Brady’s View from the Press Box: January 21-28

One Observation

This was BU’s best weekend yet

Taking into account the opponent, the effort, and the result, I feel like this was BU’s best weekend yet. The Terriers played strong, smart hockey up and down the lineup for just about the full 125 minutes, and if you had told a first-time viewer that one of the teams was ranked 12th in the nation, they probably would’ve guessed it was BU.

Three Takeaways

BU’s resiliency shined

Patrick Donnelly covered this in his takeaways from Saturday’s game, but I feel it’s worth mentioning again because it took a lot to beat UML’s Tyler Wall on both nights, and both times, BU found a way. The Terriers stayed patient and never let up, firing away until the floodgates opened on Friday night and pressuring Lowell into conceding a late equalizer on Saturday night.

BU matched UML’s physicality

Going up a bigger, older team in the River Hawks, the Terriers stood tall against their Hockey East foe and did not give Lowell an inch. Not only that, but BU also stayed out of the penalty box for much of the weekend, while Lowell’s inability to do so led to their demise when BU rallied for four power-play goals in Friday’s 5-0 rout.

Abel had a job-winning weekend

Ashton Abel played in both halves of his first collegiate back-to-back last weekend, and made 42 saves on 44 shots while also putting up his first career shutout. The freshman was brought in to challenge for the starting job and after excelling against Lowell’s dangerous offense, it seems like the crease might be his for at least the near future.

Three Questions

Can BU take advantage of UVM?

It’s no secret that the Catamounts are the worst team in Hockey East this season, with just two points in league play so far. BU did give Vermont one of those points in a 3-3 tie back in November, but if BU wants to really keep pace with the best of Hockey East, there’s no excuse to leave Vermont with less than the full two points this Friday.

Will BU get to the Beanpot Championship?

Every other Beanpot team has won the annual tournament more recently than the Terriers have, so if BU wants a chance at hoisting the legendary trophy again, they’ll need to find a way past Boston College this Monday. The Terriers came close in the first BU-BC game of the season, but they’ll have to do slightly better if they want a shot at a title.

Can Abel keep it going?

It’s been a dream start at BU for Ashton Abel, who has a 1.58 goals-against average and .937 save percentage through four appearances since arriving in Boston. While his start has been encouraging, there are bigger tests ahead if he remains BU’s top-choice keeper, starting next week with the Beanpot semifinals for his first game against BC and at the TD Garden.