Written by James Garrison
The Boston University Men’s Hockey Team (6-9-2, 5-5-2 HE) took down the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (7-9-1, 3-7-1 HE) in overtime Saturday night, as graduate forward Max Kaufman was able to roof a backhander for his second of the season.
After a tight 3-1 win Friday night at Agganis Arena, the Terriers traveled north to the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire. With the overtime win Saturday, the Terriers secured their first weekend sweep of the season.
“All in all, it was a great weekend for us,” Head Coach Albie O’Connell said in his post-game press conference. “We’ve been looking to get points and wins, and we found a way to play two pretty good hockey games,” O’Connell said.
With five out of a possible six points earned this weekend against the Wildcats, the Terriers have gained in the Hockey East standings, now only one point behind Boston College- their next opponent.
Despite the successful weekend, none of the Terriers’ goals this weekend came five on five. Alongside the three power play goals, the Terriers scored a six-on-five empty net goal and during the 3v3 overtime.
“Probably put the puck in the net,” O’Connell said when asked about what the Terriers need to do to score more 5v5. “I don’t think it was due to a lack of chances… If you have good goaltending and good special teams, five on five, if you break even, you give yourself a good chance.”
After struggling to manage the puck in the defensive zone in the first period of Friday’s game, the Terriers’ defense settled down and was very solid in front of sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso.
“We handled the front of the net really well, which allowed Drew to see the puck, our wings got out quick… Although [Commesso] was tested quite a few number of times, he was able to see it.” Commesso, as well as the Terriers defense, looked much more comfortable.
Although the Terriers controlled much of the second period after a quiet first period on both sides, UNH made a strong push in the third. The Wildcats outshot the Terriers 18-3 in the third period, with freshman forward Liam Devlin scoring UNH’s lone goal at 12:53 of the period.
After being selected to the preliminary roster for the United States World Junior roster, sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso had a very strong weekend, stopping fifty-seven of fifty-nine shots faced over both games.
“Commesso was dynamite,” O’Connell said. Commesso’s strong weekend comes off of having allowed six goals on twenty-nine shots last weekend against Cornell in Red Hot Hockey.
Junior forward Matt Brown scored his second of the season on the power-play at 10:36 of the second period. After being limited in his return from injury last Saturday against Cornell, Brown’s presence was felt much more this weekend with his two points.
Special teams were the difference this weekend for the Terriers. Three of BU’s five goals this weekend came on the power play while they held the Wildcat’s power play off the board despite their seven chances.
After scoring the empty net clinching goal Friday night, graduate forward Kaufman was able to roof a backhander past Wildcats goaltender Mike Robinson. “Max Kaufman had his best weekend as a Terrier,” O’Connell noted of his forward.
Overall, the Terriers looked like a much more disciplined and structured team this weekend. Playing strong team defense, staying patient when breaks did not go their way, and making winning plays like blocking shots.
“I just think us realizing as a group what winning hockey looks like and how we can start to implement it consistently, that’s gonna be big for us,” senior forward and captain Logan Cockerill said post-game Friday night.
With only one weekend remaining before the semester break, the Terriers look to be gaining some momentum after hard-fought weekends against top-ranked teams and finally getting some results and gaining in the standings this weekend.
BU has the opportunity to ride their current momentum into one of their biggest games of the year so far, with a chance to prove themselves as a threat in Hockey East this season. Despite the poor start, the Terriers could just be turning it around.
Next weekend the Terriers will face off against their Comm Ave rivals Boston College Friday night at Agganis Arena with the puck drop set for 7:30pm. Saturday, the Terriers will welcome the U.S. Under-18 National Development team to town for an exhibition match at 3:00pm.
As usual, live updates for both games can be found on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and on Instagram @boston.hockey.blog as well as previews and recaps right here at https://hockey.dailyfreepress.com/.
Least threatening 5 on 5 team in the history of hockey and I count my beer league squad among them. I’m flabbergasted that they’re still out there playing shinny halfway though the year and now they’re gonna pull a muscle patting themselves on the back for BARELY sweeping UNH. I guess passion tor destroying your opponent is out of style and lacing up your blades is merely a perfunctory gesture. The story on this era of BU hockey is now written. Buh bye.
I was impressed with the play of Commesso despite the fact the UNH announcers kept mispronouncing his name. I will take 5 out of 6 points any weekend. I know UNH is not top flight, but hey, it is a start
now i want to see if they can beat BC at home. in my book, that would make up for a lot of missteps this first half
It’ll be a 1980-level miracle if this “hockey team” gets back to .500 for the season. Even then, this is not an acceptable outcome. No excuses and no quarter for them. Play to win. Every. single. day. Accountability or death. If we’re talking about ANYTHING else, we’re talking about the wrong thing. Period. End of story. Turn the page. Buh bye (again…lol ;).
It is getting really hard to watch. Now it’s 10 breakaways without a real good attempt at a goal? Love the Terriers and always will but it actually looks like we don’t have any talented players; which we do!
Great article James accurate detailed analysis of the bu unh series but I’m confused by the bloggers comments I thought we swept UNH till I saw the thread and thought I saw the wrong games😂. Wow we beat a good team and it’s still not enough to please some of the haters. I’m proud of this team they were missing Phillips and O’Brien and they found a way to win both nights. Unh played well they beat some very good teams coming into this series but bu followed the game plan they did the little things to win both nights. Last night bu had nothing left in the tank but kept battling and was so happy to see Max Kaufman score what a leader this kid is. He works so hard and is so proud to wear the bu sweater. He got rewarded last night and he was deserving he was dominant this weekend. Our other Captain Logan scored this weekend and had a great series in fact our whole leadership Amonte Vlacic led by example. Comesso played great but as coach was saying we needed to play tough in front of him and we sure did kids were blocking shots and moving bodies as I mentioned in yesterday thread bu defense is improving every game and we are looking very good right now. We were definitely dragging a bit in third but Dom Fensore made sure Unh had to chase him around the rink I can’t say how big a role he played in this win kid never gets tired. When you don’t have the puck and chase like bu was doing in the third you get tired very fast especially at the Whitamore center line changes become difficult etc. but when you have Dom wheeling and dealing it allows time to get fresh legs on the ice he also tires out his opponent’s He’s the most underrated star in this league.
I see people complaining about goals but we have gone up against good goalies and good teams and if your winning 1-0 or 10-0 it still goes down as a win. I know so many will continue to hate because they bought a ticket on the piss and whine train and now can’t get off but for the few true bu fans rejoice in this weekend and get ready to face another tough opponent in Bc . A lot of season left but bu is heading in the right direction one weekend will not change their predicament but it’s a step in the right direction. Good job terriers keep up the good work. Go bu 🐾
I’m very happy we won two games but we most certainly did not beat a good team. UNH is #41 in the Pairwise. I need to see us beat a top 20 team to get any feeling we have a decent chance to win Hockey East and get into the NCAA tournament.
Unh just beat umass and Harvard which I think they top 20 ..so they suck yes I get it ..u just can’t give them credit it’s ok no worries see u in hockey east playoffs go Bu
No, I definitely cannot give them credit for sweeping a #41 Pairwise team. I don’t care about UNH’s mini streak before they played us. They’re a #41 Pairwise team, sorry! And now that I look at our remaining games, the only team that we play who is in the Pairwise Top-20 is UMass. So, there aren’t really any opportunities for us to show we’re for real until the HE playoffs in March. Perhaps if we can play the rest of our schedule and lose no more than two games, I will be impressed and change my tune.
Let s not get to excited. We only have two wins vs teams with winning records
Ozzie that might be true and I know we have a lot of catching up to do but I have been excited about the way we have been playing for the past few weeks even in our losses we played well. I’m excited Jay O’Brien may be back in line up he creates so much offensively it significantly changes our lineup. Friday night bu needs to play physical and keep getting pucks to net. Pucks will go in but don’t forget to do the little things that’s what gave them success this weekend
This might be true a AOC BU team has not beaten a BC team at Agganis