From the FreeP: Terriers show frustration in Beanpot consolation loss

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

No. 13 Boston University men’s hockey sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera was slow to get up after taking a big hit in his own defensive zone from Harvard University forward Alex Fallstrom. With the Terriers (13–12–1, 10–7–1 Hockey East) down 5–3 to the Crimson (6–15–2) late in the second period, the hit was enough to push Privitera’s temper over the edge.

The sophomore flew down the ice and tried to lay a big hit on Fallstrom in retaliation for the previous check. When Fallstrom almost dodged the hit, Privitera stuck out his knee, creating knee-on-knee contact. Fallstrom fell to the ice writhing in pain, and Privitera was charged with a game misconduct and was told to hit the showers.

The retaliation penalty was just one example of the Terriers showing signs of frustration in Monday night’s 7–4 loss to Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game. BU has won just one of its last seven contests.

“I’d say the team’s definitely a little frustrated,” said senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka. “You want to win, but when you keep losing it just kills the morale of the team.”

While there have been a number of things that have gone wrong in the Terriers’ recent cold streak, one of the most notable problems Monday was the team’s discipline. BU took nine penalties in the game, including six penalties after it fell behind.

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13 thoughts on “From the FreeP: Terriers show frustration in Beanpot consolation loss

  1. For the last several seasons, penalties have been a big problem for BU. The Terriers were at the top of the national list of penalized schools, so the coaching staff came into this year stressing the importance of staying out of the penalty box. And for about the first 14 games of this season, the team did just that, and the result was a big reduction in penalty minutes and a winning record. However, shortly before the break, they started to revert to form, and it seems to have gotten worse as the second half goes along.

    Privitera and Noonan have been the worst offenders with multiple game misconducts. While Privitera took a tough and perhaps illegal hit at the other end last night, there’s no excuse for a leg check, which can cause serious injury. He could be a good player, but his inability to control his emotions is making him more of a liability than an asset. Privitera said he learned his lesson after the Denver incident, but clearly the lesson didn’t sink in for very long.
    Just as clearly, the coaching staff is having trouble getting through to some of the players on this issue. This lack of discipline is troubling on a number of levels.

  2. I agree 100% with what you say, if BU had several other options in terms of players in the stands, I would suggest a rest of season suspension or even dismissal from the team for these repeat offenders. These players may however, feel that there is nothing BU can do to them for more than a game or 2 due to the lack of replacement players.

    Additionally, some of these players may feel that they are not going to come back for many reasons so who cares (turning pro, don’t want to account for their actions, etc.)? The coaching staff has few options too, but as hard as it may be, they are still the coaches and need to do the right thing for the team and the program. Take action and take it NOW!

  3. Parker has lost this team. No one listens to him from seniors to freshman.

    Privitera is a cancer and the others are following his lead.

    Noonan and Grizlyck wouldn’t know how to play defense if their lives depended on it.

  4. Many potential walk on players, as I understand it, are told by Parker not to come to BU. He should encourage such players so he can develop some extra skaters. I woud say that he has lost control of the program. Why he has gone the other way vis a vis York’s program is that York retains his asst. coaches. It is a sad ending, I believe, to a man that was one of college’s best coaches. So sad for him.

    • How do you associate a lack of retention of assistant coaches by Parker as him losing control of the program? Parker hasn’t had a problem retaining assistants; the fact that some of his assistants have been at BU for a long time might be a bigger problem, along with questionable hires Parker made to fill openings when assistants have moved on.

      Mike Bavis has been Parker’s assistant coach for 15 years. Mike Geragosian has been the goaltending coach for 12 years. Buddy Powers joined in 2009 to back fill the opening created when David Quinn left. Pertti Hasanen was an assistant at BU in the 1990s, then rejoined the staff 2 years ago.

      For many years, Parker’s assistants were younger coaches who used their time at BU as a springboard to head coaching opportunities.

      Ben Smith (Dartmouth, Northeastern, US Women’s Olympic Team)
      Toot Cahoon (Princeton, UMASS)
      Blaise MacDonald (Niagara, Lowell)
      Brian Durocher (BU Women’s Team)
      David Quinn (AHL, current Colorado Avalanche assistant coach).

      Despite his time at BU, I question whether Bavis might be a capable successor to Parker. The fact he’s been an assistant for 15 years could mean he’s either extremely loyal to Parker/BU, he thinks he’s next in line to succeed Parker, he’s comfortable and maybe even complacent in his job, he hasn’t received serious consideration for other head coach positions, or any/all of the above.

      Geragosian was widely credited with turning John Curry from 3rd-string walk on into am All-American. However, look at the other highly-touted goalies BU have had since Geragosian has been on the staff that didn’t pan out as well: Jason Tapp, Karson Gillespie, Brett Bennett, Grant Rollheiser. Kieran Millan didn’t really improve from his Freshman to Senior year.

      Powers was a very odd hire by Parker. He is more of Parker’s contemporary and was not the 1st choice for the opening created by Quinn’s departure. John Hynes was offered the job but turned it down. Powers was out of coaching after being fired as Bowling Green’s head coach in 2002 and was widely considered “done” in coaching circles until Parker hired him.

      If one problem many perceive Parker as having is a lack of ability to relate to today’s players, why hire an older, “past his prime” coach (Powers) who has been out of coaching for that many years?

    • You have very good points. However I go back all the way to his past championships when he lost most of his staff. The problem is that we compete against BC and they keep their coaches even after they win championships. How do they do this? Is it money? I don’t know. But the loss of Quinn was disasterous. The D has never been developed from that time on in the program. I know that if you encourage walk ons and can develop one a year you are far ahead of the game in college hockey. He has lost control of the program because of the seven lost players in the middle of the past two years and inconsistant play of late.

    • Losing Quinn wouldn’t have hurt as much if Parker hired a capable replacement instead of Powers – i.e. if Hynes had accepted the offer. The D has regressed since Quinn left (note: Powers is in charge of the defensemen).

      Crunched some #s and found that in Quinn’s 5 years, BU gave up an average of 2.36 goals/game. Since Quinn left, BU is giving up an average of 3.01 goals/game.

      It’s not just the stats, but since Quinn left, I struggle to think of one defenseman who’s play has improved significantly – especially in their own end. However, bad defense is a team malaise – lazy forwards not backchecking and goalies giving up soft goals only pile things on.

    • I think the comments about the coaching have been spot on. BU has prospered when Parker had strong assistant coaches, and has suffered when he did not. Powers was a loyalty hire, and that is not a good reason to bring in a coach. Bavis should not be the next coach. The team has not performed well since he became the top assistant and recruiter, and that is just one reason. Almost as importantly, people who make the best coaches have played and coached in several different systems. When they become coaches, they pick and choose ideas and practices based on their diverse experience. Bavis has played and coached with Parker for 20 years. As a result, he doesn’t have the kind of frame of reference that prepares a person to succeed. This is nothing personal. From everything I know, he is a terrific person. But I think we need someone who brings a different set of skills to the table as the next coach.

    • Obviously, that’s not what was written or intended. I’d be curious to know the reason you feel it necessary to misrepresent the comment. The fact that BU has performed better when the coach had better assistants should not be surprising. I am sure that is the case with many teams.

  5. Every program, at some point, reaches a juncture where a changing of the guard becomes necessary. BU continues to recruit talented players, but it is the responsibility of the coaching staff to mold them into a disciplined, competitive team that shows up every night ready to play. Who will have the courage at BU to realize that the time has come? Coach Parker is an institution at BU, and he would be doing the school a great service by realizing he may no longer be the best person to be leading the program.

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