Brady’s View from the Press Box: December 6-12

Sam Stevens and Matt Quercia work to steal the puck from a Husky. Photo by Jenna VanSickle.

BU finished the first half in style, knocking off then-No. 8/12 Northeastern 6-3 at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. Here is my weekly column about the state of BU men’s hockey, and as always, all opinions are my own.

1 Observation

Elation for the Terriers

Brian Kelley, who is about as close to the team as you can get, said after the victory over Northeastern that the BU locker room was as loud as he remembered in a long time. I didn’t hear it myself, but I’m not surprised. It was a statement win to end a statement week against two Boston rivals, and the postgame pictures showed just how much it meant to the Terriers. They certainly ended the first half with a bang.

3 Takeaways

The offense would not be beat

We’ve seen stretches of games this season where the Terriers would fall quiet and surrender a series of goals without much of an answer. Northeastern gave BU every reason to cave in after starting the second period with two goals in 15 seconds, but this time, the Terriers responded. They came back from trailing twice within a span of four minutes, and buried the Huskies later in the frame. On Saturday, the BU offense was the best on the ice.

Team defense closed the door

Aside from the breakdowns that allowed Northeastern to temporarily lead twice in the second period, the BU defense was air-tight against about as talented an attack as they’ve seen this season. Sam Tucker didn’t face nearly as many one-on-one chances as he has in the past, and there were far fewer goalmouth scrambles. The Terriers frustrated the Huskies all night, punctuated by Matt Quercia’s late steal and score against Tyler Madden to seal the win.

BU needed that undefeated rivalry week

It would have been hard for even the most positive BU fan (you know who you are…) to predict 11 goals and two wins in a week against top-ten teams that they have struggled against in recent history. BU did it, though, and the consecutive shutouts now feel like a distant memory instead of the start of a downward spiral. The Terriers needed to bounce back, they did, and I think everyone feels a little differently about this team because of it.

3 Questions

Will BU carry the momentum into 2020?

It’s just BU’s luck that when they get the most momentum they’ve had all semester, they now have to wait three weeks before their next game. Perhaps ending the first half on a positive note will make practices more enjoyable and upbeat, but it’s important to remember that keeping the mood light can only do so much to keep a team in game condition. Will the Terriers be able to stay sharp and continue their hot streak when they return?

Who are these Christmas additions?

Last week, Coach O’Connell teased that BU might have a couple Christmas additions lined up for this holiday break. Obviously we will be actively searching for details here, but I’m interested to see who the Terriers are looking to bring in. Last season we saw Vinnie Purpura join the goaltender ranks halfway through the season, so will these reinforcements be freshman depth pieces like he proved to be, or will they emerge as real game-changers?

How will the WJC call-up impact Zegras and Mastrosimone?

The Terriers often have players invited to the World Junior Championships, so losing a couple guys for a few weeks isn’t anything new. What I’m excited to see is whether or not these young Terriers can grow through this international experience. Last season, we saw Joel Farabee produce for his country at this tournament, and catch fire in his return to BU. Will Trevor Zegras and Robert Mastrosimone do the same?

BU will return to action on December 29 in a friendly against Concordia at Walter Brown Arena. The Boston Hockey Blog will continue its columns and coverage over the holiday break, so stay active on this site to make sure you don’t miss any of our latest content.

7 thoughts on “Brady’s View from the Press Box: December 6-12”

  1. As I have stated many times Brady always good to beat Northeastern not just because they are a good team which they are but because of the way they carry themselves. We are playing good hockey right now and I too will be very interested in how zegras and Mastrosimone come back after playing in such a highly skilled tournament. I agree Sam is playing great between the pipes which confuses me of why we would be bringing in another goalie but I have full faith in our coaching staff. The other player being brought in I know is thought highly of so hopefully he fits right in. We certainly have depth on this team hopefully the chemistry continues second half. In previous posts this year and previous years I mentioned how tough it must be for guys who don’t play much. They work just as hard as regular guys they have class and they don’t always see the rewards of there hard work. I’m impressed with how these guys conduct themselves here at bu they keep there head held high they encourage there teammates and make the university look good again hopefully this continues because we probably have the most depth in hockey east. Starting second half will be interesting because we have so many freshman who have a feel for college hockey I think they will play more like sophomores which can only help us. Go bu 🐾

    • The ceiling remains high, Colin – we’ll see if they can reach it. I’m not sure how high-quality the depth is right now, but perhaps the projected Christmas additions will boost that. Like you said, experience should only help this team.

  2. I don’t see any one leaving. I don’t have any proof of this but I think I would have heard something. I only know the forward coming in and they have not released his name yet . The goalie in name and reason is still a mystery to me. But as I said before I have full faith in this coaching staff so they must have a reason. Again my main concern is to keep the cohesion between this tight knit group.

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