Pluses and Minuses: Oksanen, Eichel shine in OT victory over UMass Lowell

That was a pretty fun one for BU fans, wasn’t it?

I got to see two pretty cool comebacks today — BU’s 4-3 overtime victory over UMass Lowell, and the Seahawks’ comeback against Green Bay later, oh my! — so all in all, not too shabby of a sports day. But as was the case in Seattle, there was some ugliness on top of all the greatness.

Ahti Oksanen. PHOTO BY DANIEL GUAN/DFP STAFF
Ahti Oksanen. PHOTO BY DANIEL GUAN/DFP STAFF

Here’s a breakdown of the good and bad from Sunday’s game at Agganis:

Pluses

Eichel’s OT magic

Freshman forward Jack Eichel’s game-winning goal was the shot heard ’round college hockey. His one-timer 1:18 into overtime secured the victory for the Terriers, and moved them into a tie for first place in Hockey East.

In BU’s seven overtime games this season, they’ve been able to etch out a goal for a win just twice. Eichel had the winner in both of those games.

Eichel continues to lead Hockey East and the nation in scoring, with 34 total points (1.70 points per game).

The Ahti factor

Junior forward Ahti Oksanen notched two goals in Sunday’s contest — his third multi-goal game of the season, and his second in the past four games.

Oksanen is one of four players on the team with a multi-goal game under his belt, and currently ranks fourth on the team in scoring (18 points on 12 goals and six assists).

Shuffled lines

Quinn has been mixing up his lines a bit the past few games, and it has been paying dividends.

That experiment started with moving senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues to the first line to replace Oksanen. Oksanen replaced Rodrigues’ spot on the second line at left wing.

Rodrigues has six points (1g, 5a) in the three games since the switch, which has propelled him to 18th place in the nation in points per game. Oksanen has three points (2g, 1a) in the past three games.

“We didn’t play as well — me and Eichel and [junior forward Danny] O’Regan — as we played in the beginning of the year,” Oksanen said. “It was good coach kind of recognized that and switched the lines. Right now I feel really good playing with [sophomore forward] Robbie [Baillargeon], and today [freshman forward Nikolas] Olsson was on the right wing, and that worked really good.”

Senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann, who has played on the second line all year, moved to the third line for Sunday’s game, and was replaced by Olsson on the second line, but neither scored in the contest.

Power Play

BU has had a lot of luck on the power play as of late, including going 3-for-4 on Sunday. Conor has more on that in his sider today.

Minuses

Defensive lapses

After striking first on the scoreboard, BU allowed three straight goals to the River Hawks, from getting out-hustled and leaving too many open opportunities.

BU head coach David Quinn mentioned this as an issue in Friday’s game against Boston College — he said his team clearly appeared as if it had four freshmen on defense. Following the game against Lowell, though, Quinn said he appreciated the effort, but noted the team’s errors.

“Our D played well,” Quinn said. “Again, at times we turned it over. Sometimes people forget we do have four 18-year-old defensemen back there. A lot of their [Lowell’s] chances were off turnovers. We gotta get better below the top of the circles, possessing the puck and holding on to it. We have given up too many shots for my liking.”

11 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: Oksanen, Eichel shine in OT victory over UMass Lowell”

  1. Great game much better effort and never giving up of course there was bad moments but fought thru it great grit.. Proud of this team not to mention Mr eichel ..I was reading few posts about eichel well guess what the good outweigh the bad so can we leave him and the coaching staff alone.. U know who u are they have been doing a great job … @gobu

  2. I was there for both games this weekend … and the place was electric! No better way to end a weekend vacation at Agganis than with a game-winning slap-shot by Jack Eichel. Seeing the net pop, the team mob him, and hearing the roar of the crowd made my trip (from NY) so worthwhile and enjoyable.

  3. Great for BU Hockey. We needed that so much in so many ways. Like to see more of Olsson as I think he will be a big star for us soon.

  4. Agreed on Olsson. I heard Quinn had originally hoped to add him to the roster 2nd semester last season, but Olsson had an injury-plagued season in the USHL and didn’t put up #s commensurate with his abilities. Not the flashiest player, but is physical, complements the high-skill players and gets the job done.

    With only 12 regular season games left, I think it’s imperative for the other lines besides Eichel’s to start contributing consistently on offense. Eichel and O’Regan are putting up #s BU hasn’t seen since the Drury days, but I feel BU has morphed into a one-line team overdependent on Eichel’s line for offensive success. Baillargeon’s line needs to get untracked with him finally healthy. I think putting Olsson on that line will help.

  5. Why is it all of my comments take like a week to post because needs to be viewed for something ..let’s go no foul language so what’s the prob..let’s get it fixed

    • Hey! Our apologies on that one — Looks like your comments got buried by some others, and with classes starting up for the boys and my co-op work kicking in, blog maintenance has taken a bit of a backseat in the early part of this week prior to Vermont. We’ll be more diligent in the future about that. Sorry again for that!

  6. Hi Sarah! Happy new year! FYI, you need to update BU’s win total to “13” (on the top left of your home page).

  7. I’ve got to tip my hat to Matt Lane. His sense of the ice and the flow of the game is excellent. And, thought not a captain, a real team player. He’s the one ‘tapping hands’ as the team leaves the dressing room.
    He’s what every coach wants….a player who gets better each year.

  8. I completely agree with Dave … and his goals always seem to be in times of great need against big-time opponents. My favorite example was in March of 2013 against BC in the Hockey East Semifinals … a breakaway goal that ignited a comeback win.

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