Tilts against Union, Michigan, U.S. National Junior Team highlight Terriers’ 2014-15 schedule

By Conor Ryan/DFP Staff

David Quinn’s second go-around with the Boston University men’s hockey team looks to be a memorable, if not challenging, campaign.
The program released its 2014-15 schedule Thursday, revealing plenty of both new and familiar matchups for the Terriers.
Games against reigning NCAA champion Union College, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan and both the U.S. National Junior Team and the U.S. National Under-18 Team highlight the schedule for the Terriers, who are looking to rebound from a disappointing 2013-14 year.
BU’s season will kick off on Oct. 4, as the Terriers will host St. Thomas University-New Brunswick before opening up regular-season play on the road against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on Oct. 10.
The Terriers will then host the U.S. U-18 team on Oct. 18 before starting their home schedule the following weekend with games against Michigan State University and Michigan on Oct. 24 and 25, respectively.
Other notable non-conference games on the schedule include the first ever meeting between Union and BU at Agganis Arena on Jan. 3 and contests against Harvard University (Nov. 25), Colgate University (Nov. 29), Dartmouth College (Nov. 30) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Dec. 13).
The Terriers will also travel to Madison for the first time since 2000 to take on Wisconsin in a two-game road tilt on Jan. 9-10. BU will also move back to its old confines of Walter Brown Arena on Dec. 19 to take on the U.S. National Junior Team.
Twenty-two Hockey East games are set for the upcoming season, including a home game against Boston College on Jan. 16. Two Hockey East teams will be making their first trips up to Agganis this season, as BU will host the University of Notre Dame for a weekend series on Feb. 20-21 and new conference member University of Connecticut on Nov. 16.
The Terriers will kick off the 63rd annual Beanpot on Feb. 2 and 9 at TD Garden. BU will take on Harvard in the first round before taking on either Boston College or Northeastern University the following weekend.
For the full schedule, check out the “2014-15 schedule” tab on the left.

Matt O’Connor shines in loss to No. 4 Michigan

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — During the early goings of the third period, the No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team found itself in jeopardy of seeing its 1-0 lead disappear. After a scrum in front of the net, the puck bounced to the right of sophomore netminder Matt O’Connor, skidding over the goal line and eventually going under the net as it lifted off the ice.
Sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor makes a save during
the second period of Boston University’s 2-1 loss to
the University of Michigan on Oct. 25. 

As soon as the referee signaled goal, O’Connor, who already had more than 30 saves at the time, rushed toward an official. From the Toronto native’s perspective, Wolverine winger Luke Moffatt had pushed the puck across the crease using his glove.
“I just remember seeing no stick in the guy’s hand, and he was sort of in the crease,” O’Connor said. “Then he just kind of sweeped it in with his hand. I just immediately wanted to get to the ref before he made a full-out decision, and let him know.
“I don’t think they really deserved a goal on that play. We were all there, just a scrum and our players lifted sticks so they got a goal by using their hands.”
Just moments later, the officials determined via video review that the goal did not count. What looked like a break for the Terriers, however, did not last for long as Michigan capitalized on penalties to ultimately defeat BU 2-1 at Yost Ice Arena.
While the Terriers struggled to keep the puck in Michigan’s zone and, eventually, faltered against the top power-play unit in the nation, O’Connor’s performance kept BU in the game.  
According to BU coach David Quinn, who has bounced back and forth between starting O’Connor and sophomore Sean Maguire, the decision to start the 6-foot-6 netminder was based off a hunch.
“He’s a really good goalie, first and foremost,” Quinn said. “They both had great weeks in practice… I didn’t make that decision on my own, so I’m not going to take credit for it.”
O’Connor started off the game by stopping all 14 shots that he faced in the first frame. Nine of those 14 shots came during the Terriers’ three penalties.
“I was hoping for a bit of a fairy tale,” O’Connor said after the game. “With the way they possessed the puck in our zone, had so many scoring chances … and we were still going strong and battling hard in a crazy atmosphere.”
For O’Connor, getting a lot of action early, as well as hearing the taunts of “sieve” from the crowd helped him to focus in the beginning of the game.
“Just the atmosphere itself really gets you focused,” O’Connor said. “I think that’s what helps me sometimes. It’s just getting [ready] for a big game and playing in a big atmosphere so that definitely gives you that extra edge.”
O’Connor continued to stymie the Wolverines’ offense through the second period as he picked up 16 saves. After the goal was called off in the third frame, however, O’Connor and the Terrier defense could no longer fend off Michigan.
In between the Wolverines’ two goals, O’Connor grew heated and pushed Moffat. O’Connor, however, was not penalized for the shove that landed Moffat on the ice.
“Sometimes you have to protect your crease because they don’t really care too much about you over there,” O’Connor said. “I think that’s part of my game that I’ve worked on, to just be a little stronger in the crease by putting weight on, being a little more aggressive at the top of the crease, then holding my ground for those scrambles and here and there giving a little shove also helps you keep that mentality.”
Although O’Connor recorded more saves during the game than he had in any other start this season with 42, he will not make the start against Michigan State University on Saturday, according to Quinn.
“Obviously me and Mags both want to play every game,” O’Connor said. “That’s what makes us so competitive.” 

UPDATED: No. 13/14 Terriers blow third-period lead in 2-1 loss to No. 4 Michigan

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For 45 minutes Friday night, Matt O’Connor appeared on his way to stealing the No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team a win over No. 4 University of Michigan. Then penalties did the Terriers in.

The Wolverines (4-0-1) scored twice on the sophomore goaltender in a span of a minute and a half in the third period for the 2-1 win at Yost Ice Arena. BU (3-2, 1-0 Hockey East) was outshot 44-19 while suffering a loss to open its 2013-14 road slate.

“It was a lot of fun, as much as you can have losing 2-1,” BU coach David Quinn said. “Tonight was a lesson for a lot of our guys. Eight freshmen in the lineup who were playing in this environment and playing against a team of this caliber. … But you can’t play well three minutes in a period and expect to win a hockey game. It’s just not going to happen.”

Quinn harped quite a bit about penalties, and with reason. The Terriers allowed Michigan 14 shots on five power plays — including three in the first 10 minutes — and given that the Wolverines entered the night with the top conversion rate in the country (37.5 percent), it was only a matter of time until they broke through.

That finally happened with senior captain Garrett Noonan sitting in the penalty box after a tripping penalty. With 30 seconds to go on the power play, Michigan freshman Tyler Motte one-timed a shot from the back door to ruin the shutout bid and knot the game, 1-1, at the 7:16 mark in the third.

Moments later, with Michigan possessing most of the momentum, sophomore wing Mike Moran hooked junior Alex Guptill as he drove to the net for a one-on-goalie opportunity, resulting in a penalty shot. Guptill converted on the ensuing chance by beating O’Connor five-hole to give the Wolverines a 2-1 edge.

Quinn, who sat senior captain Patrick MacGregor for the first period for his five penalties in four games, did not take issue with Moran’s penalty and disagreed with the call on Noonan’s

BU (3-2, 1-0 Hockey East) had myriad chances in the final minutes — including one with Wolverine netminder Zach Nagelvoort caught way out of net — but couldn’t finish.

The third-period lapses put a damper on what had been a very sharp game for O’Connor, who finished with 42 saves. He carried the Terriers to a 1-0 lead through the first two frames, aided by a pretty goal from freshman wing Robbie Baillargeon.

The first period was a lopsided one — BU was outshot, 14-6 — but it capitalized on one of its few chances to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.

The Terriers were threatening in Michigan’s zone when Noonan won a forechecking battle behind the net and ended up in the bottom of the right circle. He sent a short pass to Baillargeon, who managed an off-balance shot from the dot before falling backward. The tally, Baillargeon’s fifth point in five games, made it through clean over Nagelvoort’s glove-side shoulder.

“He’s got great skills,” Quinn said. “He’s going to produce a lot of offense for us.”

O’Connor and the BU defense started to teeter at the start of the third. The Wolverines appeared to knot the score at one after a scrum in front of the BU net about three minutes in, but the officials waved it off after a review. The puck crossed the goal line before the net came undone, but replays indicated senior Luke Moffatt’s hand was what got it that far.

O’Connor came up strong again about a minute later with a big pad save before the Terrier defense cleared the rebound. Then, with the Noonan and Moran penalties, Michigan finally found the back of the net.

Quinn pulled O’Connor for the final minute and a half but to no avail. Sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen missed the last few minutes with cramps, but should be good to go Saturday when BU visits Michigan State University.

“I got worked a bit and that was a really strong team, so I think it was a good experience for our young team,” O’Connor said. “You know, first road trip, and I think we’re just going to move forward and obviously it builds the hunger and makes us realize we have to come prepared to play on the road as well.”

Live blog: No. 13/14 Terriers travel to No. 4 Michigan

Time/location: 7:00 p.m., Yost Ice Arena

BU lines: 
Tommy Kelley – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Matt Lane – Cason Hohmann – Robbie Baillargeon
Brendan Collier – Nick Roberto – Sam Kurker
Mike Moran – Dillon Lawrence – Kevin Duane

Ahti Oksanen – Garrett Noonan
Matt Grzelcyk – Patrick MacGregor
Doyle Somerby – Dalton MacAfee

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia

Michigan lines:
Tyler Motte – JT Compher – Evan Allen
Alex Guptill – Cristoval “Boo” Nieves – Zach Hyman
Phil Di Giuseppe – Andrew Copp – Derek DeBlois
Alex Kile – Travis Lynch – Luke Moffatt

Michael Downing – Mac Bennett
Nolan De Jong – Brennan Serville
Kevin Clare – Kevin Lohan

Zach Nagelvoort
Luke Dwyer
Adam Janecyk

Referees: Todd Anderson, CJ Beaurline
Linesmen: Timothy J. Likens, Tony Molina

Live blog: 

No. 13/14 Terriers look to jell in tough weekend in Michigan

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff
The No. 13/14 Boston University men’s hockey team has handled its first two weekends at home well, but the Terriers and head coach David Quinn will face their first road test of the season with a trip to Michigan. The Terriers will take on No. 4 University of Michigan Friday night in Ann Arbor before traveling to East Lansing for a game against Michigan State University.
For Quinn, taking a trip to face the Wolverines (3-0-1) in Yost Ice Arena will be an interesting challenge for a BU (3-1) team that relies heavily on underclassmen.

“It’s as loud and enthusiastic a venue as there is in college hockey and it will be a test for us,” Quinn said. “It is going to be interesting to see how our eight freshmen respond to this environment. They have never played in an environment like this before. It is going to be a true test for us.”