Men’s Hockey swept by UMass Lowell in weekend series

The Boston University men’s hockey team (3-5-0, 2-4-0 Hockey East) concluded their weekend series against UMass Lowell (3-1-1, 2-0 Hockey East) tonight in a 2-1 loss, completing the sweep for the River Hawks. Following Friday’s disappointing game, the Terriers did little to respond at the Tsongas Center.

Senior goaltender Owen Savory returned to the crease for Lowell, starting in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Garnering his first––and the team’s second––shutout of the year, Friday’s 29 save night was a boost for his squad coming into their home arena.  

On the other side of the rink, sophomore netminder Drew Commesso was the Terrier’s best player in the first period and arguably throughout the night––surprise, surprise. Commesso had a big stop at 8:34, denying a point blank slap shot that soared off junior forward Zach Kaiser’s stick. The save kept the game knotted at 0-0 and allowed his group to try to find their footing.   

BU played with more of an aggressive edge in the opening frame, looking to create some momentum and find the back of the net for the first time this weekend. Through some dump and chase hockey, Brehdan Engum was sent to the box at 8:48 for slashing and gave the Terriers an opportunity to get on the board…and they almost did. 

Sophomore forward Dylan Peterson shifted the ice with confidence, dragging the puck around the offensive zone to then drop it to a netfront Tyler Boucher. The freshman forward’s blast from the middle got past Savory, but was eventually called back for goaltender interference. Junior forward Jamie Armstrong made contact with the Lowell goaltender, enough for the refs to take the tally away from BU. 

Towards the end of the first the Terriers began to set their own pace instead of simply following the River Hawk’s suit. They had a solid netfront presence, won foot races, and jumped on loose pucks, actually competing instead of participating.

This spark was soon blown out by sophomore defenseman Ben Meehan who collected his first collegiate goal with 1:29 left on the clock. The River Hawks had good puck movement in BU’s zone, swinging it around to find Meehan on the left side who put some serious release behind his ripped shot. He gave his team a late 1-0 lead, forcing the Terriers to play from behind once again. 

Boucher and junior forward Carl Berglund got matching interference calls within eight seconds of each other with a little less than 30 seconds left in the period. 4-on-4 hockey proceeded into the start of the middle frame. 

Lowell dominated in shots-on-goal in the first, leading 14-3. Although the ratio is big, BU had a more opportunistic style of play and came out on top 12-6 in faceoff wins. 

Neither squad capitalized on the 4-on-4 as Boucher and Berglund were released from the sin bin. The ice evened out a bit in the second period, but the River Hawks had spurts of offensive rushes that kept BU on their toes and made Commesso work extra hard. 

The Terriers had a chance to find the equalizer on the man-advantage when junior forward Blake Wells got two minutes for high sticking. The plan backfired though, as senior forward Lucas Condotta stripped the puck from sophomore forward Nick Zabaneh at the blueline and exploded onto the breakaway. The Lowell captain’s shorthanded snapshot from the right side doubled his team’s lead to 2-0 at 16:26.  

The last 20 minutes of play showed a great amount of frustration and lack of discipline from BU. Junior forward Wilmer Skoog got in a physical altercation with junior defenseman Jordan Schulting, cross checking him into the boards twice and throwing a punch before being sent to the penalty box at 4:03. The third was a heavily scrappy period. 

A few more penalties ensued for both sides before junior forward Case McCarthy gave the Terriers some life with 1:35 to play in the competition, breaking Savory’s five period shutout streak.

Junior forward Robert Mastrosimone gathered the puck from a scrum to the side of the net and passed it to McCarthy in front who snapped it past the goal line to make it 2-1. It was too little too late for BU though. Lowell held on until the buzzer at the end of the third, securing the weekend sweep. 

Another disheartening performance is in the books for the Terriers as their inadequate play is starting to become a pattern and lack of effort is starting to become a theme. BU is tasked with proving they belong in this league and upholding the respect and prestige of the program––the type of hockey we saw this weekend is not going to cut it. 

The Terriers will travel to Michigan next weekend for an away series against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats. The puck will drop at 7:00p.m. on Friday and 6:00p.m. on Saturday and we’ll have live coverage of the games on Twitter @BOShockeyblog. 

Head Coach Albie O’Connell was unavailable for comment following the game. 

27 thoughts on “Men’s Hockey swept by UMass Lowell in weekend series”

  1. Straight talk. On paper we have more talent than every team we’ve played thus far. But you wouldn’t know it watching us. Even missing our big names, we’re at least on par (paper wise) with our early season opponents.

    We played better despite losing on Friday but tonight was a $hitshow. Terrible D-zone coverage. Worse decisions. Very little offense. The difference between BU and Lowell is that Lowell has a system. Always has. The players buy in and play their roles. BU doesn’t have an identifiable system, the players don’t play “together”, and the D-core is one of the least structured groups in recent memory.

    It’s bad. Very bad. And it’s not like the missing players led the national rankings in goals and assists when they were on the ice. Our CEILING would appear to be a .500 team.

    I don’t know where we go from here. Albie’s a lame-duck coach in the final year of his contract. There’s no visible leadership on the ice (at least no leaders holding others accountable – like a Curry would despite his own flaws). A general lack of mental and physical toughness. A mind-boggling lack of teachable faceoff success. And a clear inability to prepare well enough for the opponent and to make adjustments in real time. Honestly, we don’t do anything particularly well and we certainly aren’t consistent in anything positive. And I’m starting to think the folks on this blog (positive and negative) collectively care more about the program than the people in the program – especially than those on the ice.

    The President doesn’t care about the program (nor sports in general – he’d prefer we be MIT). The AD has his hands tied in some respect (we’ve become a relatively “cheap” program) but it’s also his job to make things work. And the players seem more concerned about themselves than program success.

    Have I missed anything. Have I depressed everyone yet?

    Quinn’s not walking through that door (we aren’t able to afford him anymore anyway). Eichel’s not walking through that door. And don’t be surprised to see a mass exodus after the season.

    Someone talk me off the proverbial ledge…

    Mike

  2. BU players in the 2020-2021 Top 100 for points per game average. O’Brien (30th) and Cockerill (93rd). JUST TWO PLAYERS.

    This year. Skoog (81st). That’s it. Just Skoog.

    All these draft picks and such little actual player development. So disappointing.

  3. Don’t worry mike. The greatest coaching staff in college hockey will straighten this mess out. If you don’t believe me, just ask Colin

    • Correct vinnie a tough situation with all the injuries but we have great coaching. Good observation on your part. Go BU 🐾

  4. Be careful Mike! I called out the President and the AD here on the BHB a couple of weeks ago. Since then I have stopped receiving email notices from both the Alumni Association and the Athletic Department. Coincidence??

    Agreed, the (apparent to me) administrative disdain for our one program, of once former national prominence, starts at the top. Perhaps the ever so elite “Patriot League” will incorporate a hockey program; wherein we could compete with our limited financial and administrative support. PSD

  5. Lost to a good team. We have guys down. It’s frustrating but that’s sports I believe we get out of this slump next week. I sense the sarcasm vinnie but this coaching staff have proven themselves throughout long careers in the game of hockey and academics . Our assistants have played and in some cases coached or scouted for nhl teams. Coach OConnell has proven himself at several different stops. Be disappointed want change but don’t leave out the fact that we have a great staff that many universities would want. You and others may not want them for political personal reasons but that does not change the fact we have some of the best coaches in college hockey. I’m disappointed at the results of this weekend but I’m not going to let negative attitudes change my perspective on this hockey team. We did not do enough to win but we are not healthy and our team is not complete. I think this team will find it’s way. I’m not positive of it but I would rather root for my team and go down with the ship then desert my team I won’t do it not now not ever. I eat sleep drink bu hockey. I also realize we are dealing with kids talented kids but kids nonetheless so I won’t ever criticize there character I know most of them and they are great kids they are not quitting on anyone. This team will go on a winning streak soon and all the haters will become bu fans again. I’m looking forward to some good hockey in Michigan. Go bu 🐾

      • Son of Cesar you don’t have to agree with me and you don’t have to be a BU fan to comment on the blog but it’s the BU hockey blog so I certainly have the right to comment on my team. Go bu🐾

        • Right but you’re not being rational. That’s why everyone gives you so much shit. I will say it’s entertaining. So by all means keep it up.

  6. This is actually funny to me everyone has a answer to the problem buy I CLEARLY remember ALL if u guys ESPECIALLY PSD wanted to get rid ifof this guy “Quinn bc he was to mean to thr kids and u guys know it’s true !!! Now u want this guy back some of u do and will always love Parker and compare every coach to him hockey has since changed!!.. It seems like alot of u just hope we lose to come on and talk shit which u jave a right too!! I go to every game and every road game and yes I am going to Michigan despite our struggles its what I do … Am I happy how this season has gone OF course not but let them try to get out of it we had some shit luck and injuries adding up brutal combo dont mean they can’t fix it .. It’s easy to say do this do That fromnthr outside and EVRYONE IS A COACH … U MAKE ME LAUGH.. HOCKEY east this year sucks so we have a chance as well as anyone… Do u think this will be all season even with healty guys back ??? NO .. The 1st game of rje season wotj evryone health look how we looked ever since its been injuries and some breakdowns for sure … Also if u guys think the AD AND PRESIDENT care what is said about them on here smoke another one !!! Wake up … And PSD im sure that’s why I not getting EMAILS.u… 😆 everyone has their opinion to write, what they want if bu hockey is so bad that you guys have nothing better to do then wait to come on this blog why you even watch bu hockey and if your season ticket holder save tour cash 💸 and get rid of them U WONT BE MISSED … would I like to win championships and when games absolutely who doesn’t but we are going through a tough time yes we went to the NCAA last year in a short season this year we’ve gotten off to a bad start she like that happens but you guys are quick to jump down people’s throats which I personally don’t even care but how about toughing it out and let’s see how it goes on my end I will always be there for bu hockey and I will always go to every game win or lose.. Go BU 🐾 see u in MICHIGAN… Oh yea to quote a announcer those “low lives on the blog ” is bc of the shit u say and attacking people!! Again I ain’t going back and forth with shit talking u know who i am and where I sit let’s talk in person in u choice.. Go BU 🐾

  7. Colin, I agree that the guys played right to the end, with no let down whatsoever, and that they have done so consistently. My gripe is NOT with them, but rather with their being hamstrung by a lack of managerial direction, structural guidance, and real time strategic adjustments.

    Mike’s point of Lowell having a “system,” that their players adhere to, is an historical fact. It has not changed for years, and yet is still effective. If we have one, I am at a loss to recognize it. I was expecting that the addition of Jay P would effect an immediate improvement of substantial note; given his pedigree that you referenced. I am still waiting. Caveat: As I have admitted before, I am a poor sport, and a sore loser, who boils over with vitriol following a mismanaged loss. Thank you for being my friend, and for allowing me to vent without taking it personal. I am headed for the medicine cabinet, and a distracting Charlie Chan movie. I expect that their combined effect will negate the necessity for you to call the Samaritan suicide watch on my behalf. Thanks, PSD

    • Paul I will say this I’m on record with my support of the AD I think he’s great for the university sports teams not just hockey but all of them. The President I honestly don’t know enough about. By being hand cuffed maybe you have a point bu admittance standards have gotten strict. The days of being a poor student and a good hockey player are gone. You know have to be booth. I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing wish the league would adhere to the same standards. As to the fans I absolutely would wish the student body would appear more to home games I also would like busses to bring them to away games. A bu game on campus on a Friday Saturday night should be the talk of the campus all week. The university is not doing enough to get the fans in the seat is that the President I don’t know but the game of hockey can sell itself if students show up. I have my own ideas but I will save it for another post. As to a system this is hockey not baseball of course we have a system and yes last night Lowell who is a good team shut it down . I said earlier I would never attack players personally so let me be careful of how I say my next paragraph last nights team lacked a offensive punch every team has roll players and depth we have booth and booth are essential to being successful and to be without the fire power that is injured right now is plain and simple costing us games. We are asking kids to play roles they were never intended to play. I’m sure Nick was not practicing the power play October 1 he’s a great player tremendous energy but not a power play guy and as I mentioned we are dealing with kids just look at how some of us on this blog are trying to jump off the ship and do things radical in my opinion if your a player and what your doing is not working and your 19 you might say let me try things my way and it’s clear the my way won’t work either I’m not mad it’s just human nature the simple fact is the better team won this weekend but I don’t think we are a full team yet so I’m not throwing in the towel and I will continue to support this team. I also stand by this coaching staff. Relax Paul everything will be ok .

      • Will do, and thank you for trying to console me.

        To reiterate: “I agree that the guys played right to the end, with no let down whatsoever, and that they have done so consistently. My gripe is NOT with them.”

        The student who has assumed the leadership of the Dog Pound is actively soliciting student participation (in lieu of the university), and is also trying to arrange for busses to at least two away venues. However, a win streak, prolific goal scoring, and a reasonable defense, will fill more seats than a marketing campaign.

        Taking a deep breath, and putting on another distracting movie. PSD

        • I actually agree with you on several points Paul and no doubt about it a win streak would definitely help. I do think if fan involvement increased fans would show more interest. At Lowell and bc the band does a lap playing theme songs and fans follow behind we should do that. Also with all the empty seats youth hockey teams should get discounted tickets with a voucher for souvenir stand good way to grow fans . That’s how I started. Perhaps bu should have a hockey clinic once a month where a current player can talk to young players this will create long term terrier fans. Also I have always wanted to be Rhett . Rhett should not be just walking around concourse he should be wild on the ice keeping fans engaged and entertained. Before away games the busses can leave after team cheer them on before they leave all creating excitement. These are just some of my ideas . I have lots more 😂🐾

          • Completely agree. However, it should be the well paid Athletic Administration proactively generating such ideas and programs; not just yourself, and the activist Dog Pound student leader.

  8. BU is the fourth-best college hockey team in Boston right now and that says it all. For anyone that has followed the program for a decade or more, that is downright disheartening. I hope this ship can be righted, but it’s shaping up like another season of hovering around .500 and no trophies.

    Northern Michigan lost by a touchdown to Minnesota State last night, so maybe the Terriers can at least earn a split next weekend on the road. Gotta start somewhere, and having some more healthy bodies back in the lineup would help. Would also like to see another goaltender get one of the starts to give D.C. a break. He’s had to carry too much of the load already.

  9. The students would be there if there was more scoring by BU. The fireworks a week ago hopefully brought some fans in on Friday but will they come back after that performance? Let the women have Agannis and have the men move back to Walter Brown.

  10. AOC was handed a program capable of winning 20 games for several years and he has not been able to do it. He is a 500 coach and bringing the program down. It doesn’t take much to erase all the good DQ was able to accomplish.

  11. Winning games with fast, physical, skillful playing is the only marketing a team needs. Right now they have no marketing. Musing about creative ideas to fill the gap is an absurd and losing proposition. Play to win. No excuses.

  12. It’s good to think outside the box but there are so many entertainment options for kids these days that you have a limited time to hook them. Don’t get them excited? They’re gone. And it’s really hard to pull them back. That’s why laying an egg in the home opener and the following home game was more than just losing in the standings. New potential fans were at the game. Pumped up for an exciting college sport and team they heard about and then we played 6 periods of “meh”.

    It stinks that it’s like that but it’s our modern reality. And three .500 seasons after Quinn left didn’t help as many long- and medium- timers started to put their dollars and time elsewhere as indicated by reduced crowds over the years.

    For prospective fans, winning builds buzz. Winning while entertaining sustains it. Winning Beanpots, HE Titles, and making runs in the NCAA tournament turns new fans into lifers.

    It’s how it is. We simply need to find a way to start winning again (consistently). You’ll be hard pressed to re-build an atmosphere without it.

    • 100% agree. Stop the egg-laying and start taking the game to the opponents with a unified front. And have meaningful accountability. Lack thereof enables the “meh”. Winning is a choice. When it’s clear they’ve made up their minds, the people show up.

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