Three Takeaways from Saturday’s Loss to Northern Michigan

David Farrance takes a shot against Northern Michigan. Photo by Emily Hunter.

The Terriers scored seven goals in their home-opening series, but could not overcome the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Falling to a 1-1-1 record, BU will need to make some adjustments before they enter Hockey East play against UMass Lowell and UNH this weekend. Before we move on to these upcoming tilts, here are a few points of note that I spotted during Saturday’s series finale. Of course, all opinions are my own.

Cockerill’s absence meant more than losing a scorer

Logan Cockerill was all over the place in Friday’s home opener, and had a handful of really good chances on that BU second line. On Saturday, a fairly lackluster first period was all we would see from the assistant captain, who missed the rest of the game due to injury – some fans said a slash caused his absence, but I didn’t see it myself. Regardless, the Terriers just didn’t seem the same after the junior forward exited – maybe it had something to do with being forced to shuffle the lines among a young roster that is still relatively new to each other? That’s just a guess, but when the BU left wingers had to fill in for Cockerill, the waves of attack just didn’t seem to have the same chemistry or punch. Let’s hope Cockerill is back this weekend to get the offense clicking again.

Bad penalties caught up to BU

Coach O’Connell said it after both games this past weekend – penalties ruined BU in this series. It felt like every time the Terriers were getting something going or needed a boost, they would take a penalty. One infraction that stands out to me is Alex Brink’s five-minute major and game misconduct in the third period, jumping straight off the bench to go run over a Wildcat in the neutral zone for no real reason. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see the aggression and competitive edge that Brink and BU play with, but when it’s taken over line, it does more harm than good. O’Connell and Captain Curry noted that the penalty kill hasn’t been good enough, but when they’re thrust into service so much, maybe the players in the box deserve more blame than the kill unit.

Ups and downs for Purpura in season debut

After Sam Tucker looked average at best on Friday night, Vinnie Purpura got the nod to backstop BU in game two. Now, I’m actually a big Purpura proponent – you know that Geico commercial with the walrus in goal? At 6’6″, Purpura is that walrus in goal. He may have given up a couple soft ones in the first period, but Purpura got back to his strengths in the second, using his size to make some point-blank saves look effortless. There wasn’t much he could do about the third period goals, so let’s focus on the first 40 minutes: if Purpura can play the way he did in the second, he could be the answer in net for BU. That’s a tall ask, but least he showed he deserves a shot at the starting role. A timeshare in the BU crease still seems like the best way forward for now.

Those are the three biggest takeaways I noticed from the press box, but I’m sure you saw some other things in Saturday’s game that are worth bringing up. Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “Three Takeaways from Saturday’s Loss to Northern Michigan”

  1. Good assessment Brady. Officials got both of those game misconducts wrong. On the NMU one I was hoping they would look at it and when they did I realized it should not have been a penalty so we got a break there. On Brink penalty it was as dumb a penalty as you could take we are seconds away from having a power play in a tight game in the third period to being down a guy for 3 whole minutes. The winning goal was scored on that power play and then we were on our heels killing the rest of the penalty. As I stated that penalty was totally preventable and inexcusable however I saw that replay and it was not contact to the head not even close. You could call it charging boarding but not contact to the head. The referee reviews this weekend were awful. If you have replay and you get it wrong more often then right get rid of it. Some of the reviews took over 5 minutes and were obvious to me in 20 seconds. Hockey is a fast game not meant to be slowed up by miller who thinks we pay money to see him. He was simply awful and awful to both teams . A learning lesson to bu don’t put yourself in a situation where your depending on refs like miller and Murphy to get it right because more often then not they don’t get it right. As to goaltending early on it’s clear we miss Jake and max but I think a lot of our goaltending issues are mental in that we are moving around herky jerky and not getting square to the shooter I’m hoping it’s a problem we can fix with some coaching. Overall I liked the way we competed . I like many others were disappointed in only coming away with one point but I’m going to be patient with this team. I like what I’m seeing

    • Thanks Colin. Yes, the calls were questionable, but you can’t make that play to put yourself in the position where the referees can make a decision like that in the first place. The goaltending struggles should improve with coaching and comfort, you’re right about that. It’s good to be patient, but if BU are going to get back into the rankings, they’ll have to start trending upward quickly. It would be great to not have to get into the tournament via Hockey East, but I know that’s a long ways away!

  2. parker once said the game should be called goalie.

    i think we have big time problems in net with C average ability. if that proves true in the long run, then nothing else really matters. can NOT win hockey games when your own red light is on most of the night

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