Terriers silenced in 4-0 loss to Sacred Heart

Jamie Armstrong jousts for a puck with a Pioneer on Tuesday night. Photo by Jenna VanSickle.

For the first time in the 2019-20 season, the Boston University men’s hockey team was shut out in a 4-0 loss at the hands of Sacred Heart University on Tuesday night at Agganis Arena.

“It was about as bad as it’s been since I’ve been here,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.

It was the first meeting between BU (4-5-5, 3-3-4 Hockey East) and Sacred Heart (8-6-1, 7-4 Atlantic Hockey) since 2016, when the Terriers won on home ice 7-0.

“I felt like we might have overlooked our opponent,” BU senior forward and captain Patrick Curry said.

While the Terriers had two power plays to Sacred Heart’s one in the first period, the Pioneers got on the board with their man advantage opportunity halfway through the frame when senior forward Austin McIlmurray unloaded a rocket from the point that found the back of the net.

“They stuck with what they wanted to do,” O’Connell said.

BU outshot Sacred Heart 19-12 in the first twenty minutes and kept their pace in the second period, but the score stayed 1-0 after two frames. BU’s best chance came on a breakaway from freshman forward Trevor Zegras four minutes in, but the first-year couldn’t find the target.

“There were certain points where we carried the play,” said Curry. “I felt like we never really took that next step to really taking over the game.”

The floodgates opened for the visitors in the third period, when senior forward Jason Cotton fired in a goal 9:40 in and junior forward Ryan Steele followed suit 50 seconds later. Senior forward Vito Bavaro struck on the power play with 12 seconds to play to close out the victory.

“It looked like we’d never played a game together,” O’Connell said. “It looked like we’d never been coached.”

O’Connell had elected to shuffle the Terrier lines for the final 20 minutes, creating trios who had not previously skated together in game action. Ultimately, the changes were not enough to spark a BU breakthrough.

According to the second-year head coach, “we tried to mix it up, tried to maybe get some energy in some guys and change it up. It didn’t work.”

With a 36-save shutout effort from sophomore goaltender Josh Benson, Sacred Heart left Agganis Arena 4-0 winners.

It was probably our best complete sixty minutes so far this year,” said Sacred Heart head coach CJ Marottolo.

“We got our butt kicked by the better hockey team tonight,” O’Connell said.

The Terriers will now turn their attention to the biennial Red Hot Hockey clash with No. 2 Cornell in New York City this weekend.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere,” said Curry. “If we win that one, we can put this one to rest and just move on.”

Puck drop from Madison Square Garden on Saturday night is scheduled for 8 p.m.

3 thoughts on “Terriers silenced in 4-0 loss to Sacred Heart”

  1. A few questions for the captain and coach. I trust that you will find a more nuanced way to ask them than I do below.

    What gives the impression to anyone on a four-win team (with half of those wins coming against the fourth and fifth worst teams in college hockey by pairwise ranking) the impression that they can look past any opponent? And what does that say about the current state of the program’s culture?

    Does the coaching staff hammer home that every game matters in today’s NCAA hockey setup unless they plan on always winning at the roulette wheel that is the Hockey East Playoffs to get into the national tournament?

    What is the coaching staff doing to fix an untenable unbalanced attack where 60% of the offense comes from the starting 3 forwards and D-Pair?

    What happened to the free-flowing fast creative hockey we saw in the first three games? Once the goalie found his footing, the offensive approach turned predictable.

    What is the program going to do to reverse the steadily declining attendance numbers – specifically in regards to student fans?


  2. “Keep hearing excuse of BU being young. No one forces these programs to bring kids in early. Notre Dame is great example of big time program doing it right way. Irish have 3 NTDP alums who played year of junior (only one was a late bday). ND has no ‘01s and just 2 ‘00s. There are good hockey players on BU who should still be in junior hockey, but too many players/families are in a rush for some reason.”

    The above tweet is from Jeff cox who follows college hockey. I know it is going to piss some bloggers off, but I could not agree more. STOP B****** ABOUT BEING TOO YOUNG. Change it up if you are tired of losing. This team is 4-4-5 and has 12 NHL draft picks. HMMM, How’s that working? Remember Keller and the Fab 6. No hardware

    Hate to say it but it is time to ask Jake Wise to think of other places to play. I know it is harsh but so is the college hockey landscape. Kids with their agents and parents and NHL advisors do not think twice about DE committing or leaving a team high and dry mid season. So what goes around comes around. Two more years with this guy and types like him who are too slow and are afraid to take the body spell a grim future in terms of success

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