Pluses and Minuses: BU struggles in transition, hampered by penalties in loss to BC

(Judy Cohen also helped write this.)

CHESTNUT HILL — After a back-and-forth matchup (My recap of the game is here), the Boston University men’s hockey team eventually fell to Boston College by a score of 5-3.

We anticipated it would be, as always, an entertaining game — and we certainly got that. There were a whole lot of takeaways from that game, too, and we’ve spelled out just some of the things we liked and didn’t like below.


Neutral zone
While the game was relatively even for the most part when the sides weren’t utilizing their special teams units, there were elements to BU’s game that did give BC an advantage. For one thing, the Eagles had a pretty easy time in transition, skating through the neutral zone with relative ease and, at times, on odd-man rushes.

The defense was tight in the first period, said senior assistant captain Matt Lane, when things like that weren’t occurring. But as the game progressed, the Terriers got “sloppy.”

“We didn’t close the gap, we gave them too much space,” Lane added. “Offensively and defensively, there was just too much space in between our forecheck and our two defenders and they were just kinda airmailing pucks there and getting some odd-man rushes.”

Quinn said that the Eagles’ success in that area during the game came from the Terriers’ “poor puck management, puck-watching and being lazy.”

Lane said BU would take measures to eliminate that from its game heading into Saturday’s contest, beginning with skating more.

“When you skate, it usually takes care of all of those things, so if our D and our forwards are skating, we’ll have better gaps,” he continued. “We’ll come up and down the ice five as a unit, and we’ll eliminate those odd-man rushes.”

One step closer to 1,000
A couple months ago, the three of us here at the Boston Hockey Blog joked about Jerry York getting his 1,000th career win against BU. How fitting would that be?

At the time, we assumed he’d have passed 1,000 wins by the time this rivalry series rolled around, but after a 1-3-1 record in December, it became pretty clear that York would have a pretty good shot at 1,000 against the Terriers.

And he got just that much closer with his 999th win on Friday. If BC wins Saturday at Agganis Arena, then that’ll do it.

York insisted after Friday’s game that the win total was just a number and that he wasn’t paying particular attention to the accolade, but it’s not like it’s an insignificant accomplishment. It makes the stakes in Saturday’s game just that much higher, and while a sweep would be bad for BU anyway, this adds that much more pressure.

While it proved to be pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of the game, sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato did something Friday he hadn’t done in a college game before: He took a penalty.

Yep, after going an entire season last year, and 20 games this year, without recording a penalty, he ended that streak with a tripping call 9:50 into the first period. All good things must come to an end, I guess.

Penalties and special teams in general, sort of
BU was able to capitalize on three different power plays for goals, and special teams were basically the story of the evening. Judy has more about that in her sidebar.


Ahti’s 100th
Though there were a bunch of things to dislike about the loss, one of the brighter spots was senior forward Ahti Oksanen getting his 100th collegiate point. The winger had 98 points coming into Friday night on 46 goals and 52 assists through 131 games.

In his 132nd, Oksanen recorded an assist on freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson’s first-period power-play goal for his 99th point and then got a power-play tally of his own in the second for his 100th.

“He’s a goal-scorer, always has been, always will be,” Lane said. “He shoots the puck, some guys like to say a little too much, but that’s his job. And I always tell him to keep shooting, and he knows he’s going to keep shooting, and that’s why he scores goals, and that’s why he’s got 100 points.”

As has become typical this season, Forsbacka Karlsson impressed during Friday night’s game. The freshman was one of three Terriers with multi-point efforts (the others being Oksanen and senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan), registering a goal in the first period and an assist in the second.

He also blocked a pair of shots and was, as usual, a large part of BU’s penalty kill. But his traits that don’t necessarily appear on the scoresheet were in full view as well, like his neutral-zone stick-lifts and overall play-making abilities.

He accounted for six of BU’s 49 total shot attempts and drew a penalty as well.

The BC and Conte Forum Experience
As some of our readers know already, we like to give props where props are due, especially when it comes to off-ice entertainment and accomplishments. And BC’s crew goes all out with its graphics and marketing. You can check out a lot of their .gifs and other graphics on their Twitter account. We especially liked this .gif with the team’s lineup.

BC’s intro video was as good as we’ve seen all year, and the mid-game hype videos were on point (anytime “Hotline Bling” is involved, we’re happy). On top of that, TD Garden organist Ron Poster was on hand at Conte for some live music to add to the experience. Overall, regardless of rooting interests, you can’t say that BC doesn’t know how to provide some great entertainment.


  1. I thought the team played well,obviously not well enough.But I didn’t agree with the last penalty called on the Terriers.It was a great hockey game,just not the results I wanted.

  2. Thought we were out played for 2 periods last night. My question is when was the last time a BU team had 5 tripping calls against them? I think the refs missed some diving.

    • Friend_of_BU_Hockey

      I thought the refs last night were awful. Miller in particular. There were at least 2 calls against BU where BC clearly embellished. And the call on Carpenter that led to the GWG was beyond weak. BC player (Sanford) tripped over his own stick after contact and the ref (Miller) made the call from 80 feet away.

      I agree BU didn’t play anywhere near as well as they should have. But the game was totally dictated by special teams play.

      Hope BU comes out tonight with a much more thorough effort and different result.

  3. Son of Caesar Carlaci

    I heard that the head ref was at the game and he wanted everything called. As I saw it Carpenter did not bang the BC guy into the boards at all. The far ref called it and he was in no position to do so. That said we have to get going after we score as we have for some time seemed to relax after we score. Why do BC guys always jump so fast into the O action when killing a power play? We may be too cautious with our forwards at the blue line when killing penalties.Sort of a must win tonight.

  4. Agree about the refs!!. The acting from BC was incredible. If the lose bc they are outplayed, fine. …not because of phantom penalties. They were outplayed but thinking 7 penalties had a little to do with it!! I think Quinn was pissed about that toob and caught himself quick enough in his video.
    They NEED to win tonight. York can not get win 1000 in our rink!! Dear god no!!

  5. A very frustrating and disappointing defeat. I thought they played the best first period of the year. Unfortunately the second period was a disaster , too many penalties and poor gap control on defense resulted in three Beagle goals and turned the game in their favor . A better effort in the third but at the end not good enough. I am outraged with the marginal at best that cost B.U.the game. However the I saw nothing approach by the beloved Coach , for the majority of bloggers, is almost as disappointing as the loss. It is certainly puzzling that DQ never debated one call in and instead threw his team under the buss. I thought B.U was competitive and not as bad as he stated in the press conference. Perhaps I was so far away from the action that I was hallucinating.A must win tonight.

    • Larry,I’m sure the Coach was disgusted with the officiating of the game,I could see it all over his face,but I believe that he can get in trouble for bashing the officials,and most definitely get a bench penalty,I could be wrong….

  6. If you listen to the video He does call out the refs but quickly moved on since he can be disciplined if he does. No Larry they did not play well at all. He didn’t throw his team under the bus, dumb comment btw, he called it as he saw it. Jeez u are never happy. . You criticize when he praises them during a loss and now you criticize him when he says they played bad. They played great the first. 2nd n 3rd awful along with questionable refereeing. Be careful Larry, you are oozing jealousy for all to see. I know you try so hard to be objective but your pure hatred of Quinn gets the best of you every time lol. You’re so predictable with your comments its becoming entertaining instead of annoying.
    GO BU!!

    • Larry is a true die hard Terrier Hockey Fan who makes many valid points.I gave up trying to figure out why he dislikes(hates)DQ so much.But I believe that the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY will return to the campus of the Terriers,sooner,rather than later,not this year,but soon,very soon….

  7. Gotta shut-out those Eagles tonight! It has to be a dominant win.

  8. BC constantly runs goalies and embellishes calls as they did several times in this game. They called goaltender interference when it should have been a major for charging. They have been doing it for years. The third period call the BC player stepped on his own stick, of course he embellished it to look like he was hurt and Miller calls the penalty standing next to the center ice faceoff circle when Koharski was looking right at it from 5 feet away. I realize they are trying to protect the players but they are ruining a great game. It isn’t basketball. I thought Koharski did a good job but Miller has been awful everytime I have seen him. I wonder if Koharski is the son of (have another donut).