Saturday, October 27, 2012

UMass Game 1/2 - Hearts on Fire

I'm going to make this recap more of a summary and less of a play-by-play. This change is mostly because a) I really want to go get Dunkin but I told myself I'd do this first and b) the more time I spend cheering at games, the fewer notes I take, which means the details of plays are coming from my hungover memory.

Whatever, let's get down to it. Last night the Terriers bested the Minutemen from UMass and their commie bastard Yevenko, who's either going to be standing in a bread line tomorrow or summarily executed by the remnants of the KGB. Sucks to suck. BU topped UMass 5-2 behind some impressive performances by multiple freshman and sophomores. The youngest legs fed the wolf last night, and while some were worried after a poor showing at UNH last weekend I think we all know how Parker got the boys ready for this home-and-home series.


Full disclosure: early in the game, BU had me worried. UMass spent the first period forechecking with high pressure and as usual, the Terriers had trouble handling the puck in their own zone. On multiple occasions, scoring threats off of blue line or defensive zone turnovers by BU players were stopped with great saves by young goaltender Jim Craig Matt O'Connor. This forechecking thing is becoming a theme, and I'm worried about truly elite teams causing a lot of problems for us with skilled pressure and forechecks. At the end of the first, the teams remained scoreless but UMass led in shots, 8-6 and generally played better through the period.

The first intermission showed a touching tribute, as nearly 100 former players took the ice to honor Parker for 40 years of coaching genius, routine winning, inspiring work ethic in players on and off the ice, and generally extremely high levels of badassery. Presenting Parker with the award/plaque were Terrier all-time leading scorer John Cullen and the only man with his number in the rafters and one of the strongest and bravest people to be associated with BU hockey, Travis Roy.

[photo credit Michael Cummo, Boston Hockey Blog slideshow]

The first goal of the game came from Terrier captain Wade Megan (the Hero from Canton!). It was really a beauty, as Cason Hohmann (we'll get to his night in a bit) carried the puck to the top circle to the left of UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz. Hohmann found Megan on a nifty drop pass, which is now a standard BU passing play coming into the zone with speed, and Megan burned a UMass defender down low before cutting across the top of the crease. Mastalerz never had a chance as Megan deked around his outstretched left pad for the backhand finish. Beaut of a goal and Megan knew it, cellying by jumping into the glass as if we were at fuckin' World Juniors.

And now to the freshmen! The next two goals were scored by "Danny Boy" O'Regan, the second of which would turn out to be the game-winning goal. They were the first goals of his collegiate career. Congratulations to him!

On the first goal, fellow freshman and noted window enthusiast Matt Grzelcyk, who carried the puck down low near the boards and dished a great pass through the low slot to a crashing O'Regan, who one-timed the puck top shelf for a great start to his BU career.

UMass would cut the lead to 2-1 before O'Regan's second goal. A turnover at the blue line was taken with speed by Minuteman Branden Gracel, who skillfully used lone defender Alexx Privitera as a screen, beating O'Connor with a good shot low to the glove side. Not a whole lot OC could have done about that one. BU would then double the lead as Grzelcyk again found O'Regan with an even better pass than before, this one from the top of the circle down across the slot (it was a 5-on-3, but still a great pass). O'Regan, staring at a barn door open net, showed great composure to take one touch and settle the puck before roofing it again on Mastalerz.  

UMass scored again halfway through the third, on a one-timer set up by crisp, quick passing. The puck cycled to the point and a one time clapper found its way past OC, who hadn't fully squared up to the shot yet. It got through on the glove side. A tough shot to stop but OC seemed pissed he didn't get the glove on it. Other than that, he had a great game, bailing out the defense a few times and making a handful of excellent saves. Also, he's definitely loving  the "SEXY GOALIE" chants from the student sections. Hilarious. BU girls (and some guys) swooning left and right after he actually winked during it. OC said the general atmosphere from the students was awesome. Good looks, guys.

Cason Hohmann scored the fourth BU goal of the game and later iced it with an empty netter. Hohmann carried the puck down the boards on the odd-man rush and as the UMass defender played the pass and allowed him a shooting lane, Hohmann sent a wrister low to the glove side of Mastalerz. The UMass tendy got a piece but it bounced into the net, similar to the first UNH goal last weekend. Cason Hohmann is one of only 11 players in the country averaging at least 2 points per game right now. Come get some. That's 6 points in his first 3 games of the season, after scoring 8 points all of last year. Yup.

BU heads to Mullins tonight for the second half of the weekend series. Let's go Terriers!


Other notes: E-Rod had a play in the second period where he wheeled through the entire UMass defense, going coast to coast including a FILTHY spin-o-rama, leaving multiple UMass players sprawled across the ice searching for their jocks. He carried the puck in deep and tried to dish to Hohmann in the center of the ice but the pass didn't connect and the scoring chance was lost. What a tease.

UMass didn't get dominated but BU played better as a team. The Minutemen controlled the play for a few minutes in a row here and there, but for the most part, OC and the defense stood tall against their efforts.

Bavis on tonight's game: not sure which goalie will start, but Maguire will start soon if not tomorrow. Bavis was behind the bench last night as Parker was having some back pain. Get well soon, Jack!

To the rest of 108 - great enthusiasm last night and I loved the variety of people who were starting chants, but I felt like whenever someone didn't know what to say they just started a "UMASS SUCKS" chant. Which is fine, and fun, but chanting it every five minutes got tiresome and boring. It's like how everyone on earth thinks "SUCKS TO BU" is the most hilarious chant ever, but everyone at BU is saying, "ZZZZZZ whatever"...

I'm not saying we can't get aggressive about taunting visiting fans. I'm all for that. But when everyone forgets that the opposing sieve's name is Mastalerz and instead of doing the "MASTALERZ, YOU SUCK" chant everyone just goes "Uhhhhh UMASS SUCKS!", it's lame. Positive chants are always the foundation of the Dog Pound, the negative stuff is just extra. The same goes for responding to their chants. If the 5 people there from UMass start a chant against BU, let's not counter it every time with "UMASS SUCKS"....we can mix it up a bit and the best way to respond, I think, is to just drown them out with a "Let's go Terriers" or "Go BU" chant.

Another little protip: It's best to start chants while the game is going on. If the whistle blows to stop play, chances are the band or the PA system is about to start making noise and your chant won't be heard.

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