The BU Terriers finished off the home and home sweep of the UMass Minutemen with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at the Mullins Center in Amherst. The game was played in front of a hostile 7,300+ fans. BU put itself in an early 2-0 hole after a power play goal by Shane Walsh and a penalty shot goal by Rocco Carzo. On both of the goals, BU goalie Matt O'Connor was in position and got a piece of each shot but was unable to make the save. It certainly is promising to note how well he is consistently positioned. He made a great glove save late in the first to keep the team in the game at a time when UMass had momentum. Walsh's goal came on a powerplay, which was a result of a weak call on Ahti Oksanen.
BU bounced back quickly after the penalty shot goal by Carzo when the top line of Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann, and captain Wade Megan produced once again. Megan banged the puck in the net in the middle of a pile as the self-proclaimed "leader in greasy goals" banged in another one to cut the UMass lead in half in the middle of the second. BU tied it up at the end of the second when Matt Nieto made a great tip off a pass from freshman Danny O'Regan who had a coming out party this weekend. O'Regan posted a 2-2-4 line over the two games over the weekend. He really has played well on that new second line with Nieto and Sahir Gill who is playing the off-wing. This line was on the ice for the game-winning goal which defenseman Sean Escobedo banged home off a rebound over UMass goalie Kevin Boyle with 1:22 remaining.
This was a great win on the road for a team who once again played hard for all 60 minutes. That doesn't mean they don't have room to improve because O'Connor had to bail the defense out a few too many times for my liking. They will need to be better as they head into Grand Forks, North Dakota next weekend for two with the University of North Dakota
Freshmen Sam Kurker and goalie Sean Maguire did not see the ice this weekend which is a bit of a surprise as they were both drafted and expected to see regular ice time. Associate head coach Mike Bavis, who was filling in for coach Jack Parker who was out with a sore back, said that Maguire and O'Connor would both see a start next weekend in North Dakota. Maguire looked and played nervous in his start last weekend at UNH. A weekend off may have done him some good and will allow him to refocus before next weekend on the first long-distance roadie of the year. The same goes for Kurker, who sat out both nights in favor of freshman Mike Moran who played well on the fourth line besides a stupid penalty last night. I would expect Kurker to get back in the lineup in one, if not both games next weekend. Having too much depth in goal and in the lineup is not a bad problem to have, especially when and if injuries hit.
The two wins this weekend puts BU into a tie for 1st in the conference with BC(at the time of this post). If they beat Lowell this afternoon, they will have a 2 point lead but will have played one more game this far in conference. BU sits one point ahead of UNH with one more game played.
Some other opinions on the weekend. The top two lines seem to be set as they are both really clicking right now. Megan, Hohmann, Rodrigues and Nieto, O'Regan, and Gill really produced over this past weekend. The third line(Lane, Myron, Cisse) was better but still needs to start putting some points on the board. The fourth line of Moran Rosen Santana did their job well. Rosen and Santana have been valuable penalty killers in addition to playing on the even strength. I would still expect a shake up in those bottom two lines with Kurker inserted there and someone taken out of the line up.