Pluses and Minuses: BU second line keys Terriers to 8-1 victory over Minutemen

Senior forward Cason Hohmann registered two points Friday night against UMass Amherst. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Cason Hohmann registered two points Friday night against UMass Amherst. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

AMHERST – Despite what the final box score read, the Boston University men’s hockey team’s first regular-season game of the 2014-15 campaign against University of Massachusetts-Amherst was a tight contest.

At least for the first two periods.

BU’s offense arrived in the closing stanza, erupting for six goals in the third period en route to an 8-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Here’s a look at what went right and wrong for the Terriers Friday night against the Minutemen:

Pluses

Second line shines

While the Terriers’ third-period outburst was mostly fueled by BU’s first line unit of freshman forward Jack Eichel and junior forwards Danny O’Regan and Ahti Oksanen, BU’s second line unit of sophomore Robbie Baillargeon and senior forwards Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann drew the most praise from BU head coach David Quinn after the game.

“That line was dangerous,” Quinn said. “They could have had three goals in the first period. I thought Rodrigues had a great night, I thought Baillargeon had a great night. We’ve got some depth up front, and those guys are really going to capitalize on their opportunities and they’re going to generate chances.”

The second line made its presence felt throughout the game. Baillargeon opened BU’s scoring at 12:22 in the first period, while Hohmann added a score of his own at 12:39 in the third. Rodrigues finished the night with three assists.

Quinn praised Hohmann’s performance in particular, as the Arlington, Texas, native finished the night with two points while also making plays on the penalty kill, frequently intercepting passes and disrupting UMass’ scoring opportunities.

“I thought it was his best game since I’ve been here. … I thought Cason Hohmann played outstanding tonight,” Quinn said.

LaCouvee impresses in net

Despite only finding out that he was making his first collegiate start early Friday, freshman goaltender Conor LaCouvee put forward a great performance in net against the Minutemen.

Starting in place of junior netminder Matt O’Connor, LaCouvee recorded 33 saves while only allowing one goal en route to his first career win with the Terriers.

Eichel, O’Regan make their mark

Despite its high-powered potential on offense, BU’s first line did not add much on the box score over the first two periods of play. However, the third period was a different story.

Eichel, playing in his first regular-season game with the Terriers, accrued four points in the period, including two goals and an assist in a little over four minutes of play. O’Regan chipped in with two goals of his own – capping BU’s scoring surge with a score at 19:55 in the third. Oksanen led the team in shots with six while assisting on O’Regan’s final goal.

“They’re all good players,” Quinn said of his first line. “They had chances in the first two, but I didn’t think that line was playing great. Then boom, all of a sudden, it was almost like they took the game into their own hands, all of a sudden it’s 4-1. All three of those guys were great, and they all do something very, very well.”

Minutemen’s man advantage snuffed out

UMass was held to just one goal against the Terriers, and it failed to generate many chances during its three power plays – a testament to the performance of BU’s penalty-kill unit. UMass finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

“Early on, I thought we might have over-coached the penalty kill a little bit, it looked a little bit sloppy, and then I thought the last two were better. … I thought we got sticks on pucks a lot of time,” Quinn said.

“A lot of times, where you thought, ‘Oh my god, here’s their chance’ and we got a stick on it. Our penalty kill was pretty good and it’s something that we’re going to work on and it will continue to get better.”

Minuses

MacLeod struggles with discipline

While freshman defenseman John MacLeod handles his own for most of Friday’s game, recording the first assist of his collegiate career on A.J. Greer’s third period score at 17:56, the USNTDP U-18 product also took three penalties, giving UMass its only three power-play opportunities of the game.

After the game, Quinn made note of the disparity between the Terriers and Minutemen in terms of chances on the man advantage. BU did not earn a single power-play chance Friday night.

“ I still can’t believe that they had three power plays and we had zero in the amount of time that we had the puck tonight,” Quinn said. “Sometimes that happens in a hockey game.”

Cruise control

Even though the Terriers netted three goals over the final 10 minutes of play, Quinn acknowledged that his team let their foot off the gas pedal for most of the closing minutes of the game, allowing UMass to build up sustained pressure and scoring opportunities in the BU zone.

Even though the Terriers netted six goals in the final stanza, the Minutemen still had their chances, as both teams recorded 13 shots in the third.

“I think once it got 5-1, we got a little sloppy, and all of a sudden they’re getting some chances, and we’re making cross-ice passes, and getting a little irresponsible and [LaCouvee] bailed us out.”

The perils of I-90

The Boston Hockey Blog crew is also getting a minus for the night, as the treacherous traffic on I-90 stalled us for over 3 and half hours on the way to Mullins Center. Sorry to everyone for our lack of live coverage over the first two periods of play and thanks for your patience.

9 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: BU second line keys Terriers to 8-1 victory over Minutemen”

  1. As a long time (almost 50 years!) terrier hockey fan I was really frustrated Friday. I put on the radio and could not get Bernie and company. It was listed as being on 1510AM but no game there. I went on blog and you guys were not there as yet. I don’t blog but read where others had game audio on their computers and mobile devices. I tried but could not get Bernie and Ryan. Thanks to you guys I at least could follow the game Why not give us long time alums and fans some notice of how to call up the game ? I can’t wait until this AD leaves He has down played hockey from the time he came here. And I don’t care what anyone says the fidelity on a computer is not as good as from a radio receiver. I called up the radio rebroadcast and the sound was very bad. They want more people to come back to the games but they have no communication as to how to follow the game and have a half ass “radio” broadcast . Thank you guys for showing up and helping this long time fan follow the game.

    • Hi Walt,

      I appreciate your support of the program over the years and understand your frustration. However, if the AD you are referring to Mike Lynch, he stepped down effective July 1. Drew Marrochello was named the new AD last month.

      BU Athletics posted info regarding how to follow the games going forward on Goterriers.com as well as via Twitter (see the link below). However, the info was posted on short-notice (on game day) so I understand how some fans may not have found out until it was too late, and followed the assumption that the radio broadcast was still on 1510AM.

      https://www.goterriers.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/101014aad.html

  2. To the bloggers: Many of us read the blog on mobile devices. You need to fix the margins as 1/4 of the right side if the text is cut off. It may look fine on a PC, but is unreadable on an iPad and am Windows phone. The blog was fine last year on these devices.

    Thanks

    • Hi — This is a problem we’ve noticed and we’ve been working on it with our web developer. This should be fixed later in the week. Thanks for reading!

  3. If there is an opportunity to post without identification, I’d like to get some feed back from “tuned in” BU fans as to whether the BU coaching staff is going after Chad Krys and the likelihood that he will choose BU over our neighbor to the west. Great player and great kid from a BU family. I certainly hope we are putting on a full court press for this young man.

    PS – I’m not a friend of the family, but I have followed this young man and would love to see him wearing the BU jersey.

    • My understanding is BU is proactively recruiting Krys, but it is not clear if BU is his top choice, even with both parents being BU alumni. I believe BU already has one defenseman recruited for that class (2016) – Vas Kolias – and assuming no departures, there should be 7 defensemen on the roster for the 2016-17 season – Somerby, Diffley, Fortunato, Hickey, Macleod, McAvoy, Kolias.

      There is always room, however, for a highly-skilled defenseman like Krys in any college program.

  4. I-90 is referred to as “the Mass Pike” by locals.
    I tuned in from Go Terriers.com and enjoyed the broadcast. It would be nice to know if 1510AM is going to carry the game regularly.

    Q – Why no video post? Doesn’t UMass have video to share?

  5. Thank you to “Friend of BU Hockey” for the response on Chad Krys. Hopefully, BU will find a way to get it done. He would be a great “get” and 8 talented defensemen sounds good to me.

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