Grading the Terriers: 10/20 vs. Notre Dame

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.

BU-UMass Postgame Notes

Photo by Sarah Gordon, DFP Staff

-BU coach Jack Parker said that sophomore forward Andrew Glass was scratched for breaking team rules. When asked to elaborate, he responded, “He broke team rules.” Glass is expected to be back on Tuesday against Notre Dame.
-Parker said that he thought his younger players were his best players. He mentioned that the third line of Corey Trivino, Wade Megan and Alex Chiasson was BU’s best line. He also said that he liked the way freshman defensemen Sean Escobedo and Max Nicastro played, and that that was why he paired them together for the second and third periods.
-Parker, echoing himself from the two exhibition games, said that his team got too fancy. He said that it looked like they “wanted to get a 10 goal, not a two goal,” referring to the fact that his team was acting like they would be judged after they scored. He specifically called out his top two lines for getting too showy.
-Parker said his team’s “center ice play was horrible.”
-UMass coach Don Cahoon added that he thought there were times where BU’s defensemen held the puck too long, specifically in the neutral zone.
-Parker said that he was disappointed with the play of Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen and Eric Gryba on defense. “Our important guys played below their capabilities,” he said.
-Parker said that his goalie, Kieran Millan, was terrific. “Millan played great.”