After having what Jack Parker called their best practice of the season, the Terriers prepare to host No. 4/5 Michigan on Saturday night.
Bruins took care of the Nashville Predators last night, 3-2. Colin Wilson, making his first trip back to Boston as a pro, tallied the first goal of his NHL career. Rumor has it that those in attendance included Brandon Yip, Joe Pereira, Nick Bonino and Colby Cohen, in addition to some other guys.
By Jake Seiner, DFP Staff
Photo by Sarah Gordon, DFP Staff
Offense – Grade C
The Terriers did a handful of good things in Tuesday’s game, namely getting the puck to the net. But, as has been the case through two exhibition and two regular season games, shot totals don’t always equal goals, and UND netminder Brad Phillips turned away all 34 of BU’s shots, many of which hit him square in the chest. Unlike previous games, crashing the net was not a problem for the Terriers, who made a clear effort to get into the slot once shots were taken from the point. However, the effort was mooted by Notre Dame’s physical, collapsing defenders who cleared pucks away from Phillips’s feet before BU’s sticks could throw the puck back at the cage. Daily Free Bonus Fact of the Night: Tuesday was the first time in exactly 100 games BU was shutout.
Defense – Grade B-
The Terriers made only a handful of mistakes defensively Tuesday. In the first, Notre Dame generated a pair of breakaway chances off poor neutral zone play from BU’s upperclassman defenders –– a familiar story –– but otherwise, the only glaring mistakes occurred on UND’s three goals. On goal number one, Sean Escobedo screened Millan from the puck but failed to block the shot. On No. two, Millan and his defenders failed to communicate properly, and on goal No. 3, the BU penalty kill was caught drifting toward the UND zone as sophomore Chris Connolly failed to convert on a 1-on-1 chance against Phillips. Three mistakes, three goals. Otherwise, BU played very well defensively.
Goaltending – Grade C
Sophomore Kieran Millan has played like an above-average starting goaltender at the Division-I level in 2009-10, which is pretty good. Maybe it’s simply based on unattainable expectations set last year by the Edmonton, Alta. native, but pretty good is almost disappointing for Millan. Last season, if the Terrier offense stalled, it seemed like Millan always picked up his game and kept BU in the contest. Kieran has not in any way lost either game for BU this year –– but he hasn’t won them either, and that’s what Terrier fans expect based on last season. Fair? Probably not, but that’s the curse of success.
Special Teams – Grade D
This category really needs sub-grades. BU’s penalty kill was nearly perfect, with its only slipup coming after Connolly’s failed breakaway. That said, the power play gets a fully deserved ‘F.’ BU was 0-for-8 on the man advantage, and played incredibly slow with no sense of urgency during three power-play chances early in the first. Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, Nick Bonino and Vinny Saponari all had turnovers leading to Notre Dame clearing the zone on those three chances alone. Parker classified BU’s efforts on those early PP chances as “inept,” and aside from David Warsofksy, who ripped an astounding nine shots from the left point alone, BU’s blue-liners played sloppy and hesitant all night. The squad improved as the game went on, but Parker and his staff have a lot of work to do with BU’s power play going forward.
Links to a couple stories from Monday’s Daily Free Press:
Be sure to check in tomorrow night for our live blog when BU hosts Notre Dame at 7 p.m., and check in after the game for postgame quotes and stories.