Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Hard-luck Terriers fall in Beanpot opener

“Against a team like BC, you need a little luck,” BU head coach David Quinn observed following last night’s Beanpot opener. “You need great goaltending, you need to be thorough and you need a little luck. We got two of the three.”

Puck luck was the element that escaped BU as the Terriers went toe-to-toe with #2 ranked BC, before an empty-net goal sealed a 3-1 decision.

Terriers played their strongest game in quite a while, dominating play throughout the first period, despite a BC power play goal that gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. BC doubled the lead early in the second period when BU co-captain Garrett Noonan lost an edge enabling an uncovered Kevin Hayes to score an easy one.

BU survived a five-minute major and game ejection to Doyle Somerby on a questionable hitting from behind call, and produced some good scoring chances. They would hit iron several times before finally scoring early in the third period. Danny O’Regan knifed a pass by BC goalie Thatcher Demko out of the air behind the net and found Robbie Baillargeon (photo) inside the blueline. The freshman from Enfield, Conn., ripped home his seventh goal of the season to cut the lead in half. BU pressed for an equalizer, with its best chance coming in the final minute when Kevin Duane’s redirection of an Evan Rodrigues shot caught Demko’s jersey and was turned aside. A final foray ended with the empty-netter.

Sophomore netminder Matt O’Connor authored another outstanding game, stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
GoTerriers.com recap and comprehensive box score 
● Post-game comments (video): Quinn, Noonan, Baillargeon
● Video highlights 
● Boston Hockey Blog recap, Pluses & Minuses, Slideshow 
● USCHO recap 
● WEEI Sports Blog recap and analysis 
●HockeyEastOnline recap 
●Salem News feature on Somerby
● Boston Herald recap 

Among the former Terriers in attendance at TD Garden were: Gary Fay (in from Switzerland), Tom O'Regan, Ron Anderson, Kevin Kielt, Brad Zancanaro, John McCarthy, Jack Parker, Rich Green and Marc Hetnik.

Looking ahead 
2014 recruit Brandon Hickey was a guest on “draft prospects” segment the popular Pipeline radio show, hosted by Dean Millard and Guy Flaming. The 6-2 Spruce Grove Saints defenseman discussed his goals to raise the level of his game and his reasons for selecting BU over several other college options.

Amateur Hockey Report offers this scouting report on 2015 recruit Vasili Kolias from a recent HPHL Showcase:

D: Kolias is a very skilled defender who knows when to pinch and generally gets back with good effort.  He is a puck mover who sees the ice well and is a quality skater with good lateral movement.  He has very good hands and showed nice quickness.  He can be offensive and likes to create chances for his team. 

Looking back 
Former BU forward Matt Nieto scored two first-period goals to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead vs. Philadelphia, but the Flyers did the rest of the scoring and took a 5-2 win. For Nieto, who earned second-star honors, it was his first multiple-goal NHL game. He has six scores on the season.
●  Recap and video

USA Today Sports took a look at the “biggest bargains in the NHL” based on salary and on-ice production, including former BU center Nick Bonino:
 Bonino, $700K: The 25-year-old center has broken out in a big way this season with 16 goals and 40 points, good for third on the team. Bonino, who was recently put on injured reserve, never really stuck as an NHL player in his first four seasons, scoring 11 times and recording 33 points in 112 games. He signed a one-year and two-year deal after his entry-level contract expired, but his play this season has earned him a three-year pact with an average-annual value of $1.9M. That may end up being a bargain for the Ducks, too.

Women’s Team 
Terriers travel up Commonwealth Avenue to Conte Forum to play Boston College in the first round of the Women’s Beanpot. Game time is set for 8 p.m.
● GoTerriers.com preview, game notes, Game Tracker, WTBU Sports Radio Webcast, BC TV Webcast (pay-per-view).
● BU Today preview

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