Grading the Terriers: 11/20 vs. UNH

By Jake Seiner, DFP Staff

Offense: B+
Opportunistic was the word of the night at Agganis Arena Saturday night. BU made UNH pay dearly when it turned the puck over, much to the demise of UNH coach Dick Umile. The Terriers scored four goals on 28 shots, with all four goals coming in the second period. The scoring outbreak was especially impressive with junior Chris Connolly missing the second and third periods with an injured finger. Sahir Gill and Charlie Coyle both had superb offensive nights, while Alex Chiasson (1 goal, 1 assist) and Corey Trivino (2 assists) each had multi-point nights. Chiasson’s tally was a rocket of a shot –– the sophomore rifled a short-handed one-timer over UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo in the second that tied the score at 2.

Defense: C+
BU played better in its own zone than it did last night, but the Wildcats did manage to rip 82 shot attempts, and put 43 of them on goal. UNH had 18 grade-A chances by this reporter’s count, and BU was still occasionally turnover-prone in its own zone. For the second straight night, freshman Garett Noonan received high praise from coach Jack Parker, and the rookie –– who was a late summer fill-in when both Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk opted for professional contracts –– is proving himself a more than capable Division 1 D-man. He and Adam Clendening (1 goal) have emerged as a solid D-pairing, with Noonan allowing Clendening to put his superior offensive skills on display with a sturdy stay-at-home approach. Noonan also has been getting time on the power play, and has looked fairly at ease in that position.

Goaltending: A-/A
Terrier nation couldn’t have asked for much more out of Grant Rollheiser Saturday night. The junior set a career high with 41 saves on 43 shots faced, and a number of those saves were of the highlight variety. Rollheiser did face an easier task than position-mate Kieran Millan did last night. The Terriers forced a few more shots from the outside tonight, and Millan had to deal with 49 shots on net last night. The freshman was strong on initial shots and limited his rebounds very well, and showed exceptional poise and sharpness for a goalie making only his third start of the season.

Special Teams: C
The Terriers continued to struggle on the power play, going 0-for-4. They did generate eight shots –– a positive sign to be sure –– but the team was just 1-for-7 on the weekend with the man-up. The power-play unit has been a real weakness this year –– perhaps the biggest chink in BU’s armor. On the flip side, the penalty kill wasn’t nearly as strong as the 1-for-6 showing might suggest, except for Rollheiser’s play in net. BU allowed 11 shots on goal to UNH while a man down, and the team’s diamond killing formation was often put through the spin cycle by UNH’s stellar puck movement. The poor showing by BU’s skaters isn’t necessarily a step back for BU –– UNH has the top PP unit in Hockey East and could make even the best PK unit look foolish. Still, not the best night for BU’s skaters behind their own blue line.

X-Factor: Freshmen
The rooks have been pretty good for BU this year. Gill is now tied with Chiasson and Connolly for the team lead in points (12), and he didn’t even have the best night of the freshies. That honor goes to Charlie Coyle, who was a monster around the net and in the corners for BU. The East Weymouth native tied for the team-lead with five shots on goal, performed as well as anybody on the PK, and was the key to multiple extended possessions for the BU offense. On the blue line, Clendening and Noonan had perhaps their best combined effort of the season. Both players finished plus-3 for the night, and Clendening netted his first collegiate goal.