Sunday, October 14, 2012

Providence College Week 1 Recap

And the regular season is finally underway. Last night at Agganis, the Terriers defeated the visiting Friars from Providence College to the tune of 4-2. While we got a preview of the team in last week’s 5-0 beatdown on the boys from America’s Hat, this game was highly anticipated as the first real test of a very young team against a conference opponent.

Ryan Ruikka starting the scoring with a goal from the center point.  Cason Hohmann carried the puck up the boards from the corner of the offensive zone and hit Ruikka with a sweet saucer pass past a lunging PC stick. Ruikka’s high shot from the point at 7:52 into the first period found its way past highly regarded PC freshman goalie Jon Gillies, who couldn’t track the shot through a great Wade Megan screen.

Freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor looked very calm and comfortable in net for the Terriers. Seven minutes after Ruikka’s goal (the first D-man to score the first goal of the BU hockey season since Kevin Shattenkirk in ‘08...I’m old), Friar sophomore Ross Mauermann would tie the game with a skillful deflection on a point shot that beat O’Connor. The zebras missed a high sticking call on PC just before goal, which could easily have frustrated the younger Terriers and thrown them off their game. O’Connor in particular kept his composure well, putting up good numbers for the rest of the game. PC would take the lead early in the second period as Paul de Jersey (aka Paulie D...what a tool) put home a soft goal on a rebound opportunity. This goal was stoppable by OC, but the defense also needs to take responsibility for failing to clear the puck out and/or tie up the sticks of Friars crashing the net. Tough goal to let up, and with BU down 2-1 early in the second period, fans in scarlet and white watched eagerly to see how the new guys would respond, trailing in a game for their first time at BU.

We weren’t disappointed, as Cason Hohmann tallied another assist to tie the game, this time feeding Garrett Noonan (¡SIR NOOÑAN!) for a shot through traffic that found the net. A few minutes later, freshman Matt Grzelcyk would gain the zone with speed and find Evan Rodriguez cutting through the slot. E-Rod connected with Hohmann on a very nifty drop pass. Hohmann beat Gillies with a high wrister as the PC tender seemed to be caught anticipating a pass instead of a shot. Hohmann had another excellent performance and his line with E-Rod and Wade Megan will definitely be fun to watch this year. The two quick goals came shortly after the Agganis Jumbotron announced the Cane’s Challenge, which was for BU to score two goals in a period. Whether the goals were prompted by Parker’s motivational words, team chemistry or the promise of delicious chicken fingers we may never know. One love!

In the third period, O’Connor settled in nicely, stopping the last 13 PC shots after their second goal. With just over a minute remaining in the third and BU leading 3-2, PC decided to pull Gillies for the man advantage in an effort to equalize. In what ended up being a pretty awkward play, Gillies was called to the bench and blindly hustled out of the net to get off the ice. But as he left the crease, BU regained puck possession in their defensive zone. Gillies never saw this and instead of turning around, he kept skating to the bench, allowing Ben Rosen to ice the game and seal the Terrier win, making it 4-2 with a nice flip shot that he made look easier than it probably was.


The Nieto-Gill-Cisse line looked excellent last night, despite its lack of scoring. They produced grade-A scoring chances regularly, forcing the PC defense and Gillies to scramble and make some impressive plays to prevent more BU goals. Excellent speed by Nieto generated legit scoring chances over and over.

Even-strength goals! Hooray! While BU went 0-for-2 on the powerplay, they scored three goals during 5-on-5 play and one empty netter while killing off three Friar powerplays. Special teams looks great. BU’s PP last night had good puck possession and cycled well but had trouble finding shooting lanes. Might need to get more aggressive and take more chances to find PP scoring against better teams.

OC finished the game with 26 saves on 28 shots for an impressive .928 save%. Made several excellent pad saves throughout the game, especially in the second half of the game. He got very solid support from the upperclassmen on defense. BU blocked 22 shots to PC’s 12 throughout the game, including 4 very clutch shot-blocks by Alexx Privitera. Privy’s 2-way game was excellent last night.

Hohmann with a game-winning goal and two assists. Excellent effort yet again; he made Gillles look shaky. Shaping up to be a good season for him. Great chemistry between Hohmann and E-Rod on the second line, too.

FroshLine Myron/ORegan/Kurker is great. The BU Bash Brothers were showing great physicality and strength, good intimidation of the Friars, but needed better possession. Sloppy at times. Most of the freshmen’s defensive zone play was sloppy, tentative, shaky. Grzelcyk is effective on offense but has to work a bit on being solid in his own zone, making better and quicker decisions. Matt Lane needs to pick his battles...can’t out-check bigger guys, has to out-skate them (and he can). He had a bad turnover but was bailed out by O’Connor’s quick glove.

Second period was very sloppy. At one point BU was hemmed in behind their net for 20 seconds by a weak, one-man PC forecheck because of tentative, weak passing and hesitation. Unacceptable. Third period looked much better. Crisp puck movement and lots more composure by the entire team.

Yasin Cisse busting heads taking names. PREDATOR, dreads and all. He might go down for manslaughter this year. Scooby (Sean Escobedo) also had a monster hit on some poor Friar along the boards.

PARKER (quotes from WTBU Sports Radio’s Twitter account)
Overall it was a real good start for us. That team is going to win a lot of hockey games in this league.”
"I think that really helps them out to know that, ‘Coach thinks we’re pretty good. He’s letting us play with Megan.’"
"Pretty nice loft on that nine iron he put out there," Parker on Ben's Rosen's empty net goal.

Cason Hohmann quote: "...Just looking to start a new chapter here and I think we did very well tonight in starting that new chapter"
 - For more on Hohmann, check out WTBU’s article on the sophomore. For a rundown of the rest of this weekend's Hockey East matchups, check out QQ's post above this one. Next weekend the Terriers head out on the road to face UNH, who will be in high spirits after this weekend's sweep of St. Cloud State at home. Check back later this week for a full preview.

No comments:

Post a Comment