From the FreeP: Penalties wear on Terriers in loss to Spartans

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

An unhappy David Quinn was blunt Saturday night following a 3–1 loss to Michigan State University, in which the No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team took seven penalties to put its weekend total at 13.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Quinn said. “You can’t do it. We keep talking about it. I’ve benched guys, but obviously there have to be more drastic results.”

Quinn took issue with a number of aspects of his team’s poor play — faceoffs and puck possession among them — but the frequency of the Terriers’ two-minute infractions was near the top of the list. BU was also penalized six times in a 2–1 loss to No. 4 University of Michigan Friday night, and Quinn expressed a similar sentiment after that blown third-period lead.

He guaranteed change.

“We’re young, and we’re going to learn,” Quinn said Friday, referencing a lineup featuring eight freshmen. “We’re not going to be taking these penalties … in a short period of time.”

Not short enough, however.

Pluses and Minuses: BU finishes out first weekend on road with loss to Michigan State

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff
EAST LANSING, Mich. – For the first time this season, No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn felt as though his team took a step back. The Terriers, who fell to Michigan State University Saturday evening 3-1, finished off their first away weekend of the season with a pair of losses after holding a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game.
Minuses
Team’s readiness to play
At a very basic level, Saturday’s game against Michigan State carried some similarities to Friday’s game against the University of Michigan. Both involved BU taking a 1-0 lead late in the first period and, ultimately, giving it up in the second half of the third. Quinn, however, was quick to say that the game against the Spartans was different since it showed a Terrier squad that did not expect much from its competition coming into the game.
“Today [Michigan State] played like a team that was 0-3 and was looking for a win,” Quinn said. “We played like a team that was 3-2 and thought it was going to be easy tonight. And they were the much better team tonight. That’s all there is to it.”
Penalties
Quinn had one word to sum up his thoughts on the amount of penalties the Terriers took not just Saturday night, but on the weekend – ridiculous.
BU had seven penalties during the tilt with the Spartans. Even though the Terriers were perfect on the penalty kill, Quinn said it took the legs away from a team that already started off the game “standing in quick sand.”
According to Quinn, even though he’s benched players for racking up too many penalty minutes, he wants to see more “drastic” improvements.
The trouble with faceoffs
BU really struggled at the dot in the game,with Michigan State holding the faceoff advantage 36-20. None of the BU players who took faceoffs had a successful night. In fact, the only BU player to have better than a .500 average on the draw was senior captain Garrett Noonan, who went 1-0. Sophomore center Danny O’Regan, who took the most faceoffs of the game with 25, went 9-16.
“Oh, we got killed,” Quinn said. “That’s not being ready to play. Faceoffs are a huge sign of your team’s readiness, and we lost faceoffs … As the puck was about to hit the ice, [Michigan State] was already moving and we were flat footed.”
Pluses
Matt Lane
While the sophomore had the Terriers’ lone goal tonight, he also had some other good scoring opportunities. Lane, who gave BU a 1-0 lead with 48 seconds left in the first frame, was the only Terrier to finish the night with a positive plus-minus rating. Furthermore, the right winger out of Rochester, N.Y., had multiple shorthanded chances during the second period when BU had four penalties.
Goaltending
Just like his classmate Matt O’Connor on Friday, sophomore Sean Maguire had a strong night in goal against Michigan State. The Powell River, British Columbia, native had 30 saves on the night – 11 of which came with the Terriers on the penalty kill.
When asked what he would say to both O’Connor and Maguire after a weekend where they both kept BU in their respective games, senior captain Garrett Noonan said, “sorry.”
“Both of them played unbelievable back-to-back nights,” Noonan said. “When you don’t get the win for them it’s tough. They played hard for us all night, and we give up two goals back-to-back nights. It’s tough. We have got to get back to work Friday night [against Providence College] and try to earn them a victory.”
Quinn also made said that without the strong goaltending he was not sure where the Terriers would be right now.
Traveling Terriers
More than 20 members of the Dog Pound drove to Michigan this weekend, marking the first time that Quinn saw the Terrier fanbase travel to watch BU play and, at times, out-cheer the home school’s student sections.
“It’s awesome,” Quinn said. “I just wish we were able to reward them for their support.”
Noonan also showed his appreciation for the fans.
“It’s pretty tremendous that they come all the way out for us like that and support us like that, Noonan said. “They mean a ton to us, and I know we will need them Friday night.”

UPDATED: No. 13/14 Terriers blow lead in third period for second consecutive night, fall to Michigan State 3-1

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Sports

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team must have been having déjà vu at Michigan State University Saturday night, as it allowed two quick goals late in the third period to fall behind and lose its second game in a row. The Terriers lost 3-1 at Munn Ice Arena, and have now dropped three of their last four contests.

The game mirrored Friday night’s loss to No. 4 University of Michigan, when the Terriers (3-3, 1-0 Hockey East) scored a late first period goal, but, after several penalties, BU could not hold onto a one-goal lead for the entirety of the game despite strong performance in goal.

“We took a step back this weekend,” said BU coach David Quinn. “We were moving forward, I think we’ve been progressing, and just a huge step back this weekend. It’s just frustrating because I really like what I’ve seen the first three weeks.”

Sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire ended the night with 30 saves in the loss. That performance came after a 42-save loss by fellow sophomore netminder Matt O’Connor the night before.

“Without our goaltending, god knows where we’d be right now,” Quinn said. “They’re allowing us to grow and find our way, win some hockey games in the process.”

With less than a minute to play in the first period, freshmen defenseman Doyle Somerby and forward Kevin Duane won a battle along the right boards and chipped the puck into the air where junior center Cason Hohmann grabbed the puck. Hohmann darted into the zone and drew the defender on a 2-on-1 before snapping a long pass through the zone to sophomore winger Matt Lane, who potted his second goal of the season to the right of Michigan State (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten) goaltender Jake Hildebrand.

Somerby, who was tied for a team-high with five blocked shots on the night, earned the first point of his collegiate career with the assist on the play. Fellow freshman Dalton MacAfee also had a good night, making several nice plays to break up Michigan State scoring chances.

That goal held for the Terriers through the second period despite them spending much of the frame on the penalty kill. The Terriers took four penalties in the period — three of which were stick infractions. BU, however, did a good job of killing the penalties and even created a few scoring chances with one fewer skater on the ice. The Terriers were 7-for-7 killing penalties on the night.

The Spartans pulled even in the third period, though, when forward Brent Darnell scooped up a rebound and put it past Maguire with less than five minutes remaining in the frame. Less than a minute later, Spartan Joe Cox scored just a few feet away from where Michigan State netted its first goal.  After winning a battle in close, the forward flicked the puck off Maguire’s pad and into the net to give Michigan State the 2-1 lead.

“Both of them were kind of greasy goals,” said BU captain Garrett Noonan. “At the same time, they worked for their goals, they went hard all night like they were a desperate hockey team. Give them credit. They earned those goals.”

Spartan captain Greg Wolfe added the empty net goal with four seconds remaining to seal the victory for Michigan State.

The Terriers’ offense struggled to get quality scoring chances on the night, and totaled 27 shots — 13 of which came in the second period and five of which came in the final few minutes of play when BU was scrambling for offense. The Spartans only outshot BU 22-21 with the teams at even strength, as Michigan State totaled 11 shots with the man advantage.

Quinn said he did not feel his team was ready to play Tuesday night, and that it was playing “youth hockey.”

“I think they looked at the 0-3 record,” Quinn said. “They’re kids. I could tell them till I’m blue in the face, and they’re not believing me. We took a step back.”

As for the plan going forward, Quinn had a simple message for the team in the locker room after the game.

“Be ready to practice on Tuesday,” Quinn said.

Live blog: BU visits Michigan State Spartans

Time/location: 7 pm., Munn Ice Arena

BU lines: 
Robbie Baillargeon – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Matt Lane – Cason Hohmann – Kevin Duane
Tommy Kelley – Nick Roberto – Jake Moscatel
Mike Moran – Dillon Lawrence – T.J. Ryan
Ahti Oksanen – Garrett Noonan
Matt Grzelcyk – Patrick MacGregor
Doyle Somerby – Dalton MacAfee
Sean Maguire
Matt O’Connor
Anthony Moccia
Michigan State lines:
Ryan Keller – Lee Reimer – Greg Wolfe
Mackenzie MacEachern – Thomas Ebbing – Brent Darnell
Dean Chelios – Michael Ferrantino – Joe Cox
JT Stenglein – Matt DeBlouw – Villiam Haag
Travis Walsh – RJ Boyd
Brock Krygier – Rhett Holland
Jake Chelios – Nickolas Gatt
Jake Hildebrand
Will Yanakeff
Referees: Brian Hill, Stephen McInchak
Linesmen: Joseph Hutek, Bruce Vida
Live blog: 

Pluses and Minuses: Penalties, turnovers doom Terriers in loss at Michigan

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team fell at the hands of No. 4 University of Michigan, 2-1, at Yost Ice Arena Friday night. Here is a look at some of the pluses and minuses for the Terriers in their second loss of the season.


Minuses

Team discipline dooms Terriers from start
BU has made a habit of spending time in the penalty box this season, a place that they found themselves a lot again Friday night at Michigan.

It started in the first period, when the Terriers took three penalties in the first 12 minutes of the game and allowed nine power play shots. One of the penalties was a too many men on the ice penalty, which is the second one BU has taken in as many games.

Besides a penalty shot induced by a hook from sophomore forward Mike Moran, the other four minor penalties were taken by four different defensemen. Senior captain Patrick MacGregor, who was benched for the first period because of the penalties he had taken in recent games, and freshman Dalton MacAfee were the only two defensemen that did not take a penalty in the game.

One reason the penalties were so necessary was because Michigan was passing the puck so well and had chances to get open looks at sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor. Three of the four penalties were tripping penalties while the other was an interference call, all of which were to stop the fast-paced Michigan offense from getting past them.

“It’s the theme of our year so far,” said BU coach David Quinn. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Even with the Terriers struggling to stay out of the box Friday night, penalty trouble has not been as much of a problem for BU as it has been for several other teams in Hockey East. BU is eighth in the league with 12 penalty minutes per game, 10.6 minutes per game behind league leader Northeastern University (22.6).

Sloppy puck-possession play leaves Terriers without offense
Quinn has stressed all season the importance of his team making the smart, five-foot pass instead of a long stretch pass through the neutral zone looking for a big play. However, the Terriers found themselves looking for longer passes again Friday night, and it fell right into the hands of the Wolverines defense that was waiting for them.

Several Terriers tried to squeeze longer passes through a suffocating Michigan defense, in turn creating offensive opportunities for the opponent instead of their own team. Quinn also pointed out BU’s struggles with passing on the initial rush as a reason his team did not possess the puck for much of the game.

“Coming down on a 2-on-2 or a 3-on-3 in tight areas with high-risk plays and boom, they turn it over and they go the other way,” Quinn said. “Against this team that is the last way you want to play. You can’t play that way. We did it all night long. … That’s the frustrating part.

“Decision making is a big part of this game. You’ve got to make good decisions, and when we had it we didn’t make great decisions.”

Pluses


Robbie Baillargeon finds the back of the net again

Freshman winger Robbie Baillargeon scored his first collegiate goal last Saturday against Wisconsin, and now he is on a bit of a streak. With less than two minutes remaining in the first period — a period in which the Terriers were outshot 14-6 — Baillargeon rifled a wrist shot over Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort’s shoulder while falling backward.

Quinn showed his confidence in Baillargeon’s abilities early when he put him on the first line with sophomore center Danny O’Regan and junior winger Evan Rodrigues, but decided a move to a line with sophomore winger Matt Lane and junior center Cason Hohmann would suit his skills better. Since joining that second line, Baillargeon has two goals and two assists and has been arguably the Terriers’ best forward.

“He’s got great skills,” Quinn said of his top-scoring freshman. “He’s a really good player. He’s going to produce a lot of offense for us.”

Matt O’Connor stands tall
The top Terrier on the night by a long shot was O’Connor, who made 42 saves in a losing effort. O’Connor was stellar on the penalty kill and 5-on-5, and made several key saves that required him to move post to post to kick the puck aside.

For more on O’Connor’s night, click here.

Matt O’Connor shines in loss to No. 4 Michigan


By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — During the early goings of the third period, the No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team found itself in jeopardy of seeing its 1-0 lead disappear. After a scrum in front of the net, the puck bounced to the right of sophomore netminder Matt O’Connor, skidding over the goal line and eventually going under the net as it lifted off the ice.
MEREDITH PERRI/DFP STAFF
Sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor makes a save during
the second period of Boston University’s 2-1 loss to
the University of Michigan on Oct. 25. 

As soon as the referee signaled goal, O’Connor, who already had more than 30 saves at the time, rushed toward an official. From the Toronto native’s perspective, Wolverine winger Luke Moffatt had pushed the puck across the crease using his glove.
“I just remember seeing no stick in the guy’s hand, and he was sort of in the crease,” O’Connor said. “Then he just kind of sweeped it in with his hand. I just immediately wanted to get to the ref before he made a full-out decision, and let him know.
“I don’t think they really deserved a goal on that play. We were all there, just a scrum and our players lifted sticks so they got a goal by using their hands.”
Just moments later, the officials determined via video review that the goal did not count. What looked like a break for the Terriers, however, did not last for long as Michigan capitalized on penalties to ultimately defeat BU 2-1 at Yost Ice Arena.
While the Terriers struggled to keep the puck in Michigan’s zone and, eventually, faltered against the top power-play unit in the nation, O’Connor’s performance kept BU in the game.  
According to BU coach David Quinn, who has bounced back and forth between starting O’Connor and sophomore Sean Maguire, the decision to start the 6-foot-6 netminder was based off a hunch.
“He’s a really good goalie, first and foremost,” Quinn said. “They both had great weeks in practice… I didn’t make that decision on my own, so I’m not going to take credit for it.”
O’Connor started off the game by stopping all 14 shots that he faced in the first frame. Nine of those 14 shots came during the Terriers’ three penalties.
“I was hoping for a bit of a fairy tale,” O’Connor said after the game. “With the way they possessed the puck in our zone, had so many scoring chances … and we were still going strong and battling hard in a crazy atmosphere.”
For O’Connor, getting a lot of action early, as well as hearing the taunts of “sieve” from the crowd helped him to focus in the beginning of the game.
“Just the atmosphere itself really gets you focused,” O’Connor said. “I think that’s what helps me sometimes. It’s just getting [ready] for a big game and playing in a big atmosphere so that definitely gives you that extra edge.”
O’Connor continued to stymie the Wolverines’ offense through the second period as he picked up 16 saves. After the goal was called off in the third frame, however, O’Connor and the Terrier defense could no longer fend off Michigan.
In between the Wolverines’ two goals, O’Connor grew heated and pushed Moffat. O’Connor, however, was not penalized for the shove that landed Moffat on the ice.
“Sometimes you have to protect your crease because they don’t really care too much about you over there,” O’Connor said. “I think that’s part of my game that I’ve worked on, to just be a little stronger in the crease by putting weight on, being a little more aggressive at the top of the crease, then holding my ground for those scrambles and here and there giving a little shove also helps you keep that mentality.”
Although O’Connor recorded more saves during the game than he had in any other start this season with 42, he will not make the start against Michigan State University on Saturday, according to Quinn.
“Obviously me and Mags both want to play every game,” O’Connor said. “That’s what makes us so competitive.” 

UPDATED: No. 13/14 Terriers blow third-period lead in 2-1 loss to No. 4 Michigan

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For 45 minutes Friday night, Matt O’Connor appeared on his way to stealing the No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team a win over No. 4 University of Michigan. Then penalties did the Terriers in.

The Wolverines (4-0-1) scored twice on the sophomore goaltender in a span of a minute and a half in the third period for the 2-1 win at Yost Ice Arena. BU (3-2, 1-0 Hockey East) was outshot 44-19 while suffering a loss to open its 2013-14 road slate.

“It was a lot of fun, as much as you can have losing 2-1,” BU coach David Quinn said. “Tonight was a lesson for a lot of our guys. Eight freshmen in the lineup who were playing in this environment and playing against a team of this caliber. … But you can’t play well three minutes in a period and expect to win a hockey game. It’s just not going to happen.”

Quinn harped quite a bit about penalties, and with reason. The Terriers allowed Michigan 14 shots on five power plays — including three in the first 10 minutes — and given that the Wolverines entered the night with the top conversion rate in the country (37.5 percent), it was only a matter of time until they broke through.

That finally happened with senior captain Garrett Noonan sitting in the penalty box after a tripping penalty. With 30 seconds to go on the power play, Michigan freshman Tyler Motte one-timed a shot from the back door to ruin the shutout bid and knot the game, 1-1, at the 7:16 mark in the third.

Moments later, with Michigan possessing most of the momentum, sophomore wing Mike Moran hooked junior Alex Guptill as he drove to the net for a one-on-goalie opportunity, resulting in a penalty shot. Guptill converted on the ensuing chance by beating O’Connor five-hole to give the Wolverines a 2-1 edge.

Quinn, who sat senior captain Patrick MacGregor for the first period for his five penalties in four games, did not take issue with Moran’s penalty and disagreed with the call on Noonan’s

BU (3-2, 1-0 Hockey East) had myriad chances in the final minutes — including one with Wolverine netminder Zach Nagelvoort caught way out of net — but couldn’t finish.

The third-period lapses put a damper on what had been a very sharp game for O’Connor, who finished with 42 saves. He carried the Terriers to a 1-0 lead through the first two frames, aided by a pretty goal from freshman wing Robbie Baillargeon.

The first period was a lopsided one — BU was outshot, 14-6 — but it capitalized on one of its few chances to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.

The Terriers were threatening in Michigan’s zone when Noonan won a forechecking battle behind the net and ended up in the bottom of the right circle. He sent a short pass to Baillargeon, who managed an off-balance shot from the dot before falling backward. The tally, Baillargeon’s fifth point in five games, made it through clean over Nagelvoort’s glove-side shoulder.

“He’s got great skills,” Quinn said. “He’s going to produce a lot of offense for us.”

O’Connor and the BU defense started to teeter at the start of the third. The Wolverines appeared to knot the score at one after a scrum in front of the BU net about three minutes in, but the officials waved it off after a review. The puck crossed the goal line before the net came undone, but replays indicated senior Luke Moffatt’s hand was what got it that far.

O’Connor came up strong again about a minute later with a big pad save before the Terrier defense cleared the rebound. Then, with the Noonan and Moran penalties, Michigan finally found the back of the net.

Quinn pulled O’Connor for the final minute and a half but to no avail. Sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen missed the last few minutes with cramps, but should be good to go Saturday when BU visits Michigan State University.

“I got worked a bit and that was a really strong team, so I think it was a good experience for our young team,” O’Connor said. “You know, first road trip, and I think we’re just going to move forward and obviously it builds the hunger and makes us realize we have to come prepared to play on the road as well.”

Live blog: No. 13/14 Terriers travel to No. 4 Michigan

Time/location: 7:00 p.m., Yost Ice Arena

BU lines: 
Tommy Kelley – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Matt Lane – Cason Hohmann – Robbie Baillargeon
Brendan Collier – Nick Roberto – Sam Kurker
Mike Moran – Dillon Lawrence – Kevin Duane

Ahti Oksanen – Garrett Noonan
Matt Grzelcyk – Patrick MacGregor
Doyle Somerby – Dalton MacAfee

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia

Michigan lines:
Tyler Motte – JT Compher – Evan Allen
Alex Guptill – Cristoval “Boo” Nieves – Zach Hyman
Phil Di Giuseppe – Andrew Copp – Derek DeBlois
Alex Kile – Travis Lynch – Luke Moffatt

Michael Downing – Mac Bennett
Nolan De Jong – Brennan Serville
Kevin Clare – Kevin Lohan

Zach Nagelvoort
Luke Dwyer
Adam Janecyk

Referees: Todd Anderson, CJ Beaurline
Linesmen: Timothy J. Likens, Tony Molina

Live blog: