Monday, November 14, 2011

Defense steps it up in big way for men's hockey

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

Throughout the 2011-12 Boston University men’s hockey season, BU head coach Jack Parker said that he believed his team’s biggest issue on defense was mentality. The No. 16 Terriers (4-4-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East), who entered the weekend ranked eight out of 10 in the league on defense, had been trying to do too much with the puck, make too many highlight-reel plays and lacked the focus necessary to play a thorough defensive game.

On Sunday afternoon, in their biggest rival’s barn, the Terriers proved just how much mentality can improve a defense, as their 60-minute effort on defense helped shut out No. 2 Boston College, 5-0.

The difference, according to junior defenseman Sean Escobedo, was a change in defensive philosophy that the Terriers implemented for a weekend in which they faced the two top teams in Hockey East, No. 4/6 Merrimack College being the other.

“We changed our defensive system to man-on-man [from zone coverage] so everyone is held accountable,” Escobedo said. “There was a lot better communication between the defensive partners and the centers and wingers contributed to everybody just bearing down and playing solid defense.”


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