Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Terriers finish first half with CT split

The BU Terriers finished the first half with a split against ECAC Connecticut foes Yale and Quinnipiac this past weekend. The Terriers dropped Friday's night contest at Yale after jumping out to a 1-0 lead on an Ahti Oksanen goal. The goal was  a great play and pass from freshman forward Jordan Greenway who continues to dominate games physically against any opponent. Unfortunately, the game went downhill from there for the Terriers as Yale tied the game and then took the lead and extended lead on John Hayden goals.The first of a which was on a major penalty after a borderline hit by freshman Ryan Cloonan. Cloonan was thrown out of the game and given a major. The hit was borderline for a major but was definitely a penalty of some sorts and just not a necessary play in the neutral zone. Cloonan will certainly learn from it as Coach Quinn referred to it as a "stupid penalty" after the game. The Terriers pushed hard to tie the game after killing off the rest of the major but gave up another Hayden goal on an odd man push. It was a tough game to lose as the Terriers got within one late on a Bobo Carpenter goal but could not get the tying goal across. Charlie McAvoy had a real good night Friday night as he continues to make some silly moves to break defenders ankles and generate some great offensive opportunities for his team.

The Terriers returned to action Saturday night against the previously undefeated Quinnipiac Bobcats. That would change Saturday night as the Terriers would come away with a 4-1 victory lead by goals from Matt Lane(2), Bobo Carpenter and Robbie Baillargeon. This was a great way to end the semester especially with how bad referee Kevin Curtis was. It must have something to do with the first name Kevin because he was terrible all night. He and his fellow referee were buying the QU "easy falls" and also missed a few blatant calls that would have put BU on more than one powerplay. BU also lost senior Ahti Oksanen towards the end of the game after he slammed into the boards on a breakaway(It is now being reported he may not miss a game thanks to the winter break). It was a borderline penalty in my view but it 100% gets called in Hockey East so I can understand why fans and teammates would want that called especially after how poorly the game was called up to that point. My point is that it was like their 5th or 6th worse call/non-call of the night so I am trying to pick and choose my battles with the refs for once. The interference penalty on Jordan Greenway in the first was the worst call I have seen all year. The QU player skated into Greenway and then threw himself into the boards, faked an injury to get the call and then magically healed right away. Even Quinnipiac's goal was questionable in my mind. Sean Maguire, who was awesome in goal, clearly gets hit in the head while in the crease and moving to make the save on Sam Anas.

To the Terriers credit, they overcame the shoddy officiating to win the game. Bobo Carpenter added another goal(2 in 2 nights) and Matt Lane added two which also gives him 8 on the year which is tied for a career high and the Terriers just finished their 18th game of the season aka less than halfway through the season. This was a big win over one of the two undefeated teams in the country. The other is PC who BU tied twice back in November during their home and home series.

Great catch by Nate Ewell to get Coach Quinn checking his sheet for the bad ref's name before he insulted him hopefully.

The Terriers finish the first half of the season with a respectable 9-6-3 record and ranked t-12 in the Pairwise rankings which decide the NCAA tournament field. This team has proven they can beat  anyone in the country with wins over Quinnipiac, Michigan,  and Denver(even though they kinda suck now) as well as ties with Cornell and PC. The Terriers have already played 5 of the top 14 Pairwise team in the county for a total of 7 games(2-2-3) and they will play 8 more in the second half of the season. For such a young team, it is going to be crucial to have this type of experience moving forward. Despite all of the love from the media and other fans, the rest of the top end of Hockey East has not been tested.  The Terriers have the second highest quality win bonus in the country behind only QU. The only other top end HE team in the top 15 of that category is Notre Dame. Lowell, BC , and PC have all played soft schedules with opponent winning %. BC and Lowell have played 0 teams that would be in the NCAA tournament as of today. Not 0 wins against tournament teams, 0 games. Anyone who describes either of these teams as surefire national title contenders is just uneducated and unable to understand basic logic. They aren't going to play Michigan State in the NCAA tournament. You actually have to beat good teams.  Notre Dame is atleast close to BU with 6 games against 4 tournament opponents even though they currently sit outside the tournament line themselves. Providence has played two tournament opponents in three games with two of those coming against BU. 

Some other fun facts that will go against what some media may lead you to believe. Ahti Oksanen is just as productive this year through 18 games as he was last year with a Hobey Baker Winner on his line. Maybe he is just a high end offensive player. Just a thought.

As I stated earlier Matt Lane has already tied his career high total in goals from last year in 23 less games. He has some real chemistry going with freshman Jordan Greenway whose go to play is to throw off 3 defenders and then dish a great pass to Lane who buries the one timer. I am a fan of this play.

Terrier fans should be as optimistic as any year that this team can make a deep run into the NCAA tournament picking up hardware along the way because I know I am.

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