Pluses and Minuses: No. 2 Terriers crush RPI on road

Freshman J.J. Piccinich scored his first collegiate goal in BU's 5-1 win over RPI.  PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman J.J. Piccinich scored his first collegiate goal in BU’s 5-1 win over RPI.
PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

TROY, New York — As with most games this year, it wasn’t the prettiest of starts, but the No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team figured it out by the end, putting together a comfortable 5-1 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Houston Field House.

The Terriers (11-3-2, 7-1-2 Hockey East) escaped one of their sloppiest first periods of the year to date without allowing a goal thanks to junior goaltender Matt O’Connor. A solid second period with goals from junior forward Danny O’Regan and freshmen defensemen John MacLeod and Brandon Hickey put BU ahead to stay. Freshman forward J.J. Piccinich and sophomore winger Nick Roberto put the game on ice with goals late in the third.

Here’s a closer look at went both right and wrong for the Terriers on Saturday night:

Pluses 

O’Connor stands on his head

If not for the play of O’Connor in the first period, the Engineers might have multiple goals and a lead in the frame. But the Toronto native made save after save on 18 chances in the first 20 minutes. Most notably, with about five minutes left in the first, O’Connor sprawled out with his right pad, just barely getting a piece of the puck with his foot to keep the biscuit out of the net.

He continued this play throughout the game, making many tough saves with big bodies screening him near the crease. Not only did he make the stops, but he also kept rebounds to a minimum, something that at times has hampered him during his two-plus years at BU.

Only forward Milos Bubela’s goal with 2:55 left the game could spoil the goaltender’s night, which would’ve been his second-career NCAA shutout.

“Well, obviously we survived another bad first period. I thought our goalie was outstanding,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “I thought their goalie made some great saves, too, but I thought our guy made a lot more.”

Save that puck

Throughout the first half of the 2014-15 season, Piccinich has worked hard on the forecheck as part of the second line. Despite his hard-nosed play, he had been kept goalless in 13 games. But his consistent effort finally paid dividends at RPI.

With BU already leading by three, Piccinich corralled the puck in the middle of the zone, turned around and fired a wrister that beat goaltender Scott Diebold glove side for the freshman’s first goal with the Terriers.

According to Quinn, this score could be the first of many for Piccinich.

“He’s been playing very well,” Quinn said. “It’s good to see a guy like that get rewarded. We’ve kind of always felt once he gets one, maybe it’ll start coming in bunches. Hopefully that’ll happen once the second half starts.”

The drought is over

It had been over three games since BU last converted on a power-play chance. Bad zone entries, missed passes and losing puck battles marred the Terriers’ man-advantage unit over a 0-for-13 span. Late in the second period, though, BU finally scored with an opponent in the penalty box.

After a failed attempt in the first period, the Terriers made the most of their second opportunity of the game. The unit cycled the puck well through the zone and cashed in when O’Regan tipped in a shot coming from the left circle from freshman center Jack Eichel. O’Regan found himself at the right place at the right time, but more importantly, so did his stick.

“It took us a couple tries to get settled in I think, but once we got it in the zone, and we got them running around a lot off of great puck movement up top, those other four guy son with me, and Jack just feathered a pass to me for an empty net,” O’Regan said. “I think just the puck movement was the key to that.”

Second period turnaround 

Solid third periods have won BU many games this year, but back-to-back three-goal second periods have carried the Terriers the last two games.

Better passes led to more and efficient offensive zone time, and BU made the most of this. For more on this part of the game, check out Sarah’s sidebar.

Minuses 

Same old start

It’s been well documented that the Terriers don’t play their best hockey in the first period. Saturday night was no different by any means. O’Connor’s play might’ve been the only thing that went well for the Terriers in this 20-minute span. The Engineers continually camped in front of the net and had some quality chances by the end of the frame.

RPI did actually have a 1-0 lead for a brief moment before the referees waived off forward Jimmy Devito’s would-be goal because O’Connor was bumped into by an Engineers skater.

Poor play continues to be a part of this team’s starts, and it could end up biting the Terriers back one of these games.

Pluses and minuses: No. 2/3 Terriers escape with draw at No. 18 Merrimack

Freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey tallied his seventh assist of the season against No. 18 Merrimack College
Freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey tallied his seventh assist of the season against No. 18 Merrimack College

NORTH ANDOVER — For the second time this season, the No. 2/3 Boston University men’s hockey team skated to tie, this time with Merrimack College, 1-1, Friday night at Lawler Arena.

A sluggish beginning and a sloppy second period slowed the Terriers (9-3-2, 6-1-2 Hockey East) until junior forward Matt Lane lit the lamp early in the third. They forced overtime, but the Terriers could not get the game-winning tally despite a power-play opportunity in the final minute of sudden death.

As always, things went both right and wrong for the Terriers. Below is a detailed look at Friday night’s contest at Merrimack (10-4-2, 4-3-1 Hockey East):

Pluses

Life in the fast Lane

Lane finds himself toward the middle of BU’s statistics page, although his play this season has been better than a middle-of-the-pack point-getter.

His net-front presence has been crucial for the Terriers this season, especially in third periods. Two of his three goals before Friday night’s game came in situations to either tie or win a game. And at 1:37 in the third stanza tonight, Lane added to this total.

Standing at the right place at the right time, the Rochester, New York native tapped in loose puck past goaltender Collin Delia to knot up the score.

“He’s had a great year. He’s played very well,” said BU coach David Quinn. “He’s skating, he’s being more physical, he’s going to the net more. Maybe that was his third or fourth, and I think if you combine the length that all his goals have traveled it would equal two feet, so that says something for going to the net.”

The killers

If you looked toward the penalty box Friday night, chances are you saw a BU player sitting in it. The Terriers had a combined penalty-minute time that totaled more than a third of regulation.

That tally was skewed by a 10-minute misconduct from freshman defenseman John MacLeod, but the number of penalties the Terriers took was staggering. But as bad as the infractions were, the penalty kill was just as good.

The four-man unit stuck bodies in front that stood in shooting lanes. When it came down to it, junior goaltender Matt O’Connor made the saves, and his defensemen chipped pucks out of the zone at opportune moments.

Hickey continues to move it along

Along with freshman forward Jack Eichel, his classmate in defenseman Brandon Hickey has time and again proven the strength of BU’s rookie class. The blueliner’s play on the penalty kill can’t be understated, but it’s been his ability to move the puck that has stood out the most.

Hickey found open forwards in tight windows and pinched down low for chances when he had the opportunity. When he threw the puck toward the net a little over 1:30 in the third period, he set up Lane for the tying goal. The helper was Hickey’s seventh of the year, good for fourth in assists on the team.

Everybody clap your hands

The Merrimack sound crew provided quite the array of songs for this game, and for that, they make the cut with a plus. It was a good selection of hits spanning multiple generations. The players even got into the fun, as Hickey was spotted clapping along to the “Cha-Cha Slide” from the bench.

The only minus? They played Sail by AWOLNATION twice.

Minuses

Man down … over and over again

The Terriers played with four skaters. A lot. BU was called for six penalties in the second period, including successive penalties to freshman forward Chase Phelps. The referees called the game tight to the vest, and the Terriers ended up on the wrong side of most calls.

For more on the penalty issues, check out Judy’s sider.

The ice shrinks and so do the shot totals

Lawler Arena is a smaller venue, both in capacity and in ice size. For a team like the Terriers that rely on speed to create open looks at the net, the rink proved to be an issue.

Eichel, who’s consistently stickhandled his way into open areas, could not really use his usual tricks on this night. BU’s vaunted first line really had nothing going for most of the contest aside from a few chances.

The Terriers had trouble getting pucks toward the net as whole, putting 22 on goal for the game, a season-low.

“There’s not a lot of room out there and we that’s why you need to move the puck quicker, to not allow them to smother you, which they’re very good at, and I mean that in a complimentary way,” Quinn said. “We don’t shoot the puck enough either. I mean we had some chances to shoot the puck and 22 shots is just not acceptable.

“I mean we’re definitely a little bit snake-bitten, but we’re not shooting enough. You become snake bitten when you get 22 pucks on net. You’d be a lot less snake bitten if you got 35.”

Second period misses

In what proved to be a poor period, the Terriers did have two golden opportunities to score twice. But they shot themselves in the foot both times.

Senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann got a partial breakaway and walked right in on doorstep. Instead of deking to get Delia out of position, Hohmann shot it right at his glove.

Hohmann’s fellow senior assistant captain, Evan Rodrigues, charged up the ice on a 2-on-1 with junior forward Ahti Oksanen. Instead of taking an open shot, Rodrigues attempted a saucer pass to the junior. Merrimack’s defense poked away the pass, and BU was left shaking its head again.

“We had a 2-on-1, clear as day we should shoot the puck, and we don’t,” Quinn said. “We’ve gotta bear down more, we gotta get more pucks to the net, and we’re getting too cute, we’re getting too cute, and we drive people wide, throw pucks to the net.”

By the Numbers versus BC and UConn; Jaromir Jagr discusses Jack Eichel

The No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team’s win over No. 8 Boston College at Conte Forum on Friday propelled the Terriers higher into the national rankings. A tie versus the University of Connecticut the following night meant the Terriers (5-1-1, 3-1-1 Hockey East) earned three out of four points in Hockey East play over the weekend.

Again, we take a look at BU’s Corsi and Fenwick numbers from each of the games this weekend in this edition of By the Numbers.

*Note: On the Boston College scoresheet, the BC stats people did not indicate each shot that was a power-play chance. Instead of subtracting power-play shots on goal, I will just use all shots toward net for that game for simplicity reasons. For the UConn game, I will only look at 5-on-5 chances.*

Corsi and Fenwick vs. BC Full Game

  • Corsi For (Shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots): 42
  • Corsi Against: 60
  • Corsi For Percentage: 41.2
  • Fenwick For (Shots on goal, missed shots): 36
  • Fenwick Against: 54
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 40
  • BU Goals For: 5
  • BC Goals For: 3

Corsi and Fenwick vs. BC First Period

  • Corsi For: 14
  • Corsi Against: 19
  • Corsi For Percentage: 42.4
  • Fenwick For: 10
  • Fenwick Against: 17
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 37.03
  • BU/BC Goals For: 0

Corsi and Fenwick vs. BC Second Period

  • Corsi For: 14
  • Corsi Against: 23
  • Corsi For Percentage: 37.8
  • Fenwick For: 12
  • Fenwick Against: 21
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 36.4
  • BU Goals For: 1
  • BC Goals For: 2

Corsi and Fenwick vs. BC Third Period

  • Corsi For: 14
  • Corsi Against: 18
  • Corsi For Percentage: 43.8
  • Fenwick For: 14
  • Fenwick Against: 16
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 46.7
  • BU Goals For: 4
  • BC Goals For: 1

Corsi and Fenwick vs. UConn Full Game

  • Corsi For: 57
  • Corsi Against: 31
  • Corsi For Percentage: 64.8
  • Fenwick For: 49
  • Fenwick Against: 28
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 63.6
  • BU Goals For: 4
  • UConn Goals For: 4

Corsi and Fenwick vs. UConn First Period

  • Corsi For: 25
  • Corsi Against: 13
  • Corsi For Percentage: 65.8
  • Fenwick For: 15
  • Fenwick Against: 13
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 53.6
  • BU/UConn Goals For: 1

Corsi and Fenwick vs. UConn Second Period

  • Corsi For: 12
  • Corsi Against: 4
  • Corsi For Percentage: 75
  • Fenwick For: 11
  • Fenwick Against: 2
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 84.6
  • BU Goals For: 0
  • UConn Goals For: 1

Corsi and Fenwick vs. UConn Third Period

  • Corsi For 25
  • Corsi Against: 12
  • Corsi For Percentage: 67.6
  • Fenwick For: 18
  • Fenwick Against: 12
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 60
  • BU Goals For: 3
  • UConn Goals For: 2

Corsi and Fenwick vs. UConn Overtime 

  • Corsi For: 8
  • Corsi Against: 2
  • Corsi For Percentage: 80
  • Fenwick For: 5
  • Fenwick Against: 1
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 83.3
  • BU/UConn Goals For: 0

Takeaway

Against the Eagles (4-4, 1-3 Hockey East), BU definitely did not spend all that much time in the offensive zone. The Terriers did, however, make the most of their chances in the third and got a little bit of puck luck. Junior goaltender Matt O’Connor stood tall on his end to keep BU in the game. It didn’t take puck possession, but a couple of flukey goals propelled the Terriers in this one.

On the other hand, BU could’ve easily defeated UConn (2-4-3, 1-2-1 Hockey East) by three-plus goals last Saturday. On even-strength chances, BU held the puck for extended periods of time. The penalties caught up to the team, which is why the score was tied in the end. Staying out of the penalty box is paramount for this team going forward.

Other Notes

— Check out Maya’s photo gallery from the BC game.

— New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr spoke with WEEI.com about BU freshman Jack Eichel. It’s Jagr at his finest.

— Eichel was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week for his four-point weekend against BC and UConn.

Pluses and Minuses: Late comeback not enough for Terriers against Providence

You can’t win them all, or at least it’s very difficult to, and the No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team was a prime example of that old adage Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

Junior captain Matt Grzelcyk recorded an assist in BU's 2-1 loss to Providence.  PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Junior captain Matt Grzelcyk recorded an assist in BU’s 2-1 loss to Providence.
PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Terriers (4-1, 2-1 Hockey East) started off with four straight wins to start the 2014-15 season, but finally took one in the loss column against No. 8/9 Providence College. A late push in the third period was not enough to best the Friars (2-3-1, 1-1 Hockey East).

Here’s a closer look into what went right and wrong this evening:

Minuses:

First-Period Slog

After Friday night’s 4-1 win at Schneider Arena, BU coach David Quinn said he believed Saturday’s game would be the toughest game of the Terriers’ early schedule. He expected Providence to come out and play with intensity, which the Friars did.

The problem?

BU was just about as sluggish as you could get in that same period. Providence outshot the Terriers 17-5 and held a 1-0 lead.

“I knew that they were going to amp up their game, and I was hoping we were going to match our effort last night and maybe even turn it up a notch, but we didn’t until maybe 10 minutes into the second period,” Quinn said.

For more on the opening frame woes, read Conor’s side bar.

Penalties Extravaganza

The Terrier penalty kill looked on the upswing during the first game of the home-and-home series, killing all four PC power-play chances. But a successful penalty unit got into trouble from the outset Saturday.

Freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey and his classmate, forward Nikolas Olsson, were each called for two-minute minors in the first period. The Terriers killed off the first infraction, but junior goaltender Matt O’Connor could only do so much on the second score. Forward Matt Jankowski netted in a shot to put the Friars up, 1-0.

BU killed off the rest of the penalties for the rest of the game, but the special teams unit spent a total of 16 minutes on the ice — four of which came in the crucial final period.

Turnovers Galore

Unlike in basketball or football where there are official stats for turnovers and steals, there is not such a stat kept in hockey. Just watching this game though, the Terriers had some costly defensive zone turnovers.

The one that sticks out the most was on Providence’s second goal. Hickey battled for the puck along the left-wing boards and tried to fire a cross-ice D zone pass. Instead of finding a scarlet and white skater, he all but assisted Shane Luke’s shot that beat O’Connor glove side.

As BU mounted its comeback in the third period, another defensive turnover almost put the game out of reach. Forward Ross Mauermann stole the puck in the slot and got it by O’Connor. The shot, luckily for the Terriers, bounced off the crossbar and out of harm’s way.

“I thought our goalie was great early, I thought their goalie was great late, Quinn said. “We just had a couple of costly turnovers that end up in the back of our net and we couldn’t get the second one by [goaltender Jon] Gillies.”

Pluses

Third Period Turnaround

This year’s Terrier squad has made a habit of playing well in the third period. Coming into the game, BU had a combined nine goals for and none allowed in the final period of the game. Even in a loss, the Terriers’ best 20 minutes came at the end.

From the first draw of the stanza, BU’s forecheck was aggressive and pounded Gillies with shots. An abysmal attack to start the contest finished with a flourish.

The effort paid off at the 4:38 mark when after multiple chances in scrum in the crease, junior forward Danny O’Regan stuffed in a rebound after junior defenseman Matt Grzelcyk’s first few chances were denied.

BU pressured Gillies for the remainder of the game, but he was in position for the remainder of the shots, including chances on a last-minute BU power play.

“I like how we pulled it together and I liked how not only made a game of it, I really felt like at one point we were going to tie it. But too little, too late,” Quinn said.

Matt O’Connor

One of the only reasons the Terriers stayed in the game so long was the play of the junior netminder. O’Connor carried in a three-game winning streak, and played his best Saturday to get a fourth.

He overcame 27 shots through two periods — many of which were chances in high-scoring areas. The junior kept the rebounds to a minimum and stopped all but two shots. It was a tough-luck loss for O’Connor in this one.

By the Numbers: BU versus Providence (Part I)

The No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team dominated No. 8/9 Providence College on Friday night in just about every aspect of the game. What started as a back-and-forth contest finished as a one-sided affair.

After BU’s (4-0, 2-0 Hockey East) goal from freshman defenseman John MacLeod at the 11:26 mark in the first period, the Terriers took hold of the game. In this edition of By the Numbers, again we look at BU’s Corsi and Fenwick numbers during non power-play situations. And just like the scoreboard, the Terriers dominated in these categories.

Corsi Full Game 

Corsi For: 59 (Shots on goal, missed shots, blocked shots)

Corsi Against: 32

Corsi For Percentage: 64.8

BU Goals: 4

PC Goals: 1

Corsi First Period

Corsi For: 26

Corsi Against: 15

Corsi For Percentage: 63.4

BU Goals: 1

PC Goals: 1

Corsi Second Period

Corsi For: 17

Corsi Against: 14

Corsi For Percentage: 54.8

BU Goals: 2

PC Goals: 0

Corsi Third Period

Corsi For: 16

Corsi Against: 6

Corsi Percentage: 72.7

BU Goals: 1

PC Goals: 0

Fenwick Full Game

Fenwick For : 52 (Shots on goal, missed shots)

Fenwick Against: 26

Fenwick For Percentage: 66.7

Fenwick First Period

Fenwick For: 23

Fenwick Against: 12

Fenwick For Percentage: 65.7

Fenwick Second Period

Fenwick For: 14

Fenwick Against: 11

Fenwick For Percentage: 56

Fenwick Third Period

Fenwick For: 15

Fenwick Against: 3

Fenwick For Percentage: 83.3

Takeaway

Even if you didn’t get to see this game, these numbers tell the story. BU played a nearly spotless game from start to finish. The Terriers had a sizable advantage in these numbers in every period. What stood out for me was that final period Fenwick of the game. The Friars recorded only recorded three shots on goal throughout the period.

But what is really impressive for the BU defense is how it played in even strength-chances. Providence recorded only one shot on goal in 5-on-5 situations in the final frame. The other two even strength opportunities either missed the net or hit the post.

When you put the puck on net and keep the other team from getting any opportunities, it’s easy to win games. That’s what the Terriers accomplished on Friday night at Schneider Arena.

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers dominate Friars on Halloween night

Senior forward Cason Hohmann recorded two assists Friday night against Providence. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Cason Hohmann recorded two assists Friday night against Providence. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — It was a ghastly experience for No. 8/9 Providence College on Halloween night at Schneider Arena, as No. 6 Boston University unleashed its full bag of tricks against the Friars, treating itself to a dominating 4-1 victory in the process.

The Terriers will look to continue their hot start to the season at home against the Friars Saturday night. If BU emerges victorious against Providence for the second night in as many games, it will be the program’s first 5-0 start since the 1991-92 campaign.

Here’s a look at what went right and wrong for the Terriers on Friday night:

Pluses:

D Steps Up Against The Friars

The Terriers’ defensive unit made their mark against the Friars, holding its opponent to just 18 shots in the game, including a minuscule three pegs in the final period of play.

Even with four power-play opportunities, the Friars could do little to generate offense, accruing just two shots on the man advantage.

“Our D corps is doing really well right now,” said freshman blueliner John MacLeod, who netted his first collegiate goal in the first period. “We’re working a lot on specifics in practice and stuff. We’re a young D corps, obviously. We have a lot of freshmen that are playing a lot of minutes, but we’re doing a great job so far. We just got to keep working hard to be successful.”

Second Line Succeeds 

BU’s second line unit of senior forward Evan Rodrigues, senior forward Cason Hohmann and sophomore forward Robbie Baillargeon excelled against the Friars Friday night, combining for six points in the win. Sarah Kirkpatrick has more on the performance of the second line here.

The Usual Suspects

BU received additional scoring from the ever-fruitful OREO line of freshman forward Jack Eichel, junior forward Ahti Oksanen and junior forward Danny O’Regan, who helped generate two goals for the Terriers.

Oksanen made it a 2-1 game at 2:12 in the second – cashing in on a juicy rebound off the pads of Providence goaltender Jon Gillies to give the Terriers their first lead of the night.

Eichel would later cap BU’s scoring efforts at 3:21 in the third, firing a wrister past Gillies on an impromptu breakaway to give the Terriers a three-goal cushion.

“I thought Jack played great,” Quinn said. “I thought he blocked shots – he was physical. He was, offensively, good. I thought he moved the puck better tonight. Sometimes when you got all that skill and you’re used to skating by five guys, I think he was holding on to it a little much early on this year, but I thought his puck movement was good, and that line was good again, it’s a dangerous line and it’s fun to watch him emerge.”

Down Goes Gillies

While his numbers this season may not stand as an accurate reflection on the standard that’s he’s set over the last two-plus seasons at Providence, Gillies is still an intimidating presence between the pipes.

Despite his skill in net, Gillies could do little against BU, as the Terriers peppered the netminder with 41 shots in the contest while generating offense as a result of a strong net-front presence and keen passing.

“It’s a great plan. It’s always a great plan to get 40 [shots],” Quinn said. “He’s a heck of a goalie, you got to get that net-front presence, you got to shoot pucks – two of them were on rebounds. … MacLeod’s shot was from the point but we had traffic. The next two goals were on rebounds and then Jack’s was a partial breakaway, so you got to get pucks on him.

“If you’re going to score four, you better get 40, because without question, he’s going to save a majority of them, but I thought that we did a good job in the offensive zone possessing and using our points.” Quinn said. “I thought we used the back of the net well, so you just got to get pucks on him, because he’s very, very good.”

The 2012 Calgary Flames prospect now possesses an unimpressive 1-4-1 record in his career against the Terriers.

Minuses:

Providence Jumps Out Early

While BU might have dominated the box score at the end of the game, Providence made it interesting early. The Friars were the first to get on the board, as forward Steven McParland fired a shot from the left circle that beat BU netminder Matt O’Connor blocker side to put PC up 1-0 at 7:37 in the first period.

That would be all that Providence would be able to muster against O’Connor and the Terriers, as the Toronto native registered 14 saves in his third win of the season.

A Tough Test At Home

Aside from the Friars’ first-period score, Quinn struggled to come up with many negatives to take away from Friday’s match. However, BU’s bench boss acknowledged that he expects BU’s foe from “The Ocean State” to bring everything it has Saturday night.

“I’ll find something, trust me. That’s my job,” Quinn said when asked to find additional flaws in BU’s performance. “I’m a coach, I can never be happy all of the time. But there’s always things you can work on — always. I know this, I know that we’re going to see a very determined hockey team tomorrow night. They’re well-coached, they’ve got a lot of good players.

“I know tomorrow night, and I’m not just saying this is in coach talk, this will be the hardest game of the year tomorrow,” Quinn added. “Without question.”

By the Numbers: BU versus Michigan State, Michigan

A highly anticipated weekend for the No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team culminated in two wins against two Big Ten opponents in Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. The Terriers (3-0, 1-0 Hockey East) had to rely on strong third-period play — and some luck — for the first time this season.

In our third addition of By the Numbers, we look at the Corsi and Fenwick advanced stats for BU’s two-game weekend. I also want to take note that in our first two posts, we focused on the team’s stats in all phases of the game (even strength, power play, penalty kill). In this post, and all of those going forward, I would like to look at BU’s performance in just 5-on-5 situations.

So here’s a closer look at BU’s two wins from the weekend:

Corsi/Fenwick vs. Michigan State (Full Game)

Corsi For: 65 (Shots on goal, missed shots, blocked shots)

Corsi Against: 53

Corsi For Percentage: 55.1

Fenwick For: 51 (Shots on goal, missed shots)

Fenwick Against: 34

Fenwick For Percentage: 60

BU Goals For: 1

MSU Goals For: 0

Corsi/Fenwick First Period

Corsi For: 28

Corsi Against: 12

Corsi For Percentage: 70

Fenwick For: 22

Fenwick Against: 11

Fenwick For Percentage: 66.7

BU Goals For/MSU Goals For: 0

Corsi/Fenwick Second Period

Corsi For: 26

Corsi Against: 16

Corsi For Percentage: 61.9

Fenwick For: 20

Fenwick Against: 9

Fenwick For Percentage: 69

BU Goals For: 1

MSU Goals For: 0

Corsi/Fenwick Third Period

Corsi For: 11

Corsi Against: 25

Corsi For Percentage: 30.6

Fenwick For: 9

Fenwick Against: 14

Fenwick For Percentage: 39.1

BU/MSU Goals For: 0

 

Corsi/Fenwick vs. Michigan (Full Game)

Corsi For: 53

Corsi Against: 62

Corsi For Percentage: 46.1

Fenwick For: 41

Fenwick Against: 51

Fenwick For Percentage: 44.6

BU Goals For: 3

Michigan Goals For: 2

Corsi/Fenwick First Period

Corsi For: 17

Corsi Against: 11

Corsi Percentage: 60.1

Fenwick For: 14

Fenwick Against: 10

Fenwick For Percentage: 58.3

BU Goals For: 0

Michigan Goals For: 1

Corsi/Fenwick Second Period

Corsi For: 15

Corsi Against: 23

Corsi For Percentage: 39.5

Fenwick For: 11

Fenwick Against: 18

Fenwick For Percentage: 37.9

BU Goals For: 1

Michigan Goals For: 1

Corsi/Fenwick Third Period

Corsi For: 21

Corsi Against: 28

Corsi For Percentage: 42.9

Fenwick For: 16

Fenwick Against: 23

Fenwick For Percentage: 41.0

BU Goals For: 2

Michigan Goals For: 0

 

Takeaway

Looking at these statistics, BU could’ve easily walked away with a huge win on Friday night against the Spartans. Goaltender Jake Hildebrand was named one of the three stars of the game, and this shows why. BU dominated puck possession for most of the game, but he allowed just one goal. BU coach David Quinn wasn’t pleased with the offensive performance, saying his team missed the net a lot and was too fancy with the puck. Though some of this does hold true, BU should’ve had a better showing on the scoreboard.

Saturday against the Wolverines, though, was a different story. Michigan consistently kept up the pace against BU and gave junior netminder Matt O’Connor a challenge in net. He kept the Terriers in it, allowing two goals, part of the reason he was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. BU’s goals against Michigan all came down low, either on deflections or chances that goaltender Zach Nagelvoort had little chance to save. A win is a win, but according to the numbers, it should’ve been Michigan in the victor’s column.

Odds and Ends: BU defeats St. Thomas in exhibition game

The Boston University men’s hockey team walked away with a 12-1 over St. Thomas University on Saturday night. On the strength of junior forward Ahti Oksanen’s four goals, BU’s offense made things look easy from the outset. Here’s a little bit of what happened in the game and some other news in the world of college hockey.

-For more analysis on Saturday’s game, here’s our recap of BU’s win and story on Oksanen’s big day at forward.

-Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation named goalie Matt O’Connor as one of the 20 netminders to watch this season for the Mike Richter Award, an honor for college hockey’s top goaltender.

-The New York Times ran a feature on freshman forward Jack Eichel and his rise to success.

-The BU 2009 squad lost to the Maine 1993 team in the NCAA’s Frozen Four’s Finest Championship round.

-Boston College also won their preseason game at Conte Forum, defeating the University of New Brunswick.

-The University of New Hampshire was shut out by St. Francis Xavier on Saturday night.

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