Weekend Roundup: Lowell series, end of semester thoughts

The Boston University men’s hockey team finished 2017 with two matchups against the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This was the first time the two teams had faced each other unranked since Dec. 7, 2007.

Jordan Greenway recorded three goals and one assist on Saturday. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jordan Greenway recorded three goals and one assist on Saturday. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Friday night at Tsongas Center, the Terriers had a 2-1 lead going into the final period of the game after freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson struck less than a minute into the first and second period respectively.

However, BU couldn’t maintain the lead as the River Hawks found the back of the net twice in the third and the Terriers couldn’t get the puck past Lowell junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg.

Saturday ensued much differently. BU notched three goals in each period for a 9-3 win to end the semester. Junior forward Jordan Greenway tallied a hat-trick, which included a short-handed goal.

Sophomore forward Patrick Harper scored twice on the power play, freshman defenseman Cam Crotty got his first collegiate goal and sophomore defenseman Chad Krys notched a goal the following shift after being hit hard in the leg by a shot from River Hawks senior defenseman Chris Forney.

Chad Krys was helped off the ice, but returned back to the BU bench quickly. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Chad Krys was helped off the ice, but returned back to the BU bench quickly. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

While the Terriers will go into the winter break on a high note and the team appears optimistic about the next half of their season, the Lowell series continued to highlight an ever so familiar sequence of events.

Over BU’s past three Hockey East series, the squad has been limited to two goals or less on one night then puts up seven or more goals the next. This was seen specifically in the Terriers’ splits with the University of Maine, then-No. 15 Boston College and this past weekend.

BU is currently tied for No. 3 in the conference with No. 9 Providence College and in the upcoming half of the season, it will face many opponents again and play Hockey East series against Merrimack College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Vermont.

This latter portion of the season will certainly provide a challenge to the Terriers who have proven they can play against a top team like BC, but they have yet to see a full sweep and take home four points.

BU’s next game will be an exhibition game against the United States National Team Development Program on Jan. 5 where many of the Terriers will see their former teammates. Following that game will be another matchup against Maine at Agganis Arena.

Another note before the articles and media below: I (Nikki) will be assuming the role of the sports editor of The Daily Free Press during the spring semester so Liam O’Brien and Matt Martin will be the main writers for men’s hockey and the Boston Hockey Blog. I may come back to cover a couple games, but I’d like to thank everyone for a great semester, hanging in with us through the technical difficulties and keeping along with the blog.

What are you thoughts on the Lowell series and the first half of the 2017-18 season?

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey unable to sustain lead in 3-2 loss to UMass Lowell

Sider on Melanson – “Drew Melanson finds success on men’s hockey top line

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey trumps UMass-Lowell, 9-3, behind hat trick from Jordan Greenway

Sider on players that benefitted BU’s lineup – “Addition of Fabbro, Chabot and Curry help men’s hockey beat UMass Lowell 9-3

Here are some Twitter posts, highlights and post-game press conferences from the weekend:

Pluses and Minuses: Rodrigues ties program record in scorefest with UMass

Whew. That was an exhausting one.


The No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team scored nine goals in a game for the first time since 2007, but its game against the University of Massachusetts on Friday was more of a whirlwind than that total indicates — the game was tied with under 6:30 remaining.

The Terriers ultimately came away with the 9-5 win. There was a lot to swallow with that one, but I’ll try to break down what we did and didn’t like as best I can:


Have yourself a night, Evan
Senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues has been on a roll as of late, and we’ve talked a lot about it. Tonight, he found his way onto the score sheet six times with six assists against UMass — and nearly a seventh time, but what would have been a third-period goal for senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann was waved off.

The six assists ties a program record, last accomplished by Ron Anderson in 1972.

“He’s a heck of a hockey player,” said BU coach David Quinn. “He’s a really good hockey player: Tough, skilled, fast, really smart, a kid that really understands what’s going on out there. He’s got a bright future.

“We’re going to lean on him heavily down the stretch.”

The tallies extended Rodrigues’ point streak to nine games. He has a total of 21 points in that span.

The six helpers tonight boosted his season point total to 34, good for second in Hockey East and fifth in the nation. He is also tied with freshman forward Jack Eichel for the team lead in assists (25).

You too, Ahti
Junior forward Ahti Oksanen also had a strong night, recording his the first hat trick of his collegiate career. He is the second Terrier to record three goals in a single game, as junior forward Danny O’Regan notched one against Merrimack College on Dec. 6.

Oksanen has scored 16 goals this season, including six goals in his last four games.

Defensemen scoring
The BU defensive corps has been a steady source of offense for the Terriers this season, and Friday night was no different.

Freshman Brandon Hickey tallied the first and final goals of the game for his first collegiate multi-goal game and to bring his season total to four, the most among all D-men on the BU roster.

“He can really shoot a puck,” Quinn said about Hickey. “I don’t know if there’s a guy in the league who gets more pucks through than him. He keeps it low, he can shoot any type of puck. You don’t have to put it on a platter for him.”

Junior captain Matt Grzelcyk notched the game-winner midway through the third period for his first goal of the season. He had two more assists in the game. Freshman Brandon Fortunato also added a pair of assists.

Power play

The Terriers went 6-of-8 on the power play on Friday — easily their best performance on the man advantage all season. Hickey and Oksanen each had a pair of power-play goals, and Eichel and Grzelcyk tallied the other two.

BU now owns the second-best power-play percentage in the nation, at .269.


Despite scoring six power-play goals, the Terriers allowed three power-play goals to the Minutemen.

Two of these UMass goals came within a minute and a half of each other, after a costly five-minute major call on Rodrigues, who was sent to the box after a boarding call. A goal from forward Shane Walsh tied the game, and another from forward Frank Vatrano gave UMass its first lead of the game at 4-3.

“Obviously penalties were a major problem for us tonight,” Quinn said. “We just can’t take that many penalties and continue to expect to have success, especially against a power play like that.”

UMass forward Troy Power also notched a goal 10 seconds after junior forward Danny O’Regan was sent to the box for slashing in the second period.

“If we’re going to have the success we think we’re capable of having, we just can’t take those types of penalties,” Quinn said.

Quinn didn’t put any of the blame on freshman goaltender Connor LaCouvee, who earned his fifth start of the season on Friday, for the five goals allowed in the game.

“I feel bad for LaCouvee because he looked like he was just a victim,” Quinn said. “He certainly played well. There wasn’t, I think, anything he could’ve done for anything of the five.”

A few mental lapses, instead, gave UMass extra chances. Most notably, a poor turnover from junior forward Mike Moran along the boards led to the Minutemen’s first goal of the game.

By the Numbers: BU versus UMass Amherst

Along with our normal coverage of Boston University men’s hockey, this year at the Boston Hockey Blog, we look to provide more in-depth statistical analysis. Instead of just looking at traditional numbers, we want to delve into more advanced stats such as Corsi and Fenwick.

For those who don’t know what those numbers mean, here is a brief explanation. Corsi, which is named for former Buffalo Sabres goalie coach Jim Corsi, measures the shot differential of a team or player (we will look a team’s performance) while on the ice.

A team’s total number of shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots is added together (Corsi For) and is subtracted from the other team’s chances on net (Corsi Against). The final Corsi number, or percentage, gives an indication of how well a team is possessing the puck and getting it toward the net.

The higher the Corsi percentage, the more likely the team has the puck, and vice versa. Instead of plus/minus, which depends a lot on the goaltending and other factors, the number of shots a team takes is more controllable. Fenwick is very similar to Corsi, except it removes blocked shots from the equation.

For last Friday’s game against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, we’ve broken down BU’s Corsi and Fenwick numbers for the whole game and period-by-period.

Corsi Full Game

  • Corsi For: 71 (shots on goal, missed shots, blocked shots)
  • Corsi Against: 63
  • Corsi For Percentage: 53 percent

Corsi First Period

  •  Corsi For: 29
  •  Corsi Against: 20
  •  Corsi For Percentage: 59.2 percent

Corsi Second Period

  • Corsi For: 22
  • Corsi Against: 16
  • Corsi For Percentage: 57.9 percent

Corsi Third Period

  • Corsi For: 20
  • Corsi Against: 27
  • Corsi For Percentage: 42.6 percent

Fenwick Full Game

  • Fenwick For: 49 (shots on goal and missed shots)
  • Fenwick Against: 48
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 50.5 percent

Fenwick First Period

  • Fenwick For: 24
  • Fenwick Against: 15
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 61.5 percent

Fenwick Second Period

  • Fenwick For: 11
  • Fenwick Against: 14
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 44 percent

Fenwick Third Period

  • Fenwick For: 14
  • Fenwick Against: 19
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 42.4 percent


BU tallied six goals in the third period, yet its Corsi and Fenwick numbers are much higher in the first period where the Terriers notched just one goal. In this case, a lot of BU’s first-shot opportunities in the third went into the net, so the offense could not generate multiple scoring chances on a single shift. In the first, the the Terriers had many shots, but goalie Steve Mastalerz kept UMass in the game. But by the end of the game, though, BU owned an advantage in Corsi and Fenwick and on the scoreboard.

Pluses and Minuses: BU second line keys Terriers to 8-1 victory over Minutemen

Senior forward Cason Hohmann registered two points Friday night against UMass Amherst. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Cason Hohmann registered two points Friday night against UMass Amherst. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

AMHERST – Despite what the final box score read, the Boston University men’s hockey team’s first regular-season game of the 2014-15 campaign against University of Massachusetts-Amherst was a tight contest.

At least for the first two periods.

BU’s offense arrived in the closing stanza, erupting for six goals in the third period en route to an 8-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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


Second line shines

While the Terriers’ third-period outburst was mostly fueled by BU’s first line unit of freshman forward Jack Eichel and junior forwards Danny O’Regan and Ahti Oksanen, BU’s second line unit of sophomore Robbie Baillargeon and senior forwards Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann drew the most praise from BU head coach David Quinn after the game.

“That line was dangerous,” Quinn said. “They could have had three goals in the first period. I thought Rodrigues had a great night, I thought Baillargeon had a great night. We’ve got some depth up front, and those guys are really going to capitalize on their opportunities and they’re going to generate chances.”

The second line made its presence felt throughout the game. Baillargeon opened BU’s scoring at 12:22 in the first period, while Hohmann added a score of his own at 12:39 in the third. Rodrigues finished the night with three assists.

Quinn praised Hohmann’s performance in particular, as the Arlington, Texas, native finished the night with two points while also making plays on the penalty kill, frequently intercepting passes and disrupting UMass’ scoring opportunities.

“I thought it was his best game since I’ve been here. … I thought Cason Hohmann played outstanding tonight,” Quinn said.

LaCouvee impresses in net

Despite only finding out that he was making his first collegiate start early Friday, freshman goaltender Conor LaCouvee put forward a great performance in net against the Minutemen.

Starting in place of junior netminder Matt O’Connor, LaCouvee recorded 33 saves while only allowing one goal en route to his first career win with the Terriers.

Eichel, O’Regan make their mark

Despite its high-powered potential on offense, BU’s first line did not add much on the box score over the first two periods of play. However, the third period was a different story.

Eichel, playing in his first regular-season game with the Terriers, accrued four points in the period, including two goals and an assist in a little over four minutes of play. O’Regan chipped in with two goals of his own – capping BU’s scoring surge with a score at 19:55 in the third. Oksanen led the team in shots with six while assisting on O’Regan’s final goal.

“They’re all good players,” Quinn said of his first line. “They had chances in the first two, but I didn’t think that line was playing great. Then boom, all of a sudden, it was almost like they took the game into their own hands, all of a sudden it’s 4-1. All three of those guys were great, and they all do something very, very well.”

Minutemen’s man advantage snuffed out

UMass was held to just one goal against the Terriers, and it failed to generate many chances during its three power plays – a testament to the performance of BU’s penalty-kill unit. UMass finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

“Early on, I thought we might have over-coached the penalty kill a little bit, it looked a little bit sloppy, and then I thought the last two were better. … I thought we got sticks on pucks a lot of time,” Quinn said.

“A lot of times, where you thought, ‘Oh my god, here’s their chance’ and we got a stick on it. Our penalty kill was pretty good and it’s something that we’re going to work on and it will continue to get better.”


MacLeod struggles with discipline

While freshman defenseman John MacLeod handles his own for most of Friday’s game, recording the first assist of his collegiate career on A.J. Greer’s third period score at 17:56, the USNTDP U-18 product also took three penalties, giving UMass its only three power-play opportunities of the game.

After the game, Quinn made note of the disparity between the Terriers and Minutemen in terms of chances on the man advantage. BU did not earn a single power-play chance Friday night.

“ I still can’t believe that they had three power plays and we had zero in the amount of time that we had the puck tonight,” Quinn said. “Sometimes that happens in a hockey game.”

Cruise control

Even though the Terriers netted three goals over the final 10 minutes of play, Quinn acknowledged that his team let their foot off the gas pedal for most of the closing minutes of the game, allowing UMass to build up sustained pressure and scoring opportunities in the BU zone.

Even though the Terriers netted six goals in the final stanza, the Minutemen still had their chances, as both teams recorded 13 shots in the third.

“I think once it got 5-1, we got a little sloppy, and all of a sudden they’re getting some chances, and we’re making cross-ice passes, and getting a little irresponsible and [LaCouvee] bailed us out.”

The perils of I-90

The Boston Hockey Blog crew is also getting a minus for the night, as the treacherous traffic on I-90 stalled us for over 3 and half hours on the way to Mullins Center. Sorry to everyone for our lack of live coverage over the first two periods of play and thanks for your patience.