Sunday, October 12, 2014

BU pounds UMass 8-1 in regular season opener

If BU hockey fans weren't giddy enough with a 12-1 win in an exhibition game last weekend over St. Thomas, they/I have even more  reason to be optimistic about the hockey team on the better end of Comm Ave. Friday night, the young Terrier team(10 freshmen in the lineup) traveled to Amherst in front of a hostile crowd at the Mullins Center. Thing started off well for the Terriers as they held off an initial UMass surge to score their first goal of the season on a Robbie "Carrots" Baillargeon tap in goal on a nice pass from Cason Hohmann. Linemate Evan Rodrigues had a secondary assist  on that goal as well as a great set up for Nikolas Olsson's first collegiate goal. Rodrigues pulled off one of his favorite dangles where he pulls the puck from forehand to backhand through his legs and set up Olsson who I thought showed some nice finishing skills for a 3rd or 4th line player.

Things got more interesting as UMass added a later second period goal and went on a powerplay as the result of a John Macleod phantom penalty call. Macleod took two other penalties which Coach Quinn can't be too happy with. BU's most skilled guys took over the game in the third period after killing the penalty. Freshman Jack Eichel scored on a great play and shot and then made a great play to set up Danny O'Regan. Eichel would then score again to put the game out of reach at 5-1 but BU would not stop there as they added goals from Cason Hohmann, another from O'Regan, and 17 year old freshman AJ Greer.

Overall, there is plenty to be happy about. I thought the second line of Rodrigues Baillargeon Hohmann really played well throughout the game as they were creating some great chances throughout.  The Oksanen-Eichel-O'Regan line aka the OREO line which I didn't make up but I love it so it's sticking. The OREO line took over the game in the third. They weren't bad in the first two but really picked it up in the final period which is obviously great to see. The third and fourth lines were both very good as this team has some great depth as the two goals from the third line proves. The concern coming into the season was the young defensemen(5 underclassmen) but they certainly did not disappoint as they were crisp with the breakouts and got the forwards rolling the other way . Connor LaCouvee was also great in his first career start after junior Matt O'Connor suffered a minor injury in practice on Thursday and could not go in the game.

There is plenty of reason to be happy with results thoughout college hockey this weekend as BC lost(always good), as did many other top teams throughout college hockey and Hockey East. It is only 1 or 2 games into the season but there is certainly no reason to think this BU team cannot compete for plenty of trophies this season. If you don't believe me, check out the highlights below.

The Terriers return to action at Agganis Arena on Saturday to play the USA U-18 team including BU recruits Jordan Greenway and Charlie McAvoy.

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