The Terriers skated to 4-4 tie against Northern Michigan on Friday night. Heading into the third period with 4-1 lead, BU lost their cushion as NMU was able to pot three in the third to send the game to overtime, which would finish scoreless. Be sure to check out Brady Gardner’s full recap of tonight’s action!
Without further ado, here are my three takeaways from tonight’s disappointing, albeit not the end of the world, results:
1. Defense looks strong in the attacking zone, but needs to tighten up in their own end.
The defensive group was extremely involved in the offensive attack tonight, especially David Farrance, who scored his second of the year and notched an assist. At times both defensemen on the ice seemed to join in on the cycle, specifically with the top forward trio, with the movement creating a dazzling five-man cycle in the offensive zone. Farrance, Case McCarthy, and Dom Fensore were all active on the rush for the Terriers as well.
“It’s a new group with a lot of young guys,” Farrance said after the game. “They’re all great players obviously, a real good skating group. I think we all just connect really well together.”
However, while that was all well and good for the Terriers tonight, there were several lapses in defensive-zone coverage that were costly for the Terriers. Cross-ice feeds to wide-open skaters led to the third and fourth goals for the Wildcats. Albie O’Connell’s group got exposed on several occasions in their own end, and McCarthy and Fensore were each minus-three on the night.
“We had some lapses, and we’re a young team,” O’Connell noted. “So, we’re going to make some mistakes.”
2. Power play and first line on their game.
Patrick Harper, Patrick Curry, and Trevor Zegras were on a tear tonight. Zegras notched two assists, one coming on the power play, while Curry and Harper each tallied a goal. The top line’s performance tonight was highlighted by a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play between Zegras and freshman D-man Alex Vlasic that led to Curry’s tap-in goal.
The power play also had two goals on four chances tonight with crisp movement all around as Harper and Logan Cockerill each got on the board in a high-scoring first period. Jake Wise and Robert Mastrosimone quietly had strong evenings with Mastrosimone picking up an assist on the man advantage in addition to one of Wise’s two assists coming on the power play as well.
“The first line’s a pretty talented group. I thought the line did well tonight,” O’Connell described. “[Harper] worked hard at both ends of the ice, and [Curry] led the team tonight.”
3. BU absolutely should have won this game, which is stating the obvious.
The Terriers have to be pretty frustrated with how the game ended tonight as they let the win slip away. Farrance and the rest of O’Connell’s squad don’t have too much time to dwell on things, though, as they turn around right away with a rematch tomorrow night at Agganis.
“I think we flush this one down the toilet,” Farrance said during his postgame availability. “It’s a bit of a sour feeling, but we just have to focus on winning the game tomorrow.”
“Like I said we’re a young group, so we gotta learn from our mistakes,” Farrance went on. “We can’t let swings like that happen in games. We gotta stay on the right pattern and finish games out a little stronger.”
“I thought we played well enough to win,” O’Connell continued. “We’ve got to close it out.”
I assume Purpura will get the start this evening? I am a bit concerned about our save percentage situation through these two games. Kudos to Case McCarthy for breaking up several passes deep in our end.
That’s my guess Glenn, but obviously we haven’t seen the goaltenders as much as Coach O’Connell has, so there’s a chance they could feel like Vinnie isn’t quite ready yet, regardless of Tucker’s struggles… We’ll find out! I agree, McCarthy was solid.