Game Recaps

Terriers swept by Northern Michigan on the road

The Boston University men’s hockey team (3-7) fell to the Northern Michigan University wildcats (5-5) in the second leg of their away series. The Saturday night game ended with a score of 6-2 and would be the second consecutive weekend where the Terriers were swept.

“We played well five on five,” Head Coach Albie O’Connell said after the game. “I thought we broke the puck out well… [The defense] did a good job managing the puck in the neutral zone. They hinged well, they got the puck in at the offensive blue, they were pretty good. So they didn’t have a ton of five on five chances.”

Instead of starting with their usual netminder, O’Connell opted for sophomore Vinny Duplessis to start in net after the deflating loss to NMU the night before. Sophomore Drew Commesso has let in 10 goals in the last three matchups and while he definitely doesn’t deserve all of the blame, Duplessis was the more logical start.

“At the start of the game I thought he was there,” O’Connell said of his goaltender. “I think overall, goaltending wise, I think both guys would like to be better. I think we’d like them to be better. I think they probably want to be better, but at the same time, especially on the penalty kill, we have to be better as a group.”

The Terriers came out of the locker room with a ton of energy and spirit with several controlling minutes of puck possession early in the first. Despite the strong start, the game quickly turned into 60 minutes of undisciplined hockey with 40 minutes in penalties between the two teams.

Just over five minutes into the first period, sophomore forward Mikey Colella skated up the left wing alone and opened up the scoring for his squad. This would be the Wenonah, New Jersey native’s sixth goal of the season and first of the night.

Two minutes after the Colella goal, freshman forward Ty Gallagher tallied his first collegiate goal to knot the score at one apiece. Unfortunately for Terrier fans, it would be one of the only bright spots for the rest of the 60 minutes, and one of the only times Gallagher’s name would be spoken of so highly through the rest of the game.

NMU took the first penalty of the night as Tanner Vescio was sent to the box for cross checking at 10:46 of the period. This would be the first penalty of a highly-whistled matchup as Gallagher was sent to the box four minutes after NMU’s successful kill for a tripping call of his own. 

While on the man advantage, Colella netted his second goal of the night at 17:53. Trevor Cosgrove’s shot attempt rebounded off of Duplessis’ pad and Colella was able to pick up the puck and sneak it just between Duplessis and the net to put his squad up 2-1.

12 seconds after the goal, Gallagher was sent back to the penalty box on a cross-checking call. Now on their second power play of the night, NMU’s AJ Vanderbeck furthered the score to 3-1. Graduate forward Max Kaufman successfully blocked Vanderbeck’s first shot, but he picked up his own rebound and flew the puck over Duplessis shoulder.

The second period followed suit with sophomore forward Dylan Peterson taking a penalty for tripping at 1:04 of the second frame. The penalty kill was successful and had a few solid short-handed opportunities from junior forwards Sam Stevens and Robert Mastrosimone, but the Terriers couldn’t get past NMU’s sophomore netminder Rico DiMatteo.

The teams exchanged penalties with Michael Van Unen taking one for the Wildcats on a holding call, but the Terriers were unable to capitalize. At 14:13 of the period, Mastrosimone got a high-sticking call putting the Terriers down a player for the fourth time of the night in 35 minutes, giving NMU another capitalizing opportunity as Trevor Cosgrove’s slapper from the blue line flew past Duplessis, extending the score to 4-1 Wildcats.

A minute after the goal, the undisciplined play continued as freshman forward Tyler Boucher was sent to the boc for an elbowing call, and then Van Unen received his second penalty of the night for cross-checking.

The Terriers started the third period with 13 seconds remaining on the power play but couldn’t capitalize on the man-advantage. At 3:47 of the final 20 minutes, four players took their place in the penalty box: junior blueliner and forward Case McCarthy and Wilmer Skoog for BU for Cross-checking, and Vanderbeck and former Terrier Hank Crone for embellishment and cross-checking, respectively. 

In regards to all of the whistles blown in the Saturday matchup, O’Connell’s main takeaway was disappointment in his coaching staff.

“Our penalty kill was poor the entire weekend from how we’ve been managing off the rush. And that’s on the coaches. That’s 100% Getting those guys organized to play the right way. They’ve got to execute some things, but at the end of the day, it’s on us to get those guys to make sure they’re positioned better and in spots.” 

With two players in each box, the teams still skated for two minutes 5-on-5, giving the Terriers the opportunity to minimize the gap with a goal from junior defenseman Domenick Fensore. Fensore picked up a pass from Ethan Phillips and shot the puck between the legs of DiMatteo and the play was under review for several minutes, but was deemed a good goal. Fensore’s third goal of the season brought his group up by one and married the score to 4-2.

Unfortunately, what could have been a game-changing goal turned out to be more of the same, as Boucher got his second elbowing penalty of the game, giving NMU another powerplay chance, and ultimately, another goal. Colella scored his third of the night as his shot went bardown and he was able to secure the hat trick. The Terriers, who had 26 penalty minutes in 60 minutes of play, let in their fourth power play goal of the night, and the score became 5-2.

Just when the game couldn’t get any worse, NMU’s Andre Ghantous scored an empty net goal at 18:14 to add salt to the wound. The 60 minutes came to a close with the Wildcats victorious at 6-2.

“We got to do a better job of coaching those guys up… It comes from our leadership group. I think Logan Cockerill has done a great job,” O’Connell said. “I thought he led the team really well from last night to tonight. And there’s nothing we can do but just continue to try to get better. And I think that’s kind of the mantra that the group has; there’s definitely a high level of frustration.”

The Terriers will be back in Boston on Friday night to take on last year’s NCAA champions, the UMass Amherst Minutemen, at 7:30pm in Agganis Arena, with coverage on Twitter @BOS.Hockey.Blog and on Instagram @Boston.Hockey.Blog.


  1. Caroline nice article wanted to comment before all the turn coats show up bashing the program first and foremost very frustrating weekend coach is spot on we do a better job breaking out taking a step forward and then our special teams doesn’t show up. The difference in tonight’s game was the special teams the refs were the same booth nights and were bad for both teams but they took advantage of their power plays and we did not. I remain positive I think Brown and O’Brien should be back soon if we can get them back it would be a big boost. Unfortunately we have some very good teams coming up and our play needs to be better. I saw a lot of good things this weekend but it’s far to inconsistent and it won’t work against u mass or northeastern i however have not given up on this group and will not. I’m a big boy I know some who write on this blog will be excited about bu failures they have jumped ship a long time ago they now take sport in bashing kids coaches and me. What’s great about sports is if your loyal everything comes around this program will be fine bu hockey is a great program if we don’t win a game the rest of the season I will be there rooting them on make no mistake I’m a bu fan through the good times and bad and make no mistake about it bu will be a dominant hockey team again and son of cesar and vinnie and everyone else who gave up on them will be frozen out. I wait for the insults and the bu bashing with open arms but your comment will not shake my resolve. I have been and always will be a bu fan. Go bu 🐾

  2. I am loyal to the Boston University Program, not to an individual coach nor an individual player.

    No matter how much someone cares about a team or tries to get things to work, if they can’t find a way to get players to succeed on the ice then they need to step aside for someone who can.

    Few coaching tenures end well. Some of the most successful coaches across sports were eventually let go. It’s the nature of the game. And if Albie’s time in charge is nearing an end (as I and most others suspect it is due to four years of underperformance with no clear signs that anything is significantly changing for the better) then I’ll wish him the best, thank him for the years of service, and appreciate his skills as a recruiter and assistant/associate coach.

    The program objectively appears to be in dire need of new leadership that demonstrates the ability to elicit winning performances on the ice and get players to maximize their talents as a well functioning unit.

    As Lou Holtz said, “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired.”

    After four years, we’re still making way too many mistakes.

    It’s time to make a change.


    • Let’s just hope that Drew has the cajones to do the right thing at the end of the season and make a coaching change. My worst nightmare is that Drew is Colin in disguise

  3. Let me start by saying the BU players are all awesome kids who come from wonderful families, and are coached by the best staff in college hockey. what more can you ask?

    you want wins? you want trophies? you want to compete like we used to against the elite teams? i think people are asking too much and their priorities are all wrong. if you don’t believe me, ask Colin. he will vouch for their integrity. personally, i don’t see how helping old ladies cross the street will result in wins, but again, that is irrelevant to making sure they make it safely and soundly.

    3-7 against mediocre teams. we are just waiting to play against the good teams like umass and pc. then we will turn it on. again, if you do not believe me, you know who to ask

    • Son of Caesar Carlaci

      He claims to be friends with all the players notwithstanding the fact he is middle aged and holds down two jobs. I asked to state exactly what the injuries are and how long to get back. Of course he could not do it.I think he is a plant from the administration.

      • Haha ever hear of hippa laws even if I knew the extent of their injuries I would not put it on here and I’m not a member of the administration but I support them and think they are doing a great job with bu athletics

        • son of caesar carlaci

          Those laws DO NOT apply to you. You do not know these “kids” that well or you would provide some knowledge to us on the come back of the three stars not playing.

  4. Who cares about your stupid resolve Colin? No one
    Thankfully no one takes you seriously. The naysayers care about the program because we see the need for a coaching change. All you care about is spouting your rah rah BS. Know what I think? You are really a bc fan who like to rub it in with all your pratter There is no way you care about the BU program because if you did you would see that major changes need to happen for us to return to glory. You’re not fooling anyone Mr. eagle

    • Bc fan you’ve gone off the deep end on that one. Ask around if you even show up for games I’m not a bc fan . I do respect there coach and team but I’m not a fan. I don’t really care what you think your negative posts won’t stop me from being a fan. I’m not going to apologize for being passionate about my program. Mike on this blog wants change I don’t agree with him but he does not go after kids coaches or me which leads me to wonder why do you want change were you slighted something. I’m a big boy we can go back and forth all day because my position won’t change I’m a bu fan I’m guessing when bu wins again and they will you will try and jump back on board. Please come up with something better then calling me a bc fan you sound foolish to anyone who knows me . Go bu 🐾

  5. As the post-punk British band Chameleons sang in the 1980s in the song Up the Down Escalator “there must be something wrong boys”…

    Indeed there is, and indeed it does feel like BU is going up the down escalator. Seven losses in 10 games and on course for a potential 20-plus loss season.

    Maybe the ghosts of Plandowski, Beattie and Pye were too much for the Terriers to deal with this weekend out in Michigan. Hey, at least mighty Merrimack earned a split with the Iggles on Saturday.

    Where does BU go from here? I’m sure the coaches and players will remain resolved to get this season turned around, but with what they’ve shown on the ice so far, will that be possible? We’ll continue to support them and hope for the best, but is this just one of those seasons destined to have the team sink to the bottom half of the HE standings (like 2013-14, 2003-04, 1998-99 or 1988-89)?

    With some tough opponents on the horizon it won’t be an easy task. But maybe they will respond to the pressure and start playing better, fundamental hockey that will keep them in games and lead to some positive results.

    All we can do is hope while us turncoats wait for Colin’s next sermon.

    And SOCC I crack up when I see your posting name. Did that somehow win out over Son of Mark Pierog, Son of Jerry August or Son of Brad MacGregor?

  6. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: that, as the saying goes, is insanity. Only change brings change. 3 & 7 against lower tier D1 teams demands changes and a resetting of accountability. This team has chosen to let itself slip into freefall and someones going call “turncoat” on the ones who quite fairly suggest pulling the ripcord. Please.

  7. A review of my musings here on the BHB will reveal my (sometimes over-the-top) dissatisfaction with the direction of our program. Additionally, it would demonstrate that I am usually at odds with Colin, and that I have repeatedly assessed responsibility for our downward spiral to administrative leadership at the highest levels (SOCC, I feel your pain).

    I said that, so that what I am about to say, is given proper perspective:

    I know Colin pretty well, and he is a rabid BU fan, a highly moral and ethical individual, and the motivation for his oft-times inexplicable defenses is above reproach. PSD

  8. BU Fan for a long time. When Jack Parker retired, BU had a chance to go out and hire a really good, innovative coach. At that time the BU job had to be a top 5 (at worst) college coaching job. We could have gone outside the program for fresh start. Since then our Terriers have underperformed with the exception of the Jack Eichel year. We have been consistently out-coach by just about every coach in Hockey East. First we heard that “it is all about one-on-one battles;” now we hear our players “are not playing the right way.” It cannot be that simple. Albie O’Connell seems like a lovely guy and I bet that he is trying his best. But it is not working and we need a fresh start.

    • AOC is a great recruiter, loyal BU person, just not qualified to be HC. It is painfully obvious the boys either don’t or won’t listen or he isn’t coaching them. This job is more than a 9-5 job, I understand he’s not even putting in 8 hours. Time to move on.

  9. Ok, PSD, fine. above moral reproach. fine. cool. got it

    it is sometimes just infuriating to see the ship go down, and the captain, your ethical, rapid friend, acts like there is not a hole in the boat. that is just plain dumb. that is blind, fervor and faith, and if you study history you know that leads only to destruction i know the dude is not a BC fan, but for crying out loud,who needs to read that BS after being swept? now you can say do not read it, and that certainly is my choice. but i like to hear what the realistic fans think about this current Titanic

    go bu
    loyal fan since 1963

    • This is spot on. Confront the failures head on and take decisive action to correct them. UMass opened the season dropping two at home to Minnesota State. Did they cry in their beer? No, they’re currently on a 6 game win streak including 2 consecutive HE sweeps you know they’re going to be rolling onto Comm. Ave. smelling blood.

  10. i would like to know – where is Ozzie? i miss his upbeat, positive posts. probably at the printer now getting the “save AOC” t-shirts made up. Oz, you only need 1 shirt made up

  11. Remember before the season when AOC said he didn t like to make predictions but he thought we would finish first. Makes you wonder what he was thinking.

    Vinnie you are right that the ship is sinking and we need a new skipper

    Let s hope it’s one with a proven track record.

  12. Do you thing the AD knows how bad it is?

  13. You need a college degree to coach at BU so mr amonte would not be a viable candidate. Stupid rule but what else would you expect from BU admin?

  14. i am not sure. i do know this was a hang up for scott young and pandolfo talked about getting his degree which allowed him to be hired by BU

    my guess it is an individual decision by the school.

    • I do think that individual schools have the right to have or not have the requirement of a college degree for a head coach. My point is that if the majority of schools choose to have that requirement, BU should not be blamed for following suit.

  15. BTW – this is what i call a REAL goalie, unlike the pretenders we have had over the past 6 years. yes i am including Jake O
    NU sophomore goalie Devon Levi carries a .945 save percentage and four shutouts along with that 1.64 GAA.

    • Wow! Never heard of him at all but his numbers are mind-blowing!

    • Vinnie Jake ottinger is on the Dallas stars roster we have had good goalies and we have a good one now. The problem with this blog is if a player struggles or the team everyone jumps ship. Vinnie let in 3 goals on 3 shots the other night that’s bad but if your going to judge his body of work on that one night then no goalie would ever fit your needs . Jake earned countless achievements and records at BU and is now playing Ahl/NHL games to play professional sports at any level in any sport you need to be great. For you to say we have been lacking in net and bring jakes name into it is in my opinion wrong . Please don’t get upset it’s just the facts .

  16. He played on the Canadian world juniors last year and got hurt. Now a soph and lights out

  17. Colin
    Jake o was up and down. I could care less if he is in the nhl. Only care about what he did for BU. His numbers were pedestrian at best when at bu. For all his hype he was a disappointment

    Look at his numbers and how he stacked up against other college goalies at the time. Way down the list. Those are the facts, my

    Commesso is struggling now as is the whole team. It’s a mess But maybe the best coaching staff in college hockey can fix it

    • He was a all star tournament mvp during championship year Team mvp hockey East rookie team all hockey East team junior year all hockey East team . Led team to ncaa eastern regional finals countless other bu hockey program records but other then that I guess he struggled. He is probably the best goalie to don a bu sweater and we have had some good ones . You keep trying to pull down players to fit your narrative for change but the numbers and results speak clearly for themselves jake was a elite goalie and to say otherwise is foolish.

  18. Agree to disagree. Too up and down to be elite. Get your gaa under 2 and then you are elite. Get your save percentage up to 940 and above and then you are elite. Whatever. Comesso needs to get himself right. Again inconsistent but of late consistently bad