Men’s Hockey falls to Sacred Heart from late third-period goal

The Boston University Men’s Hockey team (1-2) fell to the Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-2) in a deflating and penalty-ridden game at Agganis Arena in Boston on Friday night. After a 5-1 loss to the University of Connecticut last week, the Terriers hoped to improve their record, but a last second goal put the Terriers back below 50%. 

“It’s obviously a really frustrating end, losing late,” head coach Albie O’Connell said after the game. “We won the special teams game. We won the faceoff game, but we didn’t win the game. So I think we put ourselves in a spot to get tired. I thought that some of the D had to play a lot of minutes, but I liked our competitive spirit. I like how hard we played.”

The Terriers started off their game in a similar manner to their Saturday evening loss to the University of Connecticut with undisciplined play and nine minutes of penalties in the first period alone. The penalty-ridden first period began just over two minutes into the game when junior forward Wilmer Skoog was sent to the box for hooking. Sacred Heart was able to establish a pretty dominant tone off of the first penalty, cycling pucks and creating scoring chances but sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso remained a brick wall in net, stopping 11 shots in the first. 

After making it through the first kill, the Terriers and Pioneers traded opportunities with some seamless entries into the offensive zone by junior forward Matt Brown, but the score remained zero-all. After a few miscommunications, graduate transfer forward Max Kaufman took Skoog’s place in the box with a penalty of his own for tripping at 7:30. 

After a few more minutes of solid cycling by the Pioneers, junior forward Markus Boguslavsky put the Terriers back in the sin bin for hitting from behind. Boguslavsky’s hit resulted in an unnecessary five-minute major as well as a game misconduct, keeping him from participating in the rematch against the Pioneers on October 16. 

The first period proved physical with consistent hits by junior forwards Robert Mastrosimone and Sam Stevens, but both teams failed to complete their plays and net any pucks throughout the first.

Following a flat first 20, whether as a result of the score or of a locker room pep talk, BU came out with a much higher level of compete to start the second period.

“I thought Vlasic was terrific tonight. I thought him, “Galley” [Ty Gallagher], and Fensore. That school had a good game. I thought our penalty kill in general, did a really good job,” O’Connell said.

An early penalty on Sacred Heart’s Tim Clifton put the Terriers up a player in the first three minutes, giving the Terriers the power play they needed to crack open the scoring at 4:30 of the second period. Junior defenseman Domenick Fensore received a slick feed from juniors Ethan Phillips and Skoog to net the Terrier’s first goal of the night from between the circles.

1:45 later, the Pioneers were able to tie it up when junior winger Braeden Tuck picked up a rebounded shot from senior forward Austin Magera and sniped the puck right past Commesso’s shoulder. The even-strength goal tied the game at two. Sophomore forward Nick Zabaneh saw a few opportunities from the crease, but Pioneer netminder Justin Robbins was able to keep the Terrier scoring chances to a minimum.

At 10:11 of the second period, the Terriers went back on the powerplay when SHU’s junior blueliner Logan Britt received two minutes in the box for an interference. Despite the man-advantage, the shots remained minimal and the score was unchanged. Two minutes after the Britt penalty, freshman forward Tyler Boucher was sent to the Terrier penalty box for a nasty crosscheck against a Sacred Heart forward. In a back-and-forth penalty exchange, neither team scored and the game stayed one-all.

For a final exchange in the second period, BU’s Stevens and Sacred Heart’s sophomore defenseman Dante Fantauzzi each spent time in the box for charging and interference, respectively. Just one minute after the penalties expired, Mastrosimone took the puck to the net, netting a sleek goal from a tough angle at the bottom of the left circle. His second goal of the season gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead they would maintain for almost the remainder of the game.

Throughout the three periods of play, Commesso stayed solid in net, making critical saves through heavy screens in front of the crease. Between Commesso’s impressive play and some major hits by the Terrier’s big bodies, BU was able to turn the tide in favor of the home team with a more aggressive-style of play.

The Terriers began the third with four players due to a remaining 1:35 on freshman forward Tristan Amonte’s tripping penalty. Following the penalty kill, the game remained even with 14 and 15 shots for the Pioneers and Terriers each. The 

At 12:59 of the third, Sacred Heart again evened the scoring with an even strength goal from Magera. This would be the first goal and third point for the senior in three games. Now tied at two with seven minutes to go, both teams produced plenty of disciplined hockey, free from penalties or any major hits.

Despite solid shot attempts from Fensore and Mastrosimone, both teams stayed locked on producing offensive chances until assistant captain and senior Ryan Steele broke the silence at 19:47. Graduate forward Dakota Raabe’s rap around attempt turned into a perfect scoring chance from right in front of the net in a shot Commesso couldn’t get to. The late third-period goal would prove to be the game-winner for the Pioneers, as the Terrier’s couldn’t capitalize on the final 13 seconds.

“I know there’s some positives, but at the end of it all, we were so eager to move on.”

The Terriers and Pioneers will meet again at Agganis Arena tomorrow night at 7pm with updates to come on twitter @BOSHockeyBlog and on Instagram at Boston.Hockey.Blog

20 thoughts on “Men’s Hockey falls to Sacred Heart from late third-period goal”

  1. No way to sugarcoat it. Albie is a lame duck coach with a .500 record. His contract won’t be renewed. It’s just a matter of if he lasts the season.

    The program has no tournament wins in his 3+ years. The team doesn’t have an identity. Hasn’t had one in those 3+ years. Great guy. Tremendous recruiter. Just not meant to be a D1 head coach for a major program.

    We’re at another crossroads. In today’s age of easily distracted students, you need to capture their attention and give them a reason to come back. These past two games likely irreparably harmed the chances of building a real student following this season.

    There is no buzz around the program. The hockey hasn’t been particularly exciting, and we’re consistently less than the sum of our parts.

    Nothing personal. It’s business. And our business is trending downward. I’ll raise my hand as someone who thought Albie deserved the chance and would be able to take the step up in responsibility. I was wrong. And it stinks. I want good guys to have success. But the program is more important than one good person. Some VPs aren’t meant to be CEOs.

    I’ll continue to support the team and go to the games (home and away) because I love seeing you guys, I’m in my 30th year of season tickets, and I’m a Terrier for life. But I want the program to be more than a pastime.

    I’d welcome Quinny and his swagger back in a second. I think he’d take the job now that he’s had his experience in the NHL and would bring back an entertaining brand of hockey and high end talent. He’s not a perfect coach but he IS a head coach. And we need one.

    I’m mad that I was wrong. But I’ll be angrier if we fade into obscurity. It happed to Maine. To New Hampshire. To Michigan St. I don’t want us to be next. It takes hard decisions. It’s time to make them.

    • Pulitzer Prize response. Dead on. The only thing I would add is that it’s certainly not too late to make the change this year.

    • Spot on commentary — truthful without being snide.

      But I think DQ likely wants to stay on the NHL level.

      The Terriers have definitely lost their mojo.

  2. don’t despair , Mike. colin will soon be on the blog to point out a myriad of positives in last night’s loss and tell you why we have the greatest coaching staff in college hockey. then you will feel better

    until then, i agree with everything you said and your last paragraph is a chilling reminder of what happens when you wallow in mediocrity

    go BU

  3. Colin here! boy you guys are so excited to see BU struggling out of the gate. I thought you were BU hockey fans. A coaching change now makes no sense. I do agree we have a lot of work to get back on track we also have key players out. I’m trying to be positive we have to find a way out of this slide. I think we need to stretch the ice out a bit our breakouts are two compact with our skating legs we need to first establish puck control and have off wing get behind or get off side defenseman to get turned. We are too easy to defend right now.
    I also will assume everyone on here is a adult it’s almost comical how excited you are too comment negatively on our program. I’m entertained that you think you could rattle me by our slow start I don’t get raddled when it comes to BU hockey I’m a fan through thick and thin. Your all fair weather fans or not fans at all. The Bc, Nu blog might want you but I doubt it because as soon as the team struggles you jump ship or say I told you so.
    I see many issues with this team that they need to get better at I’m not blind I don’t sugarcoat things we are not playing up too what I believe our talent level is we have a lot to improve. If I was wrong about this team and you guys were right congrats but at the end of the day I’m BU biggest fan and your a Benedict Arnold BU hockey will be fine in the long run. Looking forward to your attacks on the program and me in between figuring out a way to win and watching the Sox I will check on your responses as hopefully it’s more then just told you so. Go BU 🐾

    • You may not be blind but you’ve sprinted across the fine line between optimistic and delusional. In a way, this flailing and sloppily written post (“raddle”?) is a metaphor for the mediocrity we’ve been witnessing with this team. Sad.

  4. Well, at least “we had a good week of practice”.

    A quote given me from a long term season ticket holder: “ I didn’t pay to watch Sacred Heart practice.” A question from a former Captain, and one of our legendary on-ice leaders: “What is wrong with this team?”

    My perspective is a bit different from most; i.e., I do not blame the Coach, as much as I do the AD, or the President. I was given pause by another long term season ticket holder, when he suggested that I view the program as if it was a pro team. Given the (not sudden) demise of our program, and the consequent erosion of its fan base (as succinctly noted by Mike S.), a General Manager would have been on the owner’s carpet, or fired, for not having made a move. The complacency manifested by our owner (President), and General Manager (AD), are to my mind, the more egregious sins.

    We have yet another team that is not lacking for elite skill or speed, but which is in freefall; or again, as Mike said, “less than the sum of its parts.” The game at UConn was indicative of what this group is capable of, but since then we have entered a death spiral. Could it be that the first game allowed for the instinctive display of the player’s innate creative movement patterns; that is, before the coaches were able to affix their imprint?

    Accountability: Last night we had a player take a stupid penalty AFTER the whistle. I assumed that he would be “riding the pine” for a couple of shifts, at the very least. Instead, he was right back out for the next shift! We also had a defenseman, solely responsible for a goal against, who received praise in the post-game interview. I am watching a much different game than is being viewed from behind the bench. PSD

  5. Very good points by P.S. The decision to be an elite program starts at the top of the institution. Brown and Marrochello are as culpable as anyone.

  6. Now now, everyone… no need for personal attacks. There’s room on this bus for all of us. From the fan who would root for Hillary if she put on a BU jersey (you know who you are ;-), to the fan who only points out the negatives because venting helps acceptance (though, in fairness, there have been many more negatives than positives during Albie’s reign), to the pragmatic of us who just call it as it is each game (good and bad). We all want BU to succeed and entertain. And I think we’re all a bit frustrated that neither of those two things are happening at the moment. Let’s hope they dig deep and start righting the ship tonight. See you at Agganis.

  7. I’m a big boy Mike been around the game for a long time i can handle a few fire crackers thrown my way. I don’t like this blog being bash BU hockey but some take revel in our slow start but why are we blaming the president and the AD. 😮
    As for the president I don’t know him the AD is in my opinion a very classy guy he knows not only hockey but all sports that’s what you want from a AD. With all the fire coach and AD responses I’m thinking there is something political going on. I only care about figuring out a way to win. This team has no confidence they are tired they are shooting themselves in the foot and they are desimated with injuries we need to find a way to be positive. Do you guys think the coach was going to say before the game we had a bad week of practice we are banged up hopefully we don’t loose to bad come on he’s trying to give his guys a boost.
    Here is my game plan which if executed well will deliver success
    1. Keep the game simple focus on the now. Don’t watch scoreboard win your shift.
    2. On the breakout as soon as we have full possession off wing get far side D to move get behind him use our speed.
    3. Shoot the puck more preferably from high percentage areas but shoot the puck.
    4. D has room to walk they need too.
    5. Work hard play hard stay out of box but if you go take one of them with you.
    6. Keep things light in locker room. I don’t think you guys quite understand how much this team cares about each other and the program the loss hurts them trust me I know.
    7. If things break down a mistake is made don’t get frustrated keep with the game plan.
    8. Defensively don’t puck watch even if you make a mistake if your moving your feet you can often recover if your not moving your feet your in big trouble. I have seen this too much this season and it relates to trying not to make a mistake. Be comfortable out there.
    9. This one is my favorite find the biggest guy on ice first shift and drill him clean get the crowd into it.
    10. Make sure everyone is encouraging hopefully the kids don’t get caught up in this blog but if they do coaches need to tell them this is not new to sports teams go into slumps teams also go on winning streaks lets start one tonight.
    I won’t ever stop rooting for BU no matter how much you attack me on this blog I enjoy commenting on this team they are a great group of kids led by a great coaching staff we have a long way to go this year but let’s keep our heads up high and keep working hard good things will come. Go BU 🐾

    • Great coaching staff ??? Colon, there are doctors that can help you.. Please get an appointment soon.
      Hear Albie in his post game? He seemed as slap happy as you . would Parker have been ? THAT IS THE PROBLEM. He can recruit. Can not coach. As to the PC athletic director. When Albie went “off” the first year on the bench he was told not to do that by the PC administratio. Please believe the ultra left wing BU politics have an affect on the team . lack of discipline so obvious.

      • I don’t even know what your talking about. Political stuff is interesting but not when it comes to hockey. I caught the dig at the beginning but the rest was just over my head I guess but made no sense. Are you putting Albie and jack parker on the same pedestal and knocking them I don’t have anything for a response coach parker to me was best coach to stand behind the bench. I’m not sure you understand college hockey.

        • Read: “you’re.” it’s spelled “you’re.” Here’s an example: You’re just making excuses.

          • What are you a English teacher? Learn hockey you want to make it personal going after my grammar oh no. By the way your eagles lost .

  8. A good week in practice. That’s like saying we scored 10 goals at practice I don’t know why we can not score in a game. If we were playing a HE team last night I doubt the result would have been the same

Comments are closed.