Pluses and Minuses: No. 7 Terriers routed by No. 11 Lowell, settle for series split

LOWELL — You’ve probably seen the score by now, but on Saturday night, the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team fell to the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell by a score of 6-3 at the Tsongas Center.

It was not pretty. At all.

The Terriers (17-9-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) made mistake after mistake, and the River Hawks (18-7-5, 11-5-4 Hockey East) made them pay for basically every one of them.

“Certainly disappointed with obviously the outcome and some of the reasons why we’re in the situation we’re in tonight …” said BU head coach David Quinn. “Disappointed in the outcome, disappointed in why we lost the way we did.”

Here’s what particularly caught our eye in the rout:

Minuses

Mistakes

Teams and players are going to make mistakes during games. Obviously. No one plays a perfect game, but generally those mistakes don’t always find their way into the back of the net. On Saturday, Quinn said, that’s what it felt like happened.

The River Hawks struck first on defenseman Dylan Zink’s first of three goals on the night 11:26 into the first period, and the Terriers responded fairly quickly. Freshman center Bobo Carpenter knotted things up 1:36 later.

From there, though, it wasn’t so close.

The second goal?

“We give up a faceoff goal, completely blown coverage, as simple as coverage you can have in hockey,” Quinn said.

And the third?

“A horrible goalie-D exchange,” he said.

Fourth?

“A bad turnover.”

The fifth one?

“We blow coverage on a backcheck,” he said. “Looked like we got rattled after they made it four, we just completely abandoned our responsibilities on their fifth goal.”

And then the sixth was the fruits of a solid netfront, batted-out-of-midair tally from Lowell captain A.J. White.

Though the final result and score are definitely not ideal, Quinn noted they aren’t necessarily symptomatic of the overall defensive play.

“We hadn’t given up a lot of goals lately,” he said. “We’ve been playing some pretty good D zone, we did a good job last night, so I mean if this happens again I’ll be concerned, but we’ve done a pretty good job of moving past performances like this, so we’ll get back to work on Monday and anxious to play again on Friday.”

Andrew has an additional perspective on this in his sidebar.

Power play woes continue

It was another 0-fer night for BU’s power play as the Terriers failed to convert on a trio of opportunities with the man advantage Saturday night. While the team began the year with a relatively prolific power play, things have certainly dropped off in the last handful of games.

Since they went 3-for-6 on the power play during Jan. 15th’s loss to No. 3 Boston College, the Terriers are an anemic 3-for-30 with the man advantage over their last nine games. One of those goals came in the form of Friday’s overtime winner, but not much has been doing for BU.

The Terriers have been slow while operating in the attacking zone with the extra skater and aren’t doing enough to get the penalty killers out of sorts. Excessive stickhandling and messy entries have allowed opposing units to set up and adjust to each move BU makes, preventing the Terriers from getting anywhere close to capitalizing.

Pluses

Keep battling

Quinn said he liked the way his squad continued to battle throughout the game, and an 87-46 shot attempt differential in favor of the Terriers certainly backs that up. However, Quinn made sure to mention that “it’s easy to battle when you’re down by three.”

Typically, teams that are trailing are going to play more aggressively because, well, they’re trying to score goals. On the other hand, a team with a fairly safe lead like Lowell’s four-goal edge, can afford to play more conservatively. The objective would be to maintain the lead, not necessarily to add another goal.

“I thought we played well as the game went on, but tough to gauge because, like I said, when it’s 5-2, they’re playing a little bit different,” Quinn said.

Ahti Oksanen

I’ll admit I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but I wanted to give credit to Ahti Oksanen, who had a pair of primary assists in BU’s loss Saturday. The two helpers served as the senior’s sixth multi-point game in the second half, and he is now tied for 20th in the country in scoring with 33 points.

Since the Terriers have returned from break, Oksanen has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in a dozen games.

52 thoughts on “Pluses and Minuses: No. 7 Terriers routed by No. 11 Lowell, settle for series split

  1. My observation was that the lapses on both nights were caused by lack of effort by some players on both nights. After friday’s game I thought the lineup might have been shuffled to send a message that if you want to play you need to work for your ice time. That was not the case as the same players dressed saturday night as well. Talent alone does not always win games. You have to want it as well and I think that there were some players who did not put out the effort they were capable of.

  2. this team is too inconsistent and indecisive when attacking. I don’t know if they can improve , it seems to be characteristic of this group. They, as has been mentioned overstickhandle and don’t shoot enough. Also I don’t like the way Quinn changes his PP unit, he should go with his best offensive players all the time.

  3. Loss not the end of the world, but a sweep next week I think is a must if bu wants a by and home ice in quarter finals. Also has huge national tournament implications. Go bu

  4. The game speaks for itself. Extremely disappointing after Frlday. Where are all the bloggers that vilify me if I don’t praise every victory. Are they hiding after every lose ? I would like to hear their thoughts. How about the fact that B. U. Is 3 for 30 on the power(less) play since 1-15-16. Any one concerned about the poor attendance at Agganis ? (only 4,200 on Friday) While Lowell had 6,000 on Saturday. I am happy that Hockey East doesn’t award a bonus point for attendance.

      • Sean.
        Fair point I never follow the live blog.
        Totally incorrect I never call out, criticize or scream at players. I attend games with my adult children and am always on my best behavior. I do yell at the referees on marginal penalties against B.U. Don’t care if you like my comments or not but to suggest that I would any way scream at or say anything negative to student athlete is unprofessional, unethical and certainly crosses the line. 1000% Not True
        I do have issues with the coach which I told him to his face . He knows exactly how I feel. However it is his program and he can run it as he sees fit. I have moved on from that battle as have many of my contemporaries.

  5. Larry you have some legitimate arguments. The power play is somewhat predictable and slow moving the puck which allows teams to stay in a tight box. I would like to see bu move the puck faster and take the puck into the slot to make teams break out of the tight box. As for attendance I think bu lacks the promotion of a great division one hockey program. When I first started watching bu hockey in the mid 80’s the student body involvement was huge, I don’t see that any more. Outside of the 98.5 ads aggains makes little effort to advertise. They should target youth hockey associations and build fan bases. I am most disappointed in the way they are dismantling the friends of bu hockey. The wonderful folks who comprise this group are die hard fans who want to spread the word of bu hockey and donate nominal amounts of money to this great program. I think the focus is on big donors which is great but don’t forget the grass root guys who give 110% devotion to this program.

    • Colin,
      I appreciate your observations. I think you under estimated the power of FHO. They were responsible for the building of two arenas , Walter Brown Arena and the Agganis Arena. If the development office was running the show, B. U.would be sharing Mathews Arena with Norh eastern.
      I have talked to many fund raisers and their current plain is doomed for failure. Similar to the 4pm start times which I believe will not be repeated next year.

  6. This is what I wrote on the Live BLOG after the game….
    Well, I’m glad I missed this debacle. What the BLEEP happened? Monday night a factor possibly? Is this team just not good enough? To me #5 has been off for a while. Fortunado has not been very good. I don’t think the 1st line is producing nearly as well as they should….what are the thoughts on this team? Can they overcome this loss? I’m thinking they can…and hopefully go out on a bang at ND!
    REAL opinions please, not interested in those marred by personal issues against the coach.
    Larry, again, you just cant write a post without adding your snide little comments? I’ve never met a fan that is so critical of his “beloved” team as you. You rag on EVERY aspect of the program, SCREAM at the players when they do their annual call before the sesson (and dont even TRY to deny that one) and make stupid references such as power(less) play. Sure I was mad they lost Saturday night. I mean, how do they go from playing like they did in the Beanpot, holding off a clear favorite to win the NCAA to that debacle Sat night?? But you…you dig up all these negative things to make it worse. You must only be happy when you’re negative. Oh well….Season isn’t over yet….still up there in the PW…HE playoffs…anything can happen….try being positive for a bit….

    • I NEVER EVER screamed at a player during an annual call. The one call I received was after the 10 win season and before the Season of Eichel. I had long and frank discussion with Matt G. I expressed my disappointment and offered encouragement. He told me he was personally embarrassed and that he promised it would not happen again. He was a man of his word. I Deny It 100%. I did yell at former athletic director Mike Lynch during a heated discussion at B. U. Basketball and also expressed my unhappiness to DQ at the same event. I Would never yell at a player over the phone or in person. In fact my son was a roommate with a former player on last years team. Sean you are WRONG AGAIN!

      • NO I’m not wrong. You tortured that player on the phone. See you’re so quick to criticize others yet you are not even aware of when you are rude and brazen.

        • Sean,
          Another ignorant clueless coment. 1000% inaccurate. It was a private conversation. How would you know? It lasted over 15 minutes , almost two years ago. He called me and there was no yelling or screaming only a discussion.You are so desperate and pathetic.
          Why don’t you worry about upcoming games instead of me?

          • Yes he called you because they all call the ticket holders, Private conversation in the moment maybe…but that’s not how the story was relayed. Like you said 3 sides to every story….however you have never admitted to being rude anyway so I don’t expect it now. Somehow you think your comments are fine yet grill others about theirs. I’m not worried about the games coming up. I worry about your health and well being over a college hockey team…how you get easily enraged….you should relax and ENJOY your beloved team…instead of stewing over the past and getting so angry when people disagree with you. Oh and hold your “I don’t enjoy losing speech…” NO ONE does…least of all these kids and the coaches….

          • I WAS NEVER RUDE. It was an honest and frank discussion. Sometimes the truth hurts. He solicited me and I asked a lot of questions. I told him he was my favorite player and I was happy he was chosen captain. I have have saw him after that, introduced myself and shook his hand.(A pleasant conversation.)
            If I was so brazen or rude as you implied why was called again this year by a different player. He left me a message at my work number. Inappropriate behavior should not be tolerated and I should not have been called even if I was a season ticket holder.
            You are losing credibility because all your personal rants and raves against me are boring and simply false. Unless you were listening in on a private conversation than you never will no the actual conversation.
            It is clear to me that you must be employed in the athletic department, development office or coaching staff. If you are that thinned skinned, don’t understand constructive criticism or accepting different points of view than maybe you are in the wrong profession.
            I have nothing to do with on ice performance. Do not blame me for Saturday night. If the team cared so much , where was the extra effort? I read UMass-Lowell blocked 30 shots.
            It just seemed to me B.U. was not ready to play.

          • Sorry not employed by BU although I wish I were. I have ZERO reason to make something like that up. You can say a lot of things about me but Liar is not one of them.
            FACTS:
            Max screwed up all by himself. (I concede that he most likely would’ve helped this team out.)
            Your sons “suitemate” has no clue what he’s talking about NOR do his parents. YES the father was a teammate, even room mate I believe, but the kid just didn’t have what it takes.
            You come off as rude….not “truth hurts” BS, your attitude, and not just to me. Although I will also concede I’ve read some of your latest comments and I am pleasantly surprised at your optimism.
            ALL ticket holders get a call, regardless of their conversations in previous years. A few ticket holders are pompous and go overboard with their comments….end of that.

          • Never called you a liar ! It’s not how l conduct myself. I do tell the truth and at times brutally honest. You starting the name calling no me.

          • Never called you a liar ! It’s not how l conduct myself. I do tell the truth and at times I am brutally honest. If you feel that it is rude that is that is your problem. You have no right to comment on a private conversation. You started the name calling not me. I am a Legacy Donor and have earned the right to express my opinion. In the future if you don’t like my comments IGNORE THEM. My opinion about a hockey team is not going to change the world!

  7. Of course Larry comes on bashing again yes they played like crap but that’s the first “bad” game in a month or so Relax!!! I wonder who your son was clearly wasn’t one of Dq favorite since u bad mouth him after every lost.. please introduce yourself when we are in the players lounge I would love to meet u… go bu… of course nothing personal just hate trollers!!

    • Big Roy,
      My son is not a hockey player. Last year a hockey player was one of his suite mates during the second semester. I will not tell you his name but my sons jaw dropped when Jack E. and Danny O helped him move in. The player was one of DQs favorites and is no longer on the team.
      I take no offense to your comments and would enjoy meeting you. Unfortunately there are no excuses for Saturday night performance, especially considering the importance of the game. I was really happy on Friday, a tough hard earned victory, and more than disappointed on Saturday. Two tough games this weekend both must wins. No wiggle room left.

      • NO THAT player was NOT one of DQ’s favorites. Oh my Lord….you’re all sorts of discombobulated today. Neither was the kids father

          • Larry…you are WRONG…that kids mother and father know squat….BELIEVE that!! I know exactly who you are referring too…former teammate yes, DQ liked the kid well enough…NOT a favorite player or else he would’ve PLAYED!

          • I believed the parents. No reason not to think they were telling the truth. Actually
            could not play due to an injury.

          • Player had a history of this injury even when attempting to play this summer, it reoccurred. Maybe you are right, I am totally confused. Why not tell the truth? It is no shame not to make a team . There are other alternatives where you could still be involved in hockey. I never skated or played hockey but I was a student manager of one of the greatest teams in B.U. Hockey history.One of the best experiences in my life.

  8. I must admit in terms of winning anything significant this year, I see little hope. The O has dried up and if McGuire is off like he was up At Lowell, then it is curtains. Need a sweep against unh which is no given and two against ND out there is very tough especially given ourr history against them

    I love D Q, but if we go trophy less this year, then some with say, sans eichel, he has not done much. But it is only his third year. In his defense I will say he is still shackled with the dregs of bavis recruiting. Look at this junior class – ballergon, kelly, somerby (the only decent one) and factor in the guys from that class who are not with us becuSe they sucked – Duane, collier, Kurker, macafee, and Piccinich. That is a fact. Not to say DQ has not misevaluated some guys himself, but in my opinion, that upper class is killing us right now.

    I think the beanpot loss was a real deflator as was the Lowell
    Blow out.

    We shall see

    • Vinnie,
      I agree with the majority of your comments. However to be fair to DQ , let the season play out before making a final judgement. Yes I have many issues on how he runs the program but he still deserves the opportunity to right the ship.
      The JP final years were nightmare primarily due to the sex scandal and virtually no support from anyone at B.U. Even though, much like the Duke lacrosse scandal,l the original charges could not be proven and were were dropped. You are correct JP could not recruit with that cloud and stigma hanging over the hockey program. So if you want to blame someone look toward the president and his committee that conducted a witch hunt and not an investigation.
      The only former Terrier I take issue with is Piccinich, he is one of the leading scorers on his team and I believe in his league. We certainly will know more after four more games.

      • Larry — hypothetically speaking, if someone else had been hired as Coach Parker’s successor where that person had the same record as Coach Quinn has, and the same off-ice things that you’ve expressed your opinions about also transpired (i.e. FOH, attendance), would your opinion of that head coach be the same as your opinion of Coach Quinn presently?

        I’d like to better understand the root of your concerns. It is due to specific actions and decisions you think Coach Quinn is directly responsible for? Or is it tied to your dissatisfaction with the administration’s actions and you associate Coach Quinn as an extension of that? Or other?

        • Friend_ of_ BU _ Hockey
          I would be happy to discuss all issues and concerns with you prior to a game or by phone. Certainly I cannot express any specific topics on this site where a dissenting opinion results in character assassination. For the record I am brutally honest and a straight shooter. My now adult children all attended B.U. and were admitted ON THEIR OWN. no assistance by the former coach. I was away on a vacation and was unable to reply do to limited internet service. I Have Never wanted the current coach to be fired. I have NEVER yelled or screamed derogatory remarks at B.U. players on the annual phone call or any social setting or hockey game. I attend all games with family members and they would not allow me to act inappropriately. (home or away)
          I have no desire to be an insider. I was in 1971-1972 as one of the student managers of the hockey team. My mentors last year as Head Coach.
          I was invited to be on the board after the late great Al Sidd passed away. I served on the FOH board until I met my wife and had children.
          I did support JP for forty years but we were never friends. Strictly a hockey relationship. If he needed assistance on off issues I was always at the front of the line. we had no contact outside of hockey.
          My allegiance and true mentor was always to the Godfather of B.U. Hockey, the Great JACK KELLY!
          ,

    • Vinnie,maybe you should take over the Head Coaching Job,every post is more and more ridiculous.At least Larry knows what he is talking about when he writes.I can’t wait till Quinn,and Young,and the rest of the great coaching staff brings home the NCAA title,probably not this year,but sooner rather than later.And yes,I am at every game,in a box enjoying great hockey,not so great the other night.Just watch and see how wrong you are…….

      • BU Hockey 7
        Thank you for the compliment. It is truly appreciated. I think Vinnie is frustrated like most of us with this years team. However the season is not over and before anyone rushes to judgement lets see what happens over the next four games. I feel that if they some how can win three out of four the team has at least a good shot at a first round bye.
        However the competition is tough with no recent success at UNH or Notre Dame.

  9. Just was not impressed at all with Piccinich last year and he was given opportunities. Not saying he would be not playing this year in the place of kelly but still, that was a lot of mishits for one large class

    Also consider a lot of that junior class was identified before the scandals. They are in the pipeline for years before they get here

    Also although I am very excited about next years class with all the first round draft pick talk, DQ still has to mold a team. Recruits are key but I don’t think it ensures anything. Also we must see if they all get here and then stay for the whole season. This is not a problem to only BU but all college hockey.

    I agree there is more to the season but the big O and Danny O better snap out of it if we hope to make the ncaa tournament or all there will be to root for is the 15 other teams to win it all.

    • Anonymous
      I agree that Piccinich had tough year .However it takes some players longer to develop especially the younger ones. He has been a difference maker in his new league. I know that does not translate to Hockey East.
      Recruiting was certainly an issue during the last few years of JP. However there were some extenuating circumstances.

  10. Larry
    I am not sure of the timeline of the recruiting for this junior class but I do know these guys are identified at a very early age so my hunch is that many of them were earmarked to come to BU before the scandals

    Also although I am thrilled that we have a excellent recruiting class coming in next yearwith all the potential first round draft choices I believe that is only half the battle. DQ still has to mold them into a team and we have to hope they all show and we have to hope they all stay for the whole year. This is not a problem that plagues just bu but all of college hockey

    • I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to suggest the current Junior class is the result of the scandal and subsequent “investigation” (and based on what I know, I agree w/ Larry that the way it was conducted left much to be desired). If I recall, the timeline of events was:

      December 2011: Trivino arrested, dismissed from team
      February 2012: Nicastro arrested, dismissed from team and from the University
      March 2012: “Task Force” formed by President Brown
      September 2012: Task Force report released. Someone within task force leaks information to Boston Globe.
      March 2013: Coach Parker retires; Coach Quinn hired

      In reviewing the parallel timeline of player commitments to BU (source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XCekKiYVZC1Ooxt_RC_SSEVnxXDccPct3KnuQDyFtdQ/pub?output=html#), these are the players who committed to BU from the start of 2011 until the coaching change — listed in chronological order:

      Prior to the Trivino incident:
      – Brendan Collier
      – Robbie Baillargeon
      – Kevin Duane

      In between the Trivino and Nicastro incidents:
      – Jonathan Macleod
      – Doyle Somerby

      “Post-scandal” until Coach Parker’s retirement:
      – Jack Eichel
      – Dalton MacAfee
      – JJ Piccinich
      – Tommy Kelley
      – Cam Askew
      – Shane Starrett

      Out of those 11 players who committed to BU, only 4 remain on the current roster. 2 never showed up (Askew, Starrett), 4 were dismissed/transferred/etc. (Collier, MacAfee, Duane, Piccinich), and then there’s Eichel.

      I think the larger point is that one should reasonably expect out of 11 players who committed to a program between 3-5 years ago, the majority of them should still be here. Eichel is obviously a special case, but I think it’s more accurate to say a multitude of factors affected the roster turnover.

        • Friend _ of BU_ Hockey
          The fact that the charges were dropped was never addressed by any one at BU. Silence from the president, the committee, the athletic office and development office. Primary reason I have NO RESPECT for any of them. They see me and they run in the opposite direction. Thank you for making the best point of the whole discussion. I was not unhappy to see Mike Lynch leave . Only problem was his assistant is now the athletic director. I am not a big fan of this either.

      • Friend _ of _ BU_ Hockey
        I agree recruiting could have been better. However the scandal and how it was handled made a bad situation worse. Especially when no one from the university supported JP.

        • Larry,it took me a little longer than I thought,But this is also a fact,not a story,I’ve been pretty accurate in the past,so trust me on this one.Max is not in a BU jersey because he didn’t take a couple of courses that he was told that he had to,in order to get into BU,he told BU that he was taking the courses,but obviously didn’t…..Obviously UCONN doesn’t have the educational requirements that BU does,i.e.UCONN Basketball,men and women…..

          • BU Hockey 7
            Unfortunately it is irrelevant whose fault it is. Maybe it is poor communication. Young student athletes often question authority and don’t always do what they are supposed to do. Perhaps Max course selections should have been closely monitored. I don’t know !Maybe they are both to blame.
            There are always three sides to a story. Max’s side the coaches side and the truth!
            I would not have made my comment if I thought it was a false statement and my source had no reason to lie.

          • Agreed,definitely 3 sides to every story,but this was from a very reliable person,same person that told me about Roberto being done for the year.I was the first to say that was a fact,everyone else was speculating.Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

      • Re a few of the “lost” recruits:
        MacAfee had initially committed to Notre Dame for lacrosse, then switched to BU for hockey. Had a decent freshman year, but wasn’t going to play after the four Ds were brought in last season. Now at Army and rarely plays.

        Askew decommitted from BU after he’d decommitted from NU. Also bailed on his USHL team after attending its training camp. Then struggled in the Q for a few seasons. Good riddance!

        Starrett never showed enough improvement as a junior after committing. BU severed ties and eventually signed LaCouvee.

        Piccinich was asked to go back to the USHL for a season, then return to BU. He said no and signed with London. Had BU known that Letunov was going to fall through (and the actual facts are not what people here think they are), Piccinich probably would still be at BU.

        • Guest – Thanks for clarifying on those specific recruits. I actually feel kinda bad for a kid like Askew b/c I’ve been told there was another factor affecting his decision-making. Specifically, his father whom I’ve heard within local hockey circles is a bit hands-on, over-opinionated and over-promoting of his son.

          Within a 2-year span Askew decommitted from NU and BU, changed prep schools twice (St. Sebastian’s, Cushing Academy), and bailed on his USHL team. He was draft eligible last year but was bypassed by every team, each round, with his past reportedly playing a role in why he wasn’t drafted.

    • Vinnie,
      All fair points. I believe other key recruits gave verbal commitments or were considering when the the scandal hit. However recruiting should have been better no argument on that fact. It is extremely difficult do to your job when your boss is plotting against you and not supporting you.
      As for next year who knows. It takes more than talent to win in Hockey East. Look at UMass-Lowell, no elite talent but very successful on the ice.

  11. BU Hockey 7, Guest22
    I tried to send you you an e-mail at your address it would not go through. I will be off the grid next week on special assignment but will be back for first round of the playoffs.

  12. friend of BU hockey,

    not sure what i said that angered you and you thought was “ridiculous”. i said i saw little hope for this year in terms of winning anything significant and you agreed to that point yourself when you said “probably not this year,”. then i said how DQ was shackled by this year’s junior class that is a product of Bavis. i think there is merit to that statement (look at the names). finally, i thought the bean pot loss was a real deflator and even DQ alluded to that fact when he said the team seemed mentally fatigued from the last 3 games and gave them monday off from practice

    i have been a DQ supporter all along, and i do think/ hope that once he and his staff get a full 4 year compliment of his recruits, good things will happen

    i am not looking to pick fights with any terrier blogger. basically we all want the terriers to win. and i certainly have no axe to grind against Quinny. just putting out how i see things. sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong – just like it is for everyone else, including you….IMHO

    • Hi Vinnie,

      With all due respect I think you might be referring to a post from BU HOCKEY 7 addressed directly to you from February 16th. It appears for the comments in this particular thread, the names are not matching the actual poster. Specifically, scroll above and see all the “Sean” responses in what definitely appears to be Larry’s responses to Sean.

      Andrew, Judy, Sarah — Can you please investigate why this is happening so it can be corrected in future comment threads so as not to cause confusion amongst fellow commenters? Thanks!!!

      • As far as we can tell, it’s the commenters entering different names than what’s actually their name, not a technical glitch. The emails/IP addresses (which we can see on our end) are different between all the commenters, so it’s just a matter of what people are choosing to use as their usernames.

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