Pluses and Minuses: Terriers use late comeback to tie Cornell at Red Hot Hockey

PHOTO BY JUDY COHEN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
PHOTO BY JUDY COHEN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

NEW YORK — It doesn’t count as more than a tie in the standings, but David Quinn and his bunch might be feeling as if they were winners in this one.

Trailing by two goals after two periods, the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team rallied for three goals in the third period to finish with a 3-3 draw against No. 16 Cornell University at Red Hot Hockey.

The Terriers (7-4-3, 3-2-2 Hockey East) did win in a subsequent shootout after a scoreless overtime, and thus won the Kelley-Harkness Trophy for the second consecutive time. BU remains unbeaten in the biannual game with Cornell (6-1-2) at Madison Square Garden with a 3-0-2 record.

We’ll take a look at what went right and wrong for BU in this Manhattan edition of Pluses and Minuses.

Pluses

Greer and Greenway break out

Sophomore forward A.J. Greer hadn’t scored a goal in a game in seven months. Freshman winger Jordan Greenway was scoreless with BU before Saturday night.

Both came through for for the Terriers on the big stage.

Greer and Greenway scored their first goals of the season in a frantic three-goal third period, helping BU earn a point for the eighth time in nine games.

Judy has more of a breakdown of their success in her sidebar.

Olsson returns, third line looks strong

Exiting after the first period of a Nov. 14 game against No. 1 Providence College, sophomore forward Nikolas Olsson sat out the last four games with what the team called an upper-body injury.

He returned to the lineup Saturday and made an impact with the third line, especially in the third period.

Olsson skated along the right-wing boards and made a crisp pass to center ice that helped set up Bobo Carpenter‘s goal at 5:36 of the third. The goal started a swing of momentum in BU’s favor, as the Terriers scored three minutes later on Greer’s goal, one that was also set up by Olsson.

The third line, as a whole, totaled five points and nine shots on goal during Saturday night’s contest.

“I think it’s a collective effort,” Greer said of his line. “The defensemen moved the puck up quick, and the first couple of shifts, we thought we held our stick too tight so we were kind of nervous, but then as the game went on we started working down low and just doing our job and using the back of the net.

“We got bodies out front, and they rewarded us in the third period. Those goals were big.”

Moving in right direction

It’s been a long stretch of tough games in November for BU, which has now played a top-20 opponent in three consecutive weekends. The Terriers came away with five points in those five games, earning one win and three ties in the process.

Though he would’ve liked to see his team take more wins out of these recent games, Quinn said after Saturday’s tie that he is pleased with where the team is headed as it moves to the second half of the year.

“I like where we’re going,” Quinn said. “I like the direction we’re going. Obviously we still have to get better, we have to get off to better starts. Though like I said, statistically, we didn’t score a goal, but I thought we were playing well.”

Still undefeated 

They didn’t win this time, but the Terriers still haven’t lost a Red Hot Hockey game since its inception in 2007.

BU has earned eight of 10 possible points in the five games played against Cornell, and has now won the Kelley-Harkness Trophy both times since it was created in 2013.

Minuses 

Power Play

A 20 percent success rate on the power play is usually about average, and that holds true for the Terriers, who are sixth in Hockey East in that category.

Average, however, hasn’t been good enough, and Quinn acknowledged this postgame.

“Our power play was disappointing, weren’t able to capitalize in overtime,” Quinn said. “Statistically our power play looks okay, but we’ve really got to get better on the power play. I think we’re just a little bit too slow, too methodical, we’re stick handling too much, and there’s just too much thinking going on out there.”

BU went 0-for-4 with the extra man against Cornell, but did garner 14 shots on goal. But the problem wasn’t getting the puck to the net, it was about finishing, or lack thereof.

There were power-play opportunities for BU  in the second period after each Big Red goal, but neither were converted. The same went for the man advantages in the third period and overtime.

Slow Start

It wasn’t as if BU was completely outplayed in the first period, but the game just felt slow, and the Terriers never really got in a rhythm in the first 20 minutes.

BU did actually lead in shots at 10-9 after one, but there were few high-percentage opportunities. The same could be said for the initial minutes of the second, where Cornell broke through with two goals.

Tonight’s beginning could’ve had to do with nerves, as Quinn admitted even he was battling with “heart palpitations” on the bench.

“I thought early on, they were controlling the play for the first 10 minutes,” Quinn said, “and then I thought we started getting our legs under us a little bit and started playing much better, playing the way we need to play if we’re going to have success.”

36 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: Terriers use late comeback to tie Cornell at Red Hot Hockey

    • Carpenter looks like a completely different – more assertive, confident – player at center. Wasn’t sure if that was his natural position, but the 3rd line was the team’s best line by far at MSG. Like the physicality and energy they bring, and hopefully can consistently contribute to the team’s offensive production.

      With Carpenter now centering the 3rd line, Baillargeon has been moved down to 4th line RW. We all know last season he was never 100% physically, but not sure what’s going on this season that’s preventing him from being an important offensive contributor he’s expected to be.

  1. Wrong again BU Hockey 7, I was at MSG and witnessed a great college hockey game. Cornell dominated the first half but B.U. thoroughly controlled the last half of the game and deserved a better fate. Unfortunately the power play was ineffective and could have been a difference maker. I was especially impressed with B.U.s’ second and third line . The Cornell goalie was outstanding and made 42 saves, many in the closing minutes of the third period and overtime. Hopefully this same mentality will prevail next weekend.
    The shootout is a tie breaking gimmick to decide which team takes home the trophy. I was happy that B.U. won the shootout but it has no bearing on its record other than a tie .

  2. Agree on play of the 3rd line. Great hustle and physical play. Clearly 19 was killing that line, just as he killed the 4th line against Cornell. 19 looks afraid to get hit when the puck comes to him, and on D he let his man walk right by him in front and score.

    • Agreed on 19. When he’s not contributing offensively he’s lacking in other aspects of his game that help the team. I have a feeling his lack of productivity is 90% mental/10% physical.

  3. Nick Olsson was awesome on Saturday night. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the rest of the season. He makes a big difference. I am also happy that the three guys who scored are all guys who have had a hard time with scoring goals up to this point. Carpenter co-led the USHL in goals last year. So, I think by getting him on the right line in the forward position that is the best fit for him, he should continue to light the lamp.

  4. The men did us proud once again in MSG! They displayed sixty-five minutes of exemplary effort, grit, skill, and determination. Rebounding from 2-0, and 3-2 deficits in that venue, which was populated by a mass of very vocal Cornell fans, showed that this group possesses the depth of character required of elite teams. I thought all lines played very well, but the third line’s emergence was most notable, and came at a most opportune time. Guys are rounding into form, stepping up, and making much more disciplined decisions. Well coached, and well played. Thanks men!

  5. Now Larry, I have absolutely no beef with you, but was it you, and I am only asking, who said roberto’s return was imminent? if it wasn’t you, then fine.but someone on a previous blog was saying he could return this weekend. if it was you, what do you think is going on? will he return? if so when? does anyone know if he will be sprung from the witness protection program and play for BU this year. roberto in, ballageron, take a seat with kelly and lawrence

  6. Liked the return of Olsen. Liked the return of Kelly, who played really well in all 3 zones the last 2 games. Both are 21 year old guys with good hockey sense, play physical, and make smart decisions all over the ice.

  7. Happy Holidays Vincent, an inside source, who was not part of the coaching staff, would not tell me the crime only the time. It was his belief that Ruberto would be out of witness protection after 12 games. I believe I stated that it was a rumor. Obviously I was wrong which according to my wife is the norm. In fact our beloved coach ( worshippred by many on this blog) stated in one of his recent after the game press conferences that Nick would make an appearance before the end of the first semester. Of course he also implied that #5 would play against Cornell. Please all you worshippers of Dave, understand I am only repeating information from his after the game press conferences. Please Sarah correct me if I am wrong or I misunderstood and I will apologize.

    • Yeah, it was a while ago when I asked him in one of our weekly sit-down interviews if we’d see Roberto before the end of the semester and he said “I think so.” So nothing definitive, and last we heard, there’s still no timetable. We’ll ask again when we see him Thursday.

      • About #5,after the Bentley game,the Coach said that we would see him in NY,not necessarily in a uniform,but he will be there and believed Grizzy might be ready…..

  8. larry, i figure, only guessing, that he will see action second semester. i think he is still in school because if DQ told him he would not play at all, then i suppose he would have left. who knows? i just would like to see him take ballageron’s spot. that guy is invisible

  9. Vincent, I would be surprised if he did not make an appearance in the last four games. I have no updated information, it is just a guess. I have been totally wrong so far as I interpreted a minor team violation to be a minimal amount of games and not almost the entire first semester. He has been spotted at games wearing suit which indicates that he is still considered member of the team.It seems easier to get answers out of the CIA then find out accurate information on this matter.

    • and, FWIW, he is still listed on the roster, and we have no reason to believe he’s not on the team.

  10. although its not secret I am not a Larry fan I think I really like his wife, (she seems funny! and according to him a DQ worshipper, I’m going to say the chances of seeing Roberto are slim at this point. If he hasn’t played by now….I’m thinking the “crime” is much bigger than any of us have thought. Maybe he did something and the decision is out of DQ’s hands?? Who knows but the secrecy is going to cause all sorts of rumors to fly. Someone needs to ask him point blank WHY is he not playing? WHAT did he do?? As far as If you ask a coach about a players return, most will give you their best guess, especially if the player is injured. Don’t hold it as gospel.

    • You are very intelligent,and I refuse to even respond to the “hater”,I won’t even acknowledge his name,It’s so blatantly obvious that he doesn’t like the Hockey East Coach of the Year,and New England Coach of the Year,(you know,the coach still in training wheels,LMAO).But,when the Coach and his excellent staff bring home a couple of National titles(all in due time),he will be eating his words….And your right about Nick,100%…Enjoy your Holiday season.

  11. Excellent weekend in NY great hockey game and even better finish. GREAT turnout for the Bu fans who made the trip or locals it was nice to see the support. .. let’s keep it going game by game with that effort and we should be fine and as far as Roberto he’s a good player but I don’t see what all the the fuss about he’s a good 4th liner like they say it’s coaches decision … go terriers! !

    • I agree,I don’t understand all the fuss about Roberto,but I do think he could easily play on the 3rd line and provide some leadership.With a little hard work,I believe that he has the talent to possibly play on the 2nd.Enjoy your Holiday!

  12. in my mind, the fuss is about replacing him for ballageron, because that would be an upgrade, even if it is on the 4th line. roberto has good speed

  13. Guest 66, I am not disappointed that you are not a fan of mine. This is painful but I agree with your comments regarding Nick Roberto. If the coaching staff does not want to reveal the crime at least tell us when his punishment ends. You are correct that being vague and ambiguous only makes matters worse. How about a little more transparency and honesty. Does anyone know if
    #5 will actually play this weekend.?

    • Larry!! You’re not supposed to agree with me!!! But I think I am onto something here. It seems crazy that we’re not given anything. No “he broke team rules” or “he’s failing a class” or “he has the plague” nothing! Give us something!! That should be the #1 question asked until its answered.
      I also think he would help out more than Robbie. (oh Jesus, now I’M agreeing with YOU!!) I need to sign off!!
      GO BU!!

  14. big roy ,sorry to disagree but Roberto could easily fit on the second , third or forth line,.He would certainly be an upgrade over the 12th forward. Also he can kill penalties, take face offs, and scores around 10 goals a year. A solid defense players that seldom makes mistakes in his own end of the ice.

  15. Vincent, I agree if Roberto comes back the team can skate four solid lines. As a junior he can assist in a leadership role, be a veteran presence on the ice and more importantly in the locker room

  16. Guest 66, This hurts but I agree 100% with your assessment on Roberto. He certainly would upgrade the team depth and be a positive contributor. Any update on Matt Gs playing status this weekend.? Did he make the trip to New York? Maybe the injury is more serious then was initially reported.

  17. Maybe we will see him shortly I’m thinking def a boost for your team I just think u can’t touch the 3 lines now that would be a excellent 4th line… Bobo looks like a different player at center and Greenway I think is coming along with Greer let’s stay tuned… I’m thinking #5 is out until after xmas break…

  18. BU Hockey 7, Your buddy implied that Matt would play. I certainly can understand if he was not ready but how about the courtesy of an update. Is that much to ask or is your pal to busy working on his tan ?

  19. BHB tweeted that Grzelcyk won’t play tomorrow and it doesn’t look good for Saturday. Also, Maguire starts Friday. Surprised there’s no information about Phelps’ status. He plays his role very well.

    Unlike some posters, I don’t care what Roberto’s transgression was. I just hope he’s back soon. When there are 13 candidates for 12 spots, competition improves and that helps the team..

    • Re: Phelps — Coach said Tommy Kelley would play again this weekend, but wouldn’t say whether that’d be replacing Phelps, Baillargeon, or someone else. I would assume it’d be for one of those two, since Quinn said he intends to keep Greer-Carpenter-Olsson intact. We’ve been told Phelps is sitting as a healthy scratch, though, so it sounds like it’s just about competition level more than anything right now.

  20. B.U. Hockey 7, I am glad to see the holiday season has not stopped you from your continued misconduct. You characterization of me as a ” hater” is an unfortunate and as usual incorrect. You have memorized every award your beloved buddy has won except for the most important one, which unfortunately ended up in Providence. A coach, I believe who built two championship college teams. This is fact not fantasy. For the record once again I have no personal issues with your coach and I have never attacked him personally. My comments are focused on him as coach of the team.

    • ok so Larry, I’m wondering….did you have someone else in mind when they picked Quinn? Leman is doing an amazing job in Providence no dount about it. He was amazing at Union as well…. BUT….O’C holds onto that puck BU is the national champ….we know it and Leman knows it…He said it himself off the record. (Don’t ask I just know)
      Now I’m trying to be polite here but I think your comment about the coach working on his tan is uncalled for. And seems a bit of a stretch since its December! And I’m not sure why you just don’t come out and say you don’t like him as the BU coach. You have that right to say it. You pitter patter around it….and say everything else but that. I’m not saying he doesn’t have room to grow or improve but what the hell do I know? being a FAN is one thing….knowing the ins and outs of the game is an entirely different animal. SO, I do feel you are overly critical and extremely stingy on compliments. When you do give a compliment it is most always followed up with a backhanded insult or criticism. I’m not saying we cant critique, of course, its what we do as fans. But you’re so quick to call others judgmental and saying we attack you but aren’t you doing the same to coach Quinn?
      PS: I hang on the sidestreets once in a while and the talks amongst some guys who “usually” know the scoop are more and more about Roberto not coming back this year. Anyone else hear that??

  21. we are precariously thin, especially at forward. one or two injuries up front and we are up the poop creek. kelly vs phelps. pahleeze – the battle of invisible forces. put in lawrence for that matter. sit ballageron. my point – we need roberto. maybe roberto did something in which the ncaa is involved and DQ can’t say and he can’t play him until it is resolved. which would support the rumors that he is not coming back at all this year

    overall, i like DQ. i think he is learning the college ropes as a head coach. much different than being an assistant

    good move playing mcguire. although lacouvee has done well, i still don’t totally have confidence in him. too many scary rebounds

    i know it is one game/weekend at a time but if gryz and hickey are not available for the CT first semester finale, that could be trouble

  22. Guest66, Thank you for your thoughtful comments. You are correct I am bit cynical and tough on all coaches for all the teams I root for and support. In this very sad and violent world it is my way of poking fun at something that really is not that important. I still have nightmares about the Providence game. Yes O.Cs blunder hurt but it was still a tie game. As a paying customer and long time fan there are certain situations where I do question the coaches decisions. It is primarily with off ice issues. He is a great recruiter and I am not qualified to critique the ins and outs of the game but part of being a fan is to second guess the coach. Believe me I hope he wins every game. My remark about tanning was a reply to a comment made by B.U. Hockey 7 and was meant in jest . If Roberto does not play it will certainly hurt the teams depth. I have no new information concerning him and am puzzled like the rest of Terrier Nation. Hope the team comes ready to play this weekend.

Comments are closed.