Youngstown Phantoms add Brendan Collier to roster

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

The Youngstown Phantoms added Boston University forward Brendan Collier to their roster last week, a move akin to the one the Indiana Ice made when they added Sam Kurker earlier this month.

In both cases, the mere addition of the player to the USHL roster does not mean they will leave the Terriers. Similar moves are often made out of speculation — sometimes informed speculation — of a given player’s happiness with their college team.

Collier, a Charlestown native, has registered one point (an assist Dec. 7) in 11 games during his first semester in the scarlet and white. The longest stretch of games in which he sat was three when he didn’t play the second half of November against North Dakota twice and Cornell.

Kurker and Collier are still listed on the BU’s official roster.

Sam Kurker added to Indiana Ice roster of USHL

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

Boston University sophomore forward Sam Kurker was added to the roster of the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League Sunday.

Kurker’s addition to the Ice’s roster does not necessarily mean he is leaving BU, as it could be a provisional move from the team.

The Reading native has not been in BU’s lineup since Nov. 17, and has only scored one goal in nine games this season. BU coach David Quinn said Kurker has been sick since before the Terriers’ game against Cornell University on Nov. 30.

Inconsistent Terriers end 2013 on low note

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

As a young assistant coach with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, David Quinn and the rest of the team’s coaching staff dressed only 10 forwards and five defensemen in the tail end of a two-game series with Merrimack College.

After seeing Nebraska-Omaha’s lines, the late Chris Serino, who coached Merrimack at the time, came up to the Mavericks’ coaching staff and asked if the team had the flu. The team was healthy, the group responded. They just wanted to play the people who deserved ice time.

“Who says I have to dress 18 skaters?” Quinn said after the Boston University men’s hockey team fell to Bentley University 4-1 Saturday evening.

“I’m not saying we’re there yet. Maybe we are. Maybe complacency has set in. We were in a position to build on some of the things we were doing well against [the University of] North Dakota and Cornell [University] and we dropped the ball. And when I say we, I mean me included, apparently. I’m sick to my stomach that I don’t think I held on to my end of the bargain, and I’m going to make sure I do.”

With his team limping into the new year, Quinn’s post-game press conference, as well as the final game of the first half, aptly described the theme of the Terriers’ season under the first-year head coach – inconsistent.

While BU found success early in the season, going 3-1 in its first two weeks of play, a trip to Michigan that featured leads blown in the third period derailed the predominantly young Terrier squad. For the next three weeks, the team struggled to score, averaging a mere 1.33 goals per game as it went 1-5 from mid-October to mid-November.

After suffering a 7-0 defeat at the University of Maine on Nov. 15, though, the Terriers began to turn it around, going 3-0-1, including a big win over Cornell University during the fourth installment of Red Hot Hockey. Despite an on-going issue with what Quinn called the team’s shooting mentality, and managing only 11 shots on goal to the Big Red’s 39, BU took the game 3-2.

The next three games gave BU an opportunity to end the 2013 portion of the season four games over .500, and fully recover from its mid-semester slump. When the Terriers came out of the first weekend with only one point and a game where they were “out-everything-ed,” though, the onus went to the contest against Bentley to determine whether the team would finish out the first half above or below the .500 mark.

In one respect, BU managed to overcome one challenge as it put 43 shots on goal and outshot a team for the first time since it defeated the University of Connecticut on Nov. 17. Only one of those shots, however, made its way into the back of the net.

“We get the goal and we have another chance to make it 3-2, which really would have changed the complexion of the game and we couldn’t do it and they get the empty netter,” Quinn said. “We got more pucks to the net, but I thought we were very perimeter the first two periods.

“To me, it meant more to [Bentley], the first two periods than it did to us. And for what reason I do not know.”

For Quinn, the final three games of 2013 were humiliating.

“We can’t be giving up these chances we’re giving up,” Quinn said. “I’m embarrassed as a coach for what’s happened the last few weeks, and it’s unacceptable.

“I apparently have to be more demanding. That doesn’t mean put them on the goal line and skate them for 45 minutes, but I’m trying to figure out how to push their buttons and how to put them in the mindset to play to the best of their abilities.”

Pluses and Minuses: More of the latter in loss to Bentley

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

And now, they rest.

The Boston University men’s hockey team wrapped up an underwhelming first semester with an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Bentley University at Agganis Arena. The Terriers (7-8-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East) now have just under two weeks off before their next practice, and three weeks off before their next game.

Not a whole lot went BU’s way Saturday night, but here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong.


Speed and effort
BU coach David Quinn put it simply: Bentley was just the better team. The Falcons (8-7-1) skated faster, beat the Terriers to loose pucks and converted on chances when they got them. The Terriers couldn’t keep up.

Quinn said maybe the team has grown complacent — complacent with what, however, he did not specify – or maybe they don’t fear being benched since the team has no available scratches for the time being.

The difference was especially evident when Bentley scored twice in the first six minutes of the second frame to open up a 3-0 lead. One goal was the result of an offensive-zone turnover while on the power play, the other after a long stretch pass behind the BU defensemen.

Quinn then used the team’s timeout.

“I thought guys were getting individualistic,” Quinn said.

Matt O’Connor
This might be the first time this season the sophomore netminder has found himself on this side. The 6-foot-6, 204-pounder allowed three goals while making his seventh straight start, as classmate Sean Maguire is sidelined with back problems.

To be sure, O’Connor made a number of pretty saves, and the score could have been uglier than 4-1. But he likely wants back at least the third Falcon tally, when Bentley junior Brett Switzer sniped the lop-left corner after O’Connor was faked out and started moving right.

Switzer said the Falcons didn’t try to exploit anything in particular in O’Connor’s game — just get pucks to the net for chances in close.

Quinn, for his part, commended O’Connor.

“He has been great,” Quinn said. “He has been great for a long time.”

I’m not a fly on the wall of the BU locker room, so I don’t know exactly what Quinn says between periods or after the game. But the Terrier bench boss was quick to blame himself for the Terriers’ poor performance — then vowed to do better.

“We got outworked tonight, and that’s on me,” Quinn said. “That’s not them, that’s my fault, because that’s my No. 1 responsibility as a coach.”


Shot totals
It’s certainly no consolation given the circumstances, but for the first time since Nov. 17 against UConn, the Terriers put more shots on goal than their opponent. The final margin was 43-34.

Sophomore center Danny O’Regan had a game-high six, while the trio of sophomore defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, freshman wing Nick Roberto and sophomore wing Matt Lane garnered five apiece.

In a cruel irony fitting of the Terriers’ first-semester finale, one of Quinn’s pet peeves — penalties — was not an issue in their final game and arguably worst loss of the calendar year.

Of the two, junior wing Evan Rodrigues was called for hooking in the first, and the other — freshman center Robbie Baillargeon for goalie interference in the second — Quinn and the BU crowd vehemently disagreed with. Baillargeon was playing close to the net when he collided with a Bentley player and fell on goaltender Branden Komm.

UPDATED: Terriers will carry slump through end of 2013 thanks to 4-1 loss to Bentley

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

When Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn huddled his players around his bench for a timeout in the second period of his team’s contest against Bentley University Saturday night, the scoreboard only told part of the story. The Agganis Arena jumbotron showed that the Terriers were trailing 3-0 to a team that history said it should be beating, but was not showing the body language of Quinn’s players.

They looked shell shocked, lifeless and broken.

“We looked like a bunch of guys who had their dogs shot,” Quinn said. “Frustration level set in and you could just see it in their faces.”

The timeout did not improve the team’s energy level though, as the Terriers continued their downward spiral in 4-1 loss to the Falcons.

With the loss, BU (7-8-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East) has only taken one point in their last three games, and will begin the 2014 portion of their schedule below .500. It is the Terriers’ first loss against a team from the Atlantic Hockey Association since Oct. 22, 2011 when BU dropped a contest with the College of the Holy Cross 5-4.

The Terriers possessed the puck well in the first period and totaled 15 shots in the frame, which is their most in a single period since a 16-shot first period against the University of North Dakota on Nov. 22. It was not enough to give them a lead though, as Bentley (8-7-1, 6-2-1 AHA) scored the only goal of the period when sophomore Derek Bacon made a great deflection from the left hashmarks to put one past sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor.

BU entered the second period on the power play, and had their chance to tie the game at one. But the game made a drastic shift in Bentley’s favor when forward Jared Rickord took a turnover from sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen in alone on O’Connor and potted a shorthanded breakaway goal through his five-hole. Less than five minutes later, junior forward Brett Switzer followed it up with a goal on a 2-on-1, and things began to get out of hand for the Terriers.

Both goals were a result of odd-man breaks for the Falcons, who seemed to have no trouble zipping by BU’s aggressive, pinching defense.

“Either they’re that fast or we’re that slow,” Quinn said. “We were just slow tonight. We were slow last weekend, too. And I don’t know whether we’re tired or what. That’s going to change.”

BU did not have much of a problem getting shots on goal through the first two periods, as its 26 shots through that span were more than it totaled in each of its last three entire games. However, Bentley had more Grade A chances than BU during the first two periods and Quinn said he thought his team was shooing from the perimeter too much.

It took almost 55 minutes, but the Terriers finally got on the board when sophomore forward Matt Lane tipped in a shot from Oksanen on the power play for his fourth goal of the season. That was all BU could create against Bentley senior Branden Komm, who made 42 saves in the contest. Bentley senior Brett Gensler sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 1:58 remaining, and that was it for the Terriers.

Offense has not come easy for BU since the loss of junior forward Cason Hohmann, as it has scored fewer than three goals in four of the five games it has played since he went down with a shoulder injury. According to Quinn though, Hohmann’s loss is not the sole reason for his team’s recent offensive woes.

“[Hohmann’s loss] affects it without question,” Quinn said. “If I’m looking as a coach, you just want to be consumed with the process and how guys are they competing, are they trying to do the right thing, are they purposeful in their play, and I thought we got away from that these last three games.”

Perhaps some time off to get the team healthy and into a new mindset will help BU. It has another three weeks of winter break to get ready for its next game at Harvard University. For Saturday’s game though, it is Quinn who takes the blame.

“We got outworked tonight, and that’s on me,” Quinn said. “That’s not them, that’s my fault, because that’s my No. 1 responsibility as a coach.”

Live Blog: BU hosts Bentley in final game before winter break

Time/location: 7 p.m., Agganis Arena

BU lines:
Matt Lane – Danny O’Regan – Nick Roberto
Tommy Kelley – Robbie Baillargeon – Evan Rodrigues
Brendan Collier – Dillon Lawrence – Kevin Duane
Jake Moscatel – T.J. Ryan – Matt Ronan

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

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia

Bentley lines: 
Brett Switzer – Alex Grieve – Brett Gensler
Justin Breton – Andrew Gladiuk – Max French
Jared Rickord – Alex Kubiak – Tyler Deresky
Andrew Fitzstephens – Derek Bacon – Michael Reardon

Steve Weinstein – Matt Blomquist
Mike Berry – Zach Marginsky
Kyle O’Brien – Matt Maher

Branden Komm
Gabe Antoni
Blake Dougherty

Referees: Chris Federico, Dave Hansen
Assistant referees: Shane Belanger, Steve Capraro

Live blog: 

From the FreeP: Limping to the break, Terriers host Bentley for first time ever

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

In the grand scheme of a six-month, 34-game regular season, a single contest against an Atlantic Hockey Association team is not particularly significant.

Saturday’s matchup between the Boston University men’s hockey team and Bentley University at Agganis Arena, however, is a little different.

For the Terriers (7-7-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East), it will be the unofficial end of an inconsistent first half. It could be the difference between finishing a game above .500 and a game below. And against a red-hot Falcons squad (7-7-1), it should prove to be a pretty good test, too.

So does this game carry a little more weight with the team than a typical Saturday night of hockey would? David Quinn thinks so.

“I hope so. I hope to them it does. To me it does,” the head coach said of the program’s first-ever matchup with Bentley. “You’re going to live with it until Jan. 4 [when BU plays Harvard]. And it would be nice to get over .500 before the break. It makes you feel good about yourself, and that’s what we want to do. It would be nice to go to practice on the 27th over .500 and coming off a win.

“It would certainly make the holidays more enjoyable.”

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From the FreeP: BU manages just 24 shots on goal in tie

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
When Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn walked into his team’s dressing room after the second period Saturday night, the Terriers were down 27-8 in shots to Merrimack College and had barely controlled the puck through the majority of the contest. He sensed his team was feeling down on itself after two consecutive games in which its offense did not even muster 20 shots.

So instead of yelling at his players for their poor performance, he lightened the mood by making a joke.

“I just said, ‘Hey, we poured it on that period. We got five,’” Quinn said. “It’s the pink elephant in the room … What are you going to do, not talk about it? Sometimes things are so bad, you have to make light of it.”

The joke seemed to do the trick — at least a little bit — as the Terriers (7-7-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East) doubled their shot total from the first two periods over the next frame and five-minute overtime period, finishing the contest in a 1-1 tie at Agganis Arena Saturday night. Still, the low shot total through the first two periods is representative of a recent trend for BU, which cannot seem to get the puck on goal.

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