The Boston University men’s hockey team started hot against Dartmouth College on Saturday night but the Big Green stormed back, responding to defeat the Terriers 5-4. My full recap of the game is available on this site, and here are my three takeaways from the game. All opinions are my own.
Another big lead gets away
Early in the season when BU surrendered two three-goal leads to Northern Michigan and UMass Lowell within a week of each other, it was easy to chalk up those lapses to the youth and inexperience on the roster. Now a semester into the 2019-20 campaign, growing pains can’t be an excuse anymore. BU jumped out to a three-goal lead on Saturday night but allowed the deficit to be erased by the Big Green within a matter of 100 seconds, and Dartmouth later tied and took the lead with two goals in 47 seconds. Conceding multiple goals in quick succession has become a reoccurring issue for the Terriers, and this weakness was as evident on Saturday night as it has been all season.
Depth scoring carried BU
BU scored five goals on Saturday night, but only two top-six forwards got on the scoresheet. Robert Mastrosimone assisted Wilmer Skoog’s brilliant goal in the second period, but otherwise, all of BU’s production came from the bottom two forward lines with the occasional assist from a defenseman. On the positive side of things, BU’s third- and fourth-line forwards should be commended for lighting the lamp three times in the first period, with all six members of those two lines earning at least one point in the opening frame. The depth scorers did their job, but at the other end of the line chart, BU’s top line fell silent, and the second line was kept quiet aside from Skoog’s impressive individual effort.
Goaltending took a step back
After closing the door with 26 saves against Brown University in BU’s overtime win on Wednesday night, Sam Tucker looked comfortable in net when the BU offense was clicking early at Dartmouth, but as soon as the Big Green began to threaten with sustained attacks in the Terrier end, Tucker did not have an answer. Dartmouth put three past Tucker in less than two minutes late in the first period, and the quick hook from Albie O’Connell was Tucker’s final involvement on what was just not his night. Making his collegiate debut in relief for Tucker, Ashton Abel stopped the bleeding for the time being but still had his difficult moments later on, including a slip that allowed Dartmouth to slide one past him effortlessly. Overall, it was a night to forget for the BU goaltending corps.
BU will look to bounce back on Friday against Merrimack before facing off against Boston College on Saturday.