Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers’ offensive woes once again play big role in 1-1 tie with Merrimack

By Conor Ryan/DFP Staff

It certainly wasn’t the weekend that the Boston University men’s hockey team wanted, as the Terriers only earned one out of a possible four points during a home-and-home series with Merrimack College.

The weekend series was capped by a 1-1 tie Saturday night at Agganis Arena, as the Terriers (7-7-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East), in what has been a recurring theme this season, struggled with getting shots on the Warriors’ (4-9-2, 1-5-2 Hockey East) net.

Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong Saturday night.

Pluses

O’Connor comes up big once again

Making his sixth straight start in net Saturday, sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor was great between the pipes for the Terriers. The Toronto native finished the game with 38 saves while only surrendering one goal off of a deflection from Merrimack freshman Chris LeBlanc 5:53 into the second period.

Over his last five games, O’Connor has averaged 38.8 saves per game, including a career-high 55 saves against then-No. 14/15 University of North Dakota on Nov. 23.

“I know I sound like a broken record, but he is obviously poised, he is confident, he doesn’t get rattled, he doesn’t waste movement, he is square to the puck, he is aggressive,” said BU coach David Quinn. “Thank god he is our goalie, because he makes life difficult for the other team.”

Rodrigues finds the back of the net

The Terriers got off to a fast start in Saturday’s contest, as junior forward Evan Rodrigues got BU on the board just 1:47 into the game.

After receiving the puck from freshman forward Robbie Baillargeon, Rodrigues skated into the left circle before firing the puck past Merrimack netminder Rasmus Tirronen’s blocker side for the score.

It was Rodrigues’ first goal since the team’s season opener against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on Oct. 11.

He is becoming a more well-rounded player,” Quinn said. “It was good to see him get rewarded for all of the hard work he has put in over the last month. And again, we are going to need him to be effective.”

Grzelcyk spurs Terrier offense

While he did not record any points in the game, sophomore defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was a constant presence offensively for the Terriers, leading all players with eight shots on net.

Grzelcyk had a great opportunity to end the game in overtime, as the Charlestown native nearly beat Tirronen with a wraparound attempt just a little over a minute into the extra stanza.

He just skated,” Quinn said. “He is a world-class skater and he is tough to contain. He is strong and he competes and he just took charge.”

BU finishes strong

While the Terrier offense looked downright anemic over the first two periods, the team showed some signs of life in both the third period and overtime, recording 16 shots during the final 25 minutes of play.

“I like the way we kind of rebounded and found our way after the first two periods,” Quinn said. “For us, we had a little bit of life after we killed the penalty. I don’t know if I’ve seen us that flat and that emotionless as we were in the first 35, 36 minutes of the hockey game, then after we killed the penalty I thought we gained a little bit of life, our power play had a little bit of life.”

Minuses

Terriers struggle with shot totals

Despite capitalizing less than two minutes into the game with a goal from Rodrigues, the Terriers once again struggled with getting the puck on net, as BU only managed eight shots through the first two periods. Going into the third period, the Warriors were outshooting the Terriers by a 27-8 margin.

This is not the first time that the Terriers have struggled with getting good looks at the net. In their previous two games against Merrimack (Dec. 6) and Cornell University (Nov. 30), the Terriers posted just 30 combined shots.

“Sometimes … you have to make the most of how you can play and how you can have success, and we’re still trying to find a way to do it,” Quinn said. “We’re not a big, strong team, and that’s a big, strong, older team, and we’re going to have problems with those teams.

“We’ve got to manage the puck a little bit better, we’ve got to play at a pace, we’ve got to make them uncomfortable — and we certainly didn’t do that for two periods. I thought we did a much better job in the third period and did a much better job in the overtime.”

25 comments:

  1. So DQ blames his team for being small, weak, and young. DQ always has excuses for losses and always throws the players under the bus. Way to go DQ!

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  2. I just checked the HE stats and OC is the worse ranked goalie according to the stats. So why is OC starting this bum?

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    1. OK everyone. These guys are just trolling and spewing negativisim. Likely, they are not BU. But, they are idiots. Just ignore them.

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  3. I.think it's hilarious...I mean really, what kind of life do they have?

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  4. The team's shot totals have me amazed. Some of it is bad luck, or good blocking, but still, I am used to 30 shots a game, not 30 a weekend.

    Of course, poor shots, easy shots to save, are not helpful at all, but is there a fear of bad shots? I never yell it on the power play (creating scoring chances is better than simple, telegraphed point shots), but SHOOT!

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  5. It looks like DQ can't coach offense or defense. DQ should be made a recruiter and the coaching should be left to someone decent.

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  6. Interesting how star players from last year's team have regressed under DQ. Is DQ a bad motivator or just a bad coach?

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  7. It's amazing how OC is recognized by DQ as out best goalie when he is rated as the worse goalie in HE and Maguire has better stats.

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  8. Grzelcyk refusing to play defense and just play offense is considered a plus?

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  9. Thanks to DQ for getting us to next to last place in HE. A pee wee coach would have gotten us higher with the talent we have.

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  10. DQ just allowed the worse team in Hockey East take 3 out of 4 points from us. We have sunk so far from where we were last year with Parker in charge.

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  11. There is not a lot of talent on the O lines. Hard working guys for the most part but Bavis and parker did not get the stars like BU teams did in the past. As I have said before I can not understand why Parker did not replace him (Bavis).

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  12. I see the trolls are out in force. Thanks fir the entertainment. It's amazing...I don't knew how you do it but you outdo your own crazy comments day after day. Wow!!

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  13. Parker saw the handwriting on the wall and bailed on the team before it tanked this year - just not getting the talent it used to...

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  14. I am 100% confident DQ will bring in the stars as he did in the past (Think 2009.) He is getting some excellent commits. In fact, one is so good I fear he may never play a day of college hockey. I just hope we have him for 2 years. He is a difference maker.

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    1. You talking about Eichel (recruit by Parker)?

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    2. Eichel is a prima donna. He's going to be poor for team morale. I hope DQ can manage Eichel's ego.

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  15. I think I know who you mean and I do believe he will come and play for BU. He's already had the chance to go another route ... and chose not to. Regardless, you're right. There are some really high-end recruits who have committed to BU for the next several years to come ... a phenomenon that should keep us excited and interested ... and more tolerant of several non-winning seasons.

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    1. You never know how they will do once they get here. Collier was suppose to be the stud of this class and he's done nothing. Be barely has a chance to play and bums like Moscatel play ahead of him.

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  16. Good thing DQ didn't coach the 2009 team otherwise we would have been under .500 in league play like we are now. Our best course of action may be to demote DQ to recruiter and get a real coach to lead the team.

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    1. First off, not a friend or family member of DQ.YOU must have serious mental problems still living at moms house.It is so obvious you are the one person who constantly bashes the new coach, been a man and create a profile, so when DQ gets HIS players here,& not the ones jobless Bavis recruited.Just in case you forgot, do you know who did ALL the recruiting for the 09 team? Yes, DQ.SO MAKE A POFILE, SO WHEN WENT WIN ANOTHER, I CAN'T TELL YOU-I told you so.And lay off the dudes family, so little class, if any! A BU HOCKEY DAD, CLASS OF 92'.

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    2. Don't waste your breath, the guy says the same thing over and over and over. He knows nothing about hockey, coaching or playing, so let him ramble. He Is actually very entertaining. But you're right, when he brings family members into his irrational posts, he is showing his true lack of class. He knows he's the only negative person on here, tries to make his posts seem like they are from different people. I actually saw him post on the live blog and they completely ignore his ridiculous comments. He's got a love affair with Parker and maguire, is insanely jealous of quinn's career and spews uncalled for insults at quinns family, for some unknown reason. So let him be...he is ignored on here for the most part.

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    3. It's pretty pathetic when DQ family members come here to post a mindless rant to support failure in our coaching position.

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  17. I'm not a family member bit since you think every positive poster is I'm going to respond to you add if I were...you are the biggest loser to come on a college hockey blog acting as if your life depended on their success. What a sorry excuse you are. Your rants are childish, you have nothing of any value to say and if I were your mother I would be beyond ashamed of you.

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  18. It's even more pathetic that you bring his family into every post. #wackadoo!#gobu #quinnisawesome#bashingfamilyislame#growup#nutbag

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