By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
DENVER — There was a lot of room to move around on the Boston University men’s hockey team’s bench late in the third period of BU’s 6–0 loss Saturday night at the University of Denver. With a man in the penalty box and a whole lot more sent back to the locker room thanks to penalties and injuries, BU did not have a lot of options in terms of personnel.
The Terriers (10–6, 8–4 Hockey East) began sending their players back to the locker room starting in the first period when senior forward Ben Rosen was elbowed in the head by Denver (10–6–3, 7–4–3 WCHA) defenseman Scott Mayfield. Rosen glided to the bench in apparent pain while Mayfield was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Rosen, who was sick last night according to BU coach Jack Parker, did not return to the game. Parker said the fourth-line center is under evaluation for a concussion.
“He may or may not have a concussion so we’ll have to check him out tomorrow,” Parker said. “So it was definitely a precaution, but also might’ve been something to do with what happened with the food poisoning.”
Rosen was one of two seniors to go to the locker room with an injury in the contest, as senior captain Wade Megan left the ice holding his shoulder in the final three minutes after being tripped up on a rush. Megan did not have ice on his shoulder after the game and “should be fine” according to senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka.
With former Terrier Yasin Cissé gone for the QMJHL, and Justin Courtnall leaving the team shortly before the season’s start, the team has a limited number of forward options to turn to should Rosen or Megan miss any games.
The only other two options left at the forward position are senior Jake Moscatel and junior Matt Ronan, who have combined for one game played. That game was last year against Merrimack College on Feb. 3, when Ronan earned a spot in the lineup.
Moscatel, who played for BU’s club team in the fall of 2011, joined the Terriers that December as a walk-on. He is yet to see any playing time for the Terriers, but Ruikka said he thinks Parker would not hesitate to insert either him or Ronan into the lineup should Megan or Rosen be forced to miss any games.
“I think coach would give them a shot,” Ruikka said. “They have been working hard in practice and looking pretty good out there. If someone can’t play, they are the next ones in.”
Another option would be for the team to dress seven defensemen and only 11 forwards, but that is not an option for the next game thanks to sophomore Alexx Privitera’s game disqualification penalty he earned Saturday night.
Privitera, who had already been penalized on the night, jumped into a scrum in front of freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor in the second period and earned a matching roughing penalty with Denver forward Ty Loney. However, on his way up from the scrum, Privitera kicked Loney earned a suspension for BU’s next game.
Freshman blueliner Matt Grzelcyk has returned from Ufa, Russia after being the final player cut from the U.S. National Junior squad and should be ready for Friday’s game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. BU has also had a competition for the final defenseman spot going on all season between Ruikka and junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor, so finding a sixth defenseman to play is not a problem.
However, not having the seventh defenseman available could leave BU down to their last few options before playing a full game with fewer than 18 skaters.
“Yeah we are short kind of in numbers,” Ruikka said. “But we have got a lot of really good players. So if we just stick together and keep playing, we can play a few men down if we need to. We have got enough good players to get the job done I think.”