BU beat Boston College 5-4 in the Beanpot semifinals on Monday night, coming back from two goals down in the third to take the game in double-overtime. Here are my three takeaways from the game – all opinions are my own.
Albie O’Connell’s midseason recruits came up big
Six weeks ago, freshman forward Wilmer Skoog and freshman goaltender Ashton Abel were not on the Terrier roster. Skating in the Beanpot semifinals just eight games into their collegiate careers, Abel came up with 37 saves and Skoog scored BU’s double-overtime game-winner. Skoog has had a knack for the big moment, potting an OT winner against Brown in his first collegiate game and pulling off a lacrosse-style goal at Dartmouth later that week. Abel steadied after a shaky opening eight minutes, making a series of critical stops to keep BU within striking distance and in position to grab a deciding goal. Albie O’Connell has been praised for his recruiting ability in his time at BU, and these midseason pickups might just be his best work.
BU’s passing sequences were the best we’ve seen yet
As BU mounted a comeback in the third period, the synergy on the ice was arguably the strongest it has been all season. BU’s quick movement and stick-to-stick passing created a plethora of opportunities between the final ten minutes and overtime, and the only thing missing at times was the end result of putting the puck in the back of the net. The late goals will get the highlights but perhaps the best representation of BU’s crisp passing was the first goal, where senior forward Patrick Curry combined with junior forward Logan Cockerill and junior defenseman David Farrance for a tic-tac-toe power-play goal. Later, freshman forward Trevor Zegras did what seems like only he can do, sending a tape-to-tape pass through three Eagle defenders to a streaking Robert Mastrosimone at the back door to give BU a late lead.
Alex Vlasic ended on a high note
Freshman defenseman Alex Vlasic’s main impact on the game wasn’t a good one through 40 minutes, as the puck took an unfortunate bounce off the six-foot-six d-man and trickled across the goal line on BC senior forward David Cotton’s pinballing shot late in the second period. Vlasic did impress defensively at other times, including flattening freshman forward Matt Boldy to prevent a chance, but his biggest contribution came on offense to tee up Skoog’s game-winner. Pinching into the attacking zone, Vlasic fluttered a shot towards goal, causing a battle for the loose puck that Skoog eventually tucked in. It was certainly encouraging for BU fans to see the freshman rebound from a mistake on one end to make a big play on the other.
BU will face Northeastern in the Beanpot final next Monday at 7:30 p.m.