By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff
Offense – Grade B
Despite a terrible 19-of-60 performance on faceoffs, BU held even for the most part in time of possession with the River Hawks. The Terriers fired 46 shots to UML’s 42, and put 26 of those shots on goal (UML put 21 shots on net). Especially in the third period, BU did a better job crashing the net and following up on shots. For the second-consecutive night, David Warsofsky was a catalyst on the attack, assisting on Vinny Saponari’s goal and leading the Terriers with five shots on net. Saponari and Kevin Shattenkirk –– BU’s goal scorers –– tied for second with four each.
Defense – Grade C-
BU’s blue-liners struggled mightily down low in their own zone, allowing numerous grade-A shots from around the BU crease while struggling to box out bodies and clear pucks away from the slot. Parker said in his postgame press conference that Shattenkirk and his fellow upperclassmen were “shuffling their feet” too often and not boxing guys out near the slot.
Special Teams – Grade B-
The BU power play is on track to fully righting itself, it appears. The Terriers generated 14 shots in six chances, and improved its puck movement noticeably. Parker switched between playing Warsofsky at wing and dropping him to the second-unit point, and said he’ll continue to do that. Parker also said the Terrier penalty kill was once again strong, despite allowing two goals in seven chances. The team limited UML to seven shots on the man advantage, a respectable clip.
Goaltending – Grade B
Kieran Millan continues to face shot after shot from right on his own doorstep. Generally, three goals on 21 shots makes for a subpar night in net. But when a ton of those chances come from grade-A areas and the defensive troops don’t clear out rebounds at an even average rate, there sometimes isn’t much for a goaltender to do.
X-Factor – Faceoffs
The Terriers were an abysmal 19-for-60 in the faceoff dot, with Chris Connolly and Ryan Santana going a combined 3-for-18. Vinny Saponari was the only Terrier to best the .500 clip, winning 4-of-7 draws. The absence of Nick Bonino is a clear damper on the BU faceoff, especially considering Connolly has struggled to win draws since moving from the wing. However, as UML coach Blaise McDonald said, faceoffs are a five-man effort, and BU’s struggles to beat opponents to draws on loose pucks is reflective of its same struggles to win battles in front of the net and in the corners.