The No. 13 Boston University men’s ice hockey team fell to Harvard University, 7-4, to finish last in the Beanpot for the second time in three years.
The Terriers (13-12-1, 10-7-1 Hockey East) jumped out to a 2-0 start before Harvard went on a 6-1 run over the course of about 40 minutes. Here’s a look at what went right — not a whole lot — and what went wrong for BU.
The man-advantage was a focus for the Terriers during their week between Beanpot Mondays, and it seems to have paid off, albeit in a loss.
BU had failed on 13 consecutive power plays chances but came through twice vs. Harvard. First sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues found the back of the net just 1:38 into the second to put BU up 3-2.
Then in the third, with the game well out of hand, sophomore forward Cason Hohmann did the same thanks to assists from linemates Wade Megan and Sahir Gill.
Senior captain Megan even tallied a shorthanded goal in the first period to make it a good day for BU special teams.
The senior forward got some time on the power play vs. Harvard, manning the crease and trying to screen Crimson goalie Peter Traber.
BU coach Jack Parker’s lineup tweaks paid off again when Santana collected a pair of assists to double his total on the year. He set up freshman forward Mike Moran’s tally to open the scoring before assisting on Rodrigues’ goal.
With BU’s forward depth essentially nonexistent — defenseman Ryan Ruikka has been playing forward and senior forward Jake Moscatel has a separated shoulder — Santana could become an increasingly important role player for the Terriers down the stretch.
Yes, it is hard to find positives in BU’s loss — but it’s easy to tip your cap to a freshman finally scoring his first goal of the season.
The Marshfield native found the rebound off Santana’s original shot and one-timed it into a wide open net at 3:12 in the first to give the Terriers their first goal of the game.
Moran had to fight for a lineup spot earlier this season, but with this season’s pair of mid-year departures that is no longer a problem. He, just like Santana, might play a bigger role in BU’s final nine games.
Maguire had looked like he was starting to separate himself from fellow freshman netminder Matt O’Connor, and Parker said Maguire may have started Monday vs. Harvard even if he played vs. Merrimack Friday (a game postponed due to weather).
But the 6-foot-2 goalie gave up six goals on just 30 shots, giving him an ugly .800 save percentage on the night. He allowed a few big rebounds and at times looked lost when trying to find the puck, chances even the 6-15-2 Crimson jumped on.
Maguire appeared to have taken a whack in the head at the hands of a Harvard stick toward the end of the first, and after the buzzer he was hunched over with a trainer before leaving the ice.
“He seemed fine,” Parker said of the goalie and his head. “He wasn’t fine at the time, but he was fine after that.”
Penalties, early and often
If you had to summarize BU’s season in one word, “undisciplined” might be it.
Penalties marred the Terriers again Monday night, just as they have so often have this season in general and the last month and a half in particular.
Freshman forward Sam Kurker took a pair of interference penalties less than five minutes apart in the first to get the parade started.
Sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera opened the floodgates with his five-minute kneeing penalty and the game misconduct partnered with it — his third ejection of the season — late in the second.
In all, BU committed nine penalties for 29 minutes.
Parker had no answers when it came to why his team spends so much time in the box. He has said in the past he punishes players for “dumb” penalties with 20-mile bike rides, but that does not seem to be working.
“Most of our stupid penalties are at the end of the game when we don’t like what is happening and we let our emotions go the wrong way,” Parker said. “We have to just remove guys from ice time. That is the only thing you can do … If you don’t get on the ice, it is hard to take a penalty.”
Clearly there is a lot wrong with the Terriers right now, and “motivation” is far from the only way to label it.
Parker said one of his team’s problems is that they can’t get up for games, Monday included. He said even when his team went up 2-0 about halfway through the first period it wasn’t playing particularly well, and that lack of enthusiasm indeed came back to bite them.
BU is now 3-7-1 since Christmas and on the bubble for home-ice advantage during the Hockey East playoffs and a national tournament bid. All that comes after first semester that left them looking like one of the best teams in the country.
“The major problem is the lack of compete and the lack of coming to the game and putting it on the line,” Parker said.
“They are almost waiting for something bad to happen.”