Grading the Terriers: 1/28 vs. Maine

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Offense: B+
Any time you score four goals, you’re probably going to get a pretty good grade. For the first two periods, the Terriers matched the Black Bears chance for chance as the two teams treated spectators to an exhibition in up-and-down, entertaining hockey. After falling behind 3-1, the BU offense remained persistent and scored two goals in 28 seconds midway through the second to tie the game up and another early in the third to the lead for good. The key to all three of those goals was guys finding open space in close — all three shots came from the slot or closer. The Terriers did a good job throughout the game of not shooting into bodies, as they only had five shots blocked on the night.

Defense: C+
It might seem like the defense was pretty good outside of that 1:12 stretch early in the second when Maine scored three times, but in reality, it struggled all night. The Black Bears registered an astounding 24 grade-A chances in the game. Moreover, just five of Maine’s 61 shot attempts came from wide of the faceoff dots. In short, the Terriers didn’t do a good enough job of keeping the Black Bears on the periphery and not allowing them to enter the grade-A area.

Goaltending: A
For the third game in a row, Kieran Millan gets an A. Simply put, he’s playing some of his best hockey as a Terrier. Re-read those stats from the paragraph above this — 24 grade-A chances and 56 shot attempts from the middle of the ice. Millan displayed great positioning, great lateral movement and very good rebound control all night. One sequence that stands out in particular came in the opening minute of the second. He made back-to-back saves on Tanner House, then scooted to the other side of the crease to make a helmet save on Will O’Neill. As for the three goals, there wasn’t much he could do on any of them. The first was an absolute rocket by Spencer Abbott and the third came off a turnover in the slot to House. He might have committed to the slapper a little too much on Abbott’s second goal, but the wrister that Abbott followed with was a snipe.

Special teams: C+
Although BU had nine shots on its six power plays, Parker called the man advantage “inept” and said his team moved the puck too slow. The power play has been doing much better this semester than last, but tonight proved that it still has some work to do. On the flip side of the special teams coin, BU held Maine to 1-for-6 on the power play, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. The Black Bears registered 13 shots on their six man-up opportunities and probably would’ve had two or three power-play goals if not for Millan. House’s goal came on the power play when Adam Clendening lost control of the puck behind the net and had it squirt right to House in the slot.

X-Factor: Resiliency
The Terriers have proven all season that they have what it takes to come from behind. Sure, there have been a few games that they haven’t been able to get back in, but for the most part, the Terriers haven’t rolled over and played dead when they’ve fallen behind. Friday night was another example of that. After the Black Bears took a 3-1 lead with three goals in 1:12 to get Alfond Arena rocking, BU remained composed and was able to knot the game back up less than six minutes later. Not only does falling behind not seem to affect this team, it actually seems to spur them on and get them to play better.

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