By: Dan Shulman
The Boston University Terriers offense came out strong in their Beanpot opener. After over half a period of sustained pressure, BU struck twice in quick succession late in the first frame. Despite scoring only one more goal, The Terriers were overwhelming offensively and the Huskies were no match for BU’s forward core.
On the other end, BU’s defense prevented Northeastern from getting abundant scoring chances and limited the Huskies to few quality shots. The only slip up came when Northeastern opted for the extra-attacker in favor of goaltender Ryan Ruck. The extra man, John Stevens, snuck behind the defense to score. Otherwise, the defense was sharp and gave Northeastern no time to setup in the offensive zone.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
The power play has gone quiet for BU over the past few games. However, Coach Quinn remains positive, stating that he saw some good things on the power play, despite the lack of success against Northeastern. The Huskies were on the man-advantage just once on Monday, and the Terriers killed off the penalty rather easily. Keeping the game even strength is something BU has found success with lately, allowing just one five-on-five goal in the past four games.
Sean Maguire looked sharp once again, making several saves through traffic. There were times when the senior looked shaky and made a few desperate saves on second attempts, but overall it was another excellent performance by Maguire.
TERRIERS’ THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
- Danny O’Regan
O’Regan is having himself a splendid senior season. In the Beanpot’s first round, he continued to raise his level of play. Taking six shots and recording an assist, O’Regan could have easily added a pair of goals as well. He was a +1 and was buzzing in the offensive zone all night.
- Charlie McAvoy
The freshman is quickly becoming a man among boys, making hockey-minded plays that are well beyond his years. Sweeping poke-checks, crisp passes, and taking hits to make a play are just a few of the facets in McAvoy’s game which he showed off last night.
- Robbie Baillargeon
As a junior, Baillargeon is returning to the high performance level he showcased as a freshman. Robbie scored his sixth of the year against Northeastern, his second straight Beanpot game with a goal. He had four shots on goal and was a +1.
Honorable Mention: Brien Diffley
When Matt Grzelcyk returned, it looked as if Diffley would be limited in playing time. But the sophomore has earned his spot as the sixth defenseman, and played one of his best defensive games of the season against Northeastern, finishing the game at +1.
Sitting on the Lead
I noticed this in the Merrimack game and very much so on Monday. When the Terriers jump out to a two-goal lead, they begin to sit back and defend more. This park-the-bus mentality, though successful, needs to go. BU’s offensive numbers are more balanced and much improved from a year-ago, and the Terriers have the ability to be burying teams rather than winning close games. Of course, having a strong goaltender helps, but a 7-0 win looks better than a 3-1 or 4-0 victory.
The Offense is Dangerous
BU has scored more even-strength goals this season than it did at this point last year. While there are no 70-point scorers, there is so much balance on offense. The top three forward lines are equally able to attack with fury, and all three are heating up just in time for a late season surge and post-season run. And it’s not just the point producers that make this offense lethal; it’s the playmakers like Ryan Cloonan, Jordan Greenway, and Oskar Andren that give this offense such a dynamic look.