Three Takeaways from Saturday’s Loss to No. 5 Massachusetts

Sam Tucker made 85 saves this weekend against UMass. Photo by Jenna Vansickle.

On Saturday night, the BU men’s hockey team fell to No. 5 Massachusetts 4-1 at Amherst’s Mullins Center, concluding the weekend with two points in the series split with the Minutemen. Here are my main takeaways from that game, and of course, all opinions are my own.

Penalties cost BU beyond shorthanded time

The Terriers committed nine penalties to UMass’s three on Saturday night, but to their credit, the Terrier PK unit did well to only allow one power play goal, which came on a lengthy five-on-three situation. However, spending so much time defending inevitably caught up to BU, who just clearly didn’t have the legs to keep up with UMass in the third period. Adding significant penalty time and a game misconduct and to an already-short bench with a few banged-up bodies just isn’t a recipe for success.

Once again, Tucker was tough to beat

I wouldn’t say I’m a Sam Tucker expert, but I would find it hard to believe that he’s had a better weekend than this one in his collegiate career. The graduate goaltender showed no signs of fatigue on Saturday after making 49 stops the night before, and came up with some highlight-reel saves to frustrate the Minutemen. Sam Tucker was at the top of his game against one of the most dangerous attacks in the country, and his performance was one of the biggest positives for BU coming out of the weekend.

Another third-period onslaught troubles BU

Between the two third periods on Friday and Saturday, UMass had six goals, and BU had none. Closing out games has become a central talking point for this team when speaking about what needs to be improved, and while the intent is there, the progress just hasn’t come. The excuse I’d give the Terriers for Saturday night’s late struggles would be the heavy legs at the end of a hard-fought series, but they didn’t exactly do themselves any favors by spending so much time shorthanded as I mentioned earlier.

Next weekend, BU will conclude this stretch in Hockey East play when they host the University of Vermont in a two-game set.