It wasn’t the best week results-wise, but it was certainly a memorable one. Here is my weekly reaction to everything from the last seven days – all opinions are my own.
The most exciting 0-0-2 record ever
The Terriers officially concluded the 2020 Beanpot with two ties, for NCAA purposes. Those who watched the games will know, though, that these “ties” were probably some of the best games in Beanpot history. Between the elation of the overtime win in the semifinals and the devastation of the OT loss in the final, Terrier fans went through all the emotions in the 2020 Beanpot, and it was an unforgettable tournament all around.
That Beanpot shouldn’t have ended that way
No, I’m not talking about the result. To be honest, I think Northeastern deserved that win based on how many near-misses they had. However, that game should not have been decided on a power play caused by a questionable call. The safe bet is always to swallow the whistles late in big games, but that didn’t happen on Monday night, and I think it’s safe to say the quality of the officiating didn’t match the quality of the game.
The Merrimack loss had an impact on Monday
Is this a hot take? Maybe. Let me explain. When BU lost 4-0 to Sacred Heart in November, they allowed Cornell to score two quick goals in the next game. This time, after losing 5-1 to Merrimack, BU gave up a four-goal flurry to Northeastern. There just seems to be something psychological there, making BU more vulnerable to concede multiple goals in quick succession after being beaten badly the game before.
Despite frustrating losses, there are positives
BU may have been blown out by the tenth team in Hockey East and deprived of a Beanpot title, but this past week wasn’t all bad. Once again, the Terriers stuck with a superior team in the Huskies and, if not for more late misfortune, nearly skated to a victory. BU’s resiliency kept them in it on Monday night, as it seemingly always does in big games, and a few mistakes cost them. They’re close, just not close enough. Yet.
How long can NU’s Garden dominance last?
This is more of a long-term note, but I think it’s important to recognize that the Huskies have beaten BU in their last four meetings at TD Garden, dating back to 2016. Northeastern has taken the last three of these games in dramatic overtime finishes, and there’s a possibility these teams will take the Garden ice again in March. How long can this streak last?
What will BU’s response be?
Cam Crotty took to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon to tell Terrier Nation that BU is “not done yet.” The Terriers are certainly still in the race for the Hockey East regular-season title, but to separate from the conference’s middlers, they will need a strong showing this weekend against UNH. Can BU bounce back from a tough week and knock off the Wildcats?
Where will BU go in the crease?
Ashton Abel was BU’s hero a week ago, and now he’s given up nine goals in four and a half periods of hockey. Sam Tucker came in halfway through the Beanpot Final and stopped the bleeding despite his fair share of “how-did-that-not-go-in” moments. Will the Terriers give Tucker another chance to start, or will they give Abel time to work out of this slump?