By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff
Gryba on motivating the team tonight
First thing we did was make sure that guys’ confidence wasn’t completely depleted after last night. We did some good things last night, and we needed to build on it. It was a little easier because we were playing BC tonight, to get guys fired up and to get guys focused and what not. They know what’s on the line, so it was easier for guys to come ready to the rink to play.
Bonino on BU’s struggles in the third period
It’s tough. It was a good game back and forth, a good hockey game. The third period, the puck just jumped into the net for them. That goal they got to break the tie, Shatty’s fronting and it just hits the stick and goes slow into the net. It’s just one of those games where we have our chances and they have theirs, and they end up scoring. I thought we played hard and battled to the end, but the puck just wasn’t going in.
Gryba on Parker calling BC a better team
Obviously, BC is always going to be a good team. I don’t think we’re playing at our best just yet. We’re excited for when January comes around and we’re playing at Fenway. I think hopefully everything is straightened out by then. But we have a good night, they have a good night, it can go either way, but I like our team.
Gryba on what went wrong on the third goal
There was some miscommunication on the bench in terms of who was going out next. For a bit, maybe for five seconds, we had three guys on the ice. Then finally a fourth guy jumped out, and then finally a fifth guy jumped out. So, there was some miscommunication. I’m not sure what happened up on the forwards’ end of the bench there. It’s just one of those things, maybe coach forgot to say something or the line that was up forgot to, something could’ve happened up there, but I think it was just a miscommunication.
Bonino on the power play
We talked about it after the game, a few of us. We were happy with the way we were moving the puck. We were getting pucks to the net. The 5-on-3 was pretty much a 5-on-2 because the kid broke his stick, and I was just laying them out to Colby for one-timers and he just couldn’t get the puck on net. They were blocking the lanes pretty well all night. It’s tough to go 0-for-5, but that’s not a game where we go 0-for-5 and we can’t get set up or we can’t get control of the puck. That was a game where we’re getting the pucks to the net and we’re moving our feet and moving the puck, and the puck just wouldn’t go in.
Bonino on why that seems to be happening a lot
Good goalies, I guess?
Bonino on the success of his line
Whatever line Joe plays on, he’s going to give them a little jump. I think on the goal, Chiasson was actually out there, and he was the one who battled on the wall and tied the puck up, and I was able to grab it out of there. But playing with Joe and playing with Chris, they’re two speedy guys who, Chris is real creative, and Joe, they’ll underestimate him and he’ll get the puck to the net and he goes hard to the net, so every point is covered on that line.
Gryba on what he meant by getting excited for January
I didn’t mean it like that we’re forgetting everything until then. We have RPI this weekend coming up and we need two points out of that. To get two points out of that and then take a break, everyone take a step back, and really come back prepared for the second half. But first we need to get two points against RPI.
Bonino on whether the break will help the team
I think it usually does. I know last year, we were just rolling the whole year, but I know my freshman year, we got off to a similar start. I think we’re more talented this year, and I think we’ve found what kind of team we are quicker this year. I think we know we can work hard, and when we work hard, we’re getting pucks to the net and we’re just not getting wins. I think the break will be good. Everyone can take a step back and look at how this half has gone. The freshmen can look back on their first taste of college hockey and see what they have to improve on. Same with us. I have to look and see what have I done differently this year from last year. Am I not getting my feet moving or something? It’s just a good time to reflect and look forward.
Bonino on the end of his 39-game streak of scoring a point and not losing
I guess so. I’m ready to start another streak with Gryba scoring.
By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff
Let’s start by saying that I thought we got beat by a really good college hockey team tonight. I thought they played extremely well. They’re very quick, they’re tenacious and they did a great job in front of their net defending. I thought we played hard tonight. I was happy with my team’s effort. We got a point last night in a game and outshot the team badly, and I don’t think we played very well because of our lack of tenacity. I thought we played pretty hard tonight. We made a couple of real bad reads to give them a couple of goals, but in general, we got good goaltending, we did a good job of killing penalties, and I thought we moved the puck real well. We got 10 shots on the power play and got some real opportunities, but the better team won tonight. I was real impressed with Boston College, very impressed with BC.
On getting outplayed on the first shift of the third period
And for a few shifts after that, too. It was just banging it into the zone. We got it out once and then they come right back and hit the pipe, and then wound up getting the rebound and it ends up just squiggling past our goaltender. They come out ready to play and we didn’t. The guys that were on for that goal were on for three out of their four goals, all five of them for the most part. So, it was not a good night defensively for those five guys because they got caught for three out of the four goals.
I thought that Bonino came back and played a real good game tonight. I thought Connolly had a real good game tonight. I thought Pereira gave us his typical great effort. I thought Gryba and Warsofsky had a real solid game. They weren’t on for any goals, they were pretty good offensively, and they were real good defensively. A couple of guys had bad nights, but in general, we were more ready to play, we were more into the game and we were more vested in the outcome, not playing as if it didn’t matter. We have a long way to go from where we are in the standings and a long way to go from where we are scoring-wise, but at least for me, this game gave me a little bit of a lift as far as our focus and our effort.
On the play of Kieran Millan
I think the third goal was a real bad read by our defenseman. It was a 3-on-2 and our defenseman just played the wrong guy and let that guy walk down Broadway and rip one, and he couldn’t come running out on him because he still had to worry about the other guys too. It’s still a 3-on-2 and that kid can really shoot the puck. That’s point blank, 25 feet, coming into it and driving it.
And the fourth goal, Gibbons made a great play. The puck was bouncing by and he just picked it up in midair almost. Shatty was trying to play the puck off, it was bouncing to Shatty, and he picked it off his stick and Shatty tried to recover, but he didn’t quite get him and then there was confusion as he got into the net.
But I still think he made some big saves. I thought he played really well the whole game. A game where he gives up four goals, you’re not really happy with, but I thought he played pretty well. He looked like Kieran tonight. Another reason why I feel really good.
On the play of the top line and the Shattenkirk-Cohen pairing
Well, when you’re minus-3, you’re not very happy, and they were minus-3. Like I said, guy beats me out wide for the 3-on-2, and then completely cover the wrong guy. Not good nights for those guys.
On whether there’s still enough time to turn things around in Hockey East
We can turn some things around for sure. Can we catch BC? Probably not. Can we catch UNH? Probably not. In order for us to get back in this, we have to win five league games in a row and start looking like we’re a hockey team again, and that can be done, maybe. But there’s no reason to think it’s going to be automatic, because we haven’t been putting the puck in the net the way we should. We haven’t been as sharp on the power play as we have to be.
I think we went 0-for-5 tonight. The 5-on-3, we kept bombing it, we had five or six times where we had it point blank and someone shot it high and wide. And then we had a couple of other ones when we weren’t on the power plays that were defensemen who shot high and wide. So, the puck’s not going into the net for us and we’re not concentrating that way.
Like I said, I liked our effort. I liked that we kept playing right until the end. That team can outshoot a lot of teams, and they didn’t do that to us tonight. That team has one of the best power plays in the nation, and they went 0-for-6 themselves. There were some good signs, but we’re a long way from being as good as they are, that’s for sure. And we’re a long way from being where they are in the standings. I’m just trying to get a W. I’m not worried about home ice.
On the penalty kill
I thought we got confused a couple of times and Kieran bailed us out, but in general, we did a good job on the penalty kill. When they go 0-for-6, like I said, I think they’re going with a 28-percent rate, so that’s pretty good.
On Colby Cohen not converting on offensive opportunities
As I say, he was on for some goals and it wasn’t his best night. He had some good opportunities. He made some nice plays on the power play. He drilled a couple that were just high and wide. They’re not going in for him. Those will go in for him. He’s not going to forget how to hit the net. Sooner or later, they will. Hopefully sooner.
On whether C. Cohen is being hampered by his hip
He’s much better off than he was last year at this time. Last year, he was really, he’s better off now. Physically, there’s nothing wrong.
By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff
Terrific weekend for our club. We’ve been on a little run here for the last three weeks where I’ve seen some improvement in a lot of different areas, but this weekend I thought we were very solid defensively. Both goaltenders played well. Our young defensive corps, I thought, made some good decisions with the puck. They managed the puck very well. I think that was the key to last night’s game, but also tonight’s game. We got exceptional goaltending and we really managed the puck well and were on breakouts. BU’s got some strong forwards and they won some 1-on-1 battles low and came out, but Johnny was right there for them. But for the most part, I thought we played pretty well defensively in front of John. The 5-on-3 certainly was key. Philip Samuelsson broke his stick and became a passenger and Johnny made some great saves. We got some fortunate bounces there, too.
The 1-0 game for a while, it looked like we were going to have a lot of trouble notching one, but then we got the first on and felt a lot better about it. That first shift of the third period, Edwin Shea got his first career goal. I thought Cam [Atkinson] had the goal. It hit the far pipe and came back out. Joey [Whitney] got a big goal and played a very good game for us. That was kind of a key goal for us, that third goal, because BU was still in reach. He got a lot of mustard on that shot, a cannon on the short side I think. But again, we always feel fortunate to come out of Agganis with a couple points, and I feel very proud of the effort we had tonight from our club.
On BC’s success on the penalty kill
Like all power plays, I think if the penalty kill can get some good saves from the goaltender, that’s the first step. Second, is eliminate second-chance opportunities and we did that. I thought we blocked some shots, and if we didn’t block them, then we maybe encouraged a shot just wide of the net because our shin pads and our bodies were in the lane for the puck. We got lucky on the 5-on-3. Like I said, that was like a shooting gallery out there, and we came up with some incredible saves and some shots that were just wide there.
On the play of Carl Sneep
He’s playing his best hockey of his career with us. He’s the elder statesman back there on that blue line corps and we really lean on him a lot, and his offensive production has been terrific for us, but his leadership and just his improvement defensively has helped also.
On why Sneep is playing better this year
I think he probably thought, “Hey, I got to step up here and play better than I did my previous three years here at BC.” And he’s done that. My hat’s off to him. Had a good start to his senior year.
On whether Sneep has helped develop the younger guys
I think he’s worked and helped them in a lot of different areas, but they’re pretty good players themselves. They’re young, but they’re pretty good.
On whether BU’s three goals in the third period in last year’s Hockey East semis came up in the locker room
No. It didn’t come up in the locker room. Last year was last year. We still remember it in the back of our heads, but last year is over with and we have a different team this year. I thought we came out very confident in the third period. There was no panic. We played well and had three goals.
On whether anything was said before the third period in the locker room
Nothing particularly. We were just motivating the guys and getting guys going, just anxious to get the third period underway. We knew we were going to come out strong, and we showed that.
On having so much room for his goal
I think it was the 3-on-2. Steve, my brother, came down on the right wing and drove to the net, and Jimmy made a good drop pass, and the defenseman, I don’t know who it was, went with Jim, so I had a walk down Broadway and tucked it upstairs.
By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff
Offense – B-
BC netminder John Muse was the game’s No. 1 star, and the junior earned it by turning away 30 of BU’s 31 shots. While the Terriers committed more than a handful of turnovers in the offensive zone, they also created 20 grade-A chances in front of the net and forced Muse to play at his highest level for 60 minutes. Junior Nick Bonino was the unquestionable catalyst for the BU offense, registering eight shots and contributing BU’s lone goal on a self-created chance from the left corner of the BC zone. After turning over the puck far too often Friday against Vermont, Bonino picked up his game and played like a legitimate first-line center and playmaker against BC.
Defense – C-
Juniors Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk were each minus-3 Saturday night, and for the most part, the pairing earned the rating with poor positioning and decision making. The Terriers suffered with positioning throughout the third period, and if sophomore Kieran Millan hadn’t played at or near the top of his game throughout the night, BC could have won this game by an even wider margin. Parker did offer rave reviews for the pairing of senior Eric Gryba and sophomore David Warsofsky after the game.
Goaltending – B+
The last time Kieran Millan took the ice, he allowed five goals to Harvard University in a very poor outing. Despite allowing four goals tonight against BC, the improvement in Millan’s positioning and technique were very noticeable. The Edmonton, Alberta native exhibited strong rebound control throughout the game, and was beaten more by bad breaks and BU’s defensive breakdowns –– not by his own game.
Special Teams – B
The good news is the BU power play took 10 shots on five opportunities generated by tape-to-tape passing to set up bombers C. Cohen and Warsofsky with a number of chances from the point. BU seemingly fired at will, especially on a 5-on-3 in the second period, but –– and this brings us to the bad news –– the power-play unit was a lousy 0-for-5 on the night. A lot of that can be credited to Muse’s play in net and a strong shot-blocking performance by the BC penalty kill, but the Terriers are struggling to turn a swift and creative passing game into a power-play unit that creates scoring chances down low. BU did kill off all six of BC’s power plays.
X-Factor – John Muse
Muse’s play has been lauded plenty in the previous paragraphs, but the BC goalie had what could be a breakout game after struggling with an .873 save percentage and a 3.07 goals-against average in his first nine starts.
By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff
One of the many things Boston University men’s hockey coach Jack Parker has become famous for over the years is his ability to find a major fault line where fans and media only see a small crack, or perhaps nothing at all.
Friday night’s postgame press conference following a 3-3 tie with the University of Vermont was the perfect example. Given the Terriers’ domination in shot attempts (81-42), shots on goal (40-24) and grade-A chances (21-5), the natural expectation would be that Parker would be satisfied with how his team played.
Instead, Parker expressed the exact opposite sentiment in his opening statement.
“On paper, it looks like it’s an OK game for us,” he said. “We attempt 81 shots to their 42. Shots on target are almost 2-to-1. But in reality, it’s just covering up that we are not a hungry hockey team. We think it’s OK to just come out here and see what’s gonna happen. Huge points on the line tonight, and we were so far away from being ready to play this game. It was brutal. It looks like it’s OK even in the first period because of the shot chart and the opportunities.
“But in general, we were taking shots, we might as well have been in a pickup game at the Boston Skating Club. My team does not know how to get ready for a game. They hope the other team will suck. Or they think they’re all set because we just got a win and a tie over the Thanksgiving break. We continually spot teams goals in the first period. So in general, it was a masked performance tonight. It looked OK. A couple of our big guns absolutely stunk the house up.
“It’s what we are. It’s who we are. We’re not a hungry team. It’s not that [expletive] important. It’s not important. They don’t wanna do what you have to do to get ready for a game.”
After expressing content with his team’s attitude and practices over the last two weeks, Parker said that he could see the lack of preparation, desire and urgency starting to creep into the clubhouse before Thursday’s practice.
“I thought yesterday, I could see it,” he said. “Practice wasn’t too bad, but I could see it before. Guys are lounging around in the lounge, hanging around, shooting the breeze, playing ping-pong. It’s a half hour before practice, and they’re not getting ready to play, they’re not getting ready to practice. They’re not getting their mind on the big weekend.”
Parker struggled to find an explanation for this phenomenon, but said he doesn’t think it has anything to do with guys not realizing the importance of this weekend.
“They’d have to be insane not to realize how important this game is for their season,” he said. “They’re in last place. They’d have to be absolutely from another planet not to realize how important these two games are this weekend. It’s one thing to know it’s important. It’s another to get ready and make sure you’re gonna win.”
Senior assistant captain and defenseman Eric Gryba, who scored his first goal of the season in the game, agreed with his coach’s assessment of the team’s readiness, but also failed to pinpoint a reason for it.
“We weren’t ready to play . . . We’re just not doing the simple, little things,” he said. “Maybe that’s attributed to being a young team. Maybe it falls on the captain’s shoulders. Maybe we’re not doing a good enough job. But we have to make sure we’re ready for tomorrow night’s game.
“We need more of a sense of urgency to start winning games. A tie is not acceptable anymore. We need to start getting two points in a night.”
Sophomore netminder Grant Rollheiser started for the second straight game Friday night, but Parker said the goalie rotation between he and fellow sophomore Kieran Millan will continue. Assistant coach Mike Geragosian wanted more time to work with Millan on a few things, so the coaching staff decided not to rush him to get ready for Friday’s game, according to Parker. Millan will start Saturday night against arch-nemesis Boston College.
By Cary Betagole/DFP Staff
BU’s offense registered a respectable three goals Friday, but the story was their near misses. Vermont sophomore goalie Rob Madore made 37 saves, but greatly benefited from a couple friendly bounces off the posts and crossbar. Midway through the third period, everyone inside “The Greek” thought junior defenseman Colby Cohen had netted the go-head goal on a wrister from the top of the slot. As it turned out, Cohen’s shot deflected off Madore, and then off the left post, resulting in a no-goal
BU coach Jack Parker wasn’t pleased with the play of many players, but junior captain Kevin Shattenkirk and senior defenseman Eric Gryba were two he was happy with. Not to mention Gryba netted his first goal of the season, to the uproarious pleasure of the Terrier faithful. “I’ve got that monkey off my back for this season,” he joked.
Sophomore goaltender Grant Rollheiser made 21 saves on 24 shots Friday. Vermont’s two first-period goals came within 34 seconds of each other. On the first, Rollie didn’t have much of a chance, getting beat off a pass low glove side after stepping up to meet an attack in the center of the crease. But on the second, a lapse in concentration may have helped Brayden Irwin’s shot from the left circle make it through to the back of the net.
Special Teams: C+
BU was perfect on the penalty kill Friday night, as Vermont went 0-for-3. But considering Vermont’s 9.6-percent season success rate ranks next to last in Division I, that should have been expected. The Terriers were 1-for-6 on the power play—Corey Trivino executed 14:42 into the third to tie the game at three. But in the waning moments of regulation and into overtime, the Terriers couldn’t take advantage of a Wahsontiio Stacey hooking call and score the go-ahead goal.
X-Factor: Falling behind… again
After outshooting the University of Vermont in the first period, 13-6, Boston University saw its momentum disappear with the Catamounts’ two-goal surge. The Terriers were forced into a familiar situation, faced with a comeback attempt for the fourth game in a row.
By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff
Despite outshooting the Catamounts(6-5-2, 4-4-2 Hockey East), 40-24, BU (4-7-3, 2-6-2) coach Jack Parker said after the game his team did not look “hungry,” and expressed displeasure at his squad’s effort.
“Huge points on the line tonight, and we were so far away from being ready to play this game,” Parker said. “In general, we were taking shots, we might as well have been in a pickup game at the Boston Skating Club.
“My team does not know how to get ready for a game. They hope the other team will suck, or they think they’re all set because we just got a win and a tie over the Thanksgiving break.”
BU sophomore Corey Trivino forced the game to overtime with less than five minutes left in regulation. With BU on the power play, freshman Max Nicastro ripped a one-timer on net. UVM sophomore goaltender Rob Madore jumped to make the first save, but left a rebound right at sophomore Vinny Saponari’s feet at the left doorstep. Saponari hit the left post with his put-back try.
The puck clanged off the pipe and fell at the top-right corner of the crease –– on the other side of a growing scrum of bodies atop the blue paint. Madore was the only one near the net who saw the puck, and clawed desperately to glove the biscuit through the mass of legs and skates.
However, Trivino beat him to the puck, swooping from the right wing and lifting the disc into the cage to tie the game at three.
“I thought Vinny actually scored,” Trivino said. “But it hit the post, so I just went in and chipped it in.”
Madore earned the game’s number one star, recording 37 saves. Madore shined in the third period, and before Trivino finally snuck one by the Pittsburgh, Pa. native, Madore made three official saves while avoiding a number of potential disasters on BU scoring chances by gathering loose pucks in front of the cage.
“He was a big factor in us earning a point tonight,” UVM coach Kevin Sneddon said. “The one goal they scored at the end there on the power play, I mean he did everything to keep that puck out of the net. Unfortunately, it just ended up in the right spot for their player for the rebound.”
With 21.2 seconds left in regulation, sophomore Chris Connolly slid a pass to junior Colby Cohen in the slot of the UVM zone. Cohen held momentarily, then fired a wrister that hit Madore in the right shoulder then clanked off the left post. Agganis Arena erupted and the Terriers began celebrating, but the ref near the cage quickly waved the apparent goal off.
A video review confirmed what the ref had seen, and the no goal call was upheld.
In overtime, BU junior Joe Pereira almost tallied the winner for the Terriers, but once again the post bailed out a UVM team that was caught on its heels for most of the third period and overtime. Pereira skated along the goal line to the UVM cage from the left wing and worked a forehand shot past Madore, but the wrister banged off the crossbar, denying BU a possible winner.
Vermont kicked off the scoring at 16:51 of the first when senior Colin Vock drove with the puck into the BU zone on the left wing. Vock blew past C. Cohen, then evaded BU junior Kevin Shattenkirk as the captain tried playing the body coming from the middle of the zone.
Once past Shattenkirk, Vock moved from the wing toward the net, and slid a pass to the top-right side of the crease just before getting decked by BU junior Nick Bonino. Left all alone inside the right circle, UVM freshman Chris McCarthy was left with the task of tapping the biscuit beneath the outstretched glove-side arm of BU sophomore goalie Grant Rollheiser. Vock and sophomore Matt Marshall were credited with assists on the goal.
Just over 30 seconds later, Vermont widened its lead when senior Brayden Irwin beat Rollheiser top-shelf from just inside the left faceoff dot.
BU climbed back into the game when senior defenseman Eric Gryba tallied his first goal of the season. With the teams playing 4-on-4 hockey, Trivino led the puck into the zone at the right wing. Trivino stopped at the right circle and zipped a pass to classmate Vinny Saponari at the left faceoff dot.
Saponari held momentarily, then sent a pass to Gryba, whose 6-foot-4, 219-pound frame was camped out on the right side of the UVM crease. Gryba tipped the pass around Madore for his third goal in 129 career games.
“I was thankful I didn’t miss from there,” Gryba said. “It was just one of those plays –– I just went to the net, stood there and put my stick on the ice. Vinny and Corey pretty much did the rest.”
Four minutes later, Vermont junior Wahsontiio Stacey put the Catamounts back up by two goals. Stacey put a slapshot on net as he wheeled through the slot, which was saved by Rollheiser. Nicastro, trying to block the shot, slid in front of Rollheiser just as the rebound bounced off the BU netminder’s pads. Nicastro redirected the rebound right to Stacey, who had floated to the right goal line, where Stacey threw the puck at an out-of-position Rollheiser and beat him 5-hole.
With just under six minutes left in the second, BU clawed back to within one goal. Sophomore Kevin Gilroy, seeing two white jerseys camped in front of the UVM cage, threw a pass at the opponents net.
Freshman Wade Megan managed to put the pass on net, but it was sophomore Ross Gaudet who got the goal after Madore left the Burlington native a juicy rebound at the right doorstep. Gaudet lifted a backhand over Madore’s sprawled body, bringing the tally to 3-2, Vermont.