By: Marisa Ingemi
The Terriers of Boston University made several lineup changes on Saturday night in an attempt to rebound from a 4-0 loss to the Michigan Wolverines. Despite staying the same in net with freshman Jake Oettinger making back to back starts, the bottom two forward lines had vastly different looks.
With injuries to Clayton Keller, Ryan Cloonan, and Niklas Olsson, the Terriers were forced to play two defenders at the wing. Brien Diffley played on the left side on the bottom unit with Gabriel Chabot and Oskar Andren, while Shane Switzer saw his first action of the season as a third line right winger.
The three goal third period from the Terriers helped the team improve its road record to 2-3-1 as it was the underclassmen getting BU on the board; tallies came from freshmen Patrick Harper and Dante Fabbro while Charlie McAvoy and Jordan Greenway also found the back of the net. Greenway now has 11 points in six contests, and he has stepped up since being benched in the first period last Saturday.
While it was the usual suspects scoring for the Terriers, it was the overall added depth to the lineup that created the opportunities for BU. The bottom two lines held their own despite being a mish-mash, and overall allowed the top six forwards to rest when they had to.
Another note for the Terriers on the road? BU committed just three penalties, a season low. Since committing seven penalties against Northeastern in a 4-4 tie from Matthews Arena, BU has found a way to avoid being sent to the sin bin.
Since Cloonan is set to return in a couple of weeks and Olsson could be back in the lineup against UConn in a home and home series this coming weekend, the shakeup may have been just a one night thing. Still, with Keller out long term, the Terriers might be scrambling to find a way to fill in for the freshman forward for the next couple of months.
The Terriers face the Huskies next week, a team that lost and tied with the 14th ranked Ohio State University this past week. It remains to be seen if David Quinn elects to play the defenders at forward again next week, but if any of the wingers return, we might see a different look once again.
Coming out with a split on the road against the 18th ranked Wolverines has to feel like a victory for the Terriers.