Boston University men’s hockey senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks, Bob McKenzie reported on Friday. San Jose drafted O’Regan in 2012 in the fifth round with the 138th overall pick.
BU senior Danny O’Regan has signed a two-year entry level deal with SJ. Regan was SJ 2012 5th round pick. 17G and 44 PTS in 39 GP this year.
In his senior year in 2015-16, he led his team in scoring with 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists). He recorded his second career hat trick in a tie against the University of New Hampshire on Feb. 19. Hockey East awarded him with First Team All-Star honors for the 2015-16 season, after he finished third in the league with 28 conference points.
He was previously named to the 2014-15 Second Team and the All-Rookie Team in 2012-13.
O’Regan completed his Boston University career with 154 points in 154 games in a Terrier uniform. He is just one of 18 BU players in history to finish with 150 career points, and is tied for 15th place on the all-time scoring list. He has the highest career point total of any Terrier since Chris Drury finished with 214 points in 1998.
In all four seasons, he finished in the top three on the team in scoring, with his highest-scoring season coming during his 50-point junior season.
John Buccigross indicated on Tuesday that O’Regan would sign with the Sharks.
DURHAM, New Hampshire — For a few seconds in the third period, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team had what it wanted, and standings-wise, arguably needed.
There was some not-so-pretty play throughout its game at the University of New Hampshire, but BU gained a late lead on senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan‘s goal with 2:32 left in the third period.
In terms of the playoff picture, holding onto the lead would have kept BU within one point of No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell for fourth place in Hockey East.
But just as quickly as BU (17-9-5, 10-5-4 Hockey East) scored, it gave the lead right back.
Thirty-five seconds after O’Regan’s tally, UNH forward Maxim Gaudreault tied the game at 3-3. That’s where things would stay for the final 1:57 of the third and the five minutes of overtime, so the Terriers ended with a draw against the Wildcats (10-15-6, 4-9-6 Hockey East) at the Whittemore Center.
There was some good, some not as good and other stuff in between in this one, so we’ll break it down in this Pluses and Minuses.
O’Regan hat trick, first line clicks
Different wingers, good defenses, anyway you slice it, BU’s first line during its previous three games struggled to get anything going.
O’Regan, in particular, had gone three consecutive games without a point, matching a career-long scoreless streak that only happened one other time in his career, late in Feb. 2014.
That streak would not last into a fourth game, however, with O’Regan striking for three goals, the second collegiate hat trick of his career.
He came through with the first goal 12 seconds into the second, off a nice cross-ice feed from freshman winger Jordan Greenway. A little over six minutes after, while BU was in the midst of a power play, O’Regan one-timed a shot that trickled off goaltender Danny Tirone’s pads and past the the goal line.
The latter of the three saw O’Regan get to the netfront and wrist the puck high over Tirone.
O’Regan’s line has already changed a number of times this year, and it looked a little bit different with Greenway alongside freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. At least for the night, the changes paid off, as the freshmen added two points apiece.
Greenway, who was on BU’s top line to start the year, has gotten back to where he started, in large part because of his ability to use his physicality to his advantage. Two points through the first 13 games, Greenway now has 21 total — fifth on the team.
“Pretty good, they got three goals so I like that,” said BU head coach David Quinn on the first line’s play. “… I just thought that the way [Greenway] was playing and Danny and JFK I just thought that’d be a real good line.”
Shots on the rise, limited UNH chances
You could argue that this could be a minus because BU only scored three times. In the same breath, though, it was not as if BU didn’t get the puck to the net or close to it. In total, the Terriers accumulated 70 shot attempts as compared to UNH’s 30.
Especially in the first and third periods, BU’s shot attempts came from in close range in the slot or near the crease area.
“There was a lot I liked about our game tonight but obviously the result isn’t what we wanted,” Quinn said. “Obviously i thought we possessed the puck well, got pucks to the net, just weren’t able to capitalize and our goals we had to earn.”
BU’s defense, despite giving up three goals, for the most part held it together and limited the chances that sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee saw. It was momentary lapses that really came back to bite BU, which we’ll get to in a titch…
Two quick responses
If momentum does indeed exist, it did not last long for BU on Friday night, and that became more pronounced in the final minutes of the third period.
Off a BU turnover, UNH possessed the puck in the Terriers’ zone and also controlled the area in front of the crease. That’s where Gaudreault was when he rebounded in the tying goal, not even 40 seconds after O’Regan gave BU the lead.
Yet that wasn’t the first time the Terriers allowed a goal shortly after scoring one of their own. After BU’s second score, winger Jamie Hill snuck behind BU’s third defensive pair, junior Doyle Somerby and sophomore Brien Diffley, walking in alone from the offensive blue line to the net, where he slipped the puck under LaCouvee.
Quinn expressed his frustration with his team’s missed assignments on UNH’s final goal.
“Yeah, we turned it over, had possession entering their zone, we turned it over then our transition defense,” Quinn said, “we just blew coverage I mean first forward back did his job, the next two forwards got a little too deep and they get the puck to the point and we don’t block the shot and we don’t pick our stick up at the net front I mean just basic hockey and it’s disappointing.”
Failed five-minute major
Quinn said after the game that he was more pleased with the way his power-play unit played this time out. But there was one disappointing aspect. BU could not break through when given the chance on a five-minute major.
In fairness, the extended man advantage did carry over from the second period to the third, but the Terriers did not get a lot of great looks on net and also were not as quick on the puck as they probably would’ve liked.
The process is getting better for the power play, but Quinn said he would like to see the rubber hit the twine more during such opportunities.
“The five-minute major we didn’t do much with, disappointing it’s kind of disjointed when the period ends and you’ve got 1:40 on one side of it and 3:20 the next,” Quinn said, “so that being said, the power play was better but we’ve just got to do a better job on it.”
No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey head coach David Quinn praised his team last weekend for giving full, 60-minute efforts in two wins over the University of Maine.
Those are the kind of games, he said, that are needed down the stretch drive as points become even more valuable. Even against a team like Merrimack College, one that had lost nine in a row coming into Friday, the Terriers would need another complete performance.
In another wire-to-wire effort, the Terriers (14-7-4, 8-4-3 Hockey East) shut out Merrimack, 4-0, with the combined efforts of two netminders, senior Sean Maguire and sophomore Connor LaCouvee.
Four different Terriers scored en route to BU’s third consecutive win and fourth game in a row which the team has earned at least a point.
“I thought we played smart hockey, we possessed it, we didnt turn the puck over,” Quinn said, “a lot of good things and a tough game to play, tough game to play.”
We’ll take a look at the good, the bad and the straight up weird in this Pluses and Minuses.
Lane at the top
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume not many people had Matt Lane as their preseason pick to be the team leader in goals.
But as of the end of this game, that’s where Lane finds himself, though he is technically tied with his classmate, winger Ahti Oksanen.
A week after Maine head coach Red Gendron said his team had “no answer” for Lane and his linemates, Lane scored his 14th goal of the season about halfway through the third period of this one, getting his own rebound and tapping the puck past Merrimack (7-14-5, 2-8-5 Hockey East) goaltender Collin Delia.
The goal was one portion of his three-point night, the second straight game that Lane has recorded three points. In his last four outings, Lane is averaging two points per game.
A lot of what Lane has done to get better in the goal department, according to Quinn, is the fact that he is adding more practice time to his shooting.
“Well, number one, he skates so well,” Quinn said. “Two, he’s really worked on his shot, he’s scored some goal-scorer’s goals. He can really snap it, he gets it off quick, he understands you gotta get inside the hash marks to create some offense and it’s great to see him get rewarded.
“I mean, 14 goals for him is a heck of a senior year.”
Speaking of the other skater with 14 goals, Oksanen added his latest tally at the 18:42 mark of the third period, BU’s fourth and final goal.
But the goal, in the grand scheme of the game, was irrelevant. However, for Oksanen, it was more than just stat-padder.
The empty-netter was Oksanen’s 50th-career goal in the BU uniform, a pretty impressive feat considering the fact that he was a full-time defenseman at this time two years ago. He also joins senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan as the second Terrier to reach the half-century mark in career goals this season.
For as much as he shoots the puck — both during games and practice — Oksanen makes it work and continues to be a force any time he touches the puck in the offensive zone.
Seniors stand out
If it hasn’t been apparent already, the big takeaway from this game was the fact that the seniors played well.
Four elder statesmen (Lane, Oksanen, O’Regan and captain Matt Grzelcyk) combined for six points in the win. O’Regan’s lone point of the night came on a shorthanded attempt in the second period where he took the puck from center ice and broke all alone on goal, beating Delia up high.
“Danny played great tonight, had a lot of energy in the third period,” Quinn said, “him and Matt Lane I thought had really good third periods and, again, your seniors, your seniors have to deliver and three of them get goals tonight so good night for them.”
In the crease, Maguire made all the stops he needed to (27 total), including 10 on Merrimack power-play chances. But that’s only a smidgen of what happened with Maguire tonight. More on that in the minuses…
Bad break for Maguire
Early in the first period during a Merrimack rush, Maguire didn’t quite look himself. It wasn’t the fact that he wasn’t stopping the puck, but he couldn’t move from post-to-post with the quickness that he normally has.
But it was no fault of his own. In an unfortunate incident, his skate blade somehow popped off, and he was forced to come out of the game for a 5:49 stretch to get it fixed.
In that brief span, Maguire not only lost his bid for a shutout (he would have had to have played the full game), but he also lost his chance for a win. Junior forward Robbie Baillargeon scored what turned out to be the decisive goal, which gave LaCouvee the victory.
It wasn’t as if the BU penalty kill wasn’t good, as it went a perfect 6-for-6 for the evening.
But the fact that the Terriers took six penalties in one game is definitely on the negative side. The second period could have gotten out of hand, with the Warriors garnering seven shots on net.
BU’s power play had ample opportunity to get an extra-man goal, but went 0-for-4. Going back to the Terriers’ 1-1 tie with No. 5 Boston College, BU is 1-for-18 on the power play.
Quinn held no secrets about his feelings toward the power-play unit on Friday.
“Didn’t like it,” Quinn said. “Not surprised we didn’t have success. Just, we’re too slow. We’re too methodical, we’re too slow, there’s no pace to our power play right now, which is kind of funny because it was clicking at a great pace when we came back from Christmas but we’re just, we don’t have a shooter’s mentality, we don’t pass it quick enough.
Seven months removed from season-ending shoulder surgery, Boston University junior captain Matt Grzelcyk was forced to don a red non-contact jersey during Bruins development camp last week.
MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO
BU defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will captain a BU team
looking to rebound from a lackluster 2013-14 campaign.
But the 5-foot-9 defenseman will once again be ready to don the Scarlet and White this fall.
The Charlestown native took part in his third development camp with the Bruins, who selected the puck-moving blueliner in the third round (85th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
While Grzelcyk was held from contact during the five-day camp held at Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington, Mass., he was still able to take part in certain drills and showcase the agility and playmaking potential that made him one of the Terriers’ most dynamic players over the last two seasons.
Grzelcyk, who played alongside fellow Hockey East talent in players such as Boston College sophomore forward Ryan Fitzgerald and Northeastern sophomore defenseman Matt Benning during the camp, said that attending the event has been an important part of his offseason regiment over the past three years.
“I mean, it’s always fun to come in for a week and just learn from all the management and see what they have to say so we know what to work on when the season comes along,” Grzelcyk said after the camp’s final scrimmage Sunday afternoon.
Seeing Grzelcyk back out on the ice should serve as a relief to a BU community that last saw the defenseman play Jan. 8, 2014 in a 4-2 loss to Dartmouth College. Just days before BU’s Frozen Fenway tilt against the University of Maine Jan. 11, Grzelcyk dislocated his left shoulder in practice and was forced to undergo season-ending surgery.
The loss of a playmaker like Grzelcyk – who recorded 28 assists in 57 games with BU over the past two seasons – had a massive impact on the Terriers.
During the 19 games in which Grzelcyk dressed, the Terriers posted a lackluster record of 7-10-2. In the 16 games following Grzelcyk’s injury, BU put up a woeful 3-11-2 line.
The results looked even worse on the BU power play during Grzelcyk’s absence. In 19 games with a healthy Grzelcyk, the Terriers successfully converted on 18 of 76 power-play opportunities, good for a 23.7 percent conversion rate – one of the highest marks in the country at the time.
Without Grzelcyk quarterbacking the team out on the ice during the man advantage, BU managed just eight power-play goals in 73 chances – a shocking 10.1 percentage rate.
Despite the severity of his injury, Grzelcyk stated that his shoulder feels fine and that wearing a non-contact jersey was more of a precaution than anything during the camp.
“[The shoulder] feels 100 percent,” Grzelcyk said. “I just want to make sure I’m ready for October.”
After a disappointing 2013-14 campaign that saw BU slump to a ninth-place finish in Hockey East, the Terriers appear to be primed to make a comeback this season.
Not only does BU feature a strong returning core that includes Grzelcyk, senior forwards Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues, junior forward Danny O’Regan and sophomore forward Robbie Baillargeon, but an impressive recruiting class should also provide a shot in the arm for the Terriers.
Notable members of the upcoming class include defensemen John MacLeod and Brandon Hickey, as well as standout forward Jack Eichel, who has the potential to be the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
For Grzelcyk, the addition of these new players should have multiple benefits during the season.
“It definitely creates a little more excitement in the locker room,” Grzelcyk said. “I think it’s good for the returning guys because we’ll have a lot of good competition in practice and stuff, so I think only good can come from it.”
Grzelcyk will take an even larger role with the team going forward, as the USNTDP product was given the title of team captain in April. Despite the honor, Grzelcyk said that he will not change his approach both on and off the ice this season.
“I’m probably just going to stick to what I’m doing, that’s what got me the recognition in the first place but it’s always nice to have that trust and belief from your teammates and coaches and things like that,” Grzelcyk said. “It’s definitely a humbling experience.”
While Grzelcyk was not able to fully participate in all of the drills and scrimmages during the camp, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli acknowledged that he was happy with Grzelcyk’s performance as a whole.
“I thought he was good,” Chiarelli said. “He wasn’t able to participate fully, but Matt’s had a good collegiate career so far and I would anticipate that he picks it up again when he gets back. We’ve got some real good skating defenseman and he’s one of them. I was happy with it.”
The 2014-15 season may be over two months away, but Grzelcyk said that both he and the team are already focused on erasing the memories of a lackluster 2013-14 season and returning the Terriers to the top of the Hockey East standings.
“I think everyone is confident in a turnaround for sure,” Grzelcyk said. “It was a tough year with transitions and new recruits, a new coach and stuff, but I think we can use it to our advantage and kind of motivate us for the season going forward.”
DURHAM, N.H. — Close, but not close enough. Better, but not good enough.
The Boston University men’s hockey team came close to a win against the University of New Hampshire Friday night and, were it not for several highlight-reel saves from Wildcats goaltender Casey DeSmith against an improved first line, the Terriers very well could have left Whittemore Center with a victory.
Instead, BU (8-17-4, 3-9-3 Hockey East) lost 4-3, its six consecutive game without a win. BU outshot UNH (17-15-1, 9-8 Hockey East) 40-27, including 13 shots in the final frame. It was the first time the team has outshot an opponent since a 4-1 win over Bentley University on Dec. 13, and much of that recent improvement can be attributed to the play of the first line.
That line, consisting of junior Evan Rodrigues, freshman Robbie Baillargeon and sophomore Danny O’Regan was doing nearly everything right on Friday. Those three combined for 15 of BU’s 40 shots, and each scored a goal against UNH. They are responsible for five of the six Terrier goals in the past two games.
“I thought the three of us were really moving tonight and making smart plays and being creative when we could and making plays down low,” O’Regan said after the loss to UNH. “I thought we were really clicking tonight.”
Rodrigues gave the Terriers life near the end of the first period, scoring a power-play goal on a rebound with 7.7 seconds left in the frame. He also assisted on an O’Regan goal at the 8:53 mark of the second period. It was the second consecutive multipoint game for Rodrigues, as he notched a goal and an assist against Harvard University in Monday night’s 6-2 loss.
BU coach David Quinn attributed the improved play of the first line in part to Rodrigues’ health. Rodrigues dealt with a knee injury earlier in the year but has started to recover.
“Well he’s getting healthier,” Quinn said. “I really like that line … Evan still has to shoot the puck more. He has to shoot quicker because he gets a lot of chances, but it’s nice to see him getting on the scoreboard because we need him. We need him to score goals and create offense.”
O’Regan’s goal came midway through the second period on a deke around DeSmith, bringing the Terriers within 3-2.
“We were all going off the adrenaline of the score and the chances on each shift,” he said. “We felt great.”
The Terriers certainly felt that adrenaline late, and were within 4-3 after a Baillargeon goal midway through the third frame. O’Regan could have tied the score up and gotten his 10th goal of the season with just minutes left in the game, but an unbelievable save from DeSmith preserved the score at 4-3. O’Regan lay on the ice in disbelief for several seconds after the save.
“We played the right way in the second and third period,” O’Regan said. “The whole team was really buzzing. We were all over them. A couple mistakes cost us, but I think offensively we were right on point. We ran into a hot goalie, got a little unlucky. A bounce here, a bounce there … I thought we did the right things. It was a tough loss. It seemed like stuff was starting to come together.”
Quinn said that the first line is starting to come together due in part to the players’ increased focus on simplicity.
“The game dictates that you need to just chip it behind somebody and go get it, or just make the simple play and that’s one thing we’ve been talking about,” Quinn said. “This isn’t about special plays, this is about making the simple by over and over again and if you do that, the special plays will just happen. And I thought that line is doing a much better job of it.”
O’Regan also noted that the line has been playing in a much improved, simpler fashion as of late.
“We have been playing a lot better lately,” O’Regan said. “We are starting to work hard. Making the simple plays is starting to work out. We are three guys who have some pretty good chemistry and have been keeping it simple. I think that was the key tonight.”
But Quinn said ultimately, while the Terriers and the first line in particular have shown great improvement over the past few weeks, it is frustrating not to escape with a win.
“We’ve made a lot of strides, we’ve played a lot more purposeful, we’ve been a lot more mature as a hockey team over the last month and we don’t have a lot to show for it,” Quinn said. “… [I’m] happy with the effort, happy with the progress we’ve made, very disappointed in the result.”
A couple of Boston University men’s hockey players will be turning in their scarlet and red for red, white and blue later this month, as sophomore forward Danny O’Regan and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk were named to the 26-man preliminary roster for the 2014 United States National Junior Team Wednesday.
O’Regan and Grzelcyk will participate in training camp from Dec. 15 through Dec. 18 at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena and are looking to remain on the final 23 players going to the tournament in Malmo, Sweden from Dec. 26, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014. For more on the U.S. team, check out Chris Peters’ United States of Hockey blog.
BU coach David Quinn, who helped the U.S. to a bronze medal in the 1986 World Junior Championship, said he was excited for O’Regan and Grzelcyk to play in the tournament.
“Every time a guy goes and plays in the World Junior tournament and comes back, they’re better players,” Quinn said. “It happened to me, it happened to me when I was here. It happens to those guys when they go and they become better players. Playing on that stage against the competition, you just come back with a whole new level of self-confidence and it really helps you.”
Grzelcyk, who was the final cut from the 2013 U.S. team that won the gold medal in Ufa, Russia, said last year’s experience has helped his mindset entering this year’s camp. The Charlestown native has one goal and six assists through 14 games this season with BU.
“I think just being at the tournament and even just seeing it from a bird’s eye view and just getting a feel for the atmosphere at the tournament and stuff like that gives you a little more confident going into camp,” Grzelcyk said.
“I think just [the 2013 U.S.] team was obviously really great, they won the gold. I don’t really hold much of a grudge at all. Obviously they made the right decision.”
O’Regan, who led the Terriers in scoring last season and is tied for the team lead in goals this season with five, was not among those invited to training camp last season. However, he had played with the U.S. U-18 team in 2011-12, and totaled 10 points in 14 games with the squad.
“Just seeing my name on the list was truly an honor,” O’Regan said. “Everyone is a great player, so yeah I’m just really excited to be on the list and to be going to the camp in Minnesota.”
BU recruit Jack Eichel was also named to the preliminary roster. Eichel is the youngest player on the roster, as he was born Oct. 28, 1996. However, he has some high expectations for the tournament based on his play with the U.S. National U-18 team this season, as he has totaled 17 goals and 35 points in 19 games for the team.
Grzelcyk said he has played with Eichel, who is from North Chelmsford, in a couple of tournaments and a Wednesday night league.
“He’s a really good kid and obviously he’s really talented to be the youngest guy there,” Grzelcyk said. “So it’s a true honor for him.”
Scoring from the middle The Boston University men’s hockey team has high expectations from its top two centers, and for good reason. Sophomore center Danny O’Regan led the team in points (38) a season ago, while junior center Cason Hohmann scored more than a point per game through the first half of the season.
The duo showed why those preseason expectations were so high Saturday night, when they each scored in the Terriers’ 3-2 win over the College of the Holy Cross. O’Regan’s goal in particular was a pretty one, as he found a seam in the Crusader’s defense and undressed goaltender Matt Ginn with a deke before backhanding the puck into a gaping goal.
It came as no surprise that the top two centers made a big impact in the game, but it was a nice sign for the Terriers that two of their top contributors are back on the scoresheet.
Nick Roberto provides spark on power play It was not just the two returning centers that shined Saturday night. Freshman center Nick Roberto scored his first collegiate goal — second if you count the goal he scored in the preseason game against St. Francis Xavier University — and had several other scoring chances in the contest.
“He’s a guy that we’re lucky to have,” said BU coach David Quinn. “I think his best hockey is ahead of him. He’s certainly made the transition to college hockey, I don’t want to say look easy, but it’s certainly been a smooth transition for him, and he has fit right in.” Roberto has found a nice niche as a man in front of the net on the power play, and has won several puck battles against bigger defensemen than him. If he can continue to do that, he may find himself with more of an even more prominent role than he already is.
Playing time spread throughout roster Quinn started the year by saying that he didn’t really know much about his players, as he had only spent a few weeks with the group. After the first weekend, Quinn has gotten to know his players a lot better as every player on the roster (with the exception of third-string goaltender Anthony Moccia) earned ice time on the weekend.
After freshman forward Brendan Collier, senior forward Matt Ronan and freshman defenseman Doyle Somerby made their season debuts Friday night, sophomore forward Mike Moran, freshman forward Kevin Duane and freshman defenseman T.J. Ryan all appeared in Saturday’s game.
“I did it because I thought they deserved to be in there,” Quinn said. “From a numbers standpoint we have 14 forwards and seven D-men. It’s not like we’re dripping with bodies around here. The guys that came in tonight certainly had great nights.”
Three Down MacGregor familiarizes himself with sin bin The season is still young, but senior captain Patrick MacGregor has already found himself in the penalty box more at consistently high rate. MacGregor has four minor penalties through the first two games, including another two interference penalties Saturday night.
MacGregor was good defensively for the most part on the weekend, but he was also the man matched up with Holy Cross forward Mike McNamara when the Crusaders scored their first goal of the game. He will have a longer leash than most in terms of making mistakes due to his leadership abilities, but Saturday’s contest featured a few notable ones that need to be fixed come next weekend.
Ryan shaky in debut Ryan made some nice plays, including one where he forced a turnover with a nice pinch at the blue line and created a scoring chance. However, the freshman made multiple poor decisions with the puck in his own zone that led to turnovers, and was not particularly good in one-on-one situations.
The one play in particular that stood out with Ryan in one-on-one situations was the Crusaders’ second goal, when forward Adam Schmidt faked outside and slipped inside on Ryan before being tripped up and scoring a goal from his stomach. Ryan was beaten and then tried to recover by taking a penalty*, but Schmidt scored the goal anyway.
While Ryan was not great Saturday night, it is important to keep in mind that it was only his first collegiate game and that most freshmen need time to adjust to the faster pace of play early in the season.
*Correction: Ryan was not called for a penalty on the play. The referee raised his arm for a delayed penalty as Schmidt was hooked down on the rush, but the penalty was waved off once the goal was scored.
Terriers struggle with power-play conversion BU has scored twice in two games on the power play, but it has missed several other opportunities to cash in with a man advantage. Currently, the team’s power play percentage is at 16.6 percent (2-for-12).
It is not that the Terriers have not moved the puck well, but rather that there is nobody available to finish off the passing play. During a first-period power-play opportunity, Hohmann had the puck to Ginn’s right three times with the opportunity to shoot, but elected to pass into a crowd of defenders instead. The idea was right, in that there were forwards with open chances at the goal if the puck had reached their sticks. However, the Crusaders defenders were playing to defend the pass, leaving Hohmann with an open look at goal.
Hohmann’s power-play goal Saturday night came off of a rebound, as senior captain Garrett Noonan’s shot bounced off of Ginn’s pad and into space where Hohmann easily finished the play. Perhaps the Terriers will look to create more opportunities off of shots Friday against Rensselaer.
Jack Parker’s last season as the Boston University men’s hockey coach will be remembered for that reason alone. It will also be recalled as a hard season to figure: The Terriers, despite their youth, played a strong first half, a nearly perfect month of March wand a six-week stretch between those two that doomed their year.
“If you told me at the beginning of the year we would have gone to the Hockey East championship game, with as young a team as we had, I would have said that’s a pretty good year,” Parker said. “But not the way it unfolded. The bookends were pretty good. The six-week span in January was the ‘blah.’”
BU (21-16-2, 15-10-2 Hockey East) began the season dressing nine freshmen regularly. The team later lost center Wesley Myron to the ECHL, but nearly every other rookie made significant contributions in the end. With the amount of playing time they got, they had no other choice.
Freshman Danny O’Regan proved himself a top-six center and led the team with 38 points. Freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk finished with 23 points, third among all Hockey East defensemen. In net, both freshmen Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor played well enough to start alternating games all year, until O’Connor suffered a collapsed lung near the end of the season.
“I remember thinking that we had to have either [sophomore center Cason] Hohmann or [Yasin] Cissé make a big jump from the year before, and we had to have either Myron or Danny O’Regan play on the first two line centers,” Parker said. “As it turns out, Hohmann made a big jump and O’Regan played great.”
Between the freshmen jumping in and older players, including Hohmann and senior captain Wade Megan, starting off hot, BU went 10-5 in the first semester against the nation’s toughest schedule. It faced Boston College and the University of New Hampshire three times and the University of North Dakota twice, beating each once.
For more, including a look at why BU may have struggled so much in the middle of the season, go to dailyfreepress.com.