Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BU takes 2 of the last 3

The BU Terriers took 2 of their 3 games over the weekend to improve to 7-4-2 on the season heading into Thanksgiving. The Terriers found a way to overcome a slow first two periods Friday night to come back from 2-0 down to beat Michigan 3-2. They could not overcome another slow start on Saturday as the fell to the Wolverines in a game that was never all that close. The Terriers certainly were content to get a win out of the weekend where they really only played well for one period with that being the third period Friday night. They continue to find ways to win when they are not at their best or things aren't going their way. That includes some bad officiating last weekend vs PC and some of their own poor play this past weekend vs Michigan. The positives to take from the weekend as a BU fan is certainly the fight this team shows and mental toughness. As we all learned last year, it's about preparing yourself to win trophies throughout the regular season and the more different types of games you can win, the better off you are coming down the stretch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weekend Recap: Terriers tie twice with PC, continue to improve

The BU Terriers continue to improve as the season rolls along battling to two ties with the #1 ranked Providence College Friars this past weekend. The Terriers fought back from deficits in the third periods of both games as they failed to score in either of the first two periods of either night. The Terriers knotted it up on a late Ahti Oksanen goal Friday night after trailing 1-0 for over a period of hockey with a majority of that spent short handed because the refs got a little whistle happy. BU freshman Charlie McAvoy was thrown out(and later suspended) for a hit on Brandon Tanev midway through the third. BU killed the two 5 on 3 powerplays though and gave themselves a chance to tie the game which Oksanen eventually did for them. They show an unbelievable amount of fight just to stay in the game down two skaters as Nik Olsson left the contest with an upper body injury. It was definitely a hard earned tie for the Terriers who even had chances to win OT as well.

On to the McAvoy hit, it was definitely a borderline hit and most likely a (minor)penalty. However, I do not think it was warranting of a major penalty. It appeared that Tanev dropped his head at the last moment, most likely when McAvoy was already committed to the hit. The major point of contact appeared to the be the shoulder and body but since Nate Leaman whined about it after the game, the conference felt obliged to respond and handed down the suspension. Leaman really is becoming more unlikeable the longer he is in the league.. Take the national championship game last season out of this and he is still creeping up there as whiny as all the other annoying coaches in the league(York, Dennehy, Sneddon etc). You aren't allowed to call a borderline hit "one of the worst I have seen" when your guys are taking cheap shot swings after the whistle all night long. Regardless of whether you are getting away with it or not, you are certainly not in a position to criticize a kid like McAvoy for trying to play hard and physical between the whistles while your goons are waiting to take their shots until after the play ends.

With that said, I felt like Quinn would have benched McAvoy on Saturday for a few reasons anyway. First, McAvoy is a 17 year old freshman and sometimes they can benefit from watching a game from the stands. I know AJ Greer said this just last year when he was a healthy scratch for a game. Second, he took a bad penalty before the hit that got him thrown out while responding to a cheap shot from a PC player(one of many). You still have to keep your cool there and can't take a penalty to go down 5 on 3 for a full two minutes even if it was referee assisted. Third, Brien Diffley definitely has earned the right to get some ice time with his play last year and earlier this season. There are going to be injuries throughout the year and Diffley needs to be ready to play.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Big Bro sweeps Lil Bro

The BU Terriers swept the Northeastern Huskies in a weekend of conference play. The Terriers took an exciting 5-4 win Friday night to remain undefeated at Agganis Arena this year followed by a more convincing 4-1 win at Matthews Arena on Saturday night. Friday night was a game of streaks as  BU held a 2-0 and 3-2 lead only to relinquish it to Northeastern due to four period second goals. That was easily the worst period of the weekend as both the defense and goaltending looked shaky. Luckily for BU fans, the Terriers only allowed one goal the rest of the weekend and it was in garbage time on Saturday night. The Terriers would scramble to hold on 5-4 as Northeastern had plenty of chances late in the game but Connor LaCouvee stayed strong in net for the Terriers. The return of captain Matt Grzelcyk was a huge factor on the weekend as he committed a penalty on his first shift and then scored the first goal of the game which was eerily similar to his goal in the OT of the Beanpot final against the same little brothers of Boston.  Different goalie but besides that it's basically the same goal.

Fortunato also continued to score from the point as he notches his third of the year for the Terriers. Ryan Cloonan added his fourth  on a breakway goal while Brandon Hickey scored his fourth of the year to tie the game at four on a sick set up by Ahti Oksanen and Danny O'Regan. The game winner was the captain at it again as Grizz made a slick pass to Oksanen who pounded home the shot on a mostly open net.  On a night where Northeastern had 8 powerplays(Thanks for nothing Goeff Miller), you have to be thankful to get a win.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

BU Splits Weekend: loses at Merrimack, beats Denver

The BU Terriers split their two games on the weekend to move to 3-3-0 on the season. The Terriers lost Friday night at Merrimack 4-3. I thought they played better than the score indicated. Sean Maguire had a tough night in net for the Terriers and was pulled in favor of Connor LaCouvee in the second period. It was the first time where Maguire had showed any sign that he took a year off from playing due to injuries last season. He certainly will bounce back from this performance as he was pretty good in each of his first two starts against Wisconsin and Union.

BU bounced back to beat Denver 5-4 in OT on Saturday night. They got a strong goaltending effort from LaCouvee to hold a high powered Denver team down for a majority of the game and stay in it long enough for Ahti Oksanen to score his second goal of the night and the game winner. BU also got goals from Ryan Cloonan, Robbie Baillargeon and Brandon Hickey with Hickey's being top 10 goals of the year worthy. Denver came back from a 4-2 deficit in the third to tie the game just to send it to overtime which is concerning to watch BU blow a 2 goal lead but you also have to consider that is one of the top offensive teams in the country and BU was still missing Matt Grzelcyk who should be returning to action in the next few weekends. The win was huge for pairwise implications down the road as Denver is a quality out of conference opponent who pushed BC to the edge on Friday night as well.