By: Jake Reiser
BOSTON –An exhibition game is a time to work out kinks and find the right chemistry for lines before the regular season starts. In BU’s last exhibition game of the season against the U.S. Under-18 Development Team, Team USA took advantage of the Terriers’ sloppy play, stealing a 7-4 victory at Agganis Arena.
Just 43 seconds into the game, Trent Frederic got the better of a strange carom and put the puck past Connor LaCouvee to give the NTDP a 1-0 lead.
“After the first goal, we didn’t know if it was gonna be our night from the get-go,” said BU Head Coach David Quinn.
Five minutes later, Ahti Oksanen tipped a feed from a sliding Jordan Greenway, past NTDP goalie Jake Oettinger to tie the game at one.
BU and Team USA traded goals back and forth, Kieffer Bellows had two to put the NTDP team ahead 2-1 and 3-2, but the last straw was the fifth goal, when Griffin Luce let a shot go from the point midway through the third period to put Team USA up 5-3.
The NTDP would score two more easy goals before Oksanen added a power play goal with 1:25 left in the game, but the last gasp strike wasn’t enough as the Terriers suffered their first defeat against the U.S. Under-18 Team
“It felt good to get the goal. Of course, it didn’t really mean much, but it’s good to get the scoring open and get one goal in and get ready for tomorrow now.
“We were just too focused on the offense. You can’t win if the opposite team scores seven goals, it’s impossible to win, so we just need to mature and start playing some defense.”
Coach Quinn further addressed this problem in his post-game press conference.
“Right now, we’re too immature, we’re playing immature hockey,” said Quinn. “That’s not how we’re going to have success. It might take some time, but every time we crawl back into it, we just weren’t mentally tough enough to stay with it and build on any momentum. “
LaCouvee and Sean Maguire split time in net for the Terriers during the game, with LaCouvee making five saves on seven shots though the second period, and Maguire stopping 10 on 15 shots.
BU verbal commits and NTDP forwards Bellows and Clayton Keller each had three points, defenseman Chad Krys added one of his own, and Jake Oettinger stopped 41 shots in a full sixty minutes.
The game wasn’t all for naught, as BU had a successful powerplay, and is seeing a lot of chemistry building between new lines.
“I really enjoy playing with Danny [O’Regan] and Greenway,” said Oksanen. “We know we’re going to be really good. All three of us know we can be the best line in college hockey.”
The Terriers take on the Wisconsin Badgers in their hope opener Saturday night at 7:00.