BU head coach David Quinn
BU freshman forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
BU senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan
UMass head coach John Micheletto
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:
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.”
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.
— Six Second Sports (@sixsecsports) February 28, 2016
That’s an impressive use of the body that we haven’t seen all that often from the freshman.
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
BU head coach David Quinn
Danny O’Regan and Connor LaCouvee
UNH head coach Dick Umile
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.
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…
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.”
BU senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan and head coach David Quinn
Northeastern forward John Stevens and head coach Jim Madigan
No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey head coach David Quinn praised his team last weekend for giving full, 60-minute efforts in two wins over the University of Maine.
Those are the kind of games, he said, that are needed down the stretch drive as points become even more valuable. Even against a team like Merrimack College, one that had lost nine in a row coming into Friday, the Terriers would need another complete performance.
In another wire-to-wire effort, the Terriers (14-7-4, 8-4-3 Hockey East) shut out Merrimack, 4-0, with the combined efforts of two netminders, senior Sean Maguire and sophomore Connor LaCouvee.
Four different Terriers scored en route to BU’s third consecutive win and fourth game in a row which the team has earned at least a point.
“I thought we played smart hockey, we possessed it, we didnt turn the puck over,” Quinn said, “a lot of good things and a tough game to play, tough game to play.”
We’ll take a look at the good, the bad and the straight up weird in this Pluses and Minuses.
Lane at the top
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume not many people had Matt Lane as their preseason pick to be the team leader in goals.
But as of the end of this game, that’s where Lane finds himself, though he is technically tied with his classmate, winger Ahti Oksanen.
A week after Maine head coach Red Gendron said his team had “no answer” for Lane and his linemates, Lane scored his 14th goal of the season about halfway through the third period of this one, getting his own rebound and tapping the puck past Merrimack (7-14-5, 2-8-5 Hockey East) goaltender Collin Delia.
The goal was one portion of his three-point night, the second straight game that Lane has recorded three points. In his last four outings, Lane is averaging two points per game.
A lot of what Lane has done to get better in the goal department, according to Quinn, is the fact that he is adding more practice time to his shooting.
“Well, number one, he skates so well,” Quinn said. “Two, he’s really worked on his shot, he’s scored some goal-scorer’s goals. He can really snap it, he gets it off quick, he understands you gotta get inside the hash marks to create some offense and it’s great to see him get rewarded.
“I mean, 14 goals for him is a heck of a senior year.”
Speaking of the other skater with 14 goals, Oksanen added his latest tally at the 18:42 mark of the third period, BU’s fourth and final goal.
But the goal, in the grand scheme of the game, was irrelevant. However, for Oksanen, it was more than just stat-padder.
The empty-netter was Oksanen’s 50th-career goal in the BU uniform, a pretty impressive feat considering the fact that he was a full-time defenseman at this time two years ago. He also joins senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan as the second Terrier to reach the half-century mark in career goals this season.
For as much as he shoots the puck — both during games and practice — Oksanen makes it work and continues to be a force any time he touches the puck in the offensive zone.
Seniors stand out
If it hasn’t been apparent already, the big takeaway from this game was the fact that the seniors played well.
Four elder statesmen (Lane, Oksanen, O’Regan and captain Matt Grzelcyk) combined for six points in the win. O’Regan’s lone point of the night came on a shorthanded attempt in the second period where he took the puck from center ice and broke all alone on goal, beating Delia up high.
“Danny played great tonight, had a lot of energy in the third period,” Quinn said, “him and Matt Lane I thought had really good third periods and, again, your seniors, your seniors have to deliver and three of them get goals tonight so good night for them.”
In the crease, Maguire made all the stops he needed to (27 total), including 10 on Merrimack power-play chances. But that’s only a smidgen of what happened with Maguire tonight. More on that in the minuses…
Bad break for Maguire
Early in the first period during a Merrimack rush, Maguire didn’t quite look himself. It wasn’t the fact that he wasn’t stopping the puck, but he couldn’t move from post-to-post with the quickness that he normally has.
But it was no fault of his own. In an unfortunate incident, his skate blade somehow popped off, and he was forced to come out of the game for a 5:49 stretch to get it fixed.
In that brief span, Maguire not only lost his bid for a shutout (he would have had to have played the full game), but he also lost his chance for a win. Junior forward Robbie Baillargeon scored what turned out to be the decisive goal, which gave LaCouvee the victory.
Sarah has more about this “peculiar” situation in her sidebar.
Penalties add up, power play fails to convert
It wasn’t as if the BU penalty kill wasn’t good, as it went a perfect 6-for-6 for the evening.
But the fact that the Terriers took six penalties in one game is definitely on the negative side. The second period could have gotten out of hand, with the Warriors garnering seven shots on net.
BU’s power play had ample opportunity to get an extra-man goal, but went 0-for-4. Going back to the Terriers’ 1-1 tie with No. 5 Boston College, BU is 1-for-18 on the power play.
Quinn held no secrets about his feelings toward the power-play unit on Friday.
“Didn’t like it,” Quinn said. “Not surprised we didn’t have success. Just, we’re too slow. We’re too methodical, we’re too slow, there’s no pace to our power play right now, which is kind of funny because it was clicking at a great pace when we came back from Christmas but we’re just, we don’t have a shooter’s mentality, we don’t pass it quick enough.
“Other than that, it’s unbelievable.”
For its Hockey East season opener, the No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team earned a “hard-fought” win, according to BU head coach David Quinn, to begin conference play with a 1-0 record.
The Terriers (2-1, 1-0 Hockey East) didn’t necessarily start the game at UConn’s pace (2-2, 0-1 Hockey East), but as time wore on, they adjusted their game to dominate the third period and emerge on top.
Here’s what we thought looked good and bad in the victory.
Tied for the team lead in points with four is freshman winger Ryan Cloonan. In his first game of the season at Union College, Cloonan was in the lineup as the fourth line right wing. He scored the second BU goal of the game, assisted by senior center Mike Moran and junior defenseman Doyle Somerby, and gave the Terriers a temporary 2-1 lead.
The next week for BU’s game vs. the University of Wisconsin, he was slotted in as the second line left wing to freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and tallied a pair of assists.
Against UConn, he notched another marker to extend his point streak.
Quinn said Cloonan’s experience is a valuable asset he brings to the team that the other freshmen might not have. While BU’s rookie class is largely comprised of guys 17 or 18 years old, Cloonan is 20.
And he’s improving with each week as well.
“He’s gotten better in the three weeks he’s been here,” Quinn said. “He’s a lot more conscientious away from the puck, there’s more purpose to his game without the puck, but you see his puck skills, he can really skate. He’s got deception to his game, he can shoot it, so there’s a lot to like in his game.”
As the third period began, Cloonan switched places with freshman forward Jordan Greenway and took the left wing’s place on the first line. Quinn said he thought Cloonan’s quickness would give senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan and senior forward Ahti Oksanen more speed to work with on the top line.
O’Regan said lines were a little bit all over the place as the game went on, but that Cloonan is a “great player and a really offensive guy.”
“He’s a really creative player,” O’Regan said. “So I was definitely open to it. And I think at that stage of the game we just needed a little spark, and switching up the lines was definitely something that could do that for us.”
The Terriers managed to simplify their game and really settle into a groove during the third period, netting three goals in the frame. For more on that, read Sarah’s sider.
During its first two games, BU’s power play looked good. The Terriers were moving the puck well and creating chances for themselves, but they had only converted once out of nine opportunities they had with the man advantage.
On Saturday, though, the scarlet and white were able to capitalize on two of their five power plays as they maintained heavy offensive zone pressure. In their first attempt, though the Terriers didn’t score, they spent so much time in UConn’s zone that the second unit never got a chance to hit the ice. On a delayed penalty, even, BU was able to keep possession of the puck for 47 seconds before the Huskies touched for the whistle.
“We spent an awful lot of time in the offensive zone on the power play,” Quinn said. “We had chances and chances.
“That power play’s going to keep getting better.”
Of the 33 shots BU took on Saturday, 10 came on the man advantage, and seven of their 15 third period shots were of the power play variety.
The two successful conversions resulted in Forsbacka Karlsson’s first collegiate marker and sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato’s second of the year.
On the other side of special teams, the penalty kill was perfect as BU went to the box four times during the contest. The Terriers have allowed just one goal while shorthanded so far this season. It was the first penalty they took of the year against Union on Oct. 10. Since then, they have not conceded a power-play goal the last 12 times they’ve had someone in the box.
Though BU managed a win, Quinn said he thought the team’s puck management was “incredibly sloppy” and that his squad held onto the puck way too long. He said that, along with the way the defense played, contributed to the Terriers’ problems on the night.
“I thought that’s as bad as we played as a D corps unit from a puck management standpoint,” he said. “We held onto it way too long, we weren’t making stick-to-stick passes, we just were very sloppy.”
For two periods, Quinn said he thought the team played “incredibly cute.” That, he said, wasn’t going to get them anywhere in this game.
O’Regan said his coach was referring to the way his team entered the offensive zone. Many guys were trying to make plays through the middle in a way that played “right into [UConn’s] system, where they sag back, and it’s kind of what they want us to do.”
In the third period, though, the Terriers were able to use their speed and take guys wide, O’Regan said, possessing the puck down low to try and create offense.
Second period penalties
Though the Terriers were perfect on the penalty kill Saturday, Quinn said his team’s trips to the box in the second period were “unnecessary” and “stupid.”
BU took one penalty in the first period as sophomore defenseman John MacLeod went off for tripping, and then the Terriers were sent to the box three times in the second. Two of those three penalties were committed by sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey, who went off for cross-checking 59 seconds into the frame and then got called for interference at 9:16.
Cloonan also sat for two minutes at 13:56 for hooking.
BU head coach David Quinn
BU forwards Danny O’Regan and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh