Pluses and Minuses: Maguire, Moran, Greenway lead BU in “playoff-feel” win over UMass Lowell

For the second straight game, the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team faced one of the nation’s best defenses, and for the second straight game, BU was trapped in a close game — and the game got sent to overtime.

Against No. 3 Boston College in Monday’s Beanpot final, the Terriers didn’t have such great luck. This time, though, against the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday at Agganis Arena, freshman forward Jordan Greenway scored just 29 seconds into overtime to give BU a 2-1 win.

As usual, we have a lot of things to pick apart from that game — both positive and negative. Here’s a sampling of both:

Pluses

Moran in the middle
Senior forward Mike Moran had a breakaway goal in the second period to give BU a 1-0 lead at the time — obviously, a crucial moment in a very, very tight game. Judy has more on that goal and his recent play in her sidebar.

Greenway, Maguire, etc.

We tend to give a lot of love to Greenway and senior goaltender Sean Maguire in our pluses and minuses, and won’t go too much in depth this time around, but given how big they were in this game, we couldn’t go without giving them a shoutout.

Greenway had the game-winner on a redirection of senior captain Matt Grzelcyk’s initial shot in overtime, making for his third goal in three games.

Maguire, meanwhile, had 25 saves and earned the win. He lowered his goals-against average on the season to 2.12 and raised his save percentage to .929.

Improved discipline
BU only committed three penalties in the game: two on freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy, the first of which was a somewhat questionable holding call, and a roughing call on Greenway. The Terriers entered the game averaging 5.1 penalties and 11.2 penalty minutes per game — certainly an improvement against a team where there’s very little margin for error.

Playoff-like atmosphere
It’s no question that these final Hockey East series are crucial for BU, which currently sits in fifth place in Hockey East. The win gave them 23 points in conference play, just one point behind fourth-place Lowell.

The top four teams receive home ice in the conference tournament and a first-round bye. And in the final three weeks of the regular season, BU has games against two of those teams trying to cling on to a first-round bye: Lowell, and the first-place University of Notre Dame.

“Well, it’s playoff hockey from here on in,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “Certainly had a playoff feel to it.”

Minuses

That one Lowell goal
In a game as tight as this one, every goal counts, and despite holding the lead until the later half of the third period, BU surrendered a goal with 7:29 remaining in the game.

On the play, Maguire skated behind his goal and looked to dump off the puck to one of his defensemen, but neither sophomore John MacLeod nor junior Doyle Somerby fetched it. Maguire scrambled back, and stopped the initial shot from Dmowski, but couldn’t stop the rebound shot from Lowell captain A.J. White. MacLeod was the closest defenseman who could have picked up the rebound and cleared it, but he failed to do so.

MacLeod had a relatively strong game defensively otherwise, and had some noticeable chances on offense, but this wasn’t his finest moment, to say the least.

“We haven’t talked about it yet, but we’ll certainly have to clean that up a little bit,” Quinn said.

Failed line experiment
When we talked to Quinn on Thursday, and asked if there would be any line changes, he didn’t give any specifics, but indicated that we could be surprised on Friday. And hoo boy, were we surprised. There was a complete remodel of the third line on the line charts we were given: Moran played left wing with freshman Ryan Cloonan at center, and usual freshman center Bobo Carpenter moving over to right wing. Junior Robbie Baillargeon centered the fourth line between junior Tommy Kelley and sophomore Chase Phelps.

But that didn’t last long. By our unofficial count, the experiment only lasted two or three shifts. Before long, Cloonan was back on the first line — where freshman Oskar Andrén started the past five games — and Moran was back down to the fourth line. Baillargeon moved back to his usual spot on the third-line wing, with Andrén on the other wing and Carpenter centering.

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but tl,dr: As far as we could see, for most of the game, the lines looked like they did a few weeks ago in this game.

“It was a quick experiment, and we didn’t like it,” Quinn said. “So we went back to it, made a few changes, and pretty much stuck with it.

4-on-3
Hard to be too nitpicky on this, but worth noting: BU had a 4-on-3 opportunity for 1:46 in the second period, after Greenway and River Hawks defenseman Tyler Mueller were sent off for matching roughing penalties and Lowell defenseman Dylan Zink was sent off 14 seconds later for a hooking penalty.

That 4-on-3 chance didn’t amount to anything goal-wise, which Quinn addressed in the postgame press conference.

“That’s our fault,” Quinn. “We haven’t practiced that in God knows how long. I don’t even remember the last time we practiced that and that’s certainly on us. That was our fault. That’s a lot of uncertainty and that’s the coach’s fault. We hadn’t practiced it since I think before Christmas.”

9 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: Maguire, Moran, Greenway lead BU in “playoff-feel” win over UMass Lowell

  1. Good win last night. It seemed that both teams were tripping over their own skates. Sloppy first period for BU. What’s with the total lack of fan participation? Basically, the only noise was coming from the student section and that was even subdued. It’s very disappointing that a nationally ranked team in the top 10 has been getting poor fan showings this season. The UML fans, who made the trip, were more vocal than the BU fans (and kudos to them).

    See you next Sat against New Hampshire.

    • WC Jeasn,
      I agree with your post regarding noise and attendance. More noise and excitement at the Mugar Library. For an extremely important game against a quality opponent. Evan sadder one sellout to date and season tickets below expectations.

  2. In my mind the biggest victory of the season. Team showed a lot of mental toughness after giving up a fluky goal in the latter part of the third period. The good news is B.U.got the two points. The bad news it should be an even tougher game tonight on their home ice. I expect another one goal differential will be the margin of victory. Even a tie would be more than satisfactory. GO B.U.!

  3. Larry,just thinking out loud,and please don’t take any offense.But after the 09 Championship Title,I believe that the years after that were not any where near BU HOCKEY standards,I mean,let’s be honest,I’m not happy unless we are in the top 3 in the Country,a little spoiled.So,I was just wondering,after 2 season,DQ didn’t do that bad,yes-missed the most important Hardware,but still collected some nice Hardware.What were your feelings during the drought?I didn’t feel like using Google,but I know after 09′,hardware was slim to none for 4-5 yrs.I still believe the Captain of this ship will bring the ultimate treasure back to BU,much sooner,rather than later…take care…

    • BU Hockey 7
      No offense taken great question. After 09 JP had a nightmare ending to his illustrious career. Everyone forgets that before the alleged sexual harassment issues B.U was on track to win the NCAA. In fact I witnessed a 5- 0 beating of the Beagles ( the eventual NCAA champions) at Kelly Rink early in the season. Shortly after the semester ended the first incident occurred and the top scorer was thrown off the team . At approximately the same time Charlie Coyle abruptly left school. If that had been the end of the problems then maybe the team could have recovered. But then incident number two occurred. There was a rush to judgment and Jack was crucified. No one at B.U. supported him and a phony balcony committee conducted a witch hunt that discovered next to nothing. However unsubstantiated evidence was leaked to the Globe and never refuted by anyone at B.U..(except JP) The immediate impact is that it destroyed recruiting I know that B.U lost about six to ten top candidates. Others would not even consider attending. At the end of the day the original charges were dropped. No Statement from anyone at B.U. Yet Florida State and Tennessee handled similar issues differently. So no JP could not compete for prime time players at the end . However his last gift proved he could still recruit talent.

  4. Eichel was most definitely slated to come to BU via Jack Parker….however, what most people don’t know, is Quinn still had to seal the deal because Jack (and his Dad) were not happy with BU at all after that scandal (not total BS but not entirely as epic as the papers made it out to be. And as most hysteria causing “scandals’, there is rarely a follow up of “oh sorry it wasn’t as bad as we first thought) Now, I know Larry, you are NOT going to like this….but Jack Eichel decided to follow through with his commitment to BU ONLY after meeting and talking with Quinn. And according to my sources….he had A LOT of convincing to do. You might remember the big scandal on here when Quinn sat Eichel after he played for Team USA…he was crucified by everyone on this board…except the ONE person who mattered…Mr. Eichel….who was very vocal about thanking Quinn for treating Jack as more than a player, and looking out for his best interests.
    Just my 2 cents.

    • Sean,
      Despite my issues with how DQ runs the program. I thought he did a great job with Jack Eichel.( maybe to good as he is certainly missed this year) At the end of the day and as much as this hurts he made the correct move going to the NHL.
      I am very concerned about the remaining four games especially since three are away. Do you know the last time a B.U. Hockey team won at either UNH or Notre Dame? The team looks tired. Especially the first line. Perhaps it is time to shake up the lineup. Don’t understand how the defense played so poorly. A lot of fundamental mental mistakes. Power play lacks rhythm and movement. Players wait too long to shoot or pass. Pass are not stick to stick. Besides that everything is perfect
      I thought a week ago before the Beanpot final that if B.U won two out of three that they were contenders for end of the year hardware. Unfortunately the only one once and slipped three places in the pairwise rankings and fifth place in Hockey East. It reminds of the team in JP last year that was the last team out. I hope I am wrong. It would be awful to miss the tournament.

  5. JP,is not only one of the greatest Coaches of all time,the man is a class act,friendly,and I also believe that he was shafted,I don’t think the University wanted him to have as much power as he did.I had to come to Boston about 9 yrs ago for a major surgical procedure at Beth Israel.And my jaw almost hit the floor when Jack stopped into my room to visit,and wish me well in my recovery.He will always be considered one of the best people I have ever known….

    • B.U. Hockey 7
      Thank you for the kind words and thoughts regarding JP. I always believed he was a better human being than he was a coach. He loved his job, always did what was best for the student and not the hockey player. I will never forgive the administration, athlete department and development office for destroying his reputation and forcing him to retire. Unfortunately those people except for Mike Lynch are still in charge. Including the new athletic director who was Mikes assistant.

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