The Terriers went 2-0 this past weekend, earning a series sweep against UNH. Here’s my weekly review of the current state of BU hockey – all opinions are my own.
Short-term memory, quick results
As Logan Cockerill said after Saturday’s game, BU could not have asked for a better response after what was surely a frustrating loss in the Beanpot final earlier in the week. The Terriers needed to have a short-term memory to get beyond that loss, and to their credit, they did exactly that, focusing on UNH and earning a sweep to climb up the Hockey East table. These were two major wins when BU needed them most.
Tucker came back with a vengeance
He would never say it, but something tells me that being demoted to backup didn’t sit well with Sam Tucker when Ashton Abel took over in the crease for six consecutive starts, including both Beanpot games. Well, Tucker got an opportunity to start again this weekend and made the most of it. The graduate goalie stopped 56 of 58 shots faced in 4-1 and 3-1 wins, and for now, it seems like the starting job is his again.
BU found responses all weekend
The final scorelines won’t show it, but there were moments in the UNH series when it felt like the Wildcats could turn the tables on the Terriers. However, whenever UNH got on the board, BU always seemed to have an answer. When UNH crawled within one on Friday, Trevor Zegras and David Farrance powered BU futher ahead, and when the Wildcats took an early lead on Saturday, Wilmer Skoog answered with a power-play goal.
Four massive points in Hockey East
I touched on this point in my takeaways after Saturday’s sweep-clinching win, but I think it’s worth mentioning one more time just how important this sweep was for BU. The Terriers and Wildcats came into the weekend tied for fifth in the conference, and with a four-point swing, BU is now one point off the lead and UNH has dropped outside of the playoff picture. Points are at a premium right now, so BU needed all four – and got them.
Can BU stay hot against UConn?
A home-and-home with the Huskies isn’t the most exciting series ever, especially with BC and Northeastern coming up, but BU can’t afford to overlook UConn. The Huskies are battling for a playoff spot, so if BU wants to stay in the race for the conference title, they’ll have to fend off what’s sure to be a hungry UConn team. It will be interesting to see if BU can continue its “revenge tour” (per Patrick Harper), or if it will be stalled.
Can Tucker keep the crease?
As much as you can praise Sam Tucker for his spurts of brilliance in the BU crease, you always have to be mindful that Ashton Abel was given a chance for a reason after Tucker was iffy against Dartmouth and BC. He can sometimes be inconsistent week-to-week, so it will be important for Tucker to turn in another solid effort against UConn this weekend if he hopes to stay between the pipes long-term and keep Abel on the bench.
Can Cockerill turn one goal into more?
It hasn’t been an easy season for Logan Cockerill, and the assistant captain was more than willing to admit that after he potted his second goal of the season on Saturday into an empty UNH net. His skating ability and versatility in special teams have shined since he returned to the lineup in January, but he’s just been lacking his scoring touch. Maybe seeing the puck go in on Saturday can jumpstart his offensive output.
BU and UConn will meet at Hartford’s XL Center on Friday before returning to Agganis Arena on Saturday.