By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
With a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period, fans eagerly yelled at the No. 10/11 Boston University men’s hockey team as it calmly distributed the puck around Providence College’s defense, looking for a hole to shoot through.
As time ticked down on the power play, freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk slipped a pass down to junior forward Matt Nieto, who one-timed the puck from a sharp angle into the back of the net to tie the score at two apiece.
The goal was Nieto’s fourth in his last six games, as he continues to prove to the impatient fans that he is one of the top offensive players BU (13–9–1, 10–6–1 Hockey East) has despite his slow start to the season. As BU coach Jack Parker pointed out, Nieto has always been a player who improves his production in the second half of the season.
“He’s always been a streaky scorer,” Parker said. “I said to him yesterday or the day before, ‘your time of year,’ because he’s always come on in the second half of the year and really put some numbers up. We’re hoping he continues that.”
Coming on strong in the second half of the season has certainly become a trend for Nieto. It began his freshman season, when he only scored six points before the New Year and went on to score 17 points in the second half.
By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff
Given the number of momentum swings and lead changes at Agganis Arena Saturday, a 3–3 tie could seem like an unsatisfying outcome for the Boston University men’s hockey team against Providence College.
BU (13–9–1, 10–6–1 Hockey East) coach Jack Parker didn’t see it that way, though.
“The best part of that game was the fact that they came right out and scored in the third, and we had to come back twice to get a tie out of it,” Parker said.
BU outshot Providence (10–10–4, 8–6–3 HE) 31–29 despite lagging behind the Friars for much of the game. Freshman goalie Matt O’Connor, while still not quite playing in his early-season form, held off the Friars late in the game to keep them from leaving Boston with two points.
The Boston University men’s hockey team battled to a 3-3 tie with Providence College on Saturday night. BU (13-9-1, 10-6-1 Hockey East) outshot Providence (10-10-4, 8-6-3 HE) 31-29 despite lagging behind the Friars for much of the game.
BU’s entire third line had a hand in the first goal of the game, late in the first period. Freshman forward Sam Kurker found his classmate Matt Lane with a well-placed cross-ice pass in the neutral zone, and Lane carried it down the wing. He shot low on Providence goalie Jon Gillies, producing a rebound that came right to senior center Ben Rosen as he crashed the net and knocked in his third goal of the year.
The lead was short-lived. Less than two minutes later, senior defenseman Sean Escobedo went to the box for interference, and 11 seconds into the power play, PC defenseman Myles Harvey fired a low slap shot that found its way through O’Connor’s five-hole.
After a series of careless passes in the first – on two, BU gave the puck away at their defensive blue line only to catch a lucky break when Providence went offsides – the miscues finally hurt the Terriers early in the second. Kurker lost the puck at BU’s blue line and PC forward Steven McParland picked his pocket, drove in on net and stuffed the puck past O’Connor without much difficulty.
Midway through the period, freshman defenseman Ahti Oksanen was rocked by a big hit along the boards near Providence’s bench. He skated off gingerly, although he returned a few minutes later. Shortly afterward, with a Friar already in the box, freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was knocked into the boards by PC forward Noel Acciari, who went to the box for elbowing.
BU tied it up in the waning seconds of the 5-on-3. As Grzelcyk and Privitera played catch and the impatient crowd started calling for them to shoot, Grzelcyk finally fed Nieto in the corner, and he snapped a one-timer into the top right corner before Gillies could get over.
Providence grabbed the lead back on a goal by sophomore wing Shane Luke. Luke and his center, Ross Mauermann, were alone coming into BU’s zone, and Luke snapped a high shot past O’Connor for the 3-2 lead.
Then a strange situation worked in the Terriers’ favor as they tied it up at 3. As his line worked the puck around the zone, senior wing Ryan Santana was pinned against the Providence crossbar by Steven Shamanski. As freshman center Danny O’Regan wound around the net and stuffed the puck past Gillies, Santana couldn’t get out of the crease in time, so the play was originally called no goal.
After review, though, it was determined that Santana was impeded while trying to get out of the crease, and the goal counted. The score remained 3-3 through the end of regulation and through an overtime period where the best chance came late on a close-range shot from Hohmann.
Time/location (TV): 7 p.m., Agganis Arena (NESN)
Ahti Oksanen – Ryan Ruikka
Steven McParland – Noel Acciari – Chris Rooney
Brandon Tanev – Kyle Murphy – Derek Army
Shane Luke – Ross Mauermann – Paul de Jersey
Myles Harvey – Will Goss
Alex Velischek – Tom Parisi
John Gilmour – Steven Shamanski
By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
Jack Parker spoke with an air of concern after the No. 10/11 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 3-2 win over Providence College Friday night. Sure, his team had won after falling behind 2-0, but it lost sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues to an apparent left hand injury after he got hit hard into the boards.
All is well, though, as Rodrigues’ hand is not fractured, according to team sports information director Brian Kelley on Twitter. Rodrigues is day-to-day and will miss Saturday’s game at Agganis Arena vs. the Friars.
With Rodrigues in one piece the Terriers look to have dodged a bullet. The Etobicoke, Ontario, native has been on fire of late, netting eight of his 18 points this season in the last four games, including BU’s first two goals Friday night.
The hot streak comes after Rodrigues went five games over the course of more than a month without a point.
“He arguably might be the best forward on our team right now, and sure is one of the hottest players in the league right now,” Parker said Friday night. “That’ll be tough to replace.”
Fortunately for him, the team won’t have to for too long.
Senior forward Ryan Santana is expected to replace Rodrigues as second-line right wing Saturday night.
Rodrigues’ absence also opens up a lineup spot for freshman forward Wes Myron, who “is chomping at the bit to get back in,” according to Parker, after being a healthy scratch the last two games.
By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After more than 45 minutes of Friday’s game, the scoreboard could have read: Providence College 2, Evan Rodrigues 2.
The sophomore wing hadn’t done it all on his own, of course. Passes from his linemates, freshman Danny O’Regan and junior Matt Nieto, helped set him up to fire home his first goal.
On his second goal, though, he jammed home a rebound from close range, then went sliding across the ice on his stomach to celebrate tying the game 2-2.
Rodrigues was battling Providence forward Noel Acciari for the puck in the corner behind Providence’s net. He appeared to lose an edge as Acciari shoved him from behind, and the combination of those factors sent him crashing face-first into the boards.
He crumpled to the ice immediately and lay there, holding his wrist, for a minute before he skated off, doubled over. He didn’t return, and BU coach Jack Parker said he would receive X-rays on his hand that night to evaluate the team’s suspicion that it was broken.
The sight of the Terriers’ only scorer gliding slowly off the ice could either have deflated BU or inspired them. They chose the latter. Moments after Rodrigues left the ice, junior wing Sahir Gill was upended behind the Providence net. When he got up, he picked up the puck at the side of the crease, carried it through defenders behind the net and slid a wraparound goal past Friar goalie Jon Gillies to give BU the lead.
Once they had the lead, even though Providence outshot them 13-7 in the third, the Terriers’ intensity didn’t flag. Forwards – notably Gill and senior forward Wade Megan – kept the puck moving forward out of BU’s zone.
When Providence beat freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and came down on a 2-on-1 on sophomore Alexx Privitera, Privitera almost wrestled the puck away from the Friar forward and into the corner until the rest of the Terriers could get back. BU’s pace had been picking up throughout the second, but once Rodrigues left the ice, they were relentless.
Gill said he thought losing Rodrigues had a visible impact on BU’s play for the rest of the third period.
“Guys’ shots are getting harder on the forecheck, and I thought we did a lot of the little things right,” he said.
“He arguably might be the best forward on our team right now, and sure is one of the hottest players in the league right now,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “That’ll be tough to replace.”
With Rodrigues out at the very least for the near future, more offensive responsibility falls on the shoulders of Nieto and Gill. Both have played better after slow starts to the season. Gill has at least one point in five of his last six games, and Nieto has crept back up to tie for third on the team with six goals.
“Even if he’s in the lineup or if not, we’re two guys that need to step up,” Gill said of himself and Nieto. “Just speaking for myself, it’s got to be better. Close isn’t good enough this time of year.”
By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 10/11 Boston University men’s hockey team fell behind early to Providence College, but used two goals from sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues and a late tally from junior forward Sahir Gill to clinch a 3–2 victory at Schneider Arena Friday night.
Here is a look at what went right and what went wrong for the Terriers.
Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire struggled in his last outing, allowing six goals in a 6–5 loss to Northeastern University. However, the Powell River, British Columbia, native recovered nicely in the win, making 32 saves in the effort.
“Bouncing back is probably one of the hardest things to do,” Maguire said. “The boys really worked well in front of me today and they helped me do that.”
Some of his best efforts came at the end of the third period, including save in which he made a full split to kick aside a shot from forward Paul de Jersey on a rebound.
With the exception of the loss to Northeastern, Maguire has not allowed more than two goals in a game since his second career start at the University of North Dakota. Following the win Friday, Maguire leads the team with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Sahir Gill steps up late
The moment sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues went down with an apparent hand injury, junior forward Sahir Gill took his game to a new level. The following shift after absorbing a big hit behind Providence goalie Jon Gillies, Gill took the puck by a defenseman in the slot, around the net and tucked the puck inside the post for the game-winning goal.
The 5-foot-10 forward was not done though, as he made some nice plays on the penalty kill to help preserve the lead. He even skated in on breakaways twice, but Gillies shut him down both times with nice stops.
With the goal on the night, Gill improved his total to five on the season. Gill, who scored 12 goals last season, will need to continue stepping up as the season continues, especially if Rodrigues misses significant time with the injury.
Taking fewer penalties
The Terriers took a couple of almost costly penalties down the stretch, but held themselves to only three penalties in a very close game. The lack of time on the penalty kill was key to BU coming back throughout the game, as it only took one penalty throughout the first two periods.
This was a change from its 4–3 loss to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, when BU took seven penalties and spent a large portion of the game in the penalty box. BU had taken four or more penalties in three of its last four losses, so staying out of the penalty box was an important factor in coming out on top.
“It’s beneficial anytime, you don’t wear out your guys,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “But it was big tonight the way we penalized ourselves the last two games, and I thought we were better disciplined job staying out of the box but still playing real hard.”
The Terriers may have won the game but an injury to Rodrigues will leave a sour taste in the mouth of BU fans. Providence forward Noel Acciari hit Rodrigues from behind behind Gillies and appeared to injure Rodrigues’ wrist on the play.
Rodrigues was in the middle of a two-goal performance in which he had not only scored goals, but made a few nifty passes to create scoring chances for his linemates. The sophomore from Etobicoke, Ontario had scored five goals and three assists in his last four games, and had been a sparkplug on what has been BU’s best line of late.
It remains to be seen how long Rodrigues will be out, but his absence will certainly leave a large hole in the Terriers’ offense.
Another Slow Start
With another slow start in tonight’s game, BU struggling out of the gate is becoming a trend. The Terriers allowed two goals and struggled to get the puck out of its own end for most of the first period before taking a little bit of momentum at the end of the frame.
The first goal was the result of a lost coverage after an offensive-zone turnover by freshman forward Sam Kurker. That was followed by another missed coverage after a defensive zone faceoff that allowed forward Brandon Tanev to backhand one around Maguire.
“There’s two goals that were absolutely nothing to do with Sean Maguire,” Parker said. “But give our team credit. We came back and played hard and the last five minutes of the period we came out pretty good.”
Power play woes
The Terriers had a chance to really take momentum of the game in the second period when Providence took three penalties. However, the BU power play struggled to create any chances and failed to score on Gillies.
BU’s power play has picked up its performance as of late, scoring four times in its last two games. However, the unit did not gel as well tonight, and consistently had shots from the point blocked and sent back out to center ice.