As part of our “Best of 2014-15” segment, the Boston Hockey Blog crew is counting down some of the top plays/quotes/games from this past BU hockey season. Here is our second post, in which we rank our top 10 favorite assists from the 2014-15 campaign:
10. Matt Grzelcyk to Nikolas Olsson (3/21/15 vs. UMass Lowell)
We open our list with this impressive set of plays from junior captain Matt Grzelcyk and freshman winger Nikolas Olsson during the Hockey East title game against the River Hawks.
With BU leading 3-1 with under a minute to go in the second period, Grzelcyk and Olsson broke out on a 2-on-1 blitz into Lowell’s zone. Olsson sent the puck to Grzelcyk at the high slot, who quickly launched the disc back to Olsson just a second later. The puck bounced off Olsson’s stick and into the UML net to give BU a commanding three-goal lead.
9. Danny O’Regan to Jack Eichel (2/13/15 vs. UNH)
Freshman center Jack Eichel and junior winger Danny O’Regan teamed up on multiple goals throughout the season, but we figured that this 2-on-1 score serves a great intro for these two forwards.
After O’Regan forced a turnover just outside of UNH’s zone, both he and Eichel traded the puck before the San Jose Sharks prospect careened the biscuit back over to Eichel, who sniped it into the nearly empty net to give BU a 3-1 lead over the Wildcats at 4:14 in the second.
8. Evan Rodrigues and Jack Eichel to Danny O’Regan (1/30/15 vs. UMass Amherst)
In what eventually resulted in a 9-5 slugfest win for the Terriers over UMass Amherst on Jan. 30, BU’s first line once again orchestrated the most impressive tally on the night.
BU was already holding onto a 1-0 lead in the first when senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues fired a backhand shot to the net. The puck was drawn in by Eichel at the crease, who zipped it over to O’Regan for the easy tap-in goal.
7. Jack Eichel to Danny O’Regan (11/14/14 @ Maine)
Throughout the season, Eichel used his speed and playmaking ability to generate offense, even when the Terriers were down a skater. One of the best instances of such a scenario occurred when the Terriers faced off against Maine on Nov. 14 up in Orono.
BU was forced to go on the penalty kill with the game tied 1-1 in the closing minutes of the second period, but Eichel and Co. were quickly able to turn the tables on the Black Bears.
BU’s freshman center forced a turnover in the Terriers’ zone before outskating three Maine players down the left side of the ice. After blowing past his opponents, Eichel sent the puck over to an advancing O’Regan at the right post, who flipped the puck over Maine goalie Sean Romeo to give BU a 2-1 lead with 14 seconds left in the period.
6. Nick Roberto to Matt Lane (11/21/14 vs. Maine)
While an impressive set of plays from Eichel and junior forward Ahti Oksanen (found further down on this list) might have landed BU its first goal on the night against Maine on Nov. 21, it was the Terriers’ third line that tied the score midway in the third period.
With just over nine minutes left in regulation, freshman winger A.J. Greer passed the puck from behind the Maine net to sophomore forward Nick Roberto in the right slot. Roberto quickly fired a backhand pass to junior center Matt Lane across the slot, who then tucked the puck past Romeo to tie the game, 2-2.
5. Jack Eichel to Ahti Oksanen (11/21/14 vs. Maine)
Staring at a 2-0 deficit against the Black Bears in the third period, the Terriers used yet another crafty pass from Eichel and a strong shot from Oksanen to claw back into their contest.
After blocking a shot in BU’s zone, Eichel exchanged passes with O’Regan before coasting into Maine’s side of the ice, eventually dealing a backhand helper across the slot to Oksanen, who one-timed it into the cage to put BU on the board. The Terriers eventually bested Maine in overtime off of a game-winning strike from Eichel.
4. Jack Eichel to Cason Hohmann (3/14/15 vs. Merrimack)
Playing in their final game at Agganis Arena for the 2014-15 season, the Terriers got on the board in the second game of their Hockey East quarterfinal series by way of a shorthanded rush from Eichel and senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann.
With the game deadlocked with no score after the first period, BU was forced to head on the penalty kill after Grzelcyk was whistled for cross checking at 2:11 in the middle stanza.
The disadvantage mattered little for Eichel and Hohmann, who broke into a 2-on-1 chance against Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. Eichel gathered the puck on the right side and faked a pass before eventually sending the puck to Hohmann, who easily slid it past Tirronen to light the lamp for BU. The Terriers would go on to win, 5-0.
3. Jack Eichel to Ahti Oksanen (10/4/14 vs. St. Thomas)
While it might not have officially counted in the record books, Eichel’s impressive helper to Oksanen in the Terriers’ 12-1 win over St. Thomas deserves mention on our list.
On a 2-on-1 bid with Oksanen, Eichel dangled his way to the right slot before dishing the puck at the last second to his junior teammate, who then fired it into the net to give 2-0 lead at 10:31 in the first period. Oksanen finished the contest with four goals, while Eichel chipped in with five assists.
2. Jack Eichel to Danny O’Regan (12/6/14 vs. Merrimack)
The Terriers concluded a three-goal second period against Merrimack with an impressive set-up from Eichel, who fired a no-look drop pass from the left end boards to O’Regan in the slot.
O’Regan fired the puck past MC goalie Colin Delia to give BU a 4-1 lead. The strike completed a hat trick for O’Regan and Eichel’s fourth point on the night.
1. Ahti Oksanen to Danny O’Regan (2/28/15 @ Northeastern)
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead over the Huskies, the Terriers continued on the offensive, earning a power-play bid with just over six minutes remaining in the first period.
After collecting the puck at the crease off of a pass from Rodrigues, Oksanen promptly pulled off a no-look, between-the-legs maneuver to a waiting O’Regan, who notched his 100th career point with the Terriers thanks to his 19th goal at 13:53.