Three Takeaways from Tuesday’s loss to Sacred Heart

Robert Mastrosimone tries to evade a pair of Pioneers on Tuesday night. Photo by Jenna VanSickle.

The Boston University men’s hockey team fell to the Sacred Heart University Pioneers by a 4-0 final at Agganis Arena on Tuesday night. Click here to check out Brady Gardner’s full recap. Here are my three takeaways from the game – all opinions are my own.

Teams are solving BU’s breakout with ease

They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result each time. That’s what it felt like watching BU continuously reverse the puck below the goal line on the breakout, looking to exit their own zone with possession. The Terriers’ apparent mentality of needing to exit the zone with possession to only get stifled on the breakout by opposing forecheckers has become a glaring issue over the last few games, especially last night and on Saturday afternoon.

You can’t score on the power play if you don’t shoot

Recently, I’ve given the Terriers credit for developing more of a shooter’s mentality on the power play; however, the ineffectiveness of the 5-on-4 unit last night brought previous concerns back to light. Far too often did the Terriers play pitch-and-catch at the top of the umbrella without generating much of anything in the high-danger areas, for the most part. When the Terriers were able to work it into the slot or get a quality shot off, they could not beat neither Josh Benson nor the post.

Poor puck-management and turnovers proved costly once again

As Coach O’Connell said, the Terriers were flat from the drop of the puck, and they surrendered odd-man rush after odd-man rush in the early goings, with Sam Tucker bailing them out on several occasions. In the third period, trying to force plays that were not there on the breakout and in the neutral zone allowed Sacred Heart to blow the game wide open late in regulation.

BU will return to action this Saturday night against No. 2 Cornell at Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden. Stay tuned for my preview later this week.

2 thoughts on “Three Takeaways from Tuesday’s loss to Sacred Heart

  1. Good observations Patrick. Our break out is sound . Our outlet passes are there and we have some guys on D who are a one man break out unit. I believe our issue is once we get in neutral zone we stop moving forward we start going East west and try stick handling around everyone. This gives the opposition time to get back to force puck carrier to do what they want us to do. It also jams us up with our other forwards basically having to stop on blue line. I keep saying it on this blog but this team’s biggest asset is it’s speed. It seems the only time we play dump and chase is when we have no other options and it’s more of a dump and defend the a dump and get the puck. Patience is key with a young group however we are halfway through the season and I’m hoping we can get better in this aspect of the game. Patrick you mentioned the power play I’m okay with our movement and I’m ok with waiting for lanes to open up but we need to realize that when we shoot we can get rebounds with our speed we should be able to retrieve 70 % of rebounds on power play. Also in the offensive zone we need to be doing a better job of getting to the net. Our forwards need to put shots on net and then drive the net. I’m looking forward to watching this team rebound this weekend. Go bu 🐾

    • Appreciate the insight Colin. I agree on the east/west part, when they try to get too cute in the neutral zone and the breakout, whether it’s too many reverses or forcing cross-ice passes, that’s when they get killed. And when the power play is firing on all cylinders, the shots are there, but with games like last night, it feels like the guys might be thinking too much and trying to make an extra pass or dangle. We’ll see how BU bounces back this weekend

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