Monday, October 3, 2011
Grading the Terriers: Pre-Season Edition
Well that was ugly.
In their first on-ice action of the 2011-2012 campaign, the BU Terriers men's hockey team looked rusty in a 6-4 loss to St. Francis-Xavier on Saturday night. While the score shows a somewhat tight contest, the game was never really in doubt - SFX led by as much as 5-0 before Ben Rosen potted BU's first goal of the game early in the third period.
In a new segment I'm trying out this year, I'll be grading the Terriers after each weekend of play on your standard A to F scale. Hopefully I'll be handing out more A's than F's...
Much like the rest of the team on Saturday, the forwards looked rough early and turned it on as the game progressed. Junior Wade Megan was easily the best forward on the ice for BU, potting two third period goals and playing all around solid hockey. After Megan, though, there wasn't too much to write home about. Justin Courtnall and Kevin Gilroy both played decent, but not great. Chiasson, Trivino and Connolly all tallied assists in the game, but we need more on the defensive side out of those guys for this team to be successful. Sophomore Charlie Coyle had an assist as well, but that was easily washed out by his team worst -3 on ice. Fellow sophomore Matt Nieto was barely noticeable out there, not a good sign for somebody who is supposed to be a difference maker. Freshmen Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann both looked as one would expect for two kids playing in their first collegiate game - a little tentative and shaky. Hopefully the on-ice experience of Saturday night will show itself as the season progresses.
Where to begin...
Quite honestly, none of the 7 defensemen who played on Saturday night looked good. If I had to choose one who was slightly better than the rest, it would probably be Ben Rosen, the junior defenseman turned forward turned defenseman again. He started the Terriers scoring off with a quick wrister early in the 3rd, was +1 for the game, and never really looked out of place defensively. Beyond Rosen, however, the rest of the d-core was pretty weak. If they weren't getting burned on a bad pinch or simply being out of place, they were committing penalties which put the X-Men on the power play (of the 7 penalties called on BU, 6 were attributed to defensemen). Freshmen Alexx Privitera was the worst of the bunch, committing two penalties and looking simply lost on the ice. While he did tally a goal in the 3rd, he was easily the worst of the bunch. Sophomore and BSRS favorite Garrett Noonan also did not impress against SFX, committing a slashing penalty and attempting to do too much with the puck almost every time it came to rest upon his stick. While the goalie is often blamed when goals are scored, a good chunk of the blame for Saturday night's thrashing has to be placed on the D.
The only way to describe the goaltending performance of Kieran Millan on Saturday night is "ugly". While Kieran posted strong numbers in his junior season and stole a number of games for the Terriers throughout the season, he took a giant step backwards against SFX. Allowing 5 goals on the 17 shots he faced, Kieran looked overmatched and out of place. While the D-men in front of him certainly did let him down a number of times, at the end of the day it is Kieran's job to stop the puck - and he couldn't get the job done on Saturday.
Fellow Senior Grant Rollheiser played the 3rd period for the Terriers, stopping all 7 shots he faced in 17:37 of ice time. If Millan continues to look shaky as the first weeks of the season pass, look for Rollie the Goalie to perhaps get a shot in net.
GRADE: Millan - D; Rollheiser - B+
Posted by George Washington at 9:33 AM