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.
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.
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.
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.