Sunday, October 19, 2014

BU hockey keeps rolling, beats US U-18 team in exhibiton game

BU hockey continued to score goals at a scary pace as they beat the US U-18 team 6-4 in an exhibition game at Agganis Arena. Freshman and former U-18er Jack Eichel paced the way for BU with two goals and one assist. The OREO(O'Regan-Eichel-Oksanen) line was out on the ice for 4 of the 6 goals scored and showed their ability to take over a game when they need to. The Rodrigues-Baillargeon-Hohmann line was also very good as they potted the other two goals. I thought that the 3rd and 4th lines were also pretty good even though they didn't get on the score sheet. Matt Lane stood out to me as having a good game on that third line with Nikolas Olsson and AJ Greer.

The first goal of the game was a tic tac toe passing display by the OREO line. Passes from O'Regan to Eichel to Oksanen back to O'Regan for the tap in goal was as pretty of a goal as you will see this season. The second goal was a great individual effort by Cason Hohmann as he picked Caleb Jones' pocket and fed fellow senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues for a goal and a 2-1 lead. Eichel would then score two quick ones in the span of  1:02 for the Terriers to give them a 4-1 lead. The US took a timeout and were able to rebound to make it a 4-3 game before the end of the second period as highly touted uncommitted forward Auston Matthews scored two goals.  BU played it's best hockey in the third period and gave themselves a cushion with an Ahti Oksanen goal 9 minutes into the third on a great pass from Danny O'Regan. Doyle Somerby jumped up into the play which made the pass possible since the D had to commit to him. JJ Piccinich would seal the game with an empty netter late for his first career collegiate goal even if it will not count in an exhibition game.

Overall, the defense was sloppier than it was a week ago against UMass but the opponent was also more skilled. This U-18 team is the second most talented the Terriers will play this year behind only the U-20 WJC team that they will play in December. BU recruits Charlie McAvoy and Jordan Greenway both looked good last night. Greenway is a physical presence whenever he is on the ice at 6'5". He gave BU's defense problems as he drove to the net and he certainly would be fun to watch when he arrives. McAvoy was solid on defense as he moves the puck well and is also physical out there. He certainly fits the mold of the defensemen that the coaching staff is trying to bring in. Auston Matthews was also as good as advertised. Matthews had two goals, one of which he hit out of mid-air.Matthews is reportedley 50/50 between going the college route or to the WHL(Western Hockey League). It is reported that he has narrowed his college choices down to BU,BC, Denver and Michigan so it will certainly be interesting how this pans out in the coming months.

BU returns to action next weekend hosting Michigan State(split with UMass this weekend) and Michigan(split with UNH this weekend) at Agganis next weekend. These are two important out of conference games as the Terriers head into a tough stretch where they face PC X2 and BC in the next three weekends as well.

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