By: Dan Shulman
The Boston University offense came alive this weekend, scoring seven goals. However, three of them came in the final four minutes on Saturday, two of which were on the power play including an empty-netter in the final second. Regardless, the Terriers continued to get shots on goal, registering 81 for the weekend. BU also showed good offensive balance, with six different scorers over the two games. But still, the offense struggled to create chances and thus were limited on the scoreboard.
To say BU needs Matt Grzelcyk back in the lineup is an understatement. In the five full games he played since returning from offseason knee surgery, the Terriers allowed only 11 goals. And despite going 6-2-3 since Halloween, the Terriers have not been sharp defensively. On Friday, Head Coach David Quinn even went as far as saying his team was unmotivated and lazy. Over the last three games, the Terriers duplicated the amount of goals they allowed after Grzelcyk’s return, conceding 11 times. BU really needs to sharpen up defensively, because the expression “defense wins championships” could not be more correct.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C+
The Terriers power play and penalty kill certainly struggled this weekend. Vermont came into the weekend bolstering a robust 9.3% power play success rate. And on Friday night, they scored on their second opportunity. BU’s penalty kill went 6-for-7 this weekend, but have struggled mightily this season, killing at an abysmal 80.6%. The power play, meanwhile, went 2-for-9 on the weekend with both coming on Saturday; which was good if you don’t consider that one goal was in an empty net and the other was against a goalie who had never played before, and was forced to enter Saturday with three minutes remaining. The BU special teams units need to improve as the Terriers are missing opportunities to beat opponents.
Both Sean Maguire and Connor LaCouvee saw action this weekend, each allowing three goals and combining for 50 saves. Both net-minders looked decent, but were left to dry once again by the Terrier defense. Maguire and LaCouvee were both solid when put to the test, and kept both games close. With most of Vermont’s goals coming off turnovers, the goalies ultimately did all they could, and in the end, led to the Terriers getting two points out of four on the weekend.
TERRIERS’ THREE STARS OF THE WEEKEND
- Matt Lane
The senior forward shined this weekend, scoring twice on the weekend and adding a pair of assists. Lane finished the two game series with seven shots on net and a +1 rating. His leadership was evident all weekend, as the second forward line was the most prolific.
- Brandon Fortunato
Brandon Fortunato scored an empty net goal in the dying seconds of regulation Saturday. His lone tally this weekend, along with his three assists, could not show how hard Fortunato worked all weekend on both sides of the puck. He also recorded five shots and had a +2 rating on the weekend.
- Brandon Hickey
The Leduc, Alberta native has ten shots on goal over the weekend, finishing with a +2 rating on the weekend. His last shot counted the most, as it was the game-winning goal on Saturday, Hickey’s fifth of the season. Aside from play phenomenal defense, the sophomore displayed great puck skills and created offensive chances galore.
HM: Bobo Carpenter
Although Carpenter did not factor on the scoresheet, his weekend total of nine shots and an even rating were noticed. He was constantly buzzing in all three zones of the ice, showing his physicality, shooting ability, and defensive skill.