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.
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.”
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.