By Meredith Perri/DFP Sports
For the first time in a month, the Boston University men’s hockey team found the back of the net in the opening frame of a game. The goal, scored by sophomore wing Cason Hohmann, showed a change in the Terriers shooting mentality. Just moments later, however, the improvement in BU’s aggressiveness fell to the wayside for a moment as University of North Dakota wing Wade Murphy tripped Hohmann, aggravating the Terrier’s lingering shoulder injury.
While Hohmann’s set back left a down mark on the game, BU went on to win Friday evening, as it defeated North Dakota 3-1 at Agganis Arena in front of a crowd of 3,882.
BU coach David Quinn has talked in the past about the Terriers’ shooting mentality, or rather, the lack thereof.
While Quinn has said on multiple occasions that he cannot account for why BU’s offensive production has predominantly occurred in the second period, he said that the team’s ability to get on the board early on Friday had to do with a proper shooting mindset and not slowing down.
“The thing [Hohmann] didn’t do is slow down entering the offensive zone, and that can happen a lot,” Quinn said of BU’s first tally. “We had a three-on-one, and we slowed down and all of a sudden you’re allowing back pressure and the defender can read the situation. When you’re moving your feet you become less predictable, and you create more offense.”
Sophomore netminder Matt O’Connor will get the start Saturday night in the tail end of the series against North Dakota, marking the first time this season that either O’Connor or his counterpart Sean Maguire will start two games in a weekend.
Although North Dakota struggled to get shots in close during Friday’s game, O’Connor stymied the UND offense multiple times, including a few late in the period when North Dakota pulled its goalie for the extra man.
“ I thought he stood his ground,” Quinn said. “He didn’t sag, he was strong, he understood where the net was. There was no panic in his game… it’s tough to find a hole when you’re that size.”
Another Duane power-play goal
About five minutes into the third period, with the Terriers holding onto a 2-0 lead, freshman wing Kevin Duane picked up a rebound and notched it into the a nearly wide open net. The goal, his third of the season, and his second straight scored on the power play, gave BU some insurance early in the final frame of play.
For more on Duane’s performance, head over to Kevin’s sidebar here.
Obviously the biggest draw back from tonight’s game was when Hohmann injured his shoulder just after registering his third goal of the season. The 5-foot-9 wing looked as though he tried to avoid going into the boards on the hit by Murphy, but it was to no avail.
Within seconds of going down on the ice, he popped back up grabbing onto his left arm and screaming toward the bench. He quickly skated off the ice and went down the tunnel.
“He’s had issues with [his left shoulder] all year,” Quinn said. “We talked going into this game how this may be a reoccurring problem with him, and sure enough, before the first period ends, he gets hit pretty good and the thing pops out and he’s done for the night.
“We’re not surprised, but hopefully we’ll have a clearer picture this week of what his long-term is going to be.”
For the second straight contest, O’Connor gave up a goal in the final frame, just missing his chance to pick up his first shutout of the season.
“Hoping he gets a shutout sometime,” Quinn said. “It’s the second game in a row where that happens to him, and you know we’ll see him again tomorrow night.”
Against the University of Connecticut last Sunday, that goal came about four minutes into the third. On Friday, it came with less than three minutes left in the game.
“I feel like after that goal, I’m still hungry for another game,” O’Connor said.
The Toronto native has not recorded a shutout during his time at BU.