Brady’s View from the Press Box: Feb 20-26

The Terriers went 0-2 against UConn this past weekend, slipping to sixth in Hockey East. Here is my weekly column reacting to all of the action. All opinions are my own.

One Observation

At least attendance was good!

I had to think pretty hard to find an observation worth noting after a weekend with few positives on the ice, but I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance at Saturday’s series finale at Agganis Arena. I thought the student section was strong, the seating bowl filled in better than I had expected, and the pep band sounded great! If only the hockey was up to the same standard.

Three Takeaways

For once, BU wasn’t resilient

I’ve complimented the Terriers for their resiliency time and time again, but this weekend, they just didn’t have a response. Maybe BU showed some fight-back in Friday’s three-goal second period, but when UConn tied it late, BU didn’t rebound fast enough to prevent an OT winner. When the Huskies exploded in the third period on Saturday, BU couldn’t do anything to stop them. It hasn’t happened much recently, but BU was outplayed down the stretch all weekend.

Back to square one in net

Earlier this year I warned that this might happen with the addition of Ashton Abel to the goaltending battle, and here we are: with three games left in the regular season, BU doesn’t have a clear starter in the crease. Sam Tucker played Friday, Abel played Saturday, and neither was particularly impressive – so much so that Nico Lynch got some time once Saturday’s game became a blowout. BU has a clear question mark in goal, and someone needs to differentiate themselves soon.

A bad time for a huge game

Fresh off of their first two-loss weekend of the season, the Terriers have a Saturday bout with Boston College, who leads Hockey East and has been among college hockey’s best teams all season. Better yet, BC just swept Northeastern, putting up ten goals in the series finale to hand the Huskies their worst loss in decades. The Terriers have had a knack for rising to the occasion in big games and putting bad losses behind them, but this might be their biggest test yet.

Three Questions

Can BU steal points from BC?

I intentionally use the word “steal” for this one, because as much as Terrier Nation probably wants to say that BU and BC are on the same level this season, I think it would be pretty difficult to predict anything other than an Eagle victory on Saturday. That said, the Terriers can stick with good teams, like they did against BC in the double-overtime Beanpot win. We’ll see if BU can replicate that magic and upend Boston College in the rematch this Saturday.

Aside from Curry, who will step up?

When you face adversity this late in the season ahead of three straight games against major rivals, you need leaders to emerge and pull the team through the challenges to get back to winning form. Patrick Curry is doing everything he can, entering Saturday on a four-game point streak, but he can’t do it alone. Whether it’s experienced leaders or maturing youngsters, BU is in need of a spark somewhere. We’ll see who – if anyone – steps up this weekend.

How will the standings shake out?

BU is at a bit of a disadvantage this week, playing only one game while teams around them in the standings get to play two. BU won’t be in action on Friday but there will be plenty of games with implications on the Terriers, like seeing if UConn can stay hot against Massachusetts or if Northeastern can bounce back ahead of the season-ending BU-NU series. Scoreboard-watching is always fun at this point in the season, so we’ll see what happens this weekend.

2020’s third edition of BU vs. BC will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

9 thoughts on “Brady’s View from the Press Box: Feb 20-26”

  1. attendance was better than previous games but still terrible
    less than 2/3 of capacity and under 4,000- would have just filled Walter Brown
    Look at years before you arrived
    Student attendance also terrible- 6 sections assigned for seating and don’t even fill 3 except for BC
    Agree band is terrific

    • Yes Dan, it still could be better (and will be on Saturday) but I was expecting it to be half-full for a late-season UConn game, but it was better than that. I guess the bar is set pretty low in my mind having only been here for two years, haha. I wish I saw it before attendance started declining.

  2. The Eagles have racked up an 11-3-2 all-time record at BU’s new home since they moved there from Walter Brown Arena in 2005. just saying

  3. Yes, Vinnie,since the move from Walter Brown we have not done well at home. We were told the arena would have the same “crowd environment” at the new venue. Not so at all. After the first year I moved far away and can not attend games like I did but when I was there it felt I was in a movie theater not at a hockey rink and certainly not at Brown. That along with the student population demographics change, the sissy game brought on by calling any check , and lack of stars because of defection to pro NHL, AHL and Canadian Pro Jrs adds up to less bums in the seats. I watch many games in college hockey and see the empty seats and it is alarming. Last night I watched the BC / Merrimack game and I could not believe how many empty seats there were. This is a serious problem that could end college hockey as a National College Sport.

  4. The decline in attendance at college hockey games is indeed alarming. It is due IMO to the fact that most programs have problems retaining players for 4 years and the sense of continuity in the programs is lost. The fans know this, it is not just a problem for the Terriers. As far as the Terriers fan interest is concerned the problems are more complex and has to due a lot with the regime changes , coaching and otherwise since Parkers’ long tenure and departure. There are no more programs at the games , the games are not broadcast via radio, the Friends of Hockey have been eliminated ( exists in name only), and consequently many old fans have abandoned attending games and financially supporting the program. I have been a close observer for over ten years, as a Friend and season ticket holder, and have seen these changes firsthand.

  5. build a winner and more will come. keep putting out this less than mediocre product and attendance will flounder. it is the way sports generally works. when a team is hot, it is hard to get a ticket; when a team is cold, then you can walk up 5 minutes before game time and score one

  6. Fans don’t need programs at the game because that information is available on their phones. No one listens to the radio anymore since everything is streamed online. Fans only care if their team wins or loses. This is a new world we are in. Fans support a winner. TK out!!!!

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