Pluses & Minuses: BU gets second win in a row vs. Northeastern

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

Back to South Bend they go.

The Boston University men’s hockey team dismissed No. 9 Northeastern University, 4-2, Saturday at Matthews Arena to complete the two-game weekend sweep, the first time the Terriers have done that all season. The wins set up another trip to Indiana to play the University of Notre Dame in a one-game playoff, the first round of the Hockey East tournament.

In a reversal from most games this year — but similar to what happened Friday — most things went well for BU. Here’s a specific look.

Pluses
Matt Lane
A day after the sophomore winger was benched, Lane — who joked he was well rested — came out flying as the No. 2 left wing. He netted two goals, including a nifty move around NU goalie Clay Witt after forcing a turnover at the defensive blue line for the second.

Check back here Monday or read that day’s Daily Free Press for more on Lane.

Matt O’Connor
He matched sophomore Sean Maguire’s 31-save performance Friday night with 39 stops of his own, setting up what seems to be a tough decision Quinn will have to make next weekend in terms of who will be between the pipes.

O’Connor likely wants Northeastern’s first goal back — the puck bounced off his pad, over his leg and bounded past the goal line — but other than that he was smooth. He showed off his quick lateral movement on several occasions, and snuffed out one Husky chance when he covered a puck from his stomach and absorbed several whacks from opposing sticks.

It was the seventh win of the season for O’Connor. BU has 10.

Power play
The man advantage has been a point of weakness for the Terriers ever since sophomore defenseman Matt Grzelcyk went down before the start of the second semester, but Saturday they rebounded from Friday’s 0-for-7 effort by filling the column early.

Six seconds after NU forward John Stevens went off for tripping, Lane finished a rebound created by freshman defenseman Doyle Somerby’s shot from the blue line. The goal gave BU a 1-0 lead at 5:13 in the first.

“It’s being ready, it’s being alert, it’s taking advantage of those quick opportunities,” BU coach David Quinn said of the goal. “And we did that.”

BU finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play.

Minuses
Additional benchings
Following Friday night’s four-man “sit-down crew,” as Quinn termed it, four more Terriers did not play Saturday as punishment for breaking a team rule. Sophomore Danny O’Regan, freshman Brendan Collier, freshman Kevin Duane and senior Matt Ronan all sat.

Freshman T.J. Ryan also did not play due to lingering issues of his concussion from last month.

Despite utilizing just 14 skaters, BU pulled together just fine.

“When something like this happens, teams usually play better,” Quinn said. “There’s urgency, there’s a feeling of uh-oh. When you have that uh-oh feeling, you pretty much simplify things.”

Tournament draw
Quinn said heading into the weekend that the less traveling the team had to do the better, but once the final weekend played out, the Terriers found out they will have to go to the school farthest away: Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish beat Boston College, 2-1 in overtime, Saturday.

The trip will be the second time in three weeks BU makes the trip west, the first resulting in two 2-0 losses. After winning two consecutive games for the first time since November, however, Quinn was looking forward to the prospect a little more.

“I’m excited that we won two hockey games and we feel the way we do tonight and I’m excited to be in the playoffs,” Quinn said. “Those one-game situations, anything can happen. So I’m excited to go to Notre Dame. In a long-winded answer, yes, I’m excited to go to Notre Dame.”

6 thoughts on “Pluses & Minuses: BU gets second win in a row vs. Northeastern

  1. It’s interesting how the only sweeps were the first and last weekends of the season. This should certainly give us excellent momentum going into the Notre Dame game. Oh, and how wonderful is it that BC lost today? OK, the Fighting Irish have served their purpose.

  2. I think bu should put something together or maybe rent a Peter pan bus and charge a fee for those who want to go support the team… I would definitely be interested if they do…. Big Roy…

  3. As for the “goalie” situation, I’d really like to see one of them get the nod and have that guy stay in the crease as the starter … whether or not he is on a hot streak. I understand the argument for “playing the hot hand”; but I think the goalie who gets the nod as the starter (for the season) will have a better course of development. I think it will be better if that goalie knows that he will be in the crease next game … even if he has a sub-par performance. Of course there comes a time when that might have to change; but I think stability can promote better player confidence and skill development. What do y’all think?

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