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.”

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

  1. “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.”

    It’s also the first time they’ve played an Atlantic Hockey opponent since that game.

    • No matter what Parker said last year about, “how good next years team will be”, this is a huge change – coaching, chemistry etc. You will only get so much done in one year, and now that’s down to a half season. Counting the N Dakota series and then the games leading up to the one point weekend with Merrimack College, the effort was decent. Coach has brought out the fact that the “small” nature of the BU players makes it difficult for them to get shots on goal. Well, tonight they got a lot of shots, but ran up against a hot team, playing well (6-0-1) and playing over their heads. The biggest win for the history of their program. It reminds me when Merrimack made a run while a Division II team in the late 70’s. Obviously not the same. Hopefully, this serves as a wake up call. A boot where it needs to be felt. We have a chance to redeem the loss we suffered to Harvard after last years break. Look towards redeeming the loss at Maine, earlier this year down the stretch. Hopefully there can be a turnaround. A chance for guys to get healthy, too. 13 Hockey East games left, correct? Each point will be important. Maybe its time to ignite a “Burn the Boats” attitude during this break — Coach Quinn was around for that, the last time.

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