By James Garrison
The Boston University men’s hockey team (10-10-3, 6-6-3 HE) faced off against the University of Vermont Catamounts (4-14-2, 3-7-2 HE) for the first time this season Friday night at Agganis Arena where they fell 2-1 in overtime.
Having only lost one game in regulation in the last eleven games and continuing to climb the Hockey East standings, the Terriers looked to continue their hot streak against the 10th place Catamounts.
The Terriers struggled to find the back of the net and found themselves in a low-scoring battle with the Catamounts. Despite having twice as many shots as UVM, the Terriers were unable to find the back of the net.
“Tough way to lose a hockey game,” said Terriers’ head coach Albie O’Connell in his post-game press conference Friday night. “Offensively we weren’t sharp tonight,” added O’Connell.
The Terriers came out strong in the first period, outshooting a very turnover-prone UVM 14-3 who did not get their first shot until midway through the first. Despite going down shorthanded twice, the Terriers were able to kill both penalties off.
The Terriers finally broke through late in the first period when junior forward Matt Brown got in hard on the forecheck and was able to get the puck to the front of the net where his linemate, junior forward Robert Mastrosimone, was waiting for an easy tap-in.
After a rough first period, the Catamounts came out much stronger in the second period, outworking the Terriers and matching their chances in the offensive zone.
“I thought they broke the puck out pretty well in the second period,” O’Connell said when asked about the improved play of UVM after their first period lull. “We had some guys that weren’t skating tonight so that allowed them to break the puck out.”
UVM freshman forward Timofei Spitserov evened things up early on in the second off of a low-angle wrister that just beat Terriers’ goaltender Drew Commesso and surprised a BU team that was expecting more of what they saw from the Catamounts in the first period.
The intensity ramped up in the third period with just about nine minutes left in the period after Logan Cockerill took a roughing penalty after the whistle in a scrum in front of the UVM net. The Terriers aggressively killed off the penalty served by Cockerill.
Both sides traded late surges in the final five minutes but were unable to deliver any crushing blows and the Terriers would go on to play another five minutes of three-on-three hockey; their seventh overtime game of the season.
Exactly halfway through overtime, Catamounts junior forward William Lemay put home a rebound from Commesso to win it in overtime for the Catamounts, 2-1.
Despite having 43 shots, the Terriers did not have as many great scoring chances as that amount of shots would typically bring. Along with that, their power-play failed to execute, going 0/3 in the game.
“They did a good job blocking shots…anytime we went to go get a rebound, they were on our backs. They did a good job cleaning us out at the front of the net,” said O’Connell about the Terriers’ power play struggles tonight.
After tonight’s results, BU currently sits sixth in the Hockey East Standings, one point behind Merrimack College and two points behind Providence College. The Terriers will not have to wait long to get revenge though, as they will see the Catamounts tomorrow afternoon.
As the season gets closer and closer to its end, and points become more and more valuable, tough decisions will have to be made by O’Connell to put the best lineup out there possible for the Terriers to get some wins.
“We’ve got guys sitting there waiting in the wings who want to get in the lineup, who are hungry for it and will do everything willing to win the hockey game,” said O’Connell.
The Terriers will see a quicker turnaround than the typical weekend series, as they will face off once again with the Catamounts on Saturday, with puck drop set for 4:00 pm at Agganis Arena.
O’Connell added at the end, “It’s a big game, we’ve got to be ready”.
Coverage for that game can be found on the blog as well as live updates on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and on Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.
I disagree, Saturday’s 4pm game is not a “big game” as we are already out of contention for an invitation to the NCAA’s and can only get in via winning the HE Tournament. Furthermore, even if you were to try to reason that it’s a big game because we want to have a home game in the first round of the Hockey East Tournament, well that argument doesn’t work either because we have pretty much the same record on the road as we do at home … .500. So, it’s a game that I will follow and will cheer for us to win but in no way, shape or form is it a “big game”.
This one stung a big time opportunity to pick up points and we could not. This UVM team is a decent hockey team. They were not the better team tonight but they have been hanging around all season long against teams and if your not on your game they can pull off a upset which they did tonight.
Why do I say bu was off there game you might ask take the shot total out the window. If bu hit the net on a lot of there shots they could have put up 65 shots. There were a lot of great passes along the perimeter and bu even cycled well but we never got bodies to the net and rebounds. UVM goalie played well but he saw a lot of our shots they were not grade A opportunities. I wish we played faster and not as finesse and cute out there.
Have not heard to much negativity on the blog lately but a tough loss like this may bring some of the boo birds back out.
Bu was pressing more and more as the game stayed tied we were clearly the better team but we needed greasy goals we will need to get over this game and be ready for tomorrow.
Points are important and we did get 1 tonight even though we should have gotten 3 I will take the 1 it may make a big difference come playoffs.
These type of games happen in a year we just need to come ready to play tomorrow to do that we need less finesse and more brute power and dominance. Go bu 🐾
How s that unbeaten streak. Why would a coach make changes to the lines that had success. I know Colin these are all good kids and it does not matter.
So it’s time revisit the best coach in college hockey.
Back to no offense against the worst team in the country in the pairwise.
Sorry but a team at any level of any sport that has a 4-14-2 record cannot be considered a decent team. It is mutually exclusive to be 4-14-2 and be decent.
Glenn look at how many games they have been blown out by . One game 4-0 most games 1 some 2 goals they are decent there is not a lot separating bottom of hockey East to top of hockey East. The bottom line is bu did not do the little things and UVM hung on and got the points it stings no one was more disappointed then me but you have to move on and get a win today it’s that simple. We were not getting a at large bud it was clear to me we need to win hockey East and as mike said it’s any team can win it including this UVM team.
Good morning Colin. I don’t agree. IMO it makes no difference if you get blown out or if you lose by one ot two goals. What matters is they lost … many times. And yes, it’s possible UVM wins the Hockey East Tournament. It’s also possible that my Jets will win the 2023 Super Bowl. Both of those occurances have an extremely low chance of happening. We actually don’t have to get a win today. I want us to win but if we lose and get swept, we still have that same small chance of winning the Hockey East playoffs.
Our chances of winning hockey East are what they are. My point was not about bu loosing by 1 but that UVM has been in games loosing by only 1 or 2 and they hang around and compete and if your just a little off they pounce they play scrappy hockey bu will need to do the same tonight to win.
I understood your point completely and understood you were talking about Vermont. I just maintain that based on their record they are a really bad team. The fact that Vermont for the most part, only loses by one or two goals and plays a scrappy game in no way moves the needle for me in my assessment of them. Very glad we shut them out yesterday afternoon but until we beat a top 20 team, there is no reason to feel that things are looking up for our Terriers. This is not the viewpoint of a hater, just a Terrier fan who is a realist.
As my late and great uncle from Eastern Europe would describe our play tonight, “BU talk talk and no say nuh-ting.” For all of our possession we really didn’t test them too much.
If the Vermont goalie stood on his head, it would actually be more acceptable since that happens from time to time and you tip your cap. But we really didn’t generate many Grade A’s and their goalie didn’t have to work too hard despite the disparity in shots.
Effort wasn’t an issue. But we played like a freestyle team tonight. Lots of buzzing around and fancy moves but ultimately no finished product. Few shots on rebounds, lots of missed nets, and not enough desire to get a dirty goal.
I’m not at practices. I don’t know what the plans and strategy are. But it often seems like the team just does what it wants out there. Coaching be damned.
Vermont is the worst team in the PWR. They’re not really the worst team in college hockey but other teams (except for 3… now 4) found a way to beat them.
We dug our hole. Dug it deep. And that leaves no room for error. But we had another error tonight.
Disappointing and frustrating to say the least.
We’re a long long way off from being an elite team. We’ve got talent but we play mentally soft, maybe aloof, and have no consistency. Just a bunch of guys that can’t figure out how to put it all together.
Hockey East is having a really down year. Anyone in the league can beat anyone else in the league on any given night because there’s a lot of underachieving and parity in our league. Good in one sense because there’s no reason we can’t put together a run in the HE tournament. But bad in a sense because almost every other team in the league will think the same exact thing about themselves.
Take out a die and roll it. If you roll the same number three times in a row, that’s essentially our chance of getting to the NCAAs at this point. Let me know if it happens for you.
That’s why at large bids are so important. It takes a lot of the luck out of the equation. We need to play better, and consistently, against the rest of our schedule.
We haven’t shown that we can do that. Stranger things have happened but losing our goalie for a month plus lessens our chances.
Nothing we can do but start a win steak tomorrow and hope they can somehow figure things out.
They changed a winning lineup. Why? I’m really asking.
I did not see much change McCarthy still hurt. Zabeneh back in after one game. Cockerel in Amonte out not much change. I like Amonte in there to be honest I think coach might get him in today but Zabeneh was one of our best players don’t envy coach on this one but a message may be sent and a shake up might happen.
Glenn, i would take my chances on your J-E-T-S
and Mike, as my Italian grandfather would say about last night’s game, this season, and the best coach in college hockey: “Tutta la bullshit”
Not much change what game were you watching?
Two defensemen were unavailable. The forward lines were changed. First line remained the same but the others 3 lines were moved around. It’s a bad look when you do that and only score one goal and it’s against Vermont. Very costly as every team has games in hand on us
Second longest winning streak in the country the blog quiets down we play a bad game not terrible but bad and everyone is in a panic .I read Fire coach worst team ever assembled the personal attacks come flying against me as I’m a fan win or loose. I figured with a tough loss we would get a few negative comments and that’s fine disappointing because we have been playing very well till last night and many stay off the blog in that case only to come on here to criticize that’s unfortunate but I get it. Unfortunately in sports and hockey games like last night happen I’m curious of how bu comes out tonight.
I listened to coaches press conference this morning and I know many don’t understand the game of hockey like I do but my thoughts were very similar to coaches on what he saw last night. It’s hard for me to explain to folks who don’t understand or don’t want to understand how this game works. Games like last night are not rare. To prove this point let’s talk about a sport I know the least of college basketball. It seems like every year a number 1 or 2 seed looses to a 16 why because the games are played on the court or in our case the ice. So many on this blog are so quick to dismiss Vermont I’m not they are decent and getting better.
I’m disappointed by last night but I’m not even close to giving up we have a good team our play of late shows that
Although highly motivated to do so, I was spared the work of generating any constructive criticism of my own, given the efforts of the always astute “regulars”. To wit:
“I disagree, Saturday’s 4pm game is not a “big game” as we are already out of contention for an invitation to the NCAA’s and can only get in via winning the HE Tournament. “
“There were a lot of great passes along the perimeter and BU even cycled well but we never got bodies to the net and rebounds.”
“No offense against the worst team in the country in the pairwise.”
“A team at any level of any sport that has a 4-14-2 record cannot be considered a decent team.”
“Effort wasn’t an issue. But we played like a freestyle team tonight. Lots of buzzing around and fancy moves but ultimately no finished product. Few shots on rebounds, lots of missed nets, and not enough desire to get a dirty goal.”
“I don’t know what (our) plans and strategy are.”
“We’re a long-long way off from being an elite team. We’ve got talent but we play mentally soft, maybe aloof, and have no consistency.”
Needless to say, this season did not go as I had expected it to.
Who are these guys waiting in the wings willing to do anything to win games?
Do we have a farm team?
At least the Iggles lost by a touchdown to Providence.
UVM is a “decent team”? I guess it is possible that if you look throughout the history of the worst teams in the country in the Pairwise, this UVM team might be considered decent. Counting shootouts and breakaways, is there a team in the country with a lower percentage than us? Can we bring in someone who has a clue about how to score on breakaways? We always seem to lose add man rush opportunities by the player with the puck trying to make a great pass instead of shooting. Maybe our players do not have enough confidence in putting the puck in the net so they would rather pass. Not good.
“many don’t understand the game of hockey like I do ” really, Colin??? if you don’t say so yourself. but with your rose colored glasses on at all times, it makes sense that you would make such a pompous, arrogant statement .
hear this, Mr. Know It All. your homeboy OC is a lame duck. better start writing his obit now
many don’t understand the game of hockey like I do – that totally explains the nonsense you write. pa thet ic