By: Dan Shulman
After allowing four goals last night against the potent Michigan offense, freshman Jake Oettinger has made apparent that playing on the road is not his strong suit.
Yet to allow a goal at home, Oettinger has struggled mightily on the road, allowing a quartet of pucks past him in each of his last two road games. And now, it may be time for a change in the crease.
Connor LaCouvee, who has only played 4:12 this season due to Oettinger’s equipment malfunction last Saturday, might finally earn his first start in net on Saturday. The junior made three big saves in his abbreviated appearance and showed he is more than capable of playing up to par.
On the other side, Michigan has been alternating goaltenders all season as freshmen Hayden Lavigne and Jack LaFontaine have split the time this season. With Lavigne going on Friday, the Terriers will likely see LaFontaine between the pipes Saturday.
So with two new goaltenders possibly on the ice Saturday night at Yost, we may see a bit of feeling out from both teams early in the game.
It’s a stark contrast of styles between the two coaches. On one side, Michigan skipper Red Berenson has given his net-minders the chance to compete for the starting role by each getting fair playing time. Not only are both becoming better, but there is the added pressure of losing out to the other in a friendly contest.
For Dave Quinn’s Terriers, the coach has made apparent that Oettinger is the number one rather early in the season and has given LaCouvee no chance to prove himself. Throwing LaCouvee into the fire on Saturday might be enough to lift both players’ competitiveness.
It’s a situation similar to last season’s mid-December trip to Connecticut when BU faced-off against Yale and Quinnipiac. Then starter LaCouvee faltered in BU’s Friday loss at Yale before Sean Maguire stood tough in a 4-1 win over Quinnipiac.
The same may happen this weekend at Yost. Besides, it’s time for LaCouvee to get his chance in net. A little friendly competition never hurts.