netminder for the two-goal lead.

Providence outshot BU, 15-7, in the scoreless middle period, partly because of the Friars’ two power plays to the Terriers’ none, but they couldn’t solve Millan. That changed for the Friars, who had 18 shots in the third, with eight seconds remaining when sophomore center Aaron Jamnick scored with Beaudry off for an extra attacker.

“I thought we had a lot of guys who contributed and played well,’’ said Friars coach Tim Army. “We’re deeper than we have been, we’ve got more team speed than we’ve had, and we play four lines. I think that’s why we’re able to keep a pretty good pace. We’ve got to stay on it and we’ve got to win some games.’’

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at marrapese@globe.com.