Pluses and Minuses: No. 8 BU thwarted by poor special teams, “immaturity” against UConn

HARTFORD, Connecticut — No. 8 Boston University fell to the University of Connecticut in a rough 5-2 loss at the XL Center on Tuesday evening.

Ahti Oksanen. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DFP FILE PHOTO
Ahti Oksanen. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DFP FILE PHOTO

“I certainly thought they were ready to go from the get go,” BU head coach David Quinn said in reference to UConn in his press conference following the game, before admitting that his team didn’t have the same sense of energy until the third period.

Usually for these posts, we introduce them by saying something to the extent of “here’s some of what we liked, and what we didn’t like.” This time around, though, there wasn’t really much of anything we liked. Nonetheless, we proceed:

Minuses

Urgency and maturity
Immaturity has been an issue this season, and Quinn said it plagued BU again on Tuesday. With two goals allowed and three penalties committed in the second period, the Terriers found themselves in a 3-1 hole and unable to escape.

Quinn also noted that BU’s inability to block shots on Tuesday contributed to its downfall.

“One of the things I thought we did a great job of on Saturday night was blocking shots,and tonight we let everything get through us,” Quinn said. “We didn’t win battles at the net front, and that was the story of the game. Right now we’re just playing an immature game.”

While BU became more aggressive in the third period, outshooting UConn 15-7 in the frame, it was too little, too late — by the time the score was 3-1, the momentum had already swung in the Huskies’ favor.

“You can’t wait till you’re down 3-1 and play with an urgency,” Quinn said.

“The key to the game is we couldn’t make it 3-2 and we had plenty of chances to early on in the third,” Quinn added. “But, like I said, we’re playing with more urgency and they’re playing a bit more conservative and they waited to get on the power play and they burned us.”

Bad…luck?
Both senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan and freshman forward Ryan Cloonan had shots ring off the post in Tuesday’s game. Senior forward Ahti Oksanen, who led the team in goals last season, has yet to buy a goal four games into the season.

In Saturday’s win over the Huskies, Oksanen’s shots found multiple posts. Despite four shots on goal on Tuesday, he still couldn’t make it happen in the second matchup against UConn.

“I hope it’s bad luck,” Quinn said. “It’d be more alarming if he [Oksanen] wasn’t getting chances. He had plenty of chances again tonight, and I know it’s weighing on him, but we’re four games into it. There’s a lot of hockey to be played.”

Penalty kill
The story of the night, as Quinn said following the game, was BU’s failure on the penalty kill. Jon Sigal, who’ll be covering the team next year, filled in for Andrew tonight, and has a whole bunch about the special teams in his sider.

PA guy
We at the Boston Hockey Blog try and be mostly neutral, but can’t help but be somewhat bitter when someone mixes up the name of our university. Thumbs down on our end to the PA guy for calling a BU penalty tonight a “penalty on Boston College.”

Pluses

Scoring chances
BU, at the very least, got 38 shots on goal in the matchup. UConn goalie Rob Nichols, however, saved 36 of those. Junior forward Robbie Baillargeon led the team with six shots on net — equal to his season total in shots. As mentioned earlier, Oksanen had four shots on goal, while his linemate O’Regan had five shots on goal. Even the fourth line, featuring sophomore Chase Phelps, senior Mike Moran and sophomore Nikolas Olsson, combined for eight shots on goal.

But much like Quinn said about Oksanen specifically, it’d be a larger concern for BU if it wasn’t getting opportunities at all.

Brass Bonanza
We here at the BHB are big fans of “Brass Bonanza,” which plays every time UConn scores a goal. So we got to hear that five times, at least.

20 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: No. 8 BU thwarted by poor special teams, “immaturity” against UConn”

  1. No excuse for not being ready to give a better effort at the start of the game and the entire second period! It is nice to get a lot of scoring opportunities but the team has to finish them by actually scoring. Why the continuation of so many penalties and undisciplined play ? This is disturbing trend that must be corrected.

  2. in the word of the immortal gerry cheerers, former goalie for the bruins about shots that hit the post, “they were wide”

    and then there’s this:

    A Boston College spokesperson has said that Jerry York will have no comment regarding Jeremy Bracco.

  3. Either shots go in or they do not , it is that simple. Nobody keeps season statistics on how many times you hit the post. It is just another excuse for not finishing the scoring opportunity.

  4. I don’t write on this blog almost at all. However if I may make a comment about the blog. I am an old time fan since 1965 and love getting the line charts from you guys before the start of the game. While at the game or watching on TV or radio. I enjoy the comments by so many people and the “pros” like Sarah and company.
    It will take time to bring this team to where it must be to be at the top.
    However, something was said t the end of the radio stream last night that upset me. Tom Ryan whom I have always enjoyed on the broadcasts and was a fan when he was a player said something that I bet he would take back. He called the bloggers “low lifes” and Bernie earlier claimed he did no know the correct name of the Boston Hockey Blog. It was from him that I learned to go on this blog a few years ago. I think this comes from the fact that one or two have had negative comments about the “new” radio set up. That is too bad because as a long time listener to BU Hockey radio from the beginning I feel the same. The program now lacks the production it had years ago when it was on broadcast radio. I respect the job Bernie and Tom have done through the years but truth be told they are “mailing it in” right now. (no post game shows when they now have all the time to do same?) If they would put on a broadcast as well as the students put on this blog it would be a pleasure to listen to as in the past. I hope I will not be called a “low life” now by Tom. And I think he should take back that comment on the next show.

    • Ralph,
      I only heard about Tom and Bernie’s comments vicariously, but the fact that something negative was aired is disappointing news nevertheless. Over the years I have enjoyed the insightful, the humorous, and even the absurd postings; even more so the repartee that they generated. Thank you for your astute perspective and articulate defense.
      Low life P.S. Downing

  5. It would be nice to still have the games on regular radio. It would give BU hockey some more publicity in the papers to see the broadcast listed in the TV/radio section.

    Also listening to the post game comments while driving away from the arena is something many of us miss.

    Clark Broden,
    CAS ’64

  6. Clark, I believe this was another decision made by the administration that the coach accepted. If it was up to Bernie and Tom the games would still be on the radio.It is especially discouraging since other schools do have have their games on the radio.

  7. If they made the whole schedule 4 pm games then they would be in the radio. It is advocates like you who want the 7 pm starts that is the problem

    Xo

  8. BTW Sarah, I’m a Brass Bonanza fan too … though Tuesday evening might have been aversion therapy LOL. I would develop even more positive feelings about that song if I were to hear them play it after a goal against BC. 😉

    • we all love Brass Bonanza! Our pal Conor even made it an alarm on his phone for a while. Hard not to love it, though I get why there might now be a negative association for some, haha.

  9. Everyone i know misses the games not being on the radio…
    If you were stuck in traffic or running late you could listen in your car. Also there are many older folks that are long time fans 30/40 years that do not get into the rink and miss the radio big time. I do not get it. Every other school is wrong and we are right?

  10. It is disgraceful that all games are not on the radio. Especially for older long time listeners that fondly remember when the voice Walter Scott, broadcast games on WBUR. This is more a reflection by those in charge than Bernie or Tom.

  11. I am proud to be considered a low life. People have the right to express their opinions. It sad that in this politically correct environment if you don’t agree with the majority then you are vilified. Please note that I believe Tom Ryans roommate in college was the coach. So don’t expect objective reporting by him. I am surprised that he made derogatory comments but that is certainly his perogative.

    • STILL coach bashing huh? “another decision accepted by the coach”
      “Please note that I believe Tom Ryans roommate in college was the coach. So don’t expect objective reporting by him”
      UGH

  12. No bashing what so ever just my opinion. In fact I respect but don’t agree with Tom Ryans point of view as I stated. So don’t be so sensitive . The coach is in charge and responsible for the entire program on and off the ice. This is not criticism just fact. They won a big game in dramatic fashion, I thought you would be doing cartwheels down Commonwealth Ave. instead of being upset at my trival comments.

    • HAHAHAHA! Well I don’t know about cartwheels….maybe back in the day. I am THRILLED about tonights win!! HUGE!!!
      I wish they’d get rid of Ryan as the announcer. I find him rather disgruntled to be honest! But completely agree ALL games should be on the radio. (And I know you say they are facts but I believe its a fact you resent Coach Quinn for whatever reason. I, on the other hand, think he is going to carve his own special place in BU hockey history. I’m not a relative, nor even a friend. I’ve seen him around here and there but never actually spoke to him. I honestly just think he has incredible hockey knowledge and insight and intuition as well. Time will tell I guess.

  13. At least I got you to laugh. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that the games are broadcast on the internet and not the radio and it occurred during his coaching tenure. I would think that as coach he would want as much exposure as possible for the program, maybe I am incorrect . I certainly would have liked to hear the post game on the drive home.
    I have met the coach a few times and he was always very cordial. I don’t resent him. There is nothing personal in any of my remarks. I wish him nothing but the best this season! My comments are only my thoughts and should not be taken seriously.

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