Men’s Hockey: Rookie’s struggles symbolize Husky loss

There are very few games when a team can give up four goals and still come away with a victory. When the opposing team is Boston University and the setting is the Beanpot Tournament, the odds shrink to nearly impossible.

The Huskies were no exception in Monday’s first-round game at the TD Banknorth Garden, and rookie goalie Brad Thiessen epitomized Northeastern’s struggles in the 4-0 loss.

The freshman made eight saves in the first period to keep the game scoreless, while the Terriers’ senior netminder John Curry turned away 11 shots.

In the second period the momentum shifted and in less then a minute Thiessen had given up two goals.

“The tide changed,” said Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin. “BU started to come on in waves. You could sense on the bench that there was a sluggishness that was hard to describe.”

The defense left Terrier forward Pete MacArthur alone on the far post, where he collected a pass from Chris Higgins and buried it in the back of the net. Thiessen lunged for the save, but the defense had failed him.

If the first goal didn’t rattle the rookie enough, less than a minute later Terrier assistant captain Kenny Roche beat NU defenseman Andrew Linard to take on Thiessen one-on-one. He nearly lost the puck but got it back and fired it past Thiessen at 9:47.

Thiessen gave up two nearly perfect goals, but made 20 saves through the first two periods to keep the Huskies in the game.

With the deficit stuck at two, Thiessen made a mental mistake that shifted the little momentum the Huskies had left.

Thiessen moved out of the crease to play a puck up to his teammates, but with Boston University junior Dan McGoff coming at him he passed it directly into his own goal, making it 3-0 Terriers.

“That was strange,” Cronin said. “It was like slow motion. He had the puck for about three seconds, and McGoff kept coming on him; I thought he was going to move the puck up to our bench right away. I don’t know if he got confused with the defenseman who was coming at him as well. But Thiessen played a heck of a game. It would’ve been 4-0 after the second period if not for him.”

Thiessen finished the game with 33 saves and kept the lethargic Huskies in the game for as long as he could. But his performance faltered next to Curry’s nation-leading sixth shutout of the season.

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