UPDATED: Terriers score five unanswered goals, trump Eagles 6-3 in Hockey East semifinals

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

There was no quit in the No. 17 Boston University men’s hockey team Friday night at TD Garden.

Thanks to five unanswered goals after the midway point in the game, the Terriers topped rival No. 4 Boston College 6-3 in the Hockey East semifinals, postponing BU coach Jack Parker’s retirement at least one more day.

“We came back from the dead, I thought,” Parker said. “The game could’ve been a lot worse after the first half of the game. But we hung in there and hung in there, and we got a little life and took advantage of it.”

With the win, BU (21-15-1) advances to the Hockey East finals Saturday night against Hockey East regular season champion No. 6 University of Massachusetts-Lowell with another win-or-go-home game. BU will not make the NCAA tournament without winning the Hockey East championship.

BC controlled play early, outshooting the Terriers 18-7 and peppering freshman goaltender Sean Maguire with high-quality scoring chances. Hockey East Player of the Year Johnny Gaudreau had Maguire beat on the doorstep with the game scoreless, but Maguire dove backward and got his glove on the shot to keep the game tied.

Maguire could not hold the Eagles scoreless for long, though. With less than a two minutes remaining in the period and the Eagles on the power play, BC forward Bill Arnold flung a shot toward Maguire and it deflected off BU defenseman Garrett Noonan’s stick and into the top corner of the net. It was Arnold’s 17th goal of the season and gave the Eagles a 1-0 advantage entering the first intermission.

BC was not done, though, as it continued to barrage Maguire with shots, taking the advantage to 29-10 at one point in the frame. Eagles captain Pat Mullane set up winger Quinn Smith for their second goal of the game 8:46 into the second, when he snapped a hard pass off Smith’s stick into the top corner on the rush.

“I thought that the game was so out of hand the first half,” Parker said. “I thought my guys were uptight, I thought we were struggling, we were losing pucks. I thought we were getting outskated.”

After Smith’s goal, though, the rest of the second period was all BU. Sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues snapped a wrist shot under BC goalie Parker Milner’s arm with 8:43 remaining in the second to bring BU within one. It was Rodrigues’ 10th point in his last nine games.

Less than two minutes later, freshman forward Matt Lane found the puck off a faceoff and chopped it off the boards past BC defenseman Danny Linell to spring himself on a breakaway. Lane calmly brought the puck to his backhand and slid it through Milner’s five-hole for the game-tying goal and his fourth goal of the season.

Lane’s line has been getting more ice time lately, and it has made use of it. The freshman winger now has points in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“It is definitely nice,” Lane said of the extra ice time. “It gets the legs going and I think we have come a long way offensively. We have gotten better every game since we have been put together.”

Noonan did not let the momentum stop there though, as he scored his sixth goal of the season with less than three minutes remaining in the second. With BC defenseman Mike Matheson in the penalty box, Noonan took a pass from freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and drilled a one-timer to Milner’s right.

Gaudreau found himself in the penalty box early in the third period, when he earned a five-minute major for cross-checking senior defenseman Sean Escobedo from behind. Escobedo left the ice with an apparent injury, but later returned to the game.

Freshman forward Danny O’Regan capitalized on the power-play opportunity, firing a shot over Milner’s shoulder from the slot for his 15th goal of the season. Freshman defenseman Ahti Oksanen and junior forward Matt Nieto earned assists on the play. It was BU’s fourth goal in less than 10 minutes.

O’Regan was not done on the power play. With forward Steven Whitney in the penalty box later in the period, O’Regan snapped home a rebound from Nieto’s shot and gave the Terriers a three-goal lead with 11:03 remaining in the third period. BU had a good night on special teams, going 3-for-7 on the power play while holding BC to 1-for-7 on the power play.

Whitney added another goal for BC with 6:17 remaining in the third, when he chipped a puck from a bad angle over Maguire’s shoulder. However, Maguire kept the Eagles out of the net for the rest of the game, finishing with 44 saves.

Rodrigues added an shorthanded empty-net goal with 2:29 left in the third for his second goal of the game and 14th of the season to seal the BU victory.

The Terriers will now face UMass-Lowell for a chance at BU’s first Hockey East Championship since 2009. The Terriers have lost all three of their games they played against the Riverhawks this season.

“Obviously, we have played them three times and we have not been fortunate enough to get a win yet,” Lane said. “But we know them better now and we are going to be studying them tonight and tomorrow, and hopefully it will be a different outcome.”

From the FreeP: Terriers facing tall order against BC

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

There are higher-stakes games than this in college hockey — though not many — but the No. 17 Boston University men’s hockey team must win Friday before it can worry about those.

At 8 p.m. at TD Garden, the Terriers (20-15-2, 15-10-2 Hockey East) will face No. 4 Boston College in their first win-or-go-home game this year, the semifinal of the Hockey East tournament. And going home, as everyone in scarlet and white is aware, means sending coach Jack Parker home from his last game behind the bench with a loss.

BU can’t make the national tournament without beating BC (22-10-4, 15-9-3 HE). Their best shot at the tournament would be winning the Hockey East tournament, although they have a slim chance of getting in if they lose in the title game.
The game will be unusual for Parker, and for all parties involved, without BC coach Jerry York behind the opposing bench. York had surgery for a detached retina on Monday, the second time he’s had the procedure this season, and is still recovering.

“I don’t think we ever missed a game, either one of us, a BC-BU game,” Parker said. “It’s too bad.”

Aside from York, though, a BC roster that had suffered some key injuries this year is almost back to full strength, as defenseman Patch Alber returned to the lineup for their quarterfinal series against Vermont.

BU’s defense will also get a boost with the return of junior defenseman Garrett Noonan, who missed BU’s last three games with a shoulder injury. Noonan, BU’s second-highest-scoring defenseman, will provide some much-needed relief to a defensive corps that’s been shorthanded without him.

For more, including comments from Noonan and freshman goalie Sean Maguire, go to dailyfreepress.com.

Players, coaches and friends react to Parker’s retirement

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Current players, former players and coaches alike had plenty to say about BU men’s hockey coach Jack Parker as he announced his retirement after 40 seasons. Here are some highlights, including comments from Parker’s former assistant Don “Toot” Cahoon and current players including seniors Sean Escobedo and Wade Megan, junior Garrett Noonan, and freshman Danny O’Regan.
Former UMass coach and former BU assistant Don “Toot” Cahoon
On what it’s like to see Parker call it a career: “I think he’s going to enjoy coaching down the stretch here as much as he ever enjoyed it, knowing the next recruit isn’t going to be his responsibility right now, knowing he doesn’t have to get on a plane to western Canada to close some deal.

“Just to be able to stay employed in one situation for 40 years speaks volumes about the type of character he is. But to be able to do it under the public’s eye, under the pressure he’s been in, you can’t help but tell his character, his wit, his sense of humor and his intelligence are at the highest levels. You wouldn’t survive otherwise.”

On good anecdotes involving Parker: “Most of them center around food. Jack used to always tease me. I would stop a meeting if I thought the pizza was at the door. I could think about a situation at Michigan State where we had a couple of kids with a couple of coeds from Michigan State. Jack was furious about, ‘I told these kids, no one in the room after 9 o’clock. No women in the room.’

“I go up there and there’s a couple of women in the room, and then there’s one even in the closet that I had to exit out. So Jack, being the rational guy he was, would never overreact and say, ‘This is what I’m going to do to you.’ He would say, ‘I’m going to get back to you guys.’ And then he’d come down and sort it all out so he made a good decision. So he came down to the room and I was there and he told me this story, pizza boxes up there, and all sorts of things up there, kids were partying with the girls.

“And he taps me on the shoulder. ‘So what would you do?’ I stopped him in his tracks and asked him if there was any pizza left. He never let me forget that.

“‘We’ll get to that other part, but did you bring the pizza back?’ So those are the types of things. We used to wrestle when we were younger. We’d get frustrated with a discussion and we’d just start wrestling, just like former players, but we were in our 20s at the time.” 

Former BU and NHL player Mike Grier 
On his first impression of Parker: “I thought he was pretty cool, actually. You go in his office and he is fast-talking and he is laid-back and he makes you feel comfortable. He is someone that you wanted to play for and enjoyed being around. I think he is that way today.”

On what people were saying about Parker and the program last year: “I was disappointed and a little bit upset that people were saying things about him that weren’t true, and things about the program that weren’t true. I don’t know if there is a stricter coach as far as what these kids can do and can’t do around here. I know how seriously he takes the school’s reputation. It is a little bit upsetting to hear but at the same time the people who really know what goes on here know that he did a great job and that he did all he could.”

Junior defenseman and assistant captain Garrett Noonan
On his reaction to the news: “Definitely really sad … but I’m really glad that he’ll get to enjoy his time with his grandkids. I know how much they mean to him. Coach means so much to us, and we’ll miss him so much.” 

BU sports information director Brian Kelley
On Parker’s competitive nature: “I can’t believe he’s as competitive as he is but he’s such a gracious loser. The combination is something I’ve never seen before in anybody. The best thing for me is, I know after a win or a loss he’s ready to go, ready to talk. That’s what I like the best. I can’t get over how gracious of a loser he is. He’s the same way around the opposing coach.

“He always likes to see the opposing coach again, shake hands on the ice and after the press. He’ll always stop and see them, especially at our place, even if he has to go back to the bus.”

Senior forward and captain Wade Megan
On what he’s learned from Parker: “He has taught me as much about the game of hockey as he has about life. Whether he knows that or not, a lot of the stuff that he has passed onto me is not just stuff I will use in hockey, but I’ll use it in my everyday life. I think I speak for all of the former players when I say that he is not just a hockey coach, he is a life coach. I’m just grateful that he not only gave me the opportunity to be here, but that he gave me the opportunity to be the captain of this hockey team.”

Freshman center Danny O’Regan
On only playing one year for Parker: “Coming in, I had a feeling he maybe wasn’t going to be here all four years anyway. I mean, we’ve just got to finish the year strong and hopefully win something for him.”

On his experience with Parker compared to that of his father (who played for BU in the 1980s): “I heard he has actually calmed down a lot … We kind of compare stories, and it seems like not a lot has changed, actually.”

Senior defenseman Sean Escobedo 

On what he’ll remember most about Parker: “He is definitely one of the most passionate coaches I have played for, whether it be a practice or a game. He always seems to be out of breath or something like that. Probably just being around him at practices, talking to him and getting to know him as a person away from being a head coach has been a real pleasure.”

On how Parker handled the task force: “I think he handled it the best way anyone could. He was up front with us about it, made sure that we were OK. The first thing that was always on his mind was us. He didn’t really care about himself too much. He was just making sure that we were OK, we were sticking together and that we were going to pull through this. He always remained positive with us and he made sure that we were a family and that we stayed that way.”

On Parker’s sense of humor
: “Bad recycled lines for years. He likes to use one with me, ‘I was born during the day, but not yesterday.’ Every time I try to pull a quick one on him he just throws that one at me. ‘Don’t make me laugh, I have chapped lips.’ He always uses that one. He’s got a couple good lines and he is not afraid to use them. That’s for sure.”

On what that second line means: “I don’t know. But he loves it. He’ll laugh at himself and walk away.”

BU defense steps up following loss of Garrett Noonan, holds Northeastern scoreless in win

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

The No. 18/19 Boston University men’s hockey team received a crushing blow to its defense when junior defenseman Garrett Noonan separated his shoulder, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. With sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera already missing the rest of the campaign due to a team suspension, the Terriers were whittled down to playing their final player on the roster, junior forward/defenseman Matt Ronan.

Down to its last resort, BU’s defense excelled Saturday night at Agganis Arena and held Northeastern University scoreless in a 5-0 BU win.

The defensive dominance started early for the Terriers, as they held Northeastern without a shot for a little over the first 18 minutes of the game. The Huskies barely controlled the puck in BU’s zone in the frame, as they only attempted eight shots — two of which were blocked.

Part of the success was due to the strong defensive-zone play of freshman defenseman Ahti Oksanen. Oksanen, who is recognized as an offensive-minded blueliner and has struggled in his own zone at times this season, had one of his best games of the season in terms of positioning.

Oksanen, who is 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds, struggled to handle some of the bigger forwards by BU’s goaltenders earlier in the season when BU lost to Northeastern twice, and even in Friday night’s BU win. However, Oksanen was more successful against Northeastern’s bigger forwards Saturday night.

“I thought Ahti played real well tonight,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “I thought he struggled a little bit last night, but he came back and played physical, played better with the puck.”

While Oksanen did not produce any offense on the night, three of his fellow defenders did. Senior defenseman Sean Escobedo, who celebrated senior night after the game, led defensemen with two assists in the game.

Escobedo, who is usually considered a defensive-minded defenseman, recorded his third multi-assist game of the season Saturday night. He was also a plus-2 on the night and blocked two shots, which leaves him tied for national lead with 91 blocks.

“I think [Escobedo is] the best defenseman in the league, defensive defenseman for sure,” Parker said. “He really gave us a lot of minutes and played well too.”

While Escobedo is not known for his offense, perhaps the most surprising point of the night came when Ronan earned his first career assist. Ronan rifled a wrist shot toward Huskies goaltender Chris Rawlings that junior forward Sahir Gill tipped into the back of the net. At first glance, it looked as if Ronan scored his first career goal in his fifth career game.

“I’d give [the goal] to him gladly if I could,” Gill said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have tipped it. But I was real happy for him.”

With Noonan watching the game from the stands, Ronan will be a part of the team’s lineup the rest of the season. Parker played five defensemen for most of the night, but appeared to give Ronan more ice time as his team’s lead expanded.

“[Ronan] played well in the defensive zone,” Parker said. “That’s what he’s got to do most, but he didn’t look nervous out there at all and he played well. Good for him.”

BU playing well against Northeastern’s offense bodes well for the Terriers entering the Hockey East quarterfinals next week. Merrimack’s offense was only slightly better than Northeastern’s during the regular season, averaging only .06 more goals per game.

“This is where it counts,” Gill said. “Win you’re in, you lose you’re out. Good finish to the season, but that’s all it is. It’s time to kick it up a notch and make it count.”

UPDATED: BU loses Garrett Noonan, likely for season, in 4-2 win over Northeastern

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

Amidst all the scoreboard watching and formula tinkering marking the final weekend of the regular season, the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team did the only thing it could have to help its cause Friday night: It won.

The Terriers (17-15-2, 14-10-2 Hockey East) beat Northeastern University, 4-2, on the hosts’ senior night at Matthews Arena to stay within striking distance of a home-ice spot in the conference quarterfinals with one game to play.

Four different Terriers scored against the Huskies (9-20-4, 5-17-4 Hockey East) for BU’s third win in four games.

“Hats off to Northeastern for how hard they worked,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They didn’t have anything to go for and we are still looking to get home ice. It was a good college hockey game to watch, I thought, and a good college hockey game to win.

“Both teams are missing a lot of bodies. But the guys that are out on the ice are working like heck.”

During the game Parker added another name to BU’s list of missing bodies: junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan.

Noonan got hit hard — but cleanly, the coach insisted — by Northeastern forward Josh Manson early in the second period.

According to Parker, the defenseman has a severely separated right shoulder and is likely out for the season. Noonan may need surgery.

“It was an absolutely clean hit,” Parker said. “Northeastern kid just caught him coming on to the net and just caught him shoulder to shoulder. It was an absolutely clean hit. There was no problem with that. He just caught him the wrong way.”

The Terriers didn’t miss a beat, though, even without one of their top defenseman and even after losing to the Huskies twice earlier this semester.

BU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first before forward Cody Ferreiro cut the lead in half with 1.2 second left in the period.

For BU, senior forward Jake Moscatel – a walk-on who joined the team for the second half of last season after going to the University of New England for two years — scored his first goal in the scarlet and white at the 12:19 mark.

Junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen, whose shot from the point got kicked away by senior Chris Rawlings. Moscatel was on the right side of the crease, however, to bang home the rebound.

It was his first point for the 24-year-old Lexington native and former BU club team member since the 2009-10 season with UNE. 

“The boys were pretty fired up. Everybody’s been pulling for me I guess,” said Moscatel, who has dressed for 10 games this season. “It was definitely good to help the team win and anything I can do.”

Senior captain Wade Megan netted his 15th goal of the season less than five minutes later off a pass from junior forward Sahir Gill. From the left circle Megan ripped a wrister, which initially looked like it got trapped by Rawlings but ended up trickling through his legs and into the net.

Neither team scored in the second, although the Huskies controlled play for much of the frame.

Junior forward Matt Nieto and his linemate, center Danny O’Regan, connected on a give-and-go at 2:14 in the third to give BU a 3-1 lead.

O’Regan started the play, sending Nieto down the left wing. Nieto centered from the circle and O’Regan, his fellow San Jose Sharks draft pick, tipped it past Rawlings.

O’Regan leads the team with 31 points on the season, and in Parker’s eyes is a top-three pick for Hockey East rookie of the year with Providence College goalie Jon Gillies and Northeastern forward Kevin Roy, who was out hurt for Friday’s game.

“He’s certainly had a terrific freshman year,” Parker said of his second-line center. “There’s a lot of good freshmen in this league. Danny’s certainly one of the best if not the best.”

At the 5:28 mark in the third, freshman forward Matt Lane gave BU some more insurance — insurance it would later need — when he took a pass from sophomore forward Cason Hohmann, cut toward the net from the bottom of the left circle and roofed it by Rawlings.

Lane’s goal completed the BU quadfecta — it got a goal from each of its four forward lines.

The Terriers got a bit unlucky at 7:28 when junior Cody Ferriero shot wide of BU’s not, only to have the puck bounce hard off the end boards and back near the crease for sophomore Adam Reid to tap it in.

Reid’s goal cut BU’s lead to 4-2, but the Terrier defense held the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way to cement the win.

Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire made 30 saves for the win in his first game since Matt O’Connor was ruled done for the season with a collapsed lung.

“Sean Maguire had a heck of a night,” Parker said. “Northeastern really moved the puck. They only had three power plays but they really moved the puck well and had some good looks on it. Sean had a couple of big saves there.”

BU has its final game of the regular season 7 p.m. Saturday at Agganis Arena against Northeastern.

Sitting in fifth place, the Terriers need a win as well as a loss from one of Boston College, New Hampshire of Providence College to get home ice for the conference quarterfinals.

From the FreeP: Noonan, men’s hockey team set for crucial home-and-home with UMass-Lowell

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

With seven games remaining in the regular season, this weekend’s matchups against No. 12 University of Massachusetts-Lowell are crucial to the No. 13/15 Boston University men’s hockey team. Against the surging River Hawks (16-9-2, 10-8-2 Hockey East), everything must go right — including junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan avoiding the costly mistake he made last time.

“I expect I won’t spear anybody,” the defenseman said.

On Jan. 19, when UML beat BU (14-12-2, 11-7-2 Hockey East) 4-3, Noonan collided with River Hawk goalie Doug Carr late in the game and was called for spearing. He was suspended for two games by Hockey East for the incident.

Noonan said Carr is a good friend of his, and that they laughed about the incident after the fact. With that suspension behind him and just six penalty minutes in five games since, Noonan said he is ready for another chance at the River Hawks.

“They’re in your face,” Noonan said of UML. “We need to play the body. We need to be physical right back at them. We need to be ourselves.”

After a loss to Harvard University in the Beanpot consolation game that may have marked the low point of a six-week-long skid, BU took three of four possible points last weekend from the University of Maine.

From the FreeP: BU prepared to take on Providence without Noonan

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

When Boston University junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan speared his stick into University of Massachusetts-Lowell goaltender Doug Carr last Saturday at Agganis Arena, he did more than just hurt his team’s chances of coming back from a 4–3 deficit in the final five minutes of the game.

Noonan will also miss the next two games due to a league-issued suspension that he earned on the play, weakening the No. 10/11 Terriers in a crucial home-and-home series against Providence College.

While it was the league that officially added a second game to the initial one-game suspension he earned with the penalty, BU (12–9, 9–6 Hockey East) coach Jack Parker said he had already told Noonan he would be benched for an extra game.

“[Noonan] knows it hurt his team,” Parker said. “Then, and this weekend too. He doesn’t want to do that.”

Noonan’s absence comes amidst the first BU losing streak of the season, as the Terriers dropped contests with No. 12/15 UMass-Lowell and Northeastern University last weekend. After finishing the first half with a strong 10–5 record, BU has gone 2–4 since coming back from winter break.

For more, including BU’s lines, visit dailyfreepress.com.

Three up, three down: Megan impresses, but oft-penalized defensemen continue to hurt BU

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff
The Boston University men’s hockey team lost its second straight game Saturday to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 4-3, the Terriers’ fourth loss in six games. Although the team’s play was tighter than the night before against Northeastern University, there were still a number of problems that kept them from catching up with the surging River Hawks.

Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong for BU.

Three up
Captain continues to battle
In the waning minutes of Saturday’s game, as the Terriers killed a five-minute major penalty, senior captain Wade Megan stood out.

Earlier in the period, Megan had converted a well-placed pass from sophomore center Cason Hohmann to bring the Terriers within a goal of the River Hawks. Then, during the penalty kill, he and Hohmann maintained pressure on UML and kept the puck in the offensive zone for much of the kill. They couldn’t score, but they didn’t let the River Hawks walk away without a fight.

With junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan ejected for a spearing penalty and senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka a healthy scratch, Megan was the only BU player left on the ice with a letter on his jersey. His one-goal, four-shot effort was one of the few clear positives for a team that looked out of control and distracted at times this weekend.

“A few guys really showed a lot of character with how hard they played tonight,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “Certainly, one of them is the captain.”

Despite overall issues, offense intact
Since Christmas break, BU’s defense has been inconsistent enough that its offense hasn’t been a focal point. But the Terriers did score three times against UML on 32 shots, and since their 6-0 loss to the University of Denver on Dec. 29, they have 20 goals in five games.

Parker said Friday that he wasn’t likely to rave about the offense when the defense was essentially losing BU games. It was at least somewhat encouraging, though, to see sophomore wing Evan Rodrigues pick up his third goal of the weekend on Saturday with a clean wrister in the third, and to see Danny O’Regan get back to his playmaking game with two assists and a goal on Friday.

Moscatel earning time
On a positive note for senior forward Jake Moscatel, Parker said he’ll stay in the lineup next Friday against Providence College. Parker said he didn’t know yet whether freshman Wes Myron would remain on the bench or rotate in for someone else, but that Moscatel would definitely play Friday.

Saturday was the second start of Moscatel’s collegiate career. He didn’t record a shot but fit into the fourth line on center Ryan Santana’s wing.

“I thought Jake Moscatel gave us some minutes when he got out there,” Parker said. “I was happy for him. He banged some guys, got the puck out of the zone and made some plays. He wasn’t worried.”

Three down
Repeat offenders in the box
Noonan and sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera have been taking turns as the team leader in penalty minutes for most of the year. Noonan moved into the lead on Saturday with 62 minutes on the year, but both led the parade of Terrier defensemen to the box that hurt the team in that game.

Privitera took two stick penalties, a cross-check and a trip, in the second period. While he was in the box for the latter, Noonan and UML captain Riley Wetmore received matching penalties for slashing, and then senior defenseman Sean Escobedo went off for a high-stick. With three BU defensemen in the box, UML scored a 5-on-3 goal to take the lead.

Although it didn’t directly lead to a River Hawk goal, Noonan’s spearing penalty at the end of the third was even worse: as he skated towards UML goalie Doug Carr in search of a rebound that didn’t come, he jabbed Carr and knocked him to the ice when the puck was nowhere nearby. He received a five-minute major and a game disqualification.

“I just told my team, I can’t explain to them how disappointed I am that we could revert back to being selfish and stupid with those type of penalties,” Parker said.

Defensive lapses continue
While they weren’t always as glaring as the ones on Friday, the Terriers still made a number of defensive mistakes. Some cost them on the scoresheet, while others only seemed to rattle them, but all were part of a continuing pattern of issues.

The River Hawks’ third goal, early in the third period, came immediately after a defensive-zone turnover by BU. And their fourth, the eventual winner, was a shorthanded 2-on-1 where freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk defended the pass and UML forward Adam Chapie had ample time to snap a wrist shot over O’Connor.

The problem wasn’t so much Grzelcyk’s decision to let O’Connor take the shooter (although he could have put a bit more pressure on Chapie) as it was the fact that, despite the man advantage, nobody else was back there with Grzelcyk.

O’Connor better, but not enough
Although Parker said freshman goalie Matt O’Connor “took a stride back to where we want him to be” on Saturday, and O’Connor certainly has been the victim of bad defensive plays, he wasn’t at his best against UML either.

O’Connor stopped 28 shots but appeared to struggle with the high ones, going down early and making it harder for himself to be in position. The recent problems of the defensemen in front of him cannot be overstated, but with that in mind, O’Connor still has allowed 15 goals in his last three starts.