Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weekend Recap- BU splits with UNH

The #3 BU Terriers split with the University of New Hampshire over the weekend in a home and home series. Each team held serve on their home ice with the Terriers winning 6-3 on Friday and UNH holding on 4-3 Saturday. Friday night was a quick start for the Terriers as Cason Hohmann put two in the net in the first eight minutes of the game. Unfortunately, the Terriers were sloppy defensively and allowed to UNH to tie the game 3-3 midway through the second. Matt Grzelcyk, who had three goals on the weekend, scored the gamewinner on the powerplay late in the second and Brandon Hickey added an insurance tally early in the third as the Terriers locked the win with solid defensive play in their own zone which they lacked in the first two period.

Saturday night, the sloppy defensive play continued as UNH sprung to a 4-0 lead through two. The chances were relatively equal but UNH capatilized on there and limited defensive breakdowns while BU did not. As always, this team fought back and made it a 4-3 game with 7 minute to play after two Grizz and an Evan Rodrigues goal on a great slap pass from John MacLeod. They were never able to tie the game though as they hit 3 posts throughout the game and just missed on numerous other opportunities. They were also robbed of a offensive zone draw on a missed icing call with 18 seconds left when it was ruled that a clear ice by UNH was tipped when it clearly wasn't. You can say that it may not have made a difference but a team that has scored in the last 5 seconds to tie the game versus Wisconsin certainly had a better chance than most to tie it up. If the linesman was unsure of the call, he should have called the icing and then conferred with the other officials. I don't think  that type of play is reviewable but if you call icing and rule it was tipped, you can put the draw in the neutral zone without having any real impact on the game. Instead, it was waved off and BU was forced to start a rush after believing the play was dead with 11 seconds left. You can see the play at the 3:30 mark of the second video below. The officiating has done BU no favors thus far this season which is obvious with this call and the fact that BU has had 16 less powerplays than it's opponents so far this season. John MacLeod and Doyle Somerby get penalized and sometimes suspended for being bigger than the guys they hit so next time an opposing fan whines that BU has the refs in their pocket, tell them to shove it up their ass because it's just not true. Even EZAC refs have cost BU a goal in the Beanpot as they refused to blow the whistle on clear possession by BU after a delayed penalty was called. No matter what though, Northeastern fans will be full of excuses come Monday night around 10:30.

With the missed icing call aside, the loss does little to hurt BU's chances at achieving anything it wants to this season. They remain a 99% chance to clinch the Hockey East Regular Season title. A BU win or BC loss this weekend clinches a share of the title. If both happen or BU gets atleast 3 points, they clinch the title outright. A tie from BU clinches a first round bye in the conference tournament and home ice in the quarterfinals. There is certainly plenty at stake this weekend with conference implications before the delayed Beanpot championship on Monday night versus Northeastern which is as hot as any team in the country and doubtful to cool down against Maine this weekend mostly because Maine sucks.

BU needs improved performances from O'Connor this weekend as he had poor rebound control and left the five hole open on a few occasion which he tends to do when he isn't on his A game. The defense needs to be tighter around him as well. I thought they struggled at taking away passing lanes and breaking it out of the zone which has been a strength of the D so far this season. I am sure they will lock it down against Notre Dame this weekend. Notre Dame plays a defensive style of hockey under Jeff Jackson which should play to BU's strengths at Agganis on the big ice. They should be able to spread them out and attack them. This is the biggest weekend of the year thus far as the Terriers have a chance to take home two coveted trophies between now and Monday. This would be a great time for some of the questionable calls to start going BU's way but this team has proven already that they don't need any help to win, they are plenty good enough to do that on their own.

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