Second period onslaught troubles Terriers in 4-2 defeat at #2 UMass

In a visit to a sold-out Mullins Center in Amherst, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell 4-2 to #2 University of Massachusetts on Friday night.

“I thought we competed hard,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “That’s a good hockey team over there.”

After a 7-5 thriller that went UMass’ way in the two Hockey East sides’ first matchup on Friday, February 1, the Terriers (10-13-3, 8-7-2 Hockey East) were looking to avenge their loss a week later.

“We played them pretty tight in our building,” said O’Connell on the teams’ first meeting.

Senior captain Bobo Carpenter was unavailable for the forward’s fourth consecutive game due to injury, but his co-captain Dante Fabbro wasted no time in picking up the production for the Terriers’ injured leading goal scorer.

On the game’s first power play seven minutes in, sophomore forward Ty Amonte moved along an initial pass from freshman forward Joel Farabee. The puck came to Fabbro, who pounded it in for the junior defenseman’s sixth of the season, providing BU with the opening goal for the first time in eight games.

With BU holding the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Minutemen (20-5, 12-3 Hockey East) were struggling to gain traction and challenge the Terrier defense as they had a week prior. Looking to spark his team just ahead of the period’s halfway point, UMass head coach Greg Carvel called a timeout, which proved to make all the difference for his Minutemen.

Only a mere ten seconds after the UMass timeout, the Minutemen found their equalizer. Fresh off a three-point performance against BU last Friday, sophomore forward John Leonard stickhandled his way to shooting position between the dots, and fired one in to level the game. The assist would go to freshman defenseman Marc Del Gaizo.

“They got a lot of momentum,” said Coach O’Connell about Leonard’s tally. “The crowd was really into it.”

Turning the tides quickly, the Minutemen would come up with a second goal less than two minutes after their first. Starting behind his own net, standout sophomore defenseman Cale Makar bolted the length of the ice, and fed junior forward Jack Suter for the easy finish to put UMass up 2-1.

“[Makar] blew by our entire team,” said O’Connell. “You [have to] tip your hat to that kid.”

The Minuteman lead would double at the 4:53 mark, as junior defenseman Jake McLaughlin knocked in a rebound to make the UMass advantagae 3-1. Terrier netminder Jake Oettinger made the initial save on the one-timer by Suter after senior forward Brett Boeing’s cross-ice pass, but there was nothing the junior keeper could to about McLaughlin’s close-range tap-in.

“They found a way to the net,” said Coach O’Connell, reflecting on the Minutemen’s offensive success.

Going into the second intermission, the Minutemen would hold a stunning 30-12 advantage in shots on goal. BU attempted an underwhelming four shots against UMass freshman goaltender Philip Lindberg in the second period – a total quadrupled by the Minutemen in the frame, who tested Oettinger with 16.

“That ended up costing us the game,” said O’Connell regarding the lopsided second period.

Despite two early third period power plays for the Terriers, it would be UMass who converted on their first man advantage of the game with eight minutes left in regulation. After Leonard and senior forward Jacob Pritchard hacked away in front, Marc Del Gaizo punched it in to tally his second point of the game and make the Minuteman lead three.

With less than a minute to play, sophomore Shane Bowers would score a brilliant individual goal on the penalty kill for BU. Showcasing elite speed and skill, the forward stormed into the UMass end and unleashed a laser past Lindberg to cut the lead to two. It was the tenth goal of Bowers’ season, becoming the third Terrier to reach the double-digit mark.

Bowers’ lone effort would be too little too late for the Terriers, and the game would conclude 4-2 in favor of the hosts. It would be the fourth consecutive loss for the Terriers, albeit with all four opponents ranked within college hockey’s top 20 teams – Arizona State, Northeastern, and UMass twice.

“I liked our effort overall,” said Coach O’Connell, remaining positive despite his team’s recent dip in form.

Historically, the series sweep by UMass would be the first time in team history that the Minutemen would come away with two wins over BU during the regular season.

“Our goal this year was to bring respect to this program,” said UMass’ Coach Carvel. “It’s a special group.”

With a short break before their next game, BU will turn their attention to Harvard ahead of their battle for third place in the Beanpot on Monday, aiming to snap their losing streak ahead of seven Hockey East contests to close out the regular season.

“I think if we compete well, we’ll be fine,” said O’Connell about his team going forward.

The Beanpot fixture with Harvard will be played at 4:30pm at the TD Garden on Monday, before BU set their sights on a weekend home-and-home series with the University of Connecticut next weekend.

16 thoughts on “Second period onslaught troubles Terriers in 4-2 defeat at #2 UMass

  1. u mass looks to be the real deal. For the second straight game we were out played that said we were in the game. The losses are piling up but I’m staying positive home ice is still at stake. If we get home ice obviously that will be a help but the key to a deep run will be having confidence going into playoffs. We need to go on a run. I’m proud of the effort put forth in the past few games. Obviously the results are not good and this team is going to have to win hockey east to make national tournament but I like the idea of being a long shot. Due to work obligations I could not make the game so I watched it on tv which was terrible a fifth grader with a camcorder could do better but after taking some Dramamine I could see our players dejected and frustrated you can see the body language this is because we are working hard and just not getting results. I’m sure the pundits will say we don’t care but I’m not subscribing to that. At this point we are loosing to teams that are better then us but the key thing to remember is we are in these games if we can clean things up just a little bit we can beat these very good teams win a few games and you develop some confidence. I’m hanging in there till the end besides I hold on to hockey for as long as I can baseball is a long season and as much as I enjoy it. I’m well aware it’s not even close to BU hockey. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for BU to make a little run proud of this group keep trying boys never quit.

  2. Turn out the lights. The party’s over. We just do not match up with most college hockey squads. BU must rethink how we recruit and get bigger, stronger, kids into the program. This is the worst the BU team has looked in my memory. End of an era I do believe. Take a look at the games of late, Colin. Men vs boys.

  3. Let’s just stay away from the bridge SOCC! They lost 2 to the best team in the country. Not much shame in that. The more troubling thing is the lack of top end talent on this year’s team. Last year’s defections really hurt.

  4. i think a recent team that was bad as this one was the first year when DQ took over. they ended up 10-21-4.

    i also don’t get the lack of top end talent. i thought that bowers, farabee, harper, cockerill etc are supposed to be top end talents.
    sometimes, i wonder if this ream would be playing better if DQ was there, just in terms of continuity. i am not knocking albie, just looking at the transition. open to anyone’s theories for this underperformance

    more defections await!

  5. Those defections absolutely devastated this team. If Tkachuk or Greenway stayed, that could have been enough. Losing both was lethal. I agree that we need to do a better job of assessing a recruit’s intention of staying more than two years. Of course a substantial part of our problem is that we have highly touted freshmen who are not contributing much … and some upperclassmen who have stagnated or even regressed. Having said that, I am thrilled to see how Patrick Curry has progressed. As for Bowers and Farabee, if neither returns for 2019-2020, expect more of the same.

  6. Big difference is that the 2013-2014 team was expected to have a bad season. This team was projected as a top 15 team (in the country).

  7. I think you said it Glenn , the high end recruits are not producing that much. I suspect they are more concerned with their nat’l team performances and not so dedicated to the school and the Terriers. early departures hurt but there is no way this club should be under .500 with the talent they have despite losing Greenway and Tkaculk Tkaculk has shown also to be playing a lot better at the pro level than at BU, so what does that tell you anyways? I’m afraid Abie is not the motivator that Dollar Dave was and we’re seeing that in the intensity of this club. I just did not see it against NU in the Beanpot and i don’t think they will be able to turn it around like last year.

    • Thanks Vinnie and Vito. I must say that Brady played really well for us last season. He had 31 points in 40 games and he had a really slow start to his 2017-2018 season. So, for the second semester, he was probably doing better than a point per game. People keep saying that he had one foot out the door … but whatever … I will take that kind of production and physicality any day. I think if he were here this season he would have had 45 to 50 points.

  8. turn it around for this season is out of the question

    can the coach turn it around in the immediate future is what needs to asked.

    just got this recruit jamie armstrong. very pedestrian at best

  9. You can not blame coach for this season first and foremost the season is not over. I’m impressed no one has quit working a credit to coach the players and there parents. We are not far away from being a dominant team injuries players leaving others not having the year we expected all play into it. Again we can still make a run coach has proven he can coach and recruit at this level I don’t see how you can judge him this early give him 3 years to get his own scouted team in here. I think you will see a mix of 4 year older kids and young first rounders come in the next few years. It’s not like we have to blow things up we are competitive against the best teams just a half step behind. Again I don’t won’t to worry about next year till this year is done we can still do damage

  10. Only a young Jack Parker could turn this team about. I have seen him do it. My view is because of two factors. One, how we are pushed around on a constant basis. Two, constant shorts on goal totals by the other teams vs us. And Albie’s lack of any anger the way his team plays is a factor. Most teams parallel the attitude of their coach. Albie is passive. Team is passive. As I said, turn out the lights—.

  11. I have heard coach is passive yet I don’t see it. I see him speaking out on bench I see him calling out guys for mistakes I don’t know what is meant by the term passive. Coach can’t put the skates on. I don’t see him as passive. Mistakes have hung us out to dry this year not because our coach or players are passive it because when you play good teams they force you to make mistakes. Our back check last night was weak not because we did not hustle back but because when we hustled back we watched instead of locking on to a guy. The beanpot loss came because we made a mental error in offensive zone. Ultimately the coach is to blame for his teams play but if we are going to blame coach for this then we need to give him praise for hanging in there among some great teams. I think coach has done a good job so far. Again I want to give coach plenty of time to develop a team that has his identity and I think this present team plays hard for him just not as smart as I would like.🐾

  12. i support Colin in giving Albie some time. too early to judge but he does need to do some self-evaluation

    lowell, providence, now umass: if these teams can build a winner without having the facilities and cache of a storied program like BU’s, why can’t we build a consistent winner?

    we don’t just need older guys; we need talented ones like Bobo; nothing is worse than putting out 4 lines of third and fourth liners

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