Terriers stumped in 6-1 home loss to UConn

After coughing up a late lead in Friday night’s overtime loss, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell flat against the University of Connecticut in the series finale, losing by its largest deficit this season.

BU head coach Albie O’Connell said the Terriers (12-11-8, 9-7-5 Hockey East) just didn’t get anything going right for them against the Huskies (14-13-4, 11-8-2 Hockey East) on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

“It looked like we were hungover from last night,” O’Connell said. “Sometimes when you lose a game … in late fashion, it can rattle the team a little bit.”

BU was within a goal of UConn’s lead at the start of the third period, but four unanswered UConn goals in the final frame made it a 6-1 rout, tying the most goals BU has conceded in a single game all season.

UConn Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh felt like the Huskies performed just about as well down the stretch as they’ve ever played under his leadership.

“I thought that third period,” Cavanaugh said, “might have been the best period that I’ve seen a UConn hockey team play since I’ve been here.”

The Huskies took an early lead 7:48 in on a top-corner snipe by junior forward Zac Robbins before senior forward Alexander Payusov doubled the lead on a controversial goal 7:41 into the second period.

Albie O’Connell felt freshman goaltender Ashton Abel, making his first start at home since conceding five goals against Merrimack College, had been interfered with in front of the net.

“I thought they made the wrong call,” O’Connell said. “[Abel] clearly got interfered with and they put the puck in the open net.”

Senior forward Patrick Curry brought BU back with a goal less than four minutes later, pounding in a power-play one-timer from the slot. The captain’s team-leading 17th tally of the season would be BU’s only goal on 21 shots against sophomore goaltender Tomas Vomacka.

Cavanaugh was as happy with his team’s defensive effort as he was with its offensive output.

“I didn’t think we gave up a lot of grade-A chances,” Cavanaugh said. “When we needed [Vomacka] to make a save, he made a save.”

The floodgates opened in the third period as Payusov struck 41 seconds in and six minutes later to secure his second career hat trick. Senior forwards Benjamin Freeman and Justin Howell added insult to injury later on, punctuating the lopsided victory.

Senior goaltender Nico Lynch relieved Abel late in the third, marking his first career appearance in a competitive game. Lynch made four saves and allowed one goal after Abel gave up five to go along with 28 stops.

O’Connell said UConn’s urgency and intensity in the final frame — and BU’s lack thereof —  made all the difference.

“We didn’t play with a lot of purpose in anything we did,” O’Connell said. “We refused to play the right way.”

On the wrong end of the weekend sweep, BU is down to sixth in Hockey East, two points away from the bottom of the playoff picture. Moving the other direction after taking all four points from the series, UConn is up to a tie for fourth, one point ahead of the Terriers.

With the regular season coming down to the wire around the league, Cavanaugh felt it was important that the Huskies blocked out distractions and focused on what they could control.

“I can’t speak for everybody, but for me, it’s negative energy to ‘scoreboard watch’ because it’s something I can’t control,” Cavanaugh said. “Preparing for our next game is manageable. Hoping teams lose … becomes overwhelming.”

Looking to rebound from their first two-loss weekend of the season, the Terriers will turn their attention to a bout with conference-leading Boston College (21-8-1, 14-6 Hockey East) next Saturday at Agganis Arena.

12 thoughts on “Terriers stumped in 6-1 home loss to UConn”

  1. WTF! Albie takes the blame here. How is he unable to motivate this team. UConn is a good team but not showing up at home is inexcusable. Comesso can’t get here fast enough. TK out!!

  2. I was very upset then calmed down. I decided to use scientific terms in an analogy to express my frustration : The team that has brought such cathartic relief in years past has now reached an event horizon from which there is no escaping college hockey mediocrity. There I expressed myself without foul language. O, what the hell, This team ##%%&*@@%%#@ ‘ s !!!!!!.

  3. Brady good coverage as always. I’m going to be positive but critical at the same time. For this team the best thing they can do is forget about this weekend. It does no good to them to dwell on either one of these games. Fans of this blog should in my opinion do the same. The bottom line is this team has dug themselves a hole . I was talking with a person last night who really understands the game who said this team can go in either two directions it all depends on what mindsets they come in with. Hockey when broken down in its simplest form is a game of possession. We played way to easy last night, not one race did we win. We need to get to the center of the ice and get bodies to the net. We should have shot the puck more. I was so frustrated watching how easy u conn broke out the puck. Next observation I want to be careful how I phrase it because I have the utmost respect for this coaching staff but this has been a issue I have posted about before. Of course hindsight is great but we can not shuffle goalies the way we are doing. Tucker has been serviceable and even good at times this year. I don’t knock kids on this blog I think it’s wrong but last night we needed a timely save and we simply did not get one. Abel has shown signs of being a good goalie but right now has no confidence. I strongly recommend Tucker is given the reigns. Losing Quercia is a huge loss. Losing McCarthy another big loss, but again come Tuesday this team can go in either two directions they can learn from this debacle of a weekend and move forward or they can get stuck in this quagmire and not find there footing going forward. I know we have the talent and the best coaching staff in college hockey so I’m hoping we figure things out, but I’m also a sports guy and a hockey guy it’s clear to me that we have some legitimate concerns to sure up before playing bc and Northeastern. One last point that absolutely drives me nuts . In my opinion we have the best two moving defenseman in college hockey Ferrance and Fensore they provide so much of our offense. When they rush the puck into the O zone we cover for them which is good but our forwards stop skating and just watch . this is bad hockey and unacceptable at any level. any one can cover a body who is stationary. Also how many times last night did the guy covering for D break down and pinch after we lost puck and the end result a easy odd man rush coming up ice. Let’s go bu I’m your biggest fan enjoy your time off get back to the ice with the mindset that you will win every puck battle every shift every period and every game. I know how good you guys are and I will not give up on you.🐾

    • Yeah Colin I agree with most of your points but we ” have the best coaching staff in college hockey”. How do you know that? How can a team that should have won on the road one night, play so poorly against the same opponent the next night at home! How can the coaching staff not at least be partly responsible for losing 2 games badly at home vs the likes of Merrimack and UCONN, teams with inferior talent and behind BU in the standings? The fact is that since Albie took the reigns of this program the Terriers are playing barely .500 hockey, not something i’m sure the AD hierarchy would deem acceptable. We’ve had over a year of this coach and O’Connell has not shown the ability to motivate this group to perform consistently, and at this level that’s the key. Also strategically Albie does not appear to be the tactician the a jack Parker or Quinn was. In a results based business O’Connell has not lived up to what should be expected of a proud program and his job surely will be in jeopardy if this program does not start to show some semblance of consistency.

  4. 13 nhl draft picks last year, 12 this year. Playing .500 hockey throughout at best.
    That math doesnt work. New coach needed asap.

  5. The team that plays under the “best coaching staff in college hockey” doesn’t keep losing at home ( by healthy margins) to inferior opponents. Yes, they are a young team but to lose to Sacred Heart by 4, Merrimack by 4, and UConn by 5. And they find themselves in the meat of the schedule without a good goalie. I think Albie needs to go. TK out!!!

  6. As a Rangers and Terriers fan, I just want to point out how a superstar goalie can change a team’s fortunes in a finger-snap. Here’s hoping that Commesso becomes our Shestyorkin!

  7. after this week’s debacle, ii needed a little lighthearted pick me up and i got one when i read Colin’s “the best coaching staff in college hockey remark.” Glad you said it first TK

    i am running out of patience with the best coaching staff in college hockey. Albie has had his two honeymoon years. next year he is on the clock although with BU’s apathetic, even hostile, attitude towards hockey, they probably do not even know the record

    the real annihilation will be on Saturday night as the high flying sparrows have another home advantage game at Agannis who will seek revenge after the Beanpot upset. i say start Nico. at least then we have a viable excuse.

  8. Scotty Bowman could have been behind the bench Saturday, jack parker could have been behind the bench it would not have made a difference. Unless they also played net and made a save or two when we needed one . Everyone except my self are Blaming the coaches for the weekend. I won’t and I stick by my comments which were critical of how coach has handled the goaltending dating back to last year. If you look at the collective back ground of our coaches and the opinions of those around hockey it would be clear to any hockey fan we have the best staff. Our staff has two assistant coaches who were division one head coaches. Coach Quinelle has NHL experience as well. Coach OConnell is the best coach and that said I don’t agree with everything he does but it’s crystal clear to me that he’s our guy and he’s the guy who can build this program. Everyone writes on the blog after a loss or disappointing weekend demanding better and saying how someone else can do better and who is to blame . It’s like coaching at this level is easy. Many have already written this team off. I refuse to write them off I’m aware of our issues but we can beat anybody any night. I expect the team to be ready to go tomorrow.

    • Your loyalty is definitely admirable. On many levels I completely agree. Albie (hockey’s AOC…lol) has a vast hockey pedigree. It dates back to St Sebastians when they had one of the best prep teams of all time short of Avon old Farms with Brian Leetch and or Thayer who had Roenick and Tony Amonte (total insanity) seriously tho the St Sebs team was ridiculous…D1 players top to bottom and another somewhat known Terrier from the NHL, Mike Grier…But i digress…The guy has top hockey IQ.. and regularly recruits the cream of the crop. His appointment to head makes perfect sense in many ways. Few want to see him succeed more than i do. In a way he’s a victim of the legendary legacy he’s inherited. How can a first time head coach be the head of such a storied program and crush it out of the gate…20 year veteran heads left and right must’ve been lined up around the corner to apply for that job. I can’t even fathom the pressure. He loves this program. He appreciates the opportunity. All that said I know a section Terrier nation will be calling for a referendum. I say this to them all: I hear you, loud and clear. .500 hockey for this program is not gonna fly. If you rewind WAY back (thank you hockeyDB.com) and look at little known gent name Jerry York…his first two years as the very young top guy at Bowling Green didn’t turn out so hot. Need i say more about how he did ;)…I know things seem dark right now. But, lets not throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. I know this team can kick major ass. I know the circumstances can change in the playoffs…i know the horseshoe curve of success can present itself and (not to mix metaphors) turn into a slingshot. Hang in there Terrier nation, blue skies will soon return.

      • Sorry quick edit…York’s first job was Clarkson…lol. (Thank you for real hockeyDB lol)…the rest was good. 😀

        • also both parker and york were A LOT younger when they both took the reigns of Clarkson and Boston U. York was the youngest div. 1 coach ever i think at 26 and Parker was also only 27. , and they both had almost immediate success , especially Parker.( tremendous success i should add, 4 straight frozen fours, 4 straight ECAC championships, beanpots ect, ) won Spenser trophy as best coach in country at 28. I know circumstances are different now but please lets not compare Albie to Jack or Jerry I don’t care when he played at in high) school. Albie has gotten the head coaching job only because Quinn quit on us and the AD did not want to hire outside of Terrier nation. He’s also coming in at 42 with no head coaching experience. They just wanted a joy the could maniputate to cater to their agenda, which has worked for them. I still think he will lose his job if team continues their on again , off again ways, unless they want to lose all support.

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