By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
The Terriers piled up 46 shots on goal in the game, but a lot of those came from outside of good scoring areas. Part of that was due to the strong defensive play by UNH, but senior captain Wade Megan said that the team was not doing a good enough job of getting forwards in close to the goal.
The only goal that BU scored came from freshman forward Danny O’Regan, but it was more a result of a nice play by freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. The young blueliner weaved through the UNH defense before firing a low shot to DeSmith’s right pad, where it kicked out to O’Regan’s stick and up an easy goal.
Not all of the forwards had bad games though, including sophomore right wings Yasin Cissé and Evan Rodrigues. The two combined for seven shots and a plus-1 rating on the game and created several scoring chances for themselves.
BU’s defense struggled to break the puck out of the zone in the affair, and two defensive zone turnovers led to the first two goals. UNH’s offense had an aggressive forecheck on the defense, which led to several takeaways, especially in the first period. BU allowed a season-high 20 shots in the first period, two of which went past freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor.
The defense settled down as the game went on, but a lot of that had to do with how often the Wildcats were on the penalty kill. Still, there were far fewer Grade-A chances in the second and third periods than there were in the first period.
While O’Connor allowed two goals in the first period for the first time this season, the freshman stood out again as a strong final line of defense for the Terriers. The Toronto, Ontario native held the Wildcats to only two goals in 20 shots in the first period before making 15 saves over the next two periods.
Neither goal he allowed was particularly O’Connor’s fault. The first one was on an open shot from the slot after a turnover on a breakout. The second was jammed through his five-hole after another defensive-zone turnover, with no defenseman clearing UNH forward Maxim Gaudreault away from the goal.
Fellow freshman Sean Maguire played well in his first win of his career on Friday, but O’Connor remains the No. 1 option with another good performance on Sunday.
Special Teams: D–
Special teams killed the Terriers’ opportunity to win the game Sunday, as the team went 0-for-7 on its power-play opportunities. The power play did not even make scoring chances on its opportunities, struggling to hold onto the puck when it was pressured and consistently losing the puck in its own zone. In fact, UNH spent a lot of time with the puck in BU’s defensive zone and had a few scoring chances of its own during BU’s power plays.
The only reason why the Terriers did not get a failing grade for its special teams is that it killed off both of the Wildcats’ power plays. Still, this was the worst special teams performance of the season by the Terriers, and it cost the team a chance at tying the game or even winning it.
X-Factor: Sluggish start
BU came out of the locker room without any tenacity or focus to start the game, and UNH jumped on the early opportunities. The two early goals were a result of mental mistakes, as BU players either waited too long to make a decision or immediately made the wrong one. These types of mistakes are due to not being prepared for the game according to BU coach Jack Parker.
“When we’re hanging on a little too long it’s because we’re not ready to play,” Parker said. “We got the puck on our power play I betcha ten times with complete control in the half and just turned it over. Just let them come up and bump us off the puck while we were hanging on and dusting pucks.”