Pluses and Minuses: Plenty falters for BU men’s hockey as team’s quest for Hockey East title ends

LOWELL — At the Tsongas Center on Saturday, things got bad quickly, and then they got even worse. The No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team needed a win to advance in the Hockey East Tournament, after losing the first game of the best-of-three series on Friday to the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell.

It was never really a contest. Lowell took a 3-0 lead by the end of the second period, and added two more goals in the final frame for a 5-0 final result, sweeping BU and ending the Terriers’ chances at a Hockey East Tournament run.

Usually we say we have some things we like, things we didn’t like — but tonight, there really wasn’t much to like. So really, here’s a breakdown of a whole lot of things we didn’t like — and here’s another take of just how wrong things went, brought to you by Judy.

Minuses

Boyle was good…but then there’s also BU’s offense
Credit to Lowell’s goaltender, Kevin Boyle, who secured a new school record for shutouts in a single season when he got his seventh of the year on Saturday.

Boyle attributed his teammates for blocking shots — BU had 70 shot attempts, but only 24 of them went on net, the lowest total for BU since a 4-2 loss to Michigan on Nov. 21. For the most part, save for “a pretty good flurry right before they made it 3-0” that BU head coach David Quinn noted, it never felt like BU was ever threatening.

Only one player had more than four shots — freshman forward Ryan Cloonan, who hasn’t had more than two shots on goal since January — and BU’s usual suspects shooting-wise, seniors Ahti Oksanen (one shot on goal Saturday), Danny O’Regan (three SOG) and Matt Lane (three SOG), were kept relatively quiet.

BU’s goaltending decision
After Lowell’s second goal, Quinn decided to pull starting goaltender Sean Maguire and replace him with sophomore Connor LaCouvee, which had all three of us sort of scratching our heads — and a lot of the BU fans near where we were sitting were scratching their heads, too.

Quinn referred to the decision as a “gut feeling.” While neither of the goals was exactly the most difficult test Maguire has had to face this year, it seemed a bit odd at the time. But it’s not like BU had any goals by the end of it, so it didn’t really matter by game’s end whether the goalies combined to give up only two goals or five goals.

And it’s not on us really to say whether Maguire would have given up the three subsequent goals that LaCouvee did once he took over, or if Maguire would have settled down after that. There’s no real reasonable way to predict that. But at the time, it was a questionable move, at least to me, that you’d pull the guy who’s been the one to overwhelmingly keep you in games all season long. 2-0 isn’t an insurmountable deficit to overcome — BU’s done it before — so it still seemed pretty premature, gut feeling or not.

The team mentality — missing?
Something the three of us have admired in our time covering college hockey is how well UMass Lowell always seems to do for having, relatively speaking, not a whole lot of “star power,” at least in the traditional sense.

And a pretty interesting point was brought up Saturday, so I think it’s worth discussing in terms of comparing BU to Lowell. Quinn noted that the River Hawks “may not have stars other than their goalie, but a lot of good players.” Which, if you’re looking at awards, recognition, et cetera, is true — just one of Lowell’s players is drafted, and he, Evan Campbell, a fifth-round draft pick by the Edmonton Oilers, hasn’t played since Feb. 12.

Otherwise, you’re looking at a team that has made the NCAA Tournament three times in the last four years — just barely missing out last season after losing the Hockey East Championship in 2015 — and Norm Bazin has a career 122-55-18 record through now his fifth season with the River Hawks.

Bazin seems to have it figured out. His teams play hard and earn every bit of success they’ve attained. They’ve built success over the years, without that “one guy” — save for goaltender Connor Hellebuyck a few years back and Boyle this year — leading the charge.

BU has good players, but they haven’t gotten the consistent, top-to-bottom effort that they need in order to succeed. O’Regan, Oksanen, Grzelcyk — all good players, obviously, but they’re not going to change the game for BU that a guy like Jack Eichel did.

And that’s what successful teams do — when they don’t have that star, they compensate for it with well-rounded, motivated, solid production from all four lines. While early in the year it seemed like the scoring might be spread out a bit for BU, that hasn’t been the case as of late. There are a few pretty good guys leading the way, but none that break through, and significantly more guys lower on the lines that have yet to step up.

You can have all the good players you can recruit — all the draft picks or projected picks, all the former national team players — but if that doesn’t translate to a full-team mentality, then it’s just meaningless talk. No one’s stepped up as a star to carry this team, and they haven’t played as enough of a team to compensate for that.

Another trophy out of reach
BU is, essentially, mathematically in the NCAA Tournament, per College Hockey News’s Pairwise Probability Matrix. So it’s not as if the loss Saturday was season-ending, but it’s certainly a gut punch to the extent that the Terriers don’t have a shot at some form of hardware, beyond an improbable run to the national title game.

Though, as Quinn pointed out in his presser, Providence got knocked out in the quarterfinals of last year’s Hockey East Tournament, and…well, we all know how that turned out. So theoretically, it’s not impossible for BU to pull off some sort of deep championship run.

But this entire weekend, nothing felt within BU’s reach. If you want to look back to the University of Massachusetts  Amherst series, too, that wasn’t exactly pretty, either. This team, frankly, has done very little in recent weeks to instill much confidence going forward.

Pluses

We’re lucky to have a great photographer
Our go-to photographer, Maddie Malhotra, got some really awesome pictures from tonight, which you can check out in the gallery here.

Otherwise, it’s quite difficult to take any positives from this game. That was really, really, really ugly.

Pluses and Minuses: BU misses opportunities, falls at Lowell in Game 1 of quarterfinals

PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

LOWELL — Both head coaches after Game 1 of the Hockey East Quarterfinals agreed that the contest came down to one thing — special teams.

But as Boston University head coach David Quinn noted, the other team executed and his team didn’t.

In what was a tight game throughout the full 60 minutes, No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell pulled ahead to stay with two third-period goals, defeating No. 8 BU, 3-2, at the Tsongas Center on Friday night.

The decisive goal for Lowell (22-8-5) came off the stick of forward Adam Chapie, a power-play strike with 4:38 left in the final period.

Bounces one way or the other could have changed the outcome of this one, as things tend to happen in playoff games. Puck luck remained mostly on the side of Lowell on Friday, but we’ll explore the negatives and positives a little further in this Pluses and Minuses.

Minuses

Special teams fail

It’s noted early in the piece, and for good reason, as the respective power plays were the difference. To briefly summarize, BU (21-11-5) went 0-for-2 with a man up, while the River Hawks did their part on the power play, finishing at a 50 percent clip (2-for-4).

“If you’re going to have a successful power play, you’ve got to be alert, you’ve got to be ready to do a few things,” Quinn said, “and both their goals, we just blew our responsibility.”

We could probably break this down for hours, but, in short, BU’s effort on special teams was just not good enough to win a hockey game, especially one of this magnitude.

But, if you want to read more about the issues on special teams, Sarah has your back in her sidebar.

Lowell’s second goal 

Quinn said after the game that he liked the way his team played 5-on-5, and for the majority of the game, BU did indeed play well at even strength. One mishap in the neutral zone, however, proved costly halfway through the third period.

The Terriers pressed in Lowell’s end for most of the third, but the River Hawks took advantage with space in neutral ice, converting on forward Michael Louria’s goal at 11:35.

Louria got the puck through the neutral zone and into the high slot uninhibited, allowing him to wrist a shot in the low corner of the net, under senior goaltender Sean Maguire‘s blocker. Louria said his shot hit a stick in front of him, which helped him score, but any way you put it, a well-placed shot in open space is a tough matchup for any goaltender.

Chances pile up, results don’t

The shots were there but the goals were not. BU racked up 35 shots, including 18 in the final 20 minutes of play, as compared to Lowell’s game total of 19. BU outshot Lowell by six in the first, but skated to the dressing room in a scoreless tie, which Quinn noted was frustrating.

Yet, even as BU pressured goaltender Kevin Boyle in the final minutes, he continued to make all of the necessary stops to prevail in the series opener. In two of the three games that BU has faced Lowell this season, Boyle has limited the Terriers’ to three or fewer goals.

“Sometimes shots can be deceiving but we held a team to 19 shots and we get 35, you might think you’ve got a better chance to win” Quinn said. “But again, it comes back to special teams. And you can’t go 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.”

It could very well be a product of playing good defenses (and strong goaltenders), but BU has scored more than three goals in a game only twice since February, both against last-place University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Scoring three goals should be enough to win you most hockey games, but for a team that scored at a good pace in the first half, goals have been harder to come by over the last two months.

Pluses 

JFK — the good streak 

In such a fickle game like hockey, scoring can come and go in bunches. Example — freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. 

BU’s first-line center proved early in the year to not only have adept passing skills, but he had some scoring touch, with seven goals through Jan. 22. But good streaks can lead to empty ones, and Forsbacka Karlsson felt that through much of February and into early March. The freshman had no goals and just five points in a 12-game stretch lasting from that Jan. 22 game through March 4.

Finally, in the second game of BU’s first-round series with UMass (8-24-4) he broke through with two goals. He continued that scoring against Lowell, tallying BU’s first of the night early in the second period, walking in from the left circle and beating Boyle five-hole on a quick wrister to open up the scoring at 6:22.

“Obviously when you’ve got your first-line center scoring goals, it’s certainly a great sign,” Quinn said. “He’s had a great year, and as we all know, sometimes scoring can be streaky, and he went through a stretch where he was a little bit snakebitten, but obviously two goals in the last game we played and a goal tonight — hopefully that trend continues.”

The silver lining 

Moral victories mean almost nothing when it comes down to the postseason, but there is something that BU can at least take some solace in after Friday’s loss.

If there’s one thing Quinn’s bunch has done exceptionally well the past two seasons, it’s that it hasn’t lost two games in a row very often. In fact, since last year, the Terriers have only lost back-t0-back games just once, and that came early on in this campaign on Oct. 27 and 30 in games against the University of Connecticut and Merrimack College.

“It’s been a resilient group, we’re going to have to be very resilient tomorrow night, that’s for sure,” Quinn said. “I liked a lot of the things we did tonight, we’re just going to have to clean up obviously the penalty kill and a few other areas to create offense, we’ve got to go to the net more consistently.”

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 men’s hockey hangs on to defeat UMass, moves on to Hockey East Quarterfinal

PHOTO BY SOFI LAURITO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
PHOTO BY SOFI LAURITO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team outlasted the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday in game two of the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Terriers (21-10-5) defeated the Minutemen (8-24-4) at Agganis Arena by a score of 5-4 and will next take on the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell beginning Friday night at the Tsongas Center.

It was a back-and-forth game Saturday and BU took the lead five times and only held it once, allowing UMass to tie things up again and again. The inability to gain more than a one-goal edge was “a testament to UMass and how hard they played,” according to BU head coach David Quinn, but senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan said the Terriers also have a responsibility to learning how to build on a lead.

“You get up when we score a goal, then it’s really deflating when they’re able to tie it back up right away or shortly after,” he said. “We got to work on being harder to play against and trying to step on their throats a little bit, try to get up by a couple goals and get more comfortable.”

Here’s what we thought the Terriers did well and what they need to work on moving forward:

Pluses

JFK

After being held goalless in each of his games since Jan. 22, freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson netted the game-opener and game-winning goals against UMass. Nick has more about that and JFK’s progress in his sider.

O’Regan and Grzelcyk

In their last games at Agganis Arena, O’Regan and senior captain Matt Grzelcyk combined for a total of six points. O’Regan collected a pair of goals and a couple assists for four points while Grzelcyk tallied a goal and a helper as well as being on the ice for every Terrier goal.

O’Regan now has three multipoint games over his past half-dozen and is the 18th player in program history to register at least 150 points over the course of his BU career.

“It’s incredible,” said Forsbacka Karlsson of his linemate. “[He’s] probably the best player I’ve had on my line ever so it’s a lot of fun playing with him and just the consistency he brings every night, and he makes everything easier for me so it’s a lot of fun.”

Quinn also spoke highly of O’Regan’s season and said his best hockey has come in the past six weeks, but O’Regan himself was pretty quick to credit his teammates for his success.

“You always want to leave on a good note,” he said. “I’ve been able to play with a couple of good guys, and I think they’ve helped me elevate my game. Just trying to help the team get to the playoffs here, I’m not too worried about anything personal, whatever I can do to help the team.”

And as O’Regan’s points pushed him over a plateau, Grzelcyk is approaching a milestone as well. The defenseman’s two points on Saturday gave him 93 for his tenure at BU and he’ll have a chance to inch his way closer to 100 beginning Friday.

Quinn pointed out that both O’Regan and Grzelcyk had chances to leave BU to try and start their pro careers, but decided to come back to complete their senior seasons.

“I think if you talked to both of them, they’re really happy they came back,” he said.

Chuck-a-puck

Freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy had quite a game as well Saturday night with four assists. He was also on the ice with his defensive partner, Grzelcyk, for each BU marker.

Offense is a huge part of McAvoy’s game, and while the main focus for him coming in was learning how to couple that with an improved defensive style of play, he’s definitely worked on bettering his skills up front. He said he’s been trying to contribute “without really being a liability defensively, making sure the defense comes first.”

“He’s a guy that’s become more of a puck-mover than a puck-lugger,” Quinn said. “He still likes to carry it at times, but it’s becoming less and less. He’s making the game easier on himself, he does a good job getting pucks to the net, his shots improving, and you add all that up with his vision and instincts, and you got a guy who’s got the ability to get four points in a game.”

McAvoy said being more of a puck-mover and less of a puck-lugger is something that Quinn has emphasized to him and something he’s been concentrating on.

“Nothing can move faster than the puck, first off, and carrying it versus moving to a guy and then going is something that he [Quinn] stresses a lot, and it really is the right way and the smart way to play, so it’s a lot more effective.”

Women’s team

Right before this game got started, the BU women’s hockey team had just finished its Hockey East Semifinal matchup against No. 6 Northeastern University. The Terriers pulled off a 4-3 upset with goals from sophomore forwards Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach as well as senior captain Kayla Tutino and senior defenseman Alexis Crossley, who had the game-winner. At the other end of the ice, sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil recorded a career-high 54 saves to keep BU on the winning side of things.

The Terriers now move on to play No. 1 BC on Sunday in the Hockey East title game for a chance to capture their fifth straight conference championship.

Minuses

Penalties

At least in the first 40 minutes of the game, penalties proved to be a problem for BU. The Terriers committed seven infractions, conceded 11 power-play shots and allowed the Minutemen to capitalize on one man-advantage for their third goal of the game. Senior forward Ahti Oksanen even picked up a game misconduct, which Quinn noted sort of indicated the team’s mental state during the game and series.

He said winning the contest wasn’t easy, and while a lot of it had to do with how hard and well UMass played, a portion of it was on BU.

“Some of it had to do with the way we played and taking penalties and 10-minute misconducts, which I think was a reflection of our mental commitment to the weekend,” Quinn said. “But I thought when we needed to, we got it together and played hard and played smart and did enough to win.”

Defense

Of all the things BU could improve on heading into next week’s game, defensive coverage is probably the one that stands out most of all.

Each of UMass’s goals came in the low slot or in tight, just about on top of senior netminder Sean Maguire with repeatedly no one covering, and for Quinn, Saturday’s performance was “as poor as [they’ve] defended.”

“Flat-footed, and on 50/50 pucks we assumed offense,” he said. “I think three of their goals were a direct result of that. All of a sudden the pucks going along the halfwall, and we got people vacating the defensive zone, and all of a sudden it’s in the back of our net. The good news is that we haven’t done that, so I’m hoping it just happened this weekend, because if it continues, we’re going to feel the pain in a hurry.”

Forsbacka Karlsson said the team wasn’t sharp enough defensively, in Friday or Saturday’s game, and McAvoy added that “there are a few goals [they] would have liked to have back.” Going forward, the blue liner continued, everyone needs to make sure they have their man in the defensive zone and that they’re boxing guys out on rebounds and are always in front of the net.

“Make sure that we have somebody there to account for their guys and that’s it,” McAvoy said. “I think if we fix that up, we’ll be fine.”

Our last game 🙁

Saturday was the last game of the season at Agganis Arena, but it was also mine and Sarah’s last games here as students, too.

My first was BU’s 4-2 win over Providence on Oct. 13, 2012, and I’ve seen close to 80 games here since then. It’s kind of surreal that I’m never going to be back at this rink in that regard, and I’m certainly going to miss it tremendously. I know Sarah feels the same as well.

Luckily for us, though, our graduation will be in this building in a couple months, and we have more hockey to cover, so we’ll be around!

Pluses and Minuses: Carpenter, Maguire carry Terriers in playoff-opening victory

The University of Massachusetts Amherst gave the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team quite the challenge in the first game of the Hockey East Tournament, pushing BU into an overtime contest. Ultimately, though, the Terriers earned a 2-1 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series at Agganis Arena on Friday night.

There were a couple things we didn’t like, but a whole, whole, whole lot of things we really, really, really didn’t like. Here’s just a sampling:

Pluses

Bobo
My pretty immediate reaction after the game is that my only plus on the night was for freshman forward Bobo Carpenter. Judy has more about his two-goal night in her sidebar.

Maguire in OT
After immediately feeling like Carpenter was the only good thing about BU in Friday’s game, I decided that was an unfair sentiment toward senior goaltender Sean Maguire, who had some mindblowing saves in overtime — including one on a delayed penalty where he dove in front of a wide-open net and made a blocker save to keep the score knotted.

“I thought the game was over,” said BU coach David Quinn. “He makes a phenomenal save to allow us to regroup.”

Twenty-eight saves on 29 shots isn’t too shabby of a night, either. His save percentage on the year is now at .930 and his goals-against average sits at 2.09.

Minuses

Urgency
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how lightly the Terriers were taking UMass entering this game, considering they’d beaten them by scores of 7-2 and 6-3 already this season.

You could point to the fact that it’s a playoff game, a fresh start, where UMass has nothing to lose. But BU showed next to no urgency through the first two periods — looking like, quite possibly, they have have underestimated just how hard the Minutemen would come out in this game.

Here’s what Quinn had to say:

“Well, they’re 18-to-22-year-olds, and you beat a team 7-2 and 6-3 and there’s 700 people in the building,” Quinn said. “I without question thought that human nature was a factor in the first two periods from our end of it.

“That being said, I thought they played very well. They played hard, they were physical, they blocked a ton of shots, so I don’t want to discredit the way UMass played.”

Here’s Carpenter’s take:

“I don’t think so, I just think it’s playoff hockey,” he said. “And everyone’s got a chip on their shoulder to get the championship. I think the rest of the games are going to be the same way, everyone’s going to give it their best so they don’t end their season early.”

And here’s senior forward Ahti Oksanen’s take:

“That’s what coach told us too, just that obviously we really destroyed them the first two games,” Oksanen said. “So it might’ve been that we started a little slow and thought that would be just an easy game for us, but obviously that wasn’t the truth.”

Couldn’t solve Renyard — or get a rebound
While Maguire had a good night, UMass goalie Nic Renyard’s was even better. He had a career-best 46 saves in the game, and BU couldn’t figure out how to get past him, save for some great play by Carpenter.

That being said, Renyard left plenty of rebounds up for grabs in the slot, however, and BU couldn’t seem to capitalize, as nobody was ever in the right position. Forty-eight shots on goal is an impressive number, but there were even more chances there that the Terriers couldn’t seem to grasp.

Power play
BU had three total shots on three power plays.

That really says it all, but Oksanen had more to say about what’s going wrong on the power play, which hasn’t been right for quite some time. They’ve gotten just one power-play goal in seven attempts over the past three games.

“That’s a good question, if we know what we’re doing wrong, we would change it right away,” Oksanen said. “But … I guess we’re a little much in so-called ‘power-play mode,’ just not playing normal hockey. We have our setup, and we just stand there, and not really do anything. We just need to play simple hockey and get the puck in.”

Basically — too much passing, not enough shooting.

Attendance
Quinn exaggerated a bit when he said that there were only 700 people in the building, but just 1,752 fans showed up to Agganis Arena on Friday night, which, according to BU Sports Information Director Brian Kelley, is the lowest total in building history for a men’s hockey game.

That can probably be partially attributed to the fact that spring break is underway for BU students. Regardless, though, even though it’s UMass and only a first-round matchup — yikes. This weekend’s the last time BU will play at home this year, so just a bit unfortunate.

Last home game with the three of us
Andrew’s headed off for spring vacation, so he’ll miss tomorrow’s game — thus making Friday night the last time all three of us will cover a game together at Agganis Arena. We’ll have our friend Nick Frazier helping us out tomorrow, but regardless, sad to see our last time together at a place with many, many good memories.

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers shut out in loss to No. 10 Notre Dame to close out regular season

Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP FILE PHOTO
Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP FILE PHOTO

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Golden chances were there for the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team, but as head coach David Quinn put it, his team could not take advantage of a single one.

Call it poor luck or having the challenge of going against a sharp goaltender, either way BU (19-10-5, 12-6-4 Hockey East) could not pull this one out Saturday night, falling to No. 10 University of Notre Dame, 1-0.

Senior goaltender Sean Maguire kept BU in it for most of the night, but his opposer, sophomore Cal Petersen, made 39 saves to preserve the Notre Dame (19-8-7, 15-5-2 Hockey East) shutout.

Freshman Dylan Malmquist provided the only offense needed with a power-play goal at the 11:47 mark of the second period.

BU’s loss, in conjunction with No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell’s win over No. 2 Boston College, means the Terriers slipped to the No. 5 seed in Hockey East, so there will be no first-round bye in the cards.

We’ll take a look at the bad and the good in our breakdown from Compton Family Ice Arena:

Minuses 

Opportunity knocks, no answer 

BU had the chance to clinch the third or fourth seeds in the conference playoffs under a few scenarios, the easiest of them being a win or tie against the Fighting Irish.

But, as I’m sure you’ve read up to this point, BU did neither of those in its regular-season finale. Instead of getting a first-round bye and home ice in the quarterfinals, the Terriers will play host in the first round and have to travel to a road site in the quarterfinals, if they advance out of the opening series.

The silver lining in this? BU will host 12th-seeded University of Massachusetts Amherst, a team BU has defeated four times in as many games the last two seasons, outscoring the Minutemen (8-22-4, 2-16-4 Hockey East) by a combined score of 30-11.

“Obviously you’re hoping to get a point tonight, allow yourself to get a bye, but didn’t happen and, as a I told our guys, ‘You’re hockey players, you get to play more hockey,'” Quinn said. “That’s how you got to look at it. Right? Obviously lick our wounds from tonight, they can feel sorry for themselves for the next 24 hours, but you get to play more hockey. That’s how you got to look at it.

“It’s an opportunity to get better, it’s playoff time, it’s the best time of year.”

Sarah takes a look at the playoffs in her sidebar.

Can’t get it by Cal

Before Saturday, Petersen had 15 games this season in which he stopped at least 30 shots. Make that 16 now.

Whether it was the glove, pads or blocker, Petersen made some terrific saves all night, and Friday for that matter, too.

At times, BU was hemmed in its own zone and couldn’t get any offense going toward net, but especially toward the end of the game, the shots came in and Petersen was there for each one.

“It’s frustrating, I thought we had some good chances,” said senior assistant captain Matt Lane, who registered one shot on net. “I thought at times we could have challenged a little more, but he’s a great goaltender and he was on his game tonight.”

Power play ineffective

This has been a recurring theme in this section of our articles, so we’ll try and keep this part brief.

At times in this game during BU’s power play, it was difficult to even see that the Terriers even had an extra man on the ice. There were a lot of passes in the neutral zone (sloppy ones at that) and not a whole lot of shooting on net. All three man advantages came in the second period, and at least on the first one, BU did next to nothing.

On those three power plays, BU totaled four shots, and it wasn’t as if Petersen was pressured in any of these particular instances.

More than one thing attributed to the lack of success, Quinn said.

“Just, we lost a lot of battles,” Quinn said. “Sometimes what can happen on a power play is you lose sight of the fact that you’ve got to play hockey within a power play. Go here, do this, do that, and you’ve got to play hockey within the power play and I think when we’re not effective on our power play, we don’t play hockey within our power play. We go to our spots.

“I just thought we lost some one-on-one battles, I thought we were a little inept coming up ice, and it cost you.”

Pluses 

Maguire hangs in, shots come late 

BU’s senior goaltender didn’t face a tremendous number of shots through two periods (13), but he saw a lot of action his way in the early stages of the third.

Notre Dame pressed for a game-breaking goal, but Maguire hung in there, making 15 saves on 15 chances. Quinn said Maguire did all of the things he’s been doing all season to be successful in this one.

And while the Terriers could not make their final push come to fruition, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. There was almost nothing going on in the Fighting Irish zone in the opening minutes of the third, but around the halfway point, BU made a rush to get the score even. BU had 13 shots and goal and attempted 24, including one in which senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan was denied on in the final five minutes.

McAvoy’s big hit 

Freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy has been on the top pair for most of this season, bringing an offensive element to the game any time he’s on the ice.

But tonight, we’ll give him a plus for the crushing hit he put on forward Connor Hurley late in the first period.

That’s an impressive use of the body that we haven’t seen all that often from the freshman.

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers earn ‘true team win’ in victory over No. 10 Notre Dame

MBM_8647
Senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP FILE PHOTO

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — In the penultimate game of its regular season, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team made what’s to come a little bit easier on itself.

The Terriers (19-9-5, 12-5-4 Hockey East) defeated the No. 10 University of Notre Dame by a score of 3-2 in an important conference matchup to help decide where they will officially fall in the standings.

They played well in what would be described by BU head coach David Quinn as a playoff atmosphere, and we thought so, too.

Here’s what we liked and didn’t like in the victory:

Pluses

Depth and the fourth line

BU’s second goal of the evening was scored by senior forward Mike Moran, who was back to centering the fourth line as junior forward Robbie Baillargeon returned to the lineup after missing last weekend’s slate with the University of New Hampshire. Moran and his wingers, sophomore Chase Phelps and junior Tommy Kelley, provided an energetic and physical presence on the ice.

Andrew has more about this in his sider.

True team win

In his postgame press conference, Quinn praised the way the win on Friday seemed to come from the top of the lineup all the way through the bottom. He said it was like a postseason hockey game in a lot of ways, and that the Terriers’ effort was that of a “true team win.”

“I thought our goalie was really good. I thought our forwards to our first line to our fourth line played well. Our D played well. And just really proud of our guys,” he said. “To come in to this building and beat a very good hockey team, well-coached, they’ve got a lot of good players there. It takes all 20 guys pulling in the right direction. I thought we had that tonight.”

Quinn added that this is the time of year when the little things really start to matter. Not that they don’t early in the year, he clarified, but they tend to mean more now.

“Just really proud of our guys,” he said. “They really answered the bell.”

Much of that had to do with the way the Terriers defended throughout the game. Neither of the Irish’s goals came at 5-on-5, and Quinn attributed that to the way BU played its opponent.

“I thought we did a really good job of closing on them down low, we were really conscious of our body positioning, keeping our body between the net and offensive player,” he said. “We were quick, our second defender did a good job getting to their second guy, supporting the play, and I thought we were consistent with that.

“There weren’t a lot of times we didn’t do that and against that team we’d better to that because they’ve got a lot of big, strong forwards,” Quinn continued. “They’re elusive down low, and I thought we did a really good job defending.”

Sean Maguire

It seems like putting senior netminder Sean Maguire in the pluses category has become an almost weekly occurrence, but he came up big for the team again on Friday. Maguire recorded 33 saves on 35 shots and was named first star of the game, bumping his season save percentage up a couple points from .925 to .927.

“He made some big saves …” Quinn said. “He missed an awful lot of hockey last year, and he didn’t play at all and got off to a bit of a slow start, but he’s been a rock back there since early December. And if you’re going to have a chance in our sport you’d better have a goalie, and we have a goalie.”

At 5-on-5, Maguire was perfect, as the two goals he allowed during the evening came at 5-on-4 and 6-on-5. And even with Notre Dame’s extra skater on the ice, the goaltender recorded five saves on six Irish power-play shots and fended off all but one chance during the 2:28 goalie Cal Petersen was pulled at the end of the game.

That shot, however, was put in the back of the net a bit at the fault of Maguire, who had flung the puck down the ice at the empty net for what we assume was an attempt at a goalie goal (which would have been awesome), but it missed and wound up being an icing. The faceoff came back to BU’s end, and the Irish benefited from a rebound and bodies in front to pull within one.

From there, though, and aside from the other goal Notre Dame scored, Maguire’s positioning and play  acted as a brick wall for BU.

Playoff positioning

With the Terriers’ win on Friday, things have obviously become more clear when it comes to the conference playoff picture. BU is capable of clinching a top-four seed in the Hockey East tournament and a first round bye in the following ways (also thank you Hockey East for providing this):

1. BU gets the No. 3 seed with a win on Saturday
2. BU gets the No. 4 seed with a tie on Saturday
3. BU gets the No. 4 seed with a loss AND the University of Massachusetts Lowell loss or tie to Boston College on Saturday
4. BU gets the No. 5 seed with a loss AND a UMass Lowell win over BC on Saturday

Seniors

Senior forward Ahti Oksanen and Moran both notched goals in the win Friday, and senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan also registered a pair of assists for four of nine BU points in the game coming from the senior class.

Updated point total for the Terriers: 113-193—306
Updated point total for the seniors: 56-70—126

Enough said.

First win at Compton Family Ice Arena

Just a quick fun fact, but Friday’s win marked the Terriers’ first against the Irish since Oct. 10, 2010, and, subsequently, their first victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena, which opened in Oct. 2011.

Danny O’Regan

Another little tidbit for ya is that with his two assists on Friday night, O’Regan now has 148 career points in 148 career games. Aside from that making him a career point per game player, it also means he has the most career points since Chris Drury had 214 from 1994-98.

Minuses

Late-period penalties

BU ended both the first and second periods on the penalty kill Friday night, which is less than ideal for sure, especially since the Terriers gave up a goal at the end of the first. This hasn’t really been an issue during the rest of the season, so I’m being a little nitpicky since it’s not a trend, but naturally it’s something BU doesn’t want to and probably won’t continue.

Power play

I know, I know, it got a goal, but the power play did not look great in its one chance on the ice Friday. BU had trouble with its breakout and could not enter the zone cleanly while operating with the man advantage. It really took until Oksanen’s tally for the unit to generate much of anything at all. Still, a goal’s a goal, and the Terriers now have four markers on their last 11 power plays.

Pluses and Minuses: Seniors, defense shine in victory over UNH

In the final home game of the regular season, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team kept afloat in Hockey East play, holding off the University of New Hampshire for a 3-2 win on Saturday at Agganis Arena.

Freshman defenseman Shane Switzer. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP STAFF
Freshman defenseman Shane Switzer. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP STAFF

The victory, which came after a 3-3 tie on Friday up in Durham, pushed BU (18-9-5, 11-5-4 Hockey East) into a tie for fourth place with the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell. Both teams have two games remaining next weekend.

In the meantime, here’s what we loved about Saturday’s game, and also what we didn’t love as much:

Pluses

Seniors
On a night in which they were recognized in a pregame Senior Night ceremony, those same seniors took charge of the offense. Judy has more about the ceremony and the seniors’ contributions in her sidebar.

Keeping Kelleher and Poturalski quiet
UNH (10-16-6, 4-10-6 Hockey East) boasts two of the biggest scoring threats in the nation — forwards Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher. Poturalski ranks second in the country with 48 points this season, while Kelleher isn’t far behind, sitting at sixth with 42 points.

BU managed to hold the talented duo to just one point this weekend: an assist to Poturalski during Friday’s game.

“I thought we were physical on them, I thought we took away time and space,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “You have to do that with everybody, but particularly guys with that skillset. … But there’s good players in this league and they’re two of the better ones, that’s for sure.”

#SwitzerIsFree?
Plenty of BU fans have been on the #FreeSwitzer bandwagon for quite some time now, and, at least myself included, we’ve been behind freshman defenseman Shane Switzer getting more playing time this season.

With sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey going down with injury Friday night, the coaching staff opted to play Switzer on defense for Saturday’s game. Quinn noted that Switzer has “earned the opportunity to play” — and he certainly showed how much he’s earned that opportunity.

In his first game in more than two months — his last appearance was on Dec. 12 against then-No. 2 Quinnipiac University — Switzer made an immediate impact in both zones, recording his first collegiate point on a smart pass to senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan to help BU go up 2-0 in the first period.

Switzer also found himself back on a 2-on-1, on which sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee made what was advertised at Agganis Arena the “save of the game” – but LaCouvee gave all of the credit to Switzer.

“I didn’t really do too much on that,” LaCouvee said. “I think Switzer actually got back and kind of stick-lifted the guy at the last second there so he didn’t really get too much on it. So kudos to Switz.”

Overall, Switzer was adequately physical and smart with the puck. He even earned some time on the power play. He wasn’t flawless — UNH forward Tyler Kelleher took advantage of a mishandle by Switzer which led to a breakaway and nearly a goal early in the game — but given that it was only his sixth appearance of the year and his first since December, it’s probably fair to say some rust came into play. But he more than made up for it with his play over the course of the game, and made a strong case to remain in the lineup going forward.

“I think he did a lot of good things,” Quinn said. “He made a great play on our second goal, and made some good plays. So we’ve liked what we’ve seen out of him. He’s a good player.”

LaCouvee
On that same note of “rust” — while senior goaltender Sean Maguire has missed the past two games with a broken finger, LaCouvee has stepped in and been solid over his past two starts. After starting 12 of the first 17 games of the season, his first start since the New Year came

While LaCouvee is determined to be ready to play at a moment’s notice, he admitted after Saturday’s game it wasn’t easy at first.

“Yeah, it kinda sucked for a good portion of three weeks or so, but then I was just kinda like, ‘Hey, you know what, no sense kinda being a moody little kid, might as well just work hard here and support the team,’” LaCouvee said. “And Magsy’s playing unreal, so keep supporting him.’”

But LaCouvee came in this weekend and kept BU in the game, making 19 saves in each game.

On a similar note, we do love any chance we get to talk to LaCouvee at a presser — he really brings a great, as he would say, “atmo” to the room, and we can always count on him for a good laugh.

Minuses

Too conservative
Quinn admitted that during the third period, the team had the improper approach. He said that he told the team to be more defense-focused, which may have turned out to be a mistake.

“I thought I took a cautious approach for the third period, and you have to play hockey. You have to play to win,” Quinn said. “Maybe I created a little bit of a defensive mindset, and you can’t do that. You’ve got to go play hockey. And lesson learned, for sure, from my end a bit. I told them that’ll never happen again.”

Power play
Hard to be too picky since the team did get two power-play goals, but Quinn expressed some unhappiness with the team’s performance on the power play in terms of the number of shorthanded chances the team gave up.

“Our power play has to become more responsible,” Quinn said. “It’s something that we have to clean up if we’re going to have success moving forward. And we just, we got two power-play goals, but we need to be better. We absolutely need to be better. And it’s just, it’s just way, way too slow. We get it, we hang onto it, we hang on to it, and we just have to correct it. We have too many good players out there to approach it that way.”

Fortunato
We didn’t see exactly when he got benched, but sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato didn’t play a good deal of the third period from what we saw. He wasn’t particularly sharp all night — we were initially skeptical about him pairing with fellow sophomore Brien Diffley, but Diffley emerged as the better, stronger player on the evening.

Fortunato was irresponsible with the puck in his own zone, and had trouble managing the gap. We didn’t see what the final straw was that had him sitting the rest of the game. But since he’s not the most physical of players, he has to rely more heavily on skill and offense to stand out — which has been quite lacking the past several games. Though he had an assist Saturday, that’s just one of two points in his past nine games.

Particularly with the coaches seeming to have Switzer in the mix, too, this is not a good time for Fortunato to lack any sort of production if he expects to stay in the lineup. If he’s not bringing a refined game on a consistent basis, there are many more viable options on the blue line.

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers blow late lead, settle for tie at UNH

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.

Pluses 

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…

Minuses 

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.”

Pluses and Minuses: No. 7 Terriers routed by No. 11 Lowell, settle for series split

LOWELL — You’ve probably seen the score by now, but on Saturday night, the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team fell to the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell by a score of 6-3 at the Tsongas Center.

It was not pretty. At all.

The Terriers (17-9-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) made mistake after mistake, and the River Hawks (18-7-5, 11-5-4 Hockey East) made them pay for basically every one of them.

“Certainly disappointed with obviously the outcome and some of the reasons why we’re in the situation we’re in tonight …” said BU head coach David Quinn. “Disappointed in the outcome, disappointed in why we lost the way we did.”

Here’s what particularly caught our eye in the rout:

Minuses

Mistakes

Teams and players are going to make mistakes during games. Obviously. No one plays a perfect game, but generally those mistakes don’t always find their way into the back of the net. On Saturday, Quinn said, that’s what it felt like happened.

The River Hawks struck first on defenseman Dylan Zink’s first of three goals on the night 11:26 into the first period, and the Terriers responded fairly quickly. Freshman center Bobo Carpenter knotted things up 1:36 later.

From there, though, it wasn’t so close.

The second goal?

“We give up a faceoff goal, completely blown coverage, as simple as coverage you can have in hockey,” Quinn said.

And the third?

“A horrible goalie-D exchange,” he said.

Fourth?

“A bad turnover.”

The fifth one?

“We blow coverage on a backcheck,” he said. “Looked like we got rattled after they made it four, we just completely abandoned our responsibilities on their fifth goal.”

And then the sixth was the fruits of a solid netfront, batted-out-of-midair tally from Lowell captain A.J. White.

Though the final result and score are definitely not ideal, Quinn noted they aren’t necessarily symptomatic of the overall defensive play.

“We hadn’t given up a lot of goals lately,” he said. “We’ve been playing some pretty good D zone, we did a good job last night, so I mean if this happens again I’ll be concerned, but we’ve done a pretty good job of moving past performances like this, so we’ll get back to work on Monday and anxious to play again on Friday.”

Andrew has an additional perspective on this in his sidebar.

Power play woes continue

It was another 0-fer night for BU’s power play as the Terriers failed to convert on a trio of opportunities with the man advantage Saturday night. While the team began the year with a relatively prolific power play, things have certainly dropped off in the last handful of games.

Since they went 3-for-6 on the power play during Jan. 15th’s loss to No. 3 Boston College, the Terriers are an anemic 3-for-30 with the man advantage over their last nine games. One of those goals came in the form of Friday’s overtime winner, but not much has been doing for BU.

The Terriers have been slow while operating in the attacking zone with the extra skater and aren’t doing enough to get the penalty killers out of sorts. Excessive stickhandling and messy entries have allowed opposing units to set up and adjust to each move BU makes, preventing the Terriers from getting anywhere close to capitalizing.

Pluses

Keep battling

Quinn said he liked the way his squad continued to battle throughout the game, and an 87-46 shot attempt differential in favor of the Terriers certainly backs that up. However, Quinn made sure to mention that “it’s easy to battle when you’re down by three.”

Typically, teams that are trailing are going to play more aggressively because, well, they’re trying to score goals. On the other hand, a team with a fairly safe lead like Lowell’s four-goal edge, can afford to play more conservatively. The objective would be to maintain the lead, not necessarily to add another goal.

“I thought we played well as the game went on, but tough to gauge because, like I said, when it’s 5-2, they’re playing a little bit different,” Quinn said.

Ahti Oksanen

I’ll admit I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but I wanted to give credit to Ahti Oksanen, who had a pair of primary assists in BU’s loss Saturday. The two helpers served as the senior’s sixth multi-point game in the second half, and he is now tied for 20th in the country in scoring with 33 points.

Since the Terriers have returned from break, Oksanen has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in a dozen games.

Pluses and Minuses: Maguire, Moran, Greenway lead BU in “playoff-feel” win over UMass Lowell

For the second straight game, the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team faced one of the nation’s best defenses, and for the second straight game, BU was trapped in a close game — and the game got sent to overtime.

Against No. 3 Boston College in Monday’s Beanpot final, the Terriers didn’t have such great luck. This time, though, against the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday at Agganis Arena, freshman forward Jordan Greenway scored just 29 seconds into overtime to give BU a 2-1 win.

As usual, we have a lot of things to pick apart from that game — both positive and negative. Here’s a sampling of both:

Pluses

Moran in the middle
Senior forward Mike Moran had a breakaway goal in the second period to give BU a 1-0 lead at the time — obviously, a crucial moment in a very, very tight game. Judy has more on that goal and his recent play in her sidebar.

Greenway, Maguire, etc.

We tend to give a lot of love to Greenway and senior goaltender Sean Maguire in our pluses and minuses, and won’t go too much in depth this time around, but given how big they were in this game, we couldn’t go without giving them a shoutout.

Greenway had the game-winner on a redirection of senior captain Matt Grzelcyk’s initial shot in overtime, making for his third goal in three games.

Maguire, meanwhile, had 25 saves and earned the win. He lowered his goals-against average on the season to 2.12 and raised his save percentage to .929.

Improved discipline
BU only committed three penalties in the game: two on freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy, the first of which was a somewhat questionable holding call, and a roughing call on Greenway. The Terriers entered the game averaging 5.1 penalties and 11.2 penalty minutes per game — certainly an improvement against a team where there’s very little margin for error.

Playoff-like atmosphere
It’s no question that these final Hockey East series are crucial for BU, which currently sits in fifth place in Hockey East. The win gave them 23 points in conference play, just one point behind fourth-place Lowell.

The top four teams receive home ice in the conference tournament and a first-round bye. And in the final three weeks of the regular season, BU has games against two of those teams trying to cling on to a first-round bye: Lowell, and the first-place University of Notre Dame.

“Well, it’s playoff hockey from here on in,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “Certainly had a playoff feel to it.”

Minuses

That one Lowell goal
In a game as tight as this one, every goal counts, and despite holding the lead until the later half of the third period, BU surrendered a goal with 7:29 remaining in the game.

On the play, Maguire skated behind his goal and looked to dump off the puck to one of his defensemen, but neither sophomore John MacLeod nor junior Doyle Somerby fetched it. Maguire scrambled back, and stopped the initial shot from Dmowski, but couldn’t stop the rebound shot from Lowell captain A.J. White. MacLeod was the closest defenseman who could have picked up the rebound and cleared it, but he failed to do so.

MacLeod had a relatively strong game defensively otherwise, and had some noticeable chances on offense, but this wasn’t his finest moment, to say the least.

“We haven’t talked about it yet, but we’ll certainly have to clean that up a little bit,” Quinn said.

Failed line experiment
When we talked to Quinn on Thursday, and asked if there would be any line changes, he didn’t give any specifics, but indicated that we could be surprised on Friday. And hoo boy, were we surprised. There was a complete remodel of the third line on the line charts we were given: Moran played left wing with freshman Ryan Cloonan at center, and usual freshman center Bobo Carpenter moving over to right wing. Junior Robbie Baillargeon centered the fourth line between junior Tommy Kelley and sophomore Chase Phelps.

But that didn’t last long. By our unofficial count, the experiment only lasted two or three shifts. Before long, Cloonan was back on the first line — where freshman Oskar Andrén started the past five games — and Moran was back down to the fourth line. Baillargeon moved back to his usual spot on the third-line wing, with Andrén on the other wing and Carpenter centering.

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but tl,dr: As far as we could see, for most of the game, the lines looked like they did a few weeks ago in this game.

“It was a quick experiment, and we didn’t like it,” Quinn said. “So we went back to it, made a few changes, and pretty much stuck with it.

4-on-3
Hard to be too nitpicky on this, but worth noting: BU had a 4-on-3 opportunity for 1:46 in the second period, after Greenway and River Hawks defenseman Tyler Mueller were sent off for matching roughing penalties and Lowell defenseman Dylan Zink was sent off 14 seconds later for a hooking penalty.

That 4-on-3 chance didn’t amount to anything goal-wise, which Quinn addressed in the postgame press conference.

“That’s our fault,” Quinn. “We haven’t practiced that in God knows how long. I don’t even remember the last time we practiced that and that’s certainly on us. That was our fault. That’s a lot of uncertainty and that’s the coach’s fault. We hadn’t practiced it since I think before Christmas.”