The Boston University men’s hockey team took down the Brown University Bears by a 3-2 final in overtime on Wednesday night in their return to competitive game action, extending their win streak to three wins in a row. You can check out my full recap of the contest here. Here are my three takeaways from Wednesday night’s game – all opinions are my own.
The Terriers have some rust to shake off
While BU may have had two exhibition contests over the holiday break, the Terriers went over a month between competitive games, and practices, scrimmages, and exhibition games can only do so much to simulate the feel of a real game. As head coach Albie O’Connell highlighted in his postgame presser, the Terriers have plenty that they need to clean up, with offensive execution among the top of the list as BU missed the net 24 times. The rust was especially notable early in the game, as the Terriers looked sluggish and allowed Brown to jump out to an early lead as graduate netminder Sam Tucker let up two goals on three shots in the first period.
Tucker’s experience paid dividends
There has been a lot of talk from coaches and players alike this season about the amount of experience that Tucker has, being a graduate student-athlete, after all. Tucker’s experience was apparent on Wednesday night as he was able to reset himself mid-game after giving up the aforementioned two goals on three shots in the first. Through the next two periods and overtime, Tucker was flawless, stopping all 25 shots he faced. The veteran netminder leaned on his experience and came up big for the Terriers when they needed him most in this contest, especially during Brown’s five-on-three power play in the second, where he dropped into the splits to deny Michael Maloney’s rebound chance right on the doorstep.
In his collegiate debut, Skoog looked like he belonged
A midseason addition just after Christmas, freshman forward Wilmer Skoog laced up the skates for the Terriers in both exhibition games over the break, but his official collegiate debut came on Wednesday. Skoog started the game with senior captain Patrick Curry and freshman forward Ethan Phillips flanking him on the wings before freshman forward Robert Mastrosimone swapped lines with Curry late in the game. No matter the combination on the ice with him, Skoog made some nice plays in his debut and was able to create chances for himself and his linemates, including an opportunity in the third period where he intercepted a pass, danced around a defender, and ultimately missed the net. The new kid eventually made his mark in overtime, making a nice read on the sequence to be in the right place at the right time, one-timing Phillips’ feed into the yawning cage to win the game for BU.