BU started strong in Hockey East play last weekend, taking three of a possible four points out of contests with UMass Lowell and UNH. After last week’s success, I took some time to write down my reactions, which you can find below. All opinions are my own.
It feels good to be on top
Look at that! Second in Hockey East, best of any team with only two games played in the conference! After going 0-2 by scores of 4-0 and 5-0 to start Hockey East play last year, starting undefeated sure feels nice. I also don’t mind seeing BC tied for last…
Tucker impressed in net
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration when I say that Sam Tucker was heroic in goal against UMass Lowell, and then he one-upped himself with a shutout the next night against UNH. With the goaltender position under the scrutiny of seemingly all of Terrier Nation, Tucker came through and delivered in a big way. The explosive offense went dry late in both games, but Tucker was there to save a point against the resilient Riverhawks and preserve the goose egg on the scoreboard when UNH poured on pressure.
The Patricks can’t be stopped
At their peak last weekend, this Terrier top line looked like one of the best in the country. Patrick Harper scored two goals against UML, and Patrick Curry did the same against UNH. With four and six goals respectively, Harper and Curry have emerged as an elite pair of attackers early on in 2019-20. Also, let’s not forget about Trevor Zegras between them. Even though the #9 draft pick isn’t lighting up the box score just yet, I think his senior linemates have benefitted from his presence and prowess on the ice.
Grinding it out
“A little short on the bench” was an understatement from Coach O’Connell on Saturday. At certain points last weekend, it looked like half the team missed the bus to the game. The Terriers were rolling two lines and four defensemen at times totally out of necessity – oh, and Kasper Kotkansalo played center!! At least BU proved that when they have to dig deep in the depth chart, they can survive. I also liked what I saw from Robert Mastrosimone, Alex Vlasic, and other guys who stepped up in big moments.
Can Sam Tucker do it again?
As expressed earlier, Tucker was lights-out last weekend, and opened a lot of eyes in Terrier Nation to just how good he can be. However, just as I said “it was only two games” when he struggled, I have to say the same when he impressed. There’s a lot of hockey left, but for now, this is the “prove it” weekend for Tucker, indicating which performance was a fluke, and which wasn’t.
Can BU have an injury-free weekend?
Here’s a scary stat: In four of BU’s five games, a new Terrier has gone down injured. BU hasn’t shown it yet, but losing a new player each game, never mind an assistant captain as was the case last week, can be crushing to chemistry, development, and, of course, on-ice results. Hopefully the weekend after Halloween is when this spell of bad luck with injuries finally leaves BU.
What can we expect from Maine?
Last spring, BU went into Maine for the last game of the regular season, needing a win to bring playoff hockey to Agganis Arena. Instead, they got slammed by the Black Bears in a 6-0 defeat, their worst of the season. Which Maine team will we see? The one that stunned the Terriers early and never looked back, or the one that dropped their first two games this season 7-0 and 5-0?