Pluses and Minuses: No. 1 BU shut out for first time all year

Junior forward Ahti Oksanen recorded five shots Sunday against Dartmouth. PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY/DFP FILE PHOTO
Junior forward Ahti Oksanen recorded five shots Sunday against Dartmouth. PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY/DFP FILE PHOTO

HANOVER, New Hampshire — The No. 1 Boston University men’s hockey team recorded its second loss in three games, as Dartmouth College handed BU a 2-0 loss on Sunday at Thompson Arena. It was the first time the Terriers have been shut out this year.

There were whole lot of negatives to take out of Sunday’s game, but there were a couple of positives as well:

Minuses

Offense (or lack thereof?)
BU had a total of just 10 shots through the first period — easily a season-low, compared to the team’s previous season low of 14 through two periods, against No. 12 Boston College on Nov. 7.

The only two BU players to place more than two shots on goal were freshman forward Jack Eichel (three SOG) and junior forward Ahti Oksanen (five SOG).

The Terriers outshot the Big Green 13-7 in the third period, but recorded no goals for the first time all season.

Missed chances
BU coach David Quinn noted the team’s repeated chances in the opening and closing frames, but the Terriers couldn’t convert on the few chances they received.

“That first line had some unbelievable chances in the first period,” Quinn said about the first line of Oksanen, Eichel and junior Danny O’Regan. “So they [Dartmouth] shut them down on the scoreboard, but if you watch that tape, first period, they could’ve had three goals. It wasn’t that they didn’t get chances. We just didn’t bury them.”

Youth
BU just completed a stretch of five games in 10 days — a tough task for any team, but particularly a team with 10 freshmen. The Terriers are considerably younger than Dartmouth, a team starting just two freshmen on Sunday. BU also just came off a game against No. 9 Colgate University, a team that started only three freshmen against BU.

Quinn brought up the youth of his squad and how it could have been detrimental in the matchup.

“We’re a young team,” Quinn said. “When we’re playing six 18-year-olds and a 17-year-old against a team with that type of skill and maturity, it’s gonna be a battle.”

Pluses

Third period…sort of.

The Terriers’ third-period showing wasn’t exactly comparable to their previous comebacks, including Saturday’s four-goal effort in the third. But Quinn still indicated he was impressed by the team’s effort.

“I was really proud of our third period,” Quinn said. “I thought we had some great chances early, the penalty kill was good. We missed a wide open net in the third period, could have made it 2-1, might’ve changed the whole complexion of the period. But we battled all the way to the end.”

LaCouvee in net
Freshman goaltender Connor LaCouvee got his third start of the season. He recorded 34 saves against the Big Green — the most this season for him — and was arguably the best player on the ice for the Terriers.

“I thought he played very well,” Quinn said about his freshman goalie. “I thought he was sharp, just a couple of blown coverages, puck watching. But he was very good, very good.”