By: Dan Shulman
OFFENSE – Grade: A-
Scoring a total of nine goals in two games, the offense has certainly come to life for the Terriers. BU has now scored 14 goals in three games dating back to the Halloween victory over then fifth-ranked Denver. The top line of O’Regan, Oksanen, and JFK has found its scoring touch, spelling trouble for the Terriers’ opponents. With such a balanced set of four lines this season, Northeastern found it difficult to keep BU in check. The offense forced shots on goal against a Huskies’ team that doesn’t allow very many, and successfully controlled the pace of the game with fast paced puck movement.
DEFENSE – Grade B-
Allowing five goals on the weekend, the defense stood tall on Saturday. Holding the Huskies to just two shots in the first period and one goal for the game, the BU blue-liners held a dynamic offense in check. There were some lapses on Friday night that led to Northeastern’s four goals, but the defense stood tall in the end, blocking a relentless onslaught of last minute shots before pinning the puck in the corner to end the game. Defenders also contributed to the offense, scoring five times against Northeastern.
GOALTENDING – Grade: B+
Connor LaCouvee seems to be the team’s leading candidate for full time starting goalie. Stopping 69 of 74 Northeastern shots, LaCouvee helped give the Terriers a chance to sweep the weekend. His heroics were evident on Friday when he kept the puck out of the net during the Huskies’ 19-shot third period to preserve the victory for BU. Saturday, LaCouvee didn’t allow a goal through the first 59 minutes before a defensive breakdown led to a short-handed goal. LaCouvee was stellar this weekend, and will only keep improving as the season progresses.
SPECIAL TEAMS – B+
The power play and penalty kill units for BU were impressive over the weekend series. Converting at 28% on the power play through two games, BU showed its prowess and tenacity on the man advantage. Despite allowing a short-handed goal Saturday to the desperate Huskies’ offense, BU remained potent on the power play. The penalty kill was no different, killing off 10 of 11 Northeastern power plays. The only goal for the Huskies was with four seconds remaining on a man-advantage and came off a nifty shot from Northeastern defensemen Garrett Cockerill. Overall, the special teams units performed very well.
TERRIERS’ THREE STARS OF THE WEEKEND
1. Matt Grzelcyk
The captain made his triumphant return on Friday night, scoring the game’s first goal before assisting on the game-winning tally. His presence was felt not just on the scoreboard, but in the overall composure of the Terriers. The leadership of Grzelcyk was missed most of all and with arguably the best defender in the nation back in the lineup, BU will be tough to beat.
2. Ahti Oksanen
The senior from Finland has emerged from the shadows on Halloween against Denver. Oksanen picked up right where he left off this weekend versus Northeastern. On Friday, Oksanen made a play to give the Terriers a 2-0 lead early in the second period. In the third period, he set up Brandon Hickey for an equalizer before scoring the game-winner. Saturday, Oksanen took seven of the team’s 34 shots on goal, scoring on an empty net late in the third.
3. Danny O’Regan
The assistant captain came to life this weekend, recording four points (1G, 3A) on the weekend. On Friday, O’Regan helped set up both third period goals to give the Terriers a comeback win. Saturday, the assistant captain set up the game’s first goal before clinching a victory with an empty-netter. O’Regan also took eight shots on goal over both nights, and earned a +3 rating for the weekend.