By: Dan Shulman
OFFENSE – Grade: A-
The BU offense was firing on all cylinders Saturday. In the offensive zone, BU was dominant, getting pucks to the net and showcasing stellar passing. Defensemen were pinching down the boards, giving the Terriers longer zone time and more scoring chances. Behind the net, BU, highlighted by Jordan Greenway, was strong in possession, winning puck battles and sending feeder passes into the slot. BU scored five times against Denver, one of the top teams in the nation. It was a great performance by the Terrier offense.
DEFENSE – Grade: C
Although the Terriers defeated Denver, the defense still struggled. Denver, a team averaging 3.5 goals per game this season, scored four times against BU. The third period was especially difficult for BU blue-liners, as they allowed 18 shots and nearly blew a two goal lead. The Terriers made shooting too easy for Denver, and failed to block a shot in the first period. The defense also lacked aggression, battling for pucks hesitantly. The defense must improve, as allowing 13 goals in a week was certainly not the plan.
GOALTENDING – Grade: B-
Connor LaCouvee had himself a great game. After slamming the door in relief Friday at Merrimack, LaCouvee allowed four goals on 38 shots. In the third period, LaCouvee faced 18 Denver shots and managed to keep the Terriers in a position to win. Although he gave up a lot of rebounds, LaCouvee had a good eye for the puck, making plays to thwart a couple Denver chances. Despite bobbling a puck, resulting in an easy tap in for the Pioneers, LaCouvee made a strong claim this weekend to become the full-time starter.
SPECIAL TEAMS – Grade: B-
The BU penalty kill remained sharp following Tuesday’s horrible performance against UConn. Killing all five penalties, the PK was sharp, holding Denver to very few power play shots on goal. On the power play, the Terriers started the night strong, scoring a second period goal against the talented Denver goalie Evan Cowley. By the night’s end, a power play for BU looked like a power play for the Pioneers. Even with four men, Denver held most of the possession while on the penalty kill, even scoring a shorthanded goal to tie the game at four over halfway through the third. Overall, the special teams units were solid on the night.
TERRIERS’ THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
- Ahti Oksanen
After taking 27 shots this season, Oksanen had yet to find the back of the net. On shots 28 and 29 of his season, the Finnish forward struck for his first two goals of the season. A second period power play marker and an overtime game-winner got Oksanen off the mark for the year. Earning a -2 rating on the night, Oksanen had a team-leading and game-high six shots on goal. He commanded the play whenever he was on the ice. The former defensemen even made a crucial poke check on a Denver odd-man rush to keep the game at 4-4.
- Jordan Greenway
The promising recruit from the U.S. National Development Program has yet to show his scoring prowess. However, in addition to picking up his second assist in as many nights, Greenway showed another skill on Saturday. The 6’5” forward’s puck handling abilities were dazzling. He punished the small-statured Denver defense all night, winning battles along the boards. He was impossible to move off the puck, and because of that, he created several chances on the night. Greenway finished the night at +1 rating and recorded three shots on goal.
- Brandon Hickey
After a tough start to his sophomore campaign, Brandon Hickey has shown glimpses of his freshman season over the past couple games. After recording just four shots over the first three games, he replicated that number tonight. Along with a +2 rating, Hickey was all over the ice, creating chances and getting pucks to the net. His goal may have been goal of the game, streaking through from center ice, through a swarm of Pioneer defensemen before backhanding the puck over Tanner Jaillet, chasing the goalie from the game. Hickey has stepped up over the past few games, making a claim to be the team’s top defender yet again.