Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend recap: Split City

The BU Terriers split their two Hockey East games this past weekend. They began the weekend with a 6-2 win over the UVM Catamounts and then dropped a close 3-1 game to UNH at Agganis Arena. Overall, it's not the weekend you wanted but it also wasn't terrible. The split leaves the Terriers at 6-4-0 overall  and 5-3-0 in Hockey East play which is good for third place currently. They continue to take care of lesser opponents and struggle to break through against teams ranked top 5 nationally as their record sits 1-4 against teams ranked from #1-7  and 5-0 against everyone else. Their next game comes against St. Lawrence in a non-conference tilt next Saturday at Agganis Arena.

Friday night, the Terriers scored at will against UVM, who failed to sustain any offensive pressure all night after a 5 on 3 right at the beginning of the game on two borderline calls. The penalty killers and goalie Sean Maguire came up huge to keep the game scoreless. After that point, it was all BU. Freshman defensman Ahti Oksanen scored his third goal of the season during a BU PP. His goal was followed by junior Sahir Gill scoring his first goal of the year(on a great pass from Matt Grzelcyk) and Wade Megan adding one 40 seconds later to give the Terriers a 3-0 lead after one. The Terriers continued to score at will in the second as Alexx Privitera let off a wicked wrister on a powerplay to make it 4-0 before UVM's Chris McCarthy put UVM back within 3.

Privitera's goal was the one that chased UVM tendy Brady Hoffman from the game and brought in back-up sieve Billy Faust. He did not fare much better as Wesley Myron would then score his first career goal, breaking the goalie camera/part of the back post while he was it. Sean Escobedo turned in the move of the night to make it 6-1 with his slick spin move and wrister that beat Faust 5-hole.  The third period was uneventful besides a UVM powerplay goal to get to the 6-2 final. There was alot to be happy about for the team and the 35 man BU student section that dominated the noise level at the Gutt all night.

Sunday's game quite different from Friday's. BU hosted UNH and their hot goalie Casey Desmith who had pitched 3 straight shutouts in his previous 3 games. UNH got out to an early lead on a Kevin Goumas goal off a Ryan Santana turnover. Maxim Gauldreault scored the eventual game winning goal as he slid a rebound under O'Connor's pad midway through first. BU picked it up after the lackluster first but was only able to muster one goal which came from a great coast to coast by Matt Grzelcyk and Danny O'Regan putting home the rebound.  BU had chances as they were 0 for 7 on the powerplay and had a few near misses in the third.  Once again, they struggled with the breakout against UNH's forecheck. This is something they will need to correct before the two teams square off again on December 6th in Durham. I thought Evan Rodrigues was the best forward for BU and Matt Grzelcyk was the best defenseman. O'Connor was solid in net once again and kept them in the game. I also thought Yasin Cisse continued to play better as he had the best chance to tie the game in the third but missed the net as the puck was on edge.

Despite how ugly the UNH game was at times, this team kept fighting until the very end and had a few chances to tie it. You would like to see more high quality chances against a goalie like Desmith but I believe that will come with time over the course of the season. You have to love how well O'Regan, Oksanen, Grzelcyk,Wes Myron, O'Connor, and Maguire are playing right now as freshmen. They should only get better over the course of the season with some of the upperclassmen who have been held in check so far also improving and getting back to their normal stat lines. You can only hold down guys like Matt Nieto and Sahir Gill for so long. They are going to produce big numbers eventually and when they do, alot of goals are going to be scored.

Despite the UNH loss, BU moved up in the rankings to #10 nationally. BC remains #1 and UNH moves up to #3. I will have a full recap of the polls and HE weekly awards tomorrow though. The fact that all 4 losses have come to top 7 teams. They are 5-0 against everyone else they have played.

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