BOSTON — It was a night of firsts for the Boston University Terriers (0-1-0) as the team played their first game of the 2020-21 with eight players making their first appearance for the Scarlet & White against the Providence College Friars (4-3-2) in Walter Brown Arena.
There was plenty of buzz entering the season-opener, and not from the empty stands. The telecast audio crackled all night long, much to the annoyance of the BU fanbase. Yet somehow, that was not the worst disaster of the night.
After taking a 3-1 lead 25 minutes into the game, the Terriers let up six unanswered goals down the stretch as the Friars attacked the BU defense with relentless pressure, eventually winning the contest 7-3 while putting up an astounding 54 shots on goal compared to BU’s 21.
“All in all, it was alright. It’s a frustrating one,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “Kind of could have predicted it in a lot of different ways… I love our team, I’m not gonna say anything negative about one guy, our team. We’re trying to learn a little bit about what we’re about.”
O’Connell liked how the Terriers fought, but expressed how clear it was that the team is not in shape.
The Terriers got off to a rusty start, as freshman goaltender Drew Commesso let in the first shot he faced as a collegiate netminder. The shot came off the stick of Chase Yoder in front of the net just one minute and 47 seconds into the game.
More adversity struck as Union College transfer Joseph Campolieto was called for tripping less than a minute after Providence took the lead, but the BU penalty kill hunkered down and killed their first penalty of the season.
After things settled down, BU couldn’t capitalize on their first power play attempt, but after Jamie Engelbert was called for hooking three minutes later, Jay O’Brien was able to exact revenge on his former team to open the Terrier scoring and tie the game 1-1 9:17 into the game.
Luke Tuch then scored his first collegiate goal off a beautiful spin-o-rama pass from David Farrance 10:49 into the game to give the Terriers a 2-1 lead, which they carried into the first intermission.
Things looked off in the beginning of the second, as mounting pressure from the Friars caused coach O’Connell to use his timeout just a minute and a half into the period. The Terriers were able to stabilize, and play went on with a flurry of Friar shots before sophomore defenseman Sean Driscoll was able to notch his first collegiate goal on a beautiful shot from the point that beat Providence goaltender Jaxson Stauber on the top shelf, giving BU a 3-1 lead.
Providence continued to pepper Commesso with shots, as the Terriers barely got out of their fourth penalty kill alive, but Providence’s Tyce Thompson scored his fourth goal of the season right when the penalty expired to cut the lead to 3-2.
Just 51 seconds later, Yoder tied the score 3-3 with his second goal of the game, giving the Friars all the momentum with 10 minutes left in the period.
BU had a chance to get some of that momentum back with three consecutive minutes on the power play — the middle minute with a 5-on-3 advantage — but could only muster one shot on goal.
Not even a full minute later, the Friars got their own chance at a 5-on-3 advantage after Jamie Armstrong was called for high-sticking while Jake Wise got called for unsportsmanlike conduct arguing the call. The Friars capitalized as Max Crozier gave the Friars a 4-3 lead with 3:30 left in the second period.
The Terriers opened the third period with a string of hard hits, using physicality to try to set the tone, but things quickly began to unravel.
A roughing penalty from freshman forward Nick Zabaneh allowed the Friars to score their second power play goal of the night, and Brett Berard scored his first collegiate goal two minutes later to extend the Friar lead to 6-3. Drew Commesso was then relieved by sophomore Ashton Abel with 12:10 left in the game, finishing his collegiate debut with 38 saves on 44 shots faced.
From there, the Friars made the game 7-3 as Patrick Moynihan put a back door pass in on a gaping net with just under six minutes remaining, and the game slowly drew to a close.
“I think it’s important for us to not get mad at each other, get mad at our game, but we’re gonna have to take a look at some film and fix the mistakes and kind of find our identity as a team,” BU captain Logan Cockerill said.
Notably absent on the Terrier side were Case McCarthy, Robert Mastrosimone, Wilmer Skoog Sam Stevens and Markus Boguslavsky.
“You have guys getting hurt, they haven’t played a lot. You got guys getting sick, but the reality is those guys will be available to us pretty quick,” O’Connell said. He added most of those five should be back as early as tomorrow’s game.
It’s clear the Terriers are still working to get back into their game legs; the BU team collectively looked slower and slower as the game wore on. With this being their first game since Mar. 7, it makes sense. Still, after giving up a 3-1 lead in such a quick fashion, the Terriers have a lot to figure out as they will continue to face teams with more games under their belt.
The Terriers will aim for their first victory tomorrow in Providence.
looks like same old same old under o’connell. I understand this is our first game but only good for 30 min, than what happened? The coaching staff did not prepare this team for game time and it looks like providence didn’t miss their junior world champs never mind their coach! As far as Fensore goes his devensive play is TERRIBLE, can’t cover players and gives puck away. He has skill and is fast but much too small to play D at this level, maybe they should convert him to a forward. Same goes for the rest of the D and Commesso ( our future NHLer) looked like a sieve most of the night. Lets hope it gets better ( but I fear not), terrible to watch this program sink lower and lower.
Yes Vito I share your frustration.
Problem is not the coach the the crazy PC University administration. Face masks while playing ? Players not in shape to begin with inhale carbon dioxide for two hours. Why did we not play before this ? Many college teams have played. Not PC BU though.
This has nothing to do with coach or players. It has to do with my college going completely off the rails. College students are not dying of Covid.if they get sick they recover. Worse is that no natural immunities are being built up in the student body. I have a friend who goes to what was BU Medical in Boston.he was told by two of his docs there masks are a joke. They do not work.
As to Vito’ s assessment of Femsore, I agree 100%.he can not play Div l college hockey as a D man. The goalie ? I thought he looked good early on , then, pretty bad. If I have to spend this year attacking our goalie I will break into an ICU. With someone with coivid and suck the viral agents into my lungs !
Still a fan though. GO BU !!!!!!!!!!!!
SOCC, can you please leave the medical info off this site? We talk hockey here. It’s very clear what you believe in so there is no need to remind us every time you post.
Every time I post?it is the first time this season I believe.
I only want to all hockey but politics at BU has directly interfered with the program.
I talk to many almums and they feel the same about how the wacky admiistration has hurt the program.
Please n’t tell me what to say.
There is too much of that today.
I don’t tell anyone what to say.
Thank you for letting me speak. It is An American istitution you may know.
Same defensive issues as last year. Defense takes hard work and motivation to protect the D zone. That comes from mental toughness and quick feet. If the sole motivation of this squad is to produce highlight reel goals, they’re going to give up exponentially more than they record.
In short, stop trying to play pretty and start playing tough.
Plenty of talent there to be competitive. They need to find the necessary compete level within that talent pool to restore this program. No amount of early round draft picks will do it for them.
First it’s different to see someone else on the hot seat on this thread lol . Second I’m late to the blog this is being written post Saturday game. Last night bu looked ok to start but as Joe pointed out the legs got heavy and the neutral zone collapsed on them give Providence credit for closing the gaps and understanding bu had some rust. As was mentioned in Joe’s article you could have predicted bu rust it’s not there fault mask wearing aside for another debate covid has hit this club hard. Bu has had just a handful of practices . I don’t like to make excuses but I’m not overly concerned about it. Tonight’s game was very similar except bu had much better neutral zone Comand feet we’re moving all night certainly many mistakes but if your moving you can recover from them. Comeso looks ok off angle on a few but he will be fine. I disagree with comments on Fensore kid is a beast I don’t care if the kid is 4-6 he plays like he’s 6-10 fearless and he has talent he played ok took a bad penalty tonight but he will be fine . I’m told U Lowell might be shut down . Joe or staff do you know how this will effect bu next week? Go bu 🐾
From what I’ve read, it sounds like Lowell is only “paused” until the 13. The BU schedule still has a date/time for the Lowell series, so hopefully we won’t have any difficulties come Friday. Worst case, it looks like Northeastern has next weekend off, so maybe some Hockey East scheduling shifts around.
Thank you Caroline for the info. I’m a rink rat and to not be able to walk around and get my info I turn to this blog a lot to get info. appreciate you and your staffs efforts in providing your audience excellent hockey coverage