Men’s Ice Hockey: Terriers Look to Right the Ship Against Bentley

By: Dan Shulman

BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Bentley (Non-Conference) November 24, 2015

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

Location – Waltham, Massachusetts; Mascot – Falcons; This Year’s Record – 5-4-1 (3-2-1 Atlantic Hockey), 3-0-1 on the road, second all-time meeting, Bentley leads 1-0-0; Fun Fact – Bentley has only been a Division I program since the 1999-2000 season

PREVIEW

The Boston University Terriers, fresh off their weekend split with Michigan, take the ice for a rare Tuesday night matchup against fellow Massachusetts opponent, the Bentley Falcons.

BU played in two tough games against the twelfth-ranked Michigan Wolverines. After entering the third period down 2-0 on Friday, the Terriers put three unanswered goals past Michigan goalie Steve Racine to win, 3-2.

Saturday, the Terriers again were down two goals with twenty minutes to play, but couldn’t beat the Wolverines defense, falling 4-2 in the weekend finale. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was injured in the closing minutes Saturday, and is hopeful for Tuesday with a minor knee ailment.

Bentley played just one game this weekend, and fell at home to Rensselaer, 3-2. Max French scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season. The Falcons fell behind, 3-0, halfway through the second period and could not complete the comeback.

The only previous meeting between the two teams came back on December 14, 2013 at Agganis Arena, as the visiting Falcons found the back of the net four times to top the Terriers, 4-1. The only goal for BU on the night came by way of a Matt Lane power play marker late in the third period.

This season, the Falcons are led by their top forward line, which has amassed 31 points in just 10 games. Comprised of Max French, Kyle Schmidt, and 2015 Hobey Baker candidate Andrew Gladiuk, the trio has made life difficult for opponents.

Defensively, the Falcons top D-pair of Tanner Jago and Matt Blomquist have combined for a goal and 15 assists this season.

After these five players, the rest of the Falcons team sees a massive drop-off in point production.

In goal for Bentley should be Gabe Antoni. Named Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week for his two wins against RPI on November 13-14, Antoni replaces Bentley’s usual starter Jayson Argue, who is missing time with an injury.

Antoni has appeared in four games this season, posting a .925 save percentage and a 2.36 goals against average.

On the other side, the Terriers have seen a spike in point production from their first line of Danny O’Regan, Ahti Oksanen, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. The three have recorded 39 points (13G, 26A) through 12 games, along with 132 shots on goal.

Defensively, the Terriers are paced by Brandon Fortunato and Doyle Somerby. Fortunato has successfully quarterbacked the offense and the power play, using his speed to create chances. Somerby has had a physical presence all over the ice, and has scored two game-winning goals to go along with his four assists.

In net for BU will either be Connor LaCouvee or Sean Maguire. LaCouvee has appeared 10 games, posting a .917 SV% and a 2.63 GAA, and played both games this past weekend against Michigan. Maguire has appeared in three games this season, going 1-2-0 with a 3.92 GAA.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Agganis Arena and can be heard live on WTBU Radio.

PREDICTION

Bentley is a stingy team with solid goaltending and a skilled special teams units. If the Terriers keep taking unnecessary penalties while at the same time showing up for only 20 minutes of hockey, it could be a rude awakening for the team in scarlet and white.

BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

  1. NO PENALTIES
    1. It should go without saying, and is always a key to the game for BU, despite the Terriers’ solid penalty kill. Keeping the game 5-on-5 is a must against Bentley, as the Falcons have scored nine of their 25 goals on the power play.
  2. Shut down Gladiuk and French
    1. There is a big drop in point production from Bentley’s top 5. Shutting down the team’s two catalysts can make for a frustrating night for the Falcons.
  3. Play a complete game
    1. BU needs to play three solid periods of hockey because a good third period doesn’t cut it. It’s a sixty minute game, and BU must show up ready to play all of them.

 

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