By: Matt Dresens
Looking to rebound from a disappointing weekend against cross-town rival Boston College in which BU scored just one goal in two games, BU will close out league play for the fall semester with a home-and-home series against UMass Lowell, starting Friday night at Agganis.
“As a team, these are two huge league points for us,” stated sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty. “Last year we split with them, we want to sweep the weekend if we can. We are just looking to play two really good games and get away with four points.”
While BU was battling BC, Lowell was idle, and the River Hawks haven’t played a game since Thanksgiving weekend, when they split a pair of games with RPI. All in all, the Riverhawks are 7-6-1 (3-3-1 HEA) on the year and currently sit alone in seventh in Hockey East with seven points in seven games.
Over the past week Crotty, along with Logan Cockerrill, Shane Bowers and Joel Farabee all were selected to attend their respective country’s World Junior Training Camps. Cockerill, and Farabee will be at the US camp, while Crotty and Bowers will skate for Canada.
“Its pretty crazy,” said Crotty. “In talking with my friends and my parents, its something you dream about and have been watching since you were three or four, especially being from Canada. Even being in the conversation for that is pretty special. Whatever happens, I’m going to soak everything in and enjoy it because it’s a huge honor.”
Scouting the Riverhawks
Halfway through the year, Ryan Lohin continues to pace the Lowell offensive attacked, posting eleven points by way of six goals and five assists in ten games played. Right behind him is Kenny Hausinger. The Anchorage, Alaska native has amassed an even five goals and five assists for ten points. Other players to watch include Croix Evingson, Ryan Dmowski and Sam Knoblauch.
In goal, Lowell’s Tyler Wall is tops in the conference in goals against, allowing just 1.80 goals per game. Wall is second in the league in save percentage, coming in with a .933 mark, just one percentage point behind league leader Stefanos Lekkas.
Scoring has been quite an issue for the Terriers in their last three games. In fact, BU has scored one goal or less in four of their last five games.
“If there’s one thing our league has its a good collection of goalies, especially this year,” mentioned O’Connell. “They got some veterans and new guys who have had good years and bright futures.”
The Terriers have already been shutout three times this season. Once at Merrimack on October 20th, again in their next game against Providence on October 26th and then just last weekend against Boston College in the first ever 0-0 tie between the two schools. BU hasn’t been shutout four times in a season since 2003-04 and it took a 1-0 blanking in the Hockey East Semis by Maine to reach number four.
“We have to bear down on chances,” added coach O’Connell. “We did some scoring drills this week. Timing, shooting, getting to the net for rebounds, having poise with the puck instead of banging it right back into the goalie.”
Looking at Last year
The teams met on the same weekend last season and the two games produced two very different results. Friday saw a sluggish, slow paced, dull skirmish that Lowell came out on top of by a score of 3-2 at Tsongas Center. The next night, BU throttled the Riverhawks 9-3 at home before winter break. It was the most goals BU had scored in a single game since the Terriers posted nine on UMass in January of 2015. Even Rodrigues had six assists that night.