From the FreeP: Men’s hockey can find no answer to impressive defense

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

LOWELL — There was a truck coming to Commonwealth Avenue this weekend, and the Boston University men’s hockey team knew it. It just couldn’t do anything to get out of the way.

That truck was in the form of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the 12th-ranked team in the country, which used a stifling trap defense to sweep the regular-season series with the No. 13/15 Terriers by taking both ends of a home-and-home, first 3-0 at Agganis Arena Friday night and then 3-1 Saturday at the Tsongas Center.

BU coach Jack Parker, pleased with his team’s effort in both games, credited much of the Terriers’ (14-14-2, 11-9-2 Hockey East) inability to find the net to the River Hawk (18-9-2, 12-8-2 Hockey East) defense — a defense from which the Terriers knew exactly what to expect.

“[The River Hawks] play a completely different d-zone coverage than anybody else in college hockey,” Parker said Thursday before mentioning it is similar to the system BU used when he suited up as a Terrier in the 1960s. “It’s not new by any stretch of the imagination.

“They do just the opposite of what everybody else does. They have one guy out high covering both points, they have two wings down low, so they’re always doubling and tripling you. They double you up every time the puck goes to the corner … So their d-zone coverage is based on outnumbering you in the corners.

“And they’re real good at it.”

If the Terriers did not believe that before, they certainly believe it after Saturday’s game.