Three Takeaways from Saturday’s Win Over UNH

Sam Tucker posted a 32-save shutout on Saturday night. Photo by Jenna Vansickle.

The Boston University Terriers (2-1-2, 1-0-1 HE) took down the University of New Hampshire Wildcats in a 3-0 win at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. Overall, it was a strong effort from Albie O’Connell’s group as line shuffling and a strong third period from UNH hampered the Terriers a little bit–you can check out Brady Gardner’s full recap. All in all, a good game from BU, here are my three takeaways–opinions are my own:

1. Sam Tucker is settling in

Tucker played his best game of the season on Saturday. Sure, the bar may not have been set very high to begin with after allowing seven goals on 33 shots through his first two starts of the year, but this was a a huge weekend for the graduate transfer. The Terrier goaltender followed up a solid outing on Friday night at Lowell, where he did not have much of a say in the three goals he gave up, with an extremely impressive 32-save shutout over the Wildcats. Tucker kept the Terriers alive in the third as UNH controlled play, highlighted by a diving save to keep the puck out on the rebound. On the weekend, Tucker made 57 saves on 60 total shots – “pretty, pretty, pretty good,” as Larry David would say. The former Yale netminder was phenomenal, to put it simply, so hopefully this bodes well for his long-term performance.

2. BU cannot afford to lose Patrick Harper long-term

Speaking of long-term, BU has to seriously hope Harper does not miss a ton of time. The senior assistant captain exited the game during the first period and did not return. It is unclear what the cause of the injury was, nor what exactly the injury is; however, BU did not look totally in sync in his absence, especially during the third period. O’Connell jumbled the lines plenty Saturday, which did not help much in the way of facilitating chemistry and helping the team establish a good flow later in the game. While Jamie Armstrong definitely was not bad filling in on the top line, he was not anything to write home about whatsoever. Patrick Curry and Trevor Zegras clearly missed their linemate, too.

3. The defense played its best game so far, even without Cam Crotty

The defense was definitely in for a tough test from the start of the game as Crotty missed the contest with an injury sustained during Friday’s matchup at Lowell. While Tucker’s play in net certainly helped make the d-core’s group a lot more easier,  the backend did a good job suppressing high-danger chances, clearing traffic in front of their goaltender and limiting the effectiveness of UNH’s lethal power play unit. The only breakdown was a goal for UNH that was called back, but even then was it a flukey, broken play that somehow led to the Wildcats believing they had scored when the puck had never even crossed the line. Tucker made the big saves when needed, but the group in front of him easily put forth their best effort of the young season, too.

5 thoughts on “Three Takeaways from Saturday’s Win Over UNH”

  1. Great analysis Patrick the team played very well this weekend I was very happy with the adjustments the team made in pk and goaltending. It’s clear coaches worked on these things during the week. this team is bought into the team first mentality. We have some guys go down and these are key guys and we have had guys step up. Last night it was clear guys were gassed and coach mentioned bend but not break and that is what happened. Guys like Armstrong and fiesty hard nosed Chabot filled in great on our top lines. The one kid who did not get much of a opportunity was Witkowski. Jake is a kid who in my opinion should play more. Here are my reasons why first and foremost the kid has a explosive shot he can bang with the best of them having him on the fourth line gives you a scoring threat. I know what happened last week and I say this a penalty is a penalty we need to get this kid some confidence he won’t get it without some ice time. He’s playing not to make a mistake instead of his game. I firmly believe a little more ice time and his confidence and game will improve. Lost in everyone’s play is Kasper he is such a big part of bu defense and even played great at forward a great team player. Go bu🐾

    • Interesting point there with Witkowski, Colin. I’ll admit I haven’t seen much out of him, but like you said, ice time might have something to do with that. Maybe a hidden benefit of digging deep in the depth chart early on is that you’re forced to get guys like Witkowski more game time, and they can gain experience from it and show what they’ve got!

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