Grading the Terriers: 10/30 vs. UMass-Lowell

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

Offense: C
Throughout two and a half periods, the Terriers seemed to have forgotten about offense. UMass-Lowell has struggled on defense this season, giving up an average of five goals per game against Hockey East opponents. BU failed to score Saturday night until 16:17 in the third period. They attempted 71 shots and had 30 on target. Warsofsky was the biggest spark on offense, and he is a defenseman. In the last four minutes of the game, however, when BU really needed to score, they were able to do so.

Defense: B+
The Terriers took a big hit on defense six minutes into the game when Max Nicastro was charged with a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind. BU was forced to cycle through five defensemen for the majority of the night, but for most of the game, it did not show. After the first period, the defense held UML to just 11 total shots, including only four in the third period. UML did not have many Grade-A scoring chances, but in the third period, they scored on their only Grade-A chance.

Goaltending: A-
Grant Rollheiser had a solid start in net tonight after three weeks without seeing game action. He extended BU’s streak of shutouts through the first two periods tonight and very rarely gave up juicy rebounds. Rollheiser did not see many shots through the last two periods, however, and UML’s scoring chances were severely limited, as they did not get many good shots on him. Regardless, tonight’s game certainly earned him more playing time even with Kieran Millan on top of his game.

Special Teams: B
BU’s penalty kill has now killed off 30 of its last 31 penalty kills cleanly. They came up big in the first period when killing off Nicastro’s major, allowing only one shot in almost four minutes of a man-advantage before UML evened play to four-on-four with a too many men penalty. The power play had nine shots on five power plays, but failed to score each time. The Terriers’ first goal, however, came on a delayed penalty while the Terriers had the extra attacker on the ice.

X-Factor: Will to win
BU certainly did not play well through the first two and a half periods, and Parker noted in his press conference that if there was any justice, BU would have either lost or tied. Once UML took the lead halfway through the third, however, BU seemed to wake up. In the last four minutes, the Terriers looked hungry for the win for the first time in the game, and they got it.

Terriers come from behind to top River Hawks

By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff

Backed by senior co-captain Chris Connolly’s game-winning tally with 27.5 seconds to go in the third, the No. 5/6 Boston University men’s hockey team completed a weekend sweep of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Agganis Arena on Saturday night.

Connolly netted the goal on a shot created by junior assistant captain David Warsofsky, who carried the puck into the UML zone, held off a defender with a power move and slid the puck to Connolly center-slot.

Connolly put the puck on net and the disc slid between the legs of UML goalie Doug Carr.

The Terriers trailed 1-0 late in the third, but sophomore Alex Chiasson netted the equalizer with 3:43 to play.

With junior goaltender Grant Rollheiser pulled due to a delayed penalty on UML, Warsofsky started the scoring play with a gorgeous pass from atop the right circle.

The pass slid between a pair of UML defenders right to freshman Charlie Coyle beneath the left dot. Coyle put the puck toward the net, where Chiasson tipped the offering at net. The puck bounced around, but came back to Chiasson atop the crease, who poked the biscuit into a wide open basket.

The teams had played scoreless hockey through two periods until Lowell freshman Joseph Pendenza broke the tie with 10:27 to play. Pendenza beat Rollheiser on the left side on a one-time poke from right in front. Assists went to sophomores Joe Caveney and Riley Wetmore.

The Terriers put themselves behind the proverbial eight-ball in the first period when sophomore defenseman Max Nicastro earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting Ryan Blair from behind.

BU killed off the five-minute penalty with ease –– even outshooting the River Hawks on the kill until UML took a too-many-men minor with 1:34 left on the Nicastro major. The penalty’s ill effects would be felt the rest of the game, however, as BU’s defense appeared to struggle with fatigue as it played with only five defensemen on the bench.

Terriers balance offensive attack in 5-1 win

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

LOWELL, Mass. — Scoring four goals in one period is generally a remarkable feat, but it’s all the more noteworthy when the tallies come from four different players, with eight different men recording points in a 17-minute span.

Against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday, the Boston University men’s hockey team coasted to a 5-1 win thanks to an explosive second period and a balanced offensive attack, getting goals from five different members of its top three lines and offensive involvement from its young defensemen. The Terriers beat UML goaltender Marc Boulanger shorthanded and at even strength, with tip-ins and breakaways, and proved that the scoring touch on this team does not belong solely to any one player or even one line.

“I really thought that [junior forward Andrew] Glass one was in right off the bat, too,” Parker said. “The goalie made an unbelievable save, and that would have been a goal for that line, too. I think all the lines played well. Guys are jacked up to play and want to try to have a better shift when the last line had a good shift, so that helps out, too. But there’s talent on all four lines.”

As Parker mentioned, Glass, BU’s fourth-line left wing, was robbed early in the first when Boulanger made a diving stop on a high shot. His linemate, junior forward Kevin Gilroy, also had what could have been a goal disallowed in the first when the officials ruled the puck was knocked in with a hand. Glass and Gilroy each have one goal on the season.

Through most of the first period, the game was shaping up to be a goaltenders’ duel between Boulanger and BU junior goalie Kieran Millan. Sophomore winger Alex Chiasson put an end to that notion with less than three minutes left in the period, beating Boulanger with a one-timer on a 2-on-1 rush with junior defenseman David Warsofsky.

The next two Terrier goals were what could be called “junk” goals, although they might be better defined as “goals that win games.” Junior forward and co-captain Chris Connolly sent a ricocheting puck past Boulanger from the side of the crease. Then junior forward Corey Trivino found himself in perfect position to control a bounce off of the end boards and slide it past a diving Boulanger. Freshman defenseman Adam Clendening picked up his second assist on Trivino’s goal, while Ryan Santana recorded his first – and his first point of the year – on Connolly’s.

BU then demonstrated its ability to score more highlight-reel-worthy goals, twice. Freshman center Charlie Coyle took a feed from his new linemate, freshman wing Sahir Gill, and ripped a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. Gill finished off the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway that brought the BU fans in the crowd to their feet, fighting off a hook from UML defenseman Chris Ickert and fooling Boulanger with a low backhand shot.

“Both of those goals are really skilled plays,” Parker said. “When you’ve got skilled players and they play, they look pretty sharp.”

Going into Friday’s game, BU had seven players with three points or more. That number is now nine, and every player who has dressed for all six games now has at least one point. In addition, Gill, who had been playing on the third line, switched places with Connolly on the first line on Friday, and both were able to continue producing offensively.

“It shows we have four lines of players that can put the puck in the net,” Connolly said of the team’s performance tonight. “Come playoff time, you need guys to step up. You need the third and fourth lines to put the puck in the net.”

Terriers take first game against UMass-Lowell

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

LOWELL, Mass. — The No. 5/6 Boston University men’s hockey team scored four goals in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday night. The victory was BU’s first of the season that was not decided by one goal.

The Terriers (5-0-1, 3-0-1 Hockey East) scored two shorthanded goals on the night and junior goaltender Kieran Millan carried a shutout deep into the third period for the second consecutive game.

“I thought it was a terrific road game for us,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played up here. Obviously some pretty plays, some pretty goals, but we won that game on effort. We had guys blocking shots with four minutes to go in a 5-0 game, so pretty good effort that way.”

BU started the night slowly as it was unable to maintain possession in the offensive zone for the better part of the first period. At 16:26 in the period, sophomore defenseman Max Nicastro went to the box on a boarding call, and oddly enough, that’s when the Terriers finally came around.

Halfway through the penalty kill, junior assistant captain David Warsofsky chipped a puck past a defenseman in the neutral zone, then marched in toward the net on a 2-on-1 with sophomore forward Alex Chiasson. Warsofsky looked for a shot and then passed to Chiasson, who fired the puck past UML goaltender Marc Boulanger for the shorthanded tally.

“Chiasson’s was just a great pass, and he walked in and did a nice job,” Parker said. “Warsofsky, for him to jump in the play like he did, he almost took it end-to-end and then made a fabulous pass through a defenseman to get it to Chiasson.”

In the second period, the Terriers completely took over, and they did not wait long to get the scoring started. Only 1:59 into the period, junior co-captain Chris Connolly tipped freshman defenseman Garrett Noonan’s shot from the point in back door to put BU up 2-0.

A little more than two minutes later, junior forward Corey Trivino scored his first goal of the season after collecting a puck that bounced off the boards and sliding it past Boulanger.

Only 55 seconds later, freshman forward Charlie Coyle increased the lead to 4-0 when he roofed a wrister from the right circle top-shelf for his third goal of the season.

“One of our goals for every game is to be able to score, and then score again,” Parker said. “We did that twice tonight. We scored again, and the we scored again, so that was pretty nice.”

But the Terriers were not done for the period. After Noonan was whistled off for holding, BU once again went on the penalty kill, and once again, they notched a shorthanded goal. This time, the score came from freshman forward Sahir Gill who walked in on a breakaway pushed a puck through five-hole despite being hooked on the play.

“Sahir Gill, I knew he was going to score,” Parker said. “He just has great hands and he undressed the goaltender. Both [shorthanded] goals were really skilled plays, and when you have skilled players, when they play they look pretty sharp.”

But the game for the Terriers was not solely about scoring goals. Millan had another standout night in goal and carried a shutout until 14:10 in the third period. When the defense struggled in the first period, Millan was right there to pick up the slack. And while BU scored twice on its own penalty kills, UML was unable to convert on any of its five power plays.

Then, when BU could have sat back on its five-goal lead, the Terriers instead continued to block shots, hit hard and knock pucks loose.

“We needed to do that,” Connolly said. “Kieran has been great and we want to take as much pressure off him as we can. The new defensive scheme allows us to block a lot of shots, but that only matters if the guys are willing to do that. It’s been pretty obvious as of late that guys don’t have a problem stepping in front of pucks, and that’s good to see.”

The Terriers now have five wins in October, a stark difference from last season when they did not record their fifth win until January. But like in Friday night’s game, the Terriers do not plan to sit back on their good start.

“It obviously drives you to keep on pushing,” Trivino said of the faster start. “This is the way you want to start a year. Last year, we know how it felt then and it didn’t feel good, so we made sure that this year, we came in ready to play. It’s working out for us so far.”

From the FreeP: Terriers look to maintain strong start in home-and-home with UMass-Lowell

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

The No. 5/6 Boston University men’s hockey team will look to remain undefeated when it takes on the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in a home-and-home series this weekend.

The Terriers are coming off a 2-1 win against Providence College that was anything but pretty. The Friars outshot BU 40-20, including 33-12 over the final two periods. They recorded 14 of those shots on seven power plays.

In addition to penalty trouble, BU coach Jack Parker cited his team’s poor performance on faceoffs as a reason for the lopsided shot totals. The Terriers (4-0-1, 2-0-1 Hockey East) won just 20 of the game’s 54 draws – a measly 37 percent.

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Hockey East Power Rankings 10/28

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

1) No. 2 Boston College (3-1-0, 1-0-0 HE)
The Eagles lost 2-1 at No. 11/13 Notre Dame on Saturday, but they still have to be considered the top team in Hockey East. Two weekends ago, they embarrassed No. 12 Denver on its home ice, outscoring the Pioneers 9-2 in a weekend sweep. BC is allowing just one goal per game this season, putting its defense a full goal ahead of anyone else in the league. Leading the way is senior goalie John Muse, who has the best goals-against average (1.34) and best save percentage (.959) in the conference. BC’s plus-2 average goal differential is also tied for first.

2) No. 6/7 University of Maine (3-1-2, 1-0-0 HE)
The Black Bears had a tough series two weeks ago when they lost and tied at No. 11/14 Michigan State, but they rebounded with an impressive sweep of No. 8 North Dakota last weekend, outscoring the Fighting Sioux 11-5 in the series. As expected, Maine is all about offense. Its 4.67 goals per game are best in the conference and it possesses the league’s top five scorers in junior Spencer Abbott (5-6-11), senior Robby Dee (4-5-9), junior Gustav Nyquist (2-7-9), sophomore Joey Diamond (4-4-8) and senior Tanner House (4-3-7).

3) No. 5/6 Boston University (4-0-1, 2-0-1 HE)
The Terriers are one of two undefeated teams left in Hockey East and they have notable wins over No. 18 Wisconsin and Notre Dame, but it would be inaccurate to say they’ve been dominant. All of their wins have come by one goal and they’re coming off a game in which they were doubled up in shots by a Providence team you’ll find at the bottom of this page. Two pleasant surprises for BU have been freshman Sahir Gill, who leads the team in points with six, and senior Joe Pereira, whose four goals are already just one shy of his career high.

4) No. 10 University of New Hampshire (1-1-2, 0-0-1 HE)
The Wildcats’ schedule has been anything but easy. They opened the season with a series split at No. 1 Miami, then they tied No. 4 Michigan at home and then they tied Northeastern at Matthews Arena. It’s not going to get any easier, either — their next two games are at No. 14/15 Cornell and at BC. UNH ranks third in the conference with 3.50 goals per game, but it’s also giving up 3.50 goals per game, which is surprising given the fact it has six returning defensemen and junior goalie Matt DiGirolamo has a respectable .912 save percentage.

5) Merrimack College (1-0-2, 0-0-1 HE)
The Warriors, believe it or not, are the other undefeated team. But they hadn’t faced a quality opponent until Saturday when they tied Vermont on the road. They opened the season with a disappointing tie against winless Niagara before responding with a 7-1 spanking of UConn. Merrimack ranks second in the conference in offense (4.33 GPG) and third in defense (2.33 GAA), tying them with BC for first in average goal differential. Sophomore Stephane Da Costa leads the league with two points per game.

6) University of Vermont (0-1-2, 0-0-1 HE)
The Catamounts have solid defense and goaltending — they currently rank fifth in Hockey East with a 2.67 GAA — but they need to start scoring more. Their two goals per game place them ninth in the league and half of their six goals have come off the stick of senior Wahsontiio Stacey. Needless to say, other guys need to step up. Of course, Vermont hasn’t had any cupcakes on its schedule. It opened the season with a loss and tie against Denver and then tied Merrimack on Saturday.

7) Northeastern University (1-2-2, 1-2-1 HE)
Scoring just 1.80 goals per game, the Huskies are the only team more inept on offense than Vermont. On defense, though, they rank second behind only BC with just two goals against per game. Similarly, sophomore goalie Chris Rawlings ranks second behind only Muse in both GAA (1.75) and save percentage (.950). Besides not being able to score, the biggest problem for the Huskies is injuries — they’ve already lost junior forward Alex Tuckerman and junior defensemen J.P. Maley and Drew Muench for the season, and sophomore forward Robbie Vrolyk is likely out for at least a month.

8) University of Massachusetts-Lowell (1-2-2, 1-2-0 HE)
After getting obliterated 8-2 by Maine on opening night, the River Hawks have played much better in their last four games. Their only loss during that span came Saturday against Northeastern in a game in which they outshot the Huskies 40-26. Freshman defenseman Chad Ruhwedel is quickly making a name for himself, as he leads the team and all Hockey East blue-liners in points with six. UML will need better goaltending going forward, though — freshmen Doug Carr and Marc Boulanger rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in save percentage.

9) University of Massachusetts (0-3-1, 0-1-1 HE)
The Minutemen are the antithesis of BU. Instead of winning a bunch of one-goal games, they’ve collected essentially three one-goal losses (No. 20 Minnesota tacked on an empty-netter on opening night). They actually outshot Minnesota in a pair of games in Minneapolis, but came away with nothing to show for it. Then they rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie BU on the road before suffering another narrow defeat in their home opener against the Terriers. Sophomore Darren Rowe has turned some heads with four goals already after not netting any last year.

10) Providence College (1-4-0, 1-2-0 HE)
Since beating Northeastern 3-2 on opening night, the Friars have lost four straight. They got outscored 12-4 two weekends ago in a pair of losses at No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth and then suffered back-to-back one-goal losses at the hands of UML and BU last weekend. The biggest disappointment for PC has been its defense and goaltending. The defense is tied for last in Hockey East with a 4.20 GAA after ranking fourth last year and junior netminder Alex Beaudry is 11th in save percentage (.880) after ranking third last year.