Last year Terriers: Where are they now?

The first round of the annual Beanpot tournament is over, which means that there are only a few weeks left of the Boston University men’s hockey regular season. Looking forward, BU will take on No. 11 Northeastern University Monday night in the Beanpot Championship. After, the Terriers will only have conference matchups during the regular season.

As this blog has done in the past, Liam and Matt thought it would be a good idea to update the Boston Hockey Blog faithful on what the members of last year’s team, who do not wear the scarlet and white, are up to.

Oskar Andrén – Ferris State University
Andrén transferred to Ferris State University and has not appeared in a game for the team this season.

Kieffer Bellows – Portland Winterhawks

The former first round pick left BU to play junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. His 52 points (26g and 26a) have him third on the Winterhawks this season.

Bellows is known for his shot and it was on full display at the World Junior Championship, where he had nine goals over the seven games. He also secured a spot on the IIHF All-Star Team.

He signed an entry-level contract with the New York Islanders back in September.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Providence Bruins

The Terriers’ former assistant captain is currently skating for the Providence Bruins. He is currently tied for second with 13 goals and his 28 points are good for fourth.

Tommy Kelley – Worcester Railers

Kelley has split time this year with the Manchester Monarchs, Cincinnati Cyclones, Atlanta Gladiators and Worcester Railers.

In 13 games this year, he has two goals and two assists.

Clayton Keller – Arizona Coyotes

The former No. 7 draft pick is currently is lighting up the score sheets in the NHL. The 19-year-old rookie currently leads his team in points and is fourth among rookies with 36. He also leads the Coyotes with 14 points and 22 assists.

He is considered among the front runners for the Calder Trophy.

Connor LaCouvee – Minnesota State University

After backing up then freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger last season, LaCouvee transferred to Minnesota State University and is now their starting goaltender.

LaCouvee has appeared in 19 games this season, and has a 1.92 goals against average and .913 goal save percentage this season.

He returned to Agganis Arena in October and helped guide Mankato to a sweep of the Terriers. In his one appearance in the series, he saved 32 shots in the 6-3 victory.

Charlie McAvoy – Boston Bruins

The first year blueliner often skates among the first defensive pairing with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. McAvoy recently returned to the lineup after missing sometime due to a heart procedure.

On the season, McAvoy has 25 points thanks to five goals and 20 assists. He is also a strong candidate for the Calder Trophy.

Johnny McDermott – Providence College

McDermott announced he will continue his NCAA career with Hockey East foe No. 9 Providence College.

Nick Roberto – South Carolina Stingrays
The Wakefield native signed to play with the South Carolina Stingrays over the summer. In 33 games, he has 11 points.

Doyle Somerby – Cleveland Monsters

Last season’s captain, Doyle Somerby, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in August 2017 after not signing his entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.

He is currently skating for their AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, and has six assists so far on the season.

Forward Johnny McDermott Announces Transfer To Providence

Former Boston University men’s hockey forward Johnny McDermott is taking his talents to Hockey East rival Providence College, the sophomore announced Wednesday night via Twitter.

After receiving playing time in 14 games of his first season with the Terriers, McDermott was stuck behind a loaded freshman class of forwards on the depth chart this year and was unable to break onto the ice.

The Darien, Connecticut native took seven shots as a freshman, including two each against Union College and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

While he did not score a goal during his BU tenure, he recorded an assist in his first collegiate action. In a 6-1 win over Colgate University last season on Oct. 8, McDermott combined with current sophomore forward Gabriel Chabot (who has also struggled to find ice time this season) to set up former forward Tommy Kelley on a goal to give the Terriers a 4-0 lead in the game.

McDermott joins a Friars program that handed BU a disappointing 3-0 loss in Rhode Island on Saturday night and will take on BU this Friday night at Agganis Arena.

Preview: BU hosts Notre Dame to close out regular season

One hundred and forty days later, the No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 2016-17 regular season will come to a close on Saturday night.

The Terriers will host No. 13 University of Notre Dame for a weekend set at Agganis Arena, with the action getting underway Friday at 6 p.m. and wrapping up one day later at 7 p.m.

Heading into the series, BU has a first-round bye in the Hockey East playoffs clinched, but can still capture the regular-season crown. For a full rundown of what’s set to unfold, check out Jonathan’s preview on The Daily Free Press.


Aside from playoff implications, Saturday’s game will mark the last regular-season contest of Doyle Somerby, Nick Roberto and Tommy Kelley’s careers. They’ll have their Senior Night, capping four years of throwing on the scarlet and white.

The trio means a lot to head coach David Quinn, too, because his first year at the helm was also their freshman season.

To recount their time on Commonwealth Avenue, Jonathan caught up with Somerby, Roberto and Kelley to reflect. Click here for the full story on The Daily Free Press.

Midseason Report: BU hockey, halfway through 2016-17 season, in position to thrive

2016harvard-3328-1600x1065Boy does time fly by.

It feels like yesterday that the Boston University men’s hockey team got its 2016-17 season underway, but the halfway point is here. As things stand, BU is 10-5-2, sits fourth in the Pairwise rankings and sixth in the Hockey East standings.

Of course, the state of the Terriers is not that simple, so we’re here to break down some of the subtler nuances and trends that developed in the fall of 2016. It’s also important to note context, as BU entered the year with great hype and expectations, largely the byproduct of rostering 11 NHL Draft picks. The jury is still out on whether all that talent will translate into silverware of some kind.

Before we get underway, it’s important to give these two quotes from disparate parts of the semester a read through. The first came on Sept. 27 at Hockey East’s annual media day, and is from junior assistant captain Nikolas Olsson. Meanwhile, the second is from head coach David Quinn and came after BU’s 5-2 win over Yale on Dec. 13.

Quote 1: “We want to hold ourselves to our own standard, so we don’t want to pay attention to what everyone else expects us to do. We tune everything out and when we’re all in the locker room, we have a saying of, ‘Close that up and everything that’s in here matters – this is what matters, whatever is outside doesn’t.’ If we can figure out our affairs in here, then we can do great things.” – Olsson

Quote 2: “It’s been a really good first half for us. We feel our best hockey is ahead of us. It’s a great group. I love coming to the rink every day with them. They work hard, they care for each other, they’re forming some of those characteristics you need to have as a group to win important games in late March and April. We feel really good about where we’re at.” – Quinn


Forwards

  • harper-vs-upeiPatrick Harper – Who would have thought that freshman Patrick Harper would lead the team in points by the end of 2016? Heading into this season, the hype centered around Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows, but it’s been the 5-foot-9, 160-pound playmaker from New Canaan, Connecticut who has led the way early on. With seven goals and 13 assists, Harper ranks fifth in scoring among Division I freshmen. He will head into the next half of the season with a three-game point streak, and it’s safe to assume that the Nashville Predators draft pick will look to extend that run of form on the first line. – Nick
  • Kieffer Bellows – Yes, Kieffer Bellows has disappointed in his freshman campaign, but there’s a very good chance he turns it around. Just look at sophomore Jordan Greenway, who totaled one goal and seven assists in the first half of the 2015-16 season. After the holiday break, Greenway scored four goals and notched 14 helpers to finish the season top-5 on the team in points (26). Of course, Greenway didn’t have a plus/minus rating of -8 halfway through his freshman year, but you get the point. Sometimes, freshmen need some extra time to adjust before they flourish, and that very well could be the case with Bellows. His penalty problem can be easily fixed, and he’s flashed his trademark scoring ability at points. Let’s hope playing with Team USA in the World Junior Championships will energize Bellows so he can begin the 2017 on a high note. – Nick
  • pvd_at_bu-1-1600x1067Third line – Oft-overlooked, especially on a team with five forwards drafted by NHL teams, BU’s third line deserves ample credit for wins against powerhouse and mid-level teams alike. The contingent typically features senior Nick Roberto and junior Nikolas Olsson as wingers, with freshman Patrick Curry at center. They all have subtly good hands, play heavy on the forecheck and consistently skate with the pace and intensity Quinn so ardently desires. They’re chipping in on the scoreboard, too, as they’ve combined for 19 points from eight goals and 11 assists. What’s perhaps most significant about the third line, though, is that it affords BU’s top two lines the chance to catch a breather, all the while maintaining the level those elite forwards (Keller, Greenway, etc.) demand. Lastly, any team looking to make a deep postseason run with only two lines is in deep trouble. Luckily for Quinn, this Roberto-Olsson-Curry group won’t cause that worry to arise. – Jonathan
  • JFK – It’s natural to watch BU’s top-end players and make NHL comparisons. When it comes to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, a sophomore and assistant captain, one of the highest honor surfaces: Patrice Bergeron. Both are centers, both were picked 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in their respective drafts and both offer forth the same skill set. Bergeron, now a two-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game, has smooth hands, makes smart hockey plays like clockwork and has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times, which is annually given to the NHL’s top defensive forward. As for Forsbacka Karlsson, the scorer of 45 points in 56 career games for the Terriers, he’s an expert at using his body to protect the puck, plays a 200-foot game in every sense of the phrase and does so many of the little things right. Who knows if “JFK” will ever reach Bergeron’s notoriety or respect throughout the professional ranks, but it’s still a joy to watch the 20-year-old Swede lead BU night in and night out. And for those who feel JFK isn’t chipping in on the scoreboard, he boasts three goals and 12 assists. That puts him a tie with Keller for the third-most points on the Terriers. – Jonathan

Defense/Goaltending

  • pvd_at_bu-10-1600x1067Sixth Man – There’s really not much to complain about in this department, as BU ranks fourth in the nation in goals allowed (2.06). The core four of Charlie McAvoy, Chad Krys, Dante Fabbro and Brandon Hickey have been excellent, but perhaps the most important piece of the defense has been the sixth man, usually paired with captain Doyle Somerby. For the most part, that has been John MacLeod, who has four assists in 13 games but has also been dealing with injuries. When he’s unavailable, Brien Diffley and Shane Switzer stepped into his spot on the blue line, making smart choices with the puck and seamlessly slotting into the defensive zone. Expect the D-unit to continue to shut down top offenses in 2017. – Nick
  • LaCouvee – Jake Oettinger has been terrific in net, but a shoutout has to go to his backup, Connor LaCouvee. He’s only started twice, but knowing that there’s a solid netminder behind Oettinger is comforting for Terrier fans. He earned victories in both of his starts, and has a save percentage of .938. Sure, a small sample size, but so what? He’s been awesome in limited play. Should the 18-year-old Oettinger fall in a slump or require some rest, LaCouvee can slide right into the starting lineup and keep the Terriers in it. – Nick
  • m46a0201Oettinger – Speaking of Oettinger, it’s hard to ask for more from the freshman. It’s commonplace in postgame press conferences for his teammates to shower the recently-turned 18-year-old with praise, and that’s because he deserves every plaudit thrown his way. In his young career, the former U.S. National Team Development goaltender has three shutouts, blanking Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Vermont. He also boasts a .932 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average, which both lead Hockey East. In terms of a grander scope, the former statistic stacks up as the eighth best in the country, while the latter is fifth best in the nation. To the credit of critics in and around Agganis Arena, Oettinger did have an incredibly rough outing at home – BU’s 4-0 loss to UConn on Nov. 11 – but he has since bounced back with aplomb. Looking ahead, the Lakeville, Minnesota native seems stout enough to lead the Terriers when playoff hockey rolls around, as he instills confidence in the squad and can stymie the nation’s best forwards. Do you know what’s scariest of all? This kid is so young he isn’t even draft eligible until the summer. – Jonathan
  • Fourth line – While BU’s defense has largely been resolute, one area in need of marked improvement arises through the fourth line. Whether it’s freshmen Johnny McDermott and Gabriel Chabot, sophomores Ryan Cloonan and Oskar Andren, junior Chase Phelps or senior Tommy Kelley, a worrisome theme has surfaced against tougher opponents: an inability to break out of the defensive zone on a consistent basis. This note is based on the eye test and isn’t easily measurable, but too often has some combination of the aforementioned group been hemmed below its own blue line. There are several reasons for this trend – being mismatched against an opponent’s top line, a changing cast of characters and general fatigue late in games – but it needs a firm resolution. On the other hand, when this is the biggest complaint about the Terriers’ defense, they’re in pretty good shape. – Jonathan

Special Teams

  • keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109Net value – Special teams have been the strongest part of the Terriers’ game in 2016. They have scored on 16.87 percent of their power plays, while going 91.2 percent on the penalty kill, second best in the nation. What’s the most impressive stat from special teams? The Terriers have allowed nine goals on the penalty kill, yet they have scored six shorthanded goals this year. That makes them a fantastic -3 on the PK, which is even more impressive when you consider the number of penalties this team has been whistled for. Stick taps to all involved. – Nick
  • Freshmen – So who have the stars of the power play been thus far? You may want to sit down for this … it’s been the freshmen. Harper, Keller and Fabbro have three power play goals each, which lead the team. In fact, the only other Terrier with multiple power play goals is … Bellows. It’s obvious that these guys are well-coached when it comes to the PP, so another shoutout to the coaching staff for a job well done. – Nick
  • QB1, QB2, QB3 – In his weekly sit-down with the media, Quinn routinely talks about the importance of learning what a professional-level power play looks like. From BU’s first 17 games of the year, it appears as though Keller, Fabbro and McAvoy have firmly grasped every coaching point. The trio often operates from the point, quarterbacking the Terriers’ man advantages and always seems willing to pull the trigger. There’s proof in the pudding, too, as Keller and Fabbro both have three tallies on the power play. McAvoy hasn’t registered a point on the power play, but his contributions surface in other ways. – Jonathan
  • img_3767-1-1600x1138The magic number – During October and November, as was the case throughout college hockey, penalties dominated the conversation. Truthfully, BU has been one of the worst culprits in this regard, as its 16.24 penalty minutes per game is the 15th-highest total in the NCAA. Given that fact, you’d never guess this, but coach Quinn considers four to be his team’s magic number. And that’s a reference to taking no more than four penalties across all three periods. When that’s been the case, meaning BU is playing 5-on-5 hockey, it’s a dominant team that makes mediocre teams look poor and great teams look OK. This was the case in the 3-0 win over Northeastern on Nov. 5, as BU took five penalties, and the same pattern repeated in the 4-0 win over Vermont on Dec. 10, when it took six penalties. The Terriers are far from perfect in this regard, but the trend is clear. – Jonathan

Defining Moments

  • Surprise, surprise – Perhaps the most fun I’ve had watching the team so far was the last game of the semester, when Shane Switzer scored twice to propel BU to a 5-2 victory over Yale. Can’t say anyone saw that coming. It was great to see the guys hype the crowd up when Switzer was named the No. 1 star after the game. – Nick
  • mhock7_justinhawk-1600x1190Breakout moment – Another shining moment came in the exhibition against Prince Edward Island, when Pat Harper scored five times. Obviously, the competition wasn’t the best. But after Harper’s third or fourth goal, it became pretty clear that this guy was going to be integral. I remember being surprised that Harper was on the first line with Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. Can’t say it was a bad move. – Nick
  • Bye bye Crimson – Outside of the result itself, pre-break games boast an extra layer of significance in that the scoreline will linger around for quite some time. So when then-No. 9 Harvard University visited Agganis Arena on Nov. 22 – just before the Thanksgiving break – an essential opportunity was before the Terriers. Its next game wasn’t for 10 days either, so a win or loss would remain fresh. In back-and-forth fashion, BU edged out a 5-3 win over the Crimson. Furthermore, coach Ted Donato’s side is now ranked fourth in the nation, making the win better than advertised at the time. – Jonathan
  • UConn at home – While adulation usually follows the Terriers at every turn, a low moment arose on Nov. 19 at Agganis Arena. The visiting UConn Huskies blanked BU, 4-0, cementing the fact that Hockey East wins won’t come easily for this squad. Quinn’s side didn’t play poorly against the likes of Tage Thompson and Max Letunov, so perhaps the result was an outlier without much of an explanation. After all, sometimes the better team goes home empty handed. – Jonathan

Recruits

  • The big get: Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the commits the Terriers secured during the season. It appears the biggest one was forward Shane Bowers, a 17-year-old currently with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. He currently has nine goals and 10 assists through 26 games after totaling 33 points with the Black Hawks last season. With a few present Terriers likely to move on to the NHL next season, Bowers should contribute right away in 2017-18. – Nick
  • img_3861-1600x1126Reinforcements – On top of that, Finland defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo (at least it’s easier to spell than Grzelcyk) committed to BU and is likely to play next season. Kotkansalo, 18, measures up at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and has a reputation for hard hits on the boards. He is also currently in the USHL, totaling a plus/minus rating of +7 in 20 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede. – Nick
  • Red, white and blue – When BU scrimmaged the U.S. National Team Development Program on Oct. 6, Terrier fans got a major glimpse into the future. The coveted squad featured defenseman David Farrance and forwards Brady Tkachuk and Logan Cockerill. While none registered a point – largely the product of BU skating to a comfortable 8-2 win – it was still interesting to see what the young guns could do. Lastly, Tkachuk is second on the NTDP in points with 22, Farrance is seventh with 18 and Cockerill is ninth with 17. – Jonathan
  • Don’t forget about me – While so much attention, understandably, is given to BU’s big-name recruits, it’s important not to lose sight of those who might not boast as lofty of a pedigree. This is certainly the case with Ty Amonte, who will call Agganis Arena home in the fall of 2017 and currently skates with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. That’s the same squad that Fabbro used to play for, and Amonte currently has 28 points in 35 games for them. – Jonathan

Top Goals

1.) Patrick Harper vs. Northeastern

via GIPHY

2.) Brandon Hickey vs. Providence

via GIPHY

3.) Shane Switzer vs. Yale

via GIPHY

4.) Clayton Keller vs. Northeastern

via GIPHY

5.) Clayton Keller vs. Vermont

via GIPHY

Five Thoughts on BU’s weekend series with Northeastern

Now that the dust has settled, let’s reflect back on the Boston University men’s hockey team’s weekend series against Northeastern University.

On Friday night at Matthews Arena, the Terriers let up a late equalizer and struggled to tune out the Matthews Arena crowd. Simply, the 4-4 tie in overtime left BU with a bitter taste in its mouth.

In the return affair on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena, the Terriers bounced back in a major way, earning a 3-0 win. Freshmen Patrick Harper, Jake Oettinger and Kieffer Bellows led the way, while BU finally stayed out of the box for an extended period of time.

Now, here are our five thoughts:

1.) Second line – It’s interesting to note that the second line had much more success than the first line this weekend. That second line of Patrick Harper, Clayton Keller and Jordan Greenway scored five of BU’s seven total goals in its two games against Northeastern, while the first line of Kieffer Bellows, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter totaled just one. In Saturday’s game, both of Harper’s goals featured assists from Keller and Greenway, indicating that those three have really gelled together quickly.

While Bellows scored in Saturday’s win, it was a quiet weekend for both Forsbacka Karlsson and Carpenter, who combined for just two assists in the two games. Of course, to refer to their efforts as quiet is more of a testament to that stacked BU offense. Regardless, the Harper-Keller-Greenway line looked fantastic all weekend, while the Bellows-JFK-Carpenter line was cast in the shadows. – Nick

2.) Jordan Greenway – After Greenway picked up a 10-minute misconduct penalty that proved crucial in the tie with Northeastern on Friday, Coach David Quinn responded by sitting Greenway for the entire first period Saturday. In his press conference on Friday, Quinn made it clear he wasn’t going to let those type of penalties slide, and he backed it up by sitting Greenway.

Once he got out on the ice, Greenway was back to his old, physical self. He had a few bad moments, like when he completely whiffed on a one-timer early in the second period, but he still contributed with two assists in the win. Once or twice after the whistle, a NU player would get in Greenway’s face to try and incite him, but Greenway kept his arms down and stayed out of trouble. He was called for no penalties after spending 14 minutes in the penalty box on Friday, so we assume Quinn is pleased with Greenway’s turnaround. – Nick

3.) Clayton Keller – Man, Keller is so fun to watch. Every time the opposing goalie passes out to a defenseman, Keller is there to try and disrupt it. That’s what led to his shorthanded goal on Friday. We’ll update you as soon as we learn more about the severity of his injury. – Nick

4.) Oskar Andrén – With injuries stacking up – Nik Olsson, Ryan Cloonan and Keller could all be out for a while – the return of the Swedish winger was a welcomed sight. The sophomore slotted onto the fourth line in Saturday’s game and brought energy throughout. It was his first game of the 2016-17 season. He didn’t register a shot or make any jaw-dropping plays, but he doesn’t need to right now. He just needs to fill a role. – Jonathan

5.) Tommy Kelley – When BU hockey fans picture Tommy Kelley, odds are they envision a fourth line player who is on the periphery. Now a senior, it’s clear that coach Quinn wants “TK” to take on a far more expansive role for the Terriers.

He’ll never be an offensive powerhouse and likely isn’t a top-six forward, but his contributions are undoubtedly important. He kills penalties, makes smart hockey plays and is gradually growing into a leadership role. He also logs an incredible amount of ice time, far more than most fourth-line players ever would. – Jonathan

Highlights

Friday’s game:

Saturday’s game:

Pluses and Minuses: ‘Better team won’ in No. 11 Terriers’ loss to Vermont

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Junior forward Tommy Kelley. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Head coach David Quinn did not mince words in his press conference following the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team’s loss to the University of Vermont on Friday.

“Just really disappointed with our performance tonight,” he said.

The Terriers (7-5-3, 3-3-2 Hockey East) started the game strong, but were quickly “deflated” by a first-period injury to sophomore forward Nikolas Olsson and a power-play goal by the Catamounts (4-9-2, 3-4-2 Hockey East).

BU was unable to recover, according to Quinn, and was outplayed as Vermont came away with the 4-2 win.

“They skated faster, hit harder and were smarter,” he said. “That’s all it comes down to. I know a lot can go on out there, it can look like a busy game, it can look like a difficult game, but it really isn’t. When you skate, when you play through people, when you pass pucks to the people that are open, this game becomes easy and we did none of that tonight.”

Here’s what we thought looked good and bad in this edition of pluses and minuses.

Pluses

Tommy Kelley

Junior forward Tommy Kelley has now matched his game total from last year after playing in his fourth contest of the season on Friday night, only he has one more goal to show for it this time around.

Though the Terriers ended up losing to UVM, Kelley got BU on the board first 8:41 into the opening frame. He received a pass from sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato at the center point and let it rip. The puck whizzed through slot to the back of the net and beat netminder Mike Santaguida for his first goal since Dec. 6, 2013.

“It’s always nice to see a guy get his first goal of the season, his first goal in a while and I was happy for him,” Quinn said.

Kelley has played in three straight games for the Terriers now after impressing Quinn in BU’s 3-0 win over Bentley on Nov. 24.

Shameless plug: If BU fans need some feel-good reading after this game, I wrote a story in October about Kelley and his sister, Mary Grace, who plays for the women’s team at BU.

Neutral zone

This could BU

The Catamounts tote four former Terriers or former Terrier commits on their roster in defensemen Alexx Privitera and Ori Abramson and forwards Jarrid Privitera and Liam Coughlin, each of whom had at least a point in BU’s loss. To read more about their Friday night successes, read Sarah’s sider.

Minuses

Nikolas Olsson

In the middle of the first period, Olsson appeared to hurt himself after being involved in a hit by the Vermont bench. On his way back to the BU bench, though, he threw another hit before exiting down the tunnel with an obvious injury.

He did not return to action and instead sat with the healthy scratches for the rest of the game with his left arm in a sling.

Olsson had just returned to play for the Terriers on Saturday after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Friday was his second game back.

Power play

Though it had four opportunities with the man advantage, BU was unable to capitalize on any of its power-play chances on Friday, testing Santaguida six times. The Terriers are one for their last 13 on the power play dating back to their 4-2 loss to the No. 12 University of Michigan on Nov. 21.

“Just lazy,” Quinn said. “No one’s standing at the net, just no urgency, the basics of hockey. They’re talented players, but boy, you’ve got to play with a pace and you’ve got to have simplicity in the game and you can’t stick handle it all around. Pass a puck when you think someone’s going to score, but you’ve got to pass a puck when someone’s open. And we haven’t grasped that yet.”

Immaturity and lack of emotion

Though Quinn said he liked the first five or six minutes of BU’s game on Friday, the way his team responded to Vermont’s first goal as well as Olsson’s injury was “ridiculous” in the way it “never recovered.”

“I actually liked our first five minutes,” Quinn said. “I thought we were pretty good, had some chances and looked like we had life and then Olsson got hurt, and who knows what effect that has on us, and we give up the goal, and we weren’t mentally tough enough to kind of pull it together. I mean you could just feel the emotion on the bench just deflate us, and you can’t get deflated that easily.”

Quinn added that his team played with “complete lack of emotion” and failed to showcase any passion or enthusiasm, noting that “you’ve not no chance” when those things are missing from your game.

“We’re an immature team,” he said. “Not only are we young, we’re immature, and I’ve said that a few times this year, and that could be the case but hopefully they are quick learners and they learn their lesson in a hurry because that’s a good hockey team we just played and the better team won tonight.”

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers rebound with win over Bentley

Andrew Battifarano also helped write this but we can’t do co-bylines on the blog. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP STAFF
PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP STAFF

A midseason Tuesday night game against an Atlantic Hockey Association opponent might, in the big picture of an entire schedule, be one of those games that you could see as a possible letdown.

Sandwiched in between two weekends that involve No. 12 University of Michigan and Red Hot Hockey, Tuesday night could have been a game the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team might have overlooked.

But this was not the case for the Terriers (7-4-2, 3-2-2 Hockey East), who defeated Bentley University, 3-0, on Tuesday night at Agganis Arena.

From start to finish, BU controlled the pace of play. The Terriers got an early goal from senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan and never let up from there.

There was a lot to like in this rebound win for BU, so we’ll breakdown what exactly went right, and wrong, in this weeknight edition of Pluses and Minuses.

Pluses

 Mike Moran and the fourth line

 If you take one quick glance at Tuesday’s scoresheet, you won’t find any of the fourth-line skaters at the top of it for being involved in any goals. So why are we including them as a plus?

They didn’t record any points, but the entire fourth line had a consistent effort all three periods that shouldn’t go unrecognized.

Moran had a season-high six shots on goal, which all seemed to be in and around the net. He had golden opportunities in the first and third periods, but was robbed by Bentley (5-5-1) goaltender Gabe Antoni each time. He put his head back in frustration after a missed chance of the third, but not all hope was lost for Moran, as he was recognized as the No. 2 star of the game.

As for junior winger Tommy Kelley and sophomore forward Chase Phelps, they recorded a combined three shots, but also made smart chip passes into the zone and pressed hard on the forecheck.

“That line played very well,” Quinn said. “All three of those guys were impactful. Mike probably had his best game of the year. I liked the way he was skating, and he had a nose for the net. Tommy Kelley had a really great night too. I was really happy with his night. Obviously he’s been in a tough situation, but to get a chance and take advantage of it, I’m happy for him.”

Sean Maguire

The senior goaltender hadn’t played in nearly a month, as Quinn continued to ride sophomore goalie Connor LaCouvee over the last seven games. But Maguire got the chance to play against Bentley and made the most of it.

It wasn’t as if Bentley peppered him from all angles of the ice, but Maguire was solid when he had to be, finishing the evening with 15 saves and a shutout. His moment of the quiet night came in the third period when he robbed freshman Alexy Solovyev of a would-be goal when he stopped the puck with a combination of his stick and right arm.

It was the fifth shutout of Maguire’s college career and first since March 15, 2013 when he blanked Merrimack College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

“That’s not an easy game to play,” Quinn said. “And he looked good. He looked good. The few times he was tested, I mean, he made an unbelievable save at one point with his stick, reaching back.”

Consistent effort
After a pretty awful showing against Michigan, at least in terms of putting in a “full 60” effort, the Terriers managed to come back together and put forth a consistent effort.

In the two games against Michigan, BU totaled 52 shots on goal for the weekend. Against the Falcons, they almost matched that total, with 47 in the game. And in general, BU controlled possession, made better passes and was overall a whole lot less sloppy.

Quinn credited his team’s leaders with helping to energize the team, despite the short turnaround.

“I thought our captains did a great job of pulling our guys together after a disappointing loss,” Quinn said. “Not only the fact that we lost, but how we lost, and how lethargic we looked and slow we looked over the weekend, but to bounce back and be mentally engaged and focused … [we were] thorough and control the pace of play.”

Quinn said there were only about five or six minutes at the beginning of the third period against Bentley where BU might not have played at the same standard of intensity, but overall, it was a lot more consistently pressing from start to finish than either of the Michigan games.

We made a cool video
We haven’t plugged this on the blog yet, so we figured: Why not now?

A few weeks ago we came up with the idea to have some of the hockey players design hand turkeys as part of a small Thanksgiving feature, and it turned out to be absolutely hilarious and awesome to see which players were capable of anything artistic. You can see the end results in the gallery here.

And our new pals Claudia DeTrempe and Matt Guthrie helped construct a video of the whole process, which you can watch here:

Minuses

Environment
We’re really scraping from the bottom of the barrel on this one. Other than the aforementioned five or six less-intense minutes, and maybe a mild criticism of the quality of the shots BU took as the game progressed, there’s really not much to criticize when BU out-attempts its opposition 82-35.

If anything major can be criticized, it could be that frankly, this game was, well, boring. It wasn’t anything unexpected, given that it was a. a Tuesday-night matchup b. two days before Thanksgiving c. against a non-conference, non-marquee opponent. But with just 3,475 fans in attendance, the building completely lacked energy. That’s not the lowest attendance at Agganis this season, as that distinction belongs to the University of Denver game on Halloween, where just 3,084 people showed up. But at least that game had a back-and-forth energy, and the building had something to get excited and invested in.

Tonight, Agganis was quiet from start to finish. Again, nothing unexpected, and a win is a win. But this was one of the harder games for fans — and us — to stay engaged in, I think it’s fair to say.