Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers cruise past UMass

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AMHERST — On Friday night, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team took the ice at the Mullins Center three days before its upcoming Beanpot championship game.

But before the Terriers (16-7-4, 9-4-3 Hockey East) could shift their focus to No. 4 Boston College, they had to face the University of Massachusetts Amherst in an important league game.

BU scored four goals in the first period en route to an eventual 6-3 win over the Minutemen (7-17-4, 2-12-4 Hockey East), extending BU’s winning streak to five games.

“I liked our focus, I thought we were ready from the drop of the puck,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “I thought we kind of let the score and situation maybe at times dictate our commitment and our honest effort, but I thought we responded when we needed to.”

Here’s what we liked in the Terriers’ win.


Fourth line

BU’s fourth line of sophomore winger Chase Phelps, senior center Mike Moran and junior forward Tommy Kelley accounted for two of the Terriers’ six goals and four of their 15 points on the evening. Andrew has more about the trio’s success in his sider.

Scoring depth

It’s been a trend for the Terriers this year, especially as of late, but BU got goals from all throughout the lineup on Friday night. Three of four lines registered markers and at least one player on each d-pair had a point as well.

“It’s nice when you spread it around …” Quinn said. “Any time you can do that, you get a better chance to win. You don’t want to be a one-line team, and we’re certainly not that right now, so it’s nice to get contributions from those guys and, again, if you’re gonna go places, you need depth and you need everybody contributing, and we certainly did that tonight.”

Jordan Greenway

In his third multi-point game this season, freshman wing Jordan Greenway found the back of the net twice for his third and fourth goals of the year. Greenway now has at least one point in four of his past five games and has posted a 2-5—7 scoring line in that time.

“Obviously it’s a nice feeling,” he said of his two-goal effort. “I really worked on scoring in practice this week, but I just worked hard down low and it just paid off.”

Greenway added that his two senior linemates, assistant captain Matt Lane and forward Ahti Oksanen, have taught him “little things” that they’ve learned in their time at BU.

“They always tell me to have more of a shooting mentality,” he said. “…It’s just been a great time with those two line mates. They’ve really helped me out a lot.”

Oskar Andrén

Freshman winger Oskar Andrén was rewarded for his increasingly good play on Friday night in the form of his first collegiate goal and what would be the game-winning tally. Andrén ripped the puck in the slot and roofed it over goalie Nic Renyard to put BU up 4-1 at the end of the first period.

“It’s nice to see him get rewarded with a goal,” Quinn said.

Sarah and Andrew weren’t late

While I wasn’t late to the game at Mullins Center last season (I actually made it in time for warmups!), Sarah, Andrew and our old pal Conor Ryan were kept from Amherst by some pretty heavy Columbus Day traffic. This year, however, we all got there on time and had a blast, woo!


Penalty kill

The penalty kill was not a bright point in BU’s game Friday, but it wasn’t necessarily as bad as the stat sheet said either. UMass scored two of its three goals on the power play even though the Minutemen “didn’t really have much going on that,” according to Quinn, and the coach added he “didn’t think [BU was] as bad as giving up two out of three opportunities reflects.”

He said maybe being on the Olympic-sized ice had something to do with it, but affirmed that it’s something the Terriers need to work on and that it’s seemed that “when [they’re] off, [they’re] off.”

“I didn’t think we cleared pucks the way we need to, just not really paying attention, systematically just understanding what our responsibilities are,” Quinn said. “We got a little bit sloppy, roaming around a little bit too much, not stopping and starting. We’ve got to work on that.”

The goal that shouldn’t have been

As mentioned before, UMass was pretty prolific on the power play Friday, scoring its first two goals of the game on the man advantage. The opening marker for the Minutemen, however, probably shouldn’t have counted.

About seven minutes into the first period, with bodies in front, senior goaltender Sean Maguire looked to have successfully saved and held onto the puck and so the officials blew the whistle, signaling that play was dead. However, forward Ray Pigozzi finished off the play and put the puck in the back of the net, which prompted the refs to call it a goal. After reviewing the play, the officiating crew determined it was a good goal, despite having blown the whistle prior to it being scored.

“I mean, it should not have been a goal,” Quinn said. “The whistle was blown, everybody in the building knew it.”

Tailing off

It tends to happen when teams are facing a large deficit, but as the game progressed, it appeared that the Minutemen began to drive play a bit more than the Terriers did. After outshooting UMass 14-6 in the first period, BU was outshot for the remaining 40 minutes by a 27-20 margin. Total shot attempts were relatively even for the final two periods, with the Terriers holding a slight 43-41 advantage, but Quinn said they “tailed off a little bit.”

“Lost a little bit of focus, but attribute some of that to the way UMass played,” he said. “They never quit, tough when you’re down 3-0 then 4-1 after one, but they kept coming at us.”

“I thought we had a chance to put them away a few times and we just didn’t do it,” he added. “We let them hang around.”

Pluses and Minuses: Late goal sinks No. 12 BU at No. 15 Yale to start Connecticut weekend


NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — Late in the third period of Friday night’s game against No. 15 Yale University, there was some confusion among the skaters on the ice for the No. 12 Boston University men’s hockey team.

The Terriers had already pulled sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee for an extra skater, but there was a slight issue.

BU had seven skaters on the ice when there should’ve been six.

After some discussing and finger pointing, the problem was sorted out and the Terriers (8-6-3, 4-3-2 Hockey East) had the correct number of skaters to finish the game, although they probably wished they could’ve gotten away with sneaking in an extra, extra forward.

They made it close in the end, but the Terriers fell to Yale, 3-2. Bulldogs (6-4-2) forward John Hayden scored twice, including the game-winner in the third period to propel Yale.

It wasn’t BU’s best effort by any stretch, so here’s a breakdown of the loss at Ingalls Rink.


Slow Start

Honestly, we could have just copied and pasted this section from a bunch of other stories we’ve written, but it really held true again.

It wasn’t like the Terriers got severely outplayed from the outset, and they even got on the board first with senior forward Ahti Oksanen’s ninth goal of the season, but there just seemed to be a flow missing. Part of that could be attributed to Yale’s strong defense and goaltending from Alex Lyon, who had a 1.78 goals-against average coming into the game.

Any way you slice it, BU was outshot 28-19 after two periods, and trailed by a goal after those 40 minutes.

It was the eighth time since Nov. 13 at Providence College that BU has entered a third period either trailing or tied.

“Too little, too late,” said head coach David Quinn. “You can’t beat yourselves, and we just beat ourselves tonight.” 

Major penalty

Yale was already crawling back into the game, and freshman forward Ryan Cloonan did his team no favors by taking a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty on a hit he threw in the neutral zone at 19:03 of the second period.

Thirty-seven seconds into that major penalty, Hayden scored the first of his two goals on a perfect passing play set up by the Bulldogs that started down low from the right-wing boards and eventually to Hayden in the slot.

It would be the only goal the Bulldogs would get on this man advantage, but having Cloonan out of the picture meant an already shorthanded BU group was forced to play down a man for the entire third period.

Missed coverage

Without senior captain Matt Grzelcyk and sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey, it was going to be a challenge for the remaining BU defensemen to step up to contain Yale. But, much to their credit, the blue liners played well for most of the game.

Although they made smart plays a majority of the time, when they did mess up, it directly cost the Terriers.

The goals, most notably the first one, all appeared to involve a missed assignment or failed coverage.

BU had just called a timeout after it iced the puck in the middle of the second period, and off the ensuing faceoff, forward Ryan Hitchcock somehow snuck open near the net and beat LaCouvee on a rebound to tie the game at one with 1:47 left in the second period.

“Coach reiterated all week that they’re not going to beat themselves and unfortunately their first goal and that power-play goal wasn’t great plays on our part, you can’t let them get a lead like that because it’s tough to score goals against them,” said junior defenseman Doyle Somerby.

“Unfortunately it came back to bite us.”


Greenway continues improvement 

Like other highly touted recruits from the U.S. National Team Development Program, freshman forward Jordan Greenway had his fair share of hype coming into his first year on Commonwealth Avenue.

But the first month-plus of his season was relatively quiet, at least points-wise. Quinn reiterated that he liked the potential he saw from Greenway, but there a lack of “killer instinct.”

The faith in Greenway seems to finally be paying dividends. Greenway has five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four games, upping his point total to seven on the year.

On Friday, he had the primary assist on Oksanen’s second-period strike on a pass set up from behind the goal line and to the slot.

“Well he’s getting older, he’s getting more mature, he’s starting to understand how to play the game at this level,” Quinn said after the game Friday. “And I thought that line was really good tonight, that line really possessed the puck and had some great chances. And I really liked the way Jordan played tonight.”

End of penalty kill

Playing down a skater is never easy, but when it’s even more difficult when it’s for five minutes.

But BU, despite giving up one power-play goal on the major penalty, clamped down for the final 4:23 of the penalty, and didn’t allow Yale to again find the back of the net while on the man advantage.

Judy has you covered on this part of the game in her sidebar.

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers use late comeback to tie Cornell at Red Hot Hockey


NEW YORK — It doesn’t count as more than a tie in the standings, but David Quinn and his bunch might be feeling as if they were winners in this one.

Trailing by two goals after two periods, the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team rallied for three goals in the third period to finish with a 3-3 draw against No. 16 Cornell University at Red Hot Hockey.

The Terriers (7-4-3, 3-2-2 Hockey East) did win in a subsequent shootout after a scoreless overtime, and thus won the Kelley-Harkness Trophy for the second consecutive time. BU remains unbeaten in the biannual game with Cornell (6-1-2) at Madison Square Garden with a 3-0-2 record.

We’ll take a look at what went right and wrong for BU in this Manhattan edition of Pluses and Minuses.


Greer and Greenway break out

Sophomore forward A.J. Greer hadn’t scored a goal in a game in seven months. Freshman winger Jordan Greenway was scoreless with BU before Saturday night.

Both came through for for the Terriers on the big stage.

Greer and Greenway scored their first goals of the season in a frantic three-goal third period, helping BU earn a point for the eighth time in nine games.

Judy has more of a breakdown of their success in her sidebar.

Olsson returns, third line looks strong

Exiting after the first period of a Nov. 14 game against No. 1 Providence College, sophomore forward Nikolas Olsson sat out the last four games with what the team called an upper-body injury.

He returned to the lineup Saturday and made an impact with the third line, especially in the third period.

Olsson skated along the right-wing boards and made a crisp pass to center ice that helped set up Bobo Carpenter‘s goal at 5:36 of the third. The goal started a swing of momentum in BU’s favor, as the Terriers scored three minutes later on Greer’s goal, one that was also set up by Olsson.

The third line, as a whole, totaled five points and nine shots on goal during Saturday night’s contest.

“I think it’s a collective effort,” Greer said of his line. “The defensemen moved the puck up quick, and the first couple of shifts, we thought we held our stick too tight so we were kind of nervous, but then as the game went on we started working down low and just doing our job and using the back of the net.

“We got bodies out front, and they rewarded us in the third period. Those goals were big.”

Moving in right direction

It’s been a long stretch of tough games in November for BU, which has now played a top-20 opponent in three consecutive weekends. The Terriers came away with five points in those five games, earning one win and three ties in the process.

Though he would’ve liked to see his team take more wins out of these recent games, Quinn said after Saturday’s tie that he is pleased with where the team is headed as it moves to the second half of the year.

“I like where we’re going,” Quinn said. “I like the direction we’re going. Obviously we still have to get better, we have to get off to better starts. Though like I said, statistically, we didn’t score a goal, but I thought we were playing well.”

Still undefeated 

They didn’t win this time, but the Terriers still haven’t lost a Red Hot Hockey game since its inception in 2007.

BU has earned eight of 10 possible points in the five games played against Cornell, and has now won the Kelley-Harkness Trophy both times since it was created in 2013.


Power Play

A 20 percent success rate on the power play is usually about average, and that holds true for the Terriers, who are sixth in Hockey East in that category.

Average, however, hasn’t been good enough, and Quinn acknowledged this postgame.

“Our power play was disappointing, weren’t able to capitalize in overtime,” Quinn said. “Statistically our power play looks okay, but we’ve really got to get better on the power play. I think we’re just a little bit too slow, too methodical, we’re stick handling too much, and there’s just too much thinking going on out there.”

BU went 0-for-4 with the extra man against Cornell, but did garner 14 shots on goal. But the problem wasn’t getting the puck to the net, it was about finishing, or lack thereof.

There were power-play opportunities for BU  in the second period after each Big Red goal, but neither were converted. The same went for the man advantages in the third period and overtime.

Slow Start

It wasn’t as if BU was completely outplayed in the first period, but the game just felt slow, and the Terriers never really got in a rhythm in the first 20 minutes.

BU did actually lead in shots at 10-9 after one, but there were few high-percentage opportunities. The same could be said for the initial minutes of the second, where Cornell broke through with two goals.

Tonight’s beginning could’ve had to do with nerves, as Quinn admitted even he was battling with “heart palpitations” on the bench.

“I thought early on, they were controlling the play for the first 10 minutes,” Quinn said, “and then I thought we started getting our legs under us a little bit and started playing much better, playing the way we need to play if we’re going to have success.”

Odds and Ends: Playing catch-up

Hey folks. Did you miss us? We certainly missed you!

The past week we’ve had issues with our entire website, which stemmed from our old host. Essentially, the only way to fix this was by switching to a new host. Given the volume of content on the domain, transferring all of the information from the old host to the new one took much longer than we all anticipated.

You might notice that some of our design looks a little different than before — a bunch of our custom design coding got wiped, so we’re in the process of fixing that. But for the moment, getting content brought back to you was a much higher priority.

Naturally, given that we didn’t have a platform to show you all of our content, a whole bunch of BU hockey stuff happened in the past several days. So here’s a gigantic roundup of everything we weren’t able to share with you.

Our sincerest apologies for being out of touch. Hopefully, this transfer avoids any future issues and you guys won’t be left in the dark again. — Sarah

-Last Friday, BU formally announced its incoming seven-person freshman class. No surprises, but we now know what jersey numbers they’ll all wear:

  • #1: Max Prawdzik, G
  • #2: Shane Switzer, D
  • #7: Charlie McAvoy, D
  • #8: Ryan Cloonan, F
  • #14: Bobo Carpenter, F
  • #18: Jordan Greenway, F
  • #23: Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, F

-According to the updated roster on GoTerriers, Ahti Oksanen will wear #17 this season. Dillon Lawrence will wear #28.

-Right before our site blackout, we reported that T.J. Ryan has decided to retire from hockey after multiple concussions. I got a chance to chat with him (and his father, Tom) about what went into that decision and what the future looks like for him. Here’s that story.

-Former Terrier Chris Dyment was formally named the new Director of Hockey Operations on Wednesday. The news was first reported by Jeff Cox of SB Nation on Monday. Here’s Judy’s brief for that.

-Cox also ranked all 12 Hockey East schools in terms of recruiting classes. He ranked BU #2.

Looking forward:
-It’s Hockey East Media Day on Monday! All three of us will be there and will have a full writeup of anything important that happens.

-They’ll unveil the preseason coaches’ poll on Monday, too. We all know that polls don’t have that much value (i.e., BU was picked to finish sixth in the conference last season, and we all know how that turned out) but it’s always fun to see what people say and argue about it.

-On that note of polls, the Hockey East Writers and Broadcasters Association poll is expected to be released on Sunday. We’ve already revealed our votes for that on Twitter (Sarah, Judy, Andrew) but we’ll have a post up on Sunday once the results are out.

3 BU-tied players selected on 2nd day of NHL Entry Draft

Much like the first night, the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft proved to be a successful one for the Boston University men’s hockey program.

Following center Jack Eichel‘s selection at No. 2 overall to the Buffalo Sabres, three players with connections to BU were selected on day two of the draft.

The first of these draft picks was sophomore forward A.J. Greer at No. 39 to the Colorado Avalanche. Although Greer was ranked No. 69 by NHL Central Scouting and was projected to be drafted anywhere between late in the second to the fourth round, Colorado nabbed him early.

Greer battled inconsistencies early in his BU tenure, but picked up his play during BU’s postseason run. He had a chance to play on the second line and made contributions, including a goal during the national semifinal against the University of North Dakota.

The next of the selections was soon-to-be-freshman forward Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson at No. 45 by the Boston Bruins. Forsbacka-Karlsson, who was ranked No. 31 by Central Scouting and 52nd by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, joins captain Matt Grzelcyk as a Bruins prospect.

With the USHL’s Omaha Lancers this season, the 6-foot-1 Karlsson had 53 points in 50 games. The Sweden native is considered a two-way center that can skate well and win faceoffs.

Another 2015 commit, forward Jordan Greenway, rounded out the BU selections when he was taken No. 50 overall by the Minnesota Wild. Standing at 6-foot-4, Greenway is a highly touted power forward in this year’s recruiting class. He had 44 points while playing with U.S. National Under-18 team, which included a trip at Agganis Arena.

Although they were ranked by ISS Hockey, sophomore defenseman Brien Diffley and incoming freshman forward Bobo Carpenter were not taken in the draft.

In all, 23 current or future Hockey East players were selected this season, the most of any college hockey conference. BU and Boston College led the conference with four picks each.