Sunday, December 14, 2014

BU upends RPI, 5-1; finishes semester at 11-3-2

Photo by Matt Dressens
#2 Terriers completed the first semester with an emphatic 5-1 win last night at Rensselaer. Five different players scored goals and assistant captains (photo) Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann contributed three and two assists respectively. With the win, BU stands at 11-3-2—one more win than last season and only the sixth squad in program history to record at least 11 first-semester wins.

Repeating a season-long trend, BU started slowly and struggled to move the puck quickly in the face of the Engineers’ strong forecheck. The hosts fired 18 shots in the first period, but all of them were turned aside by Matt O’Connor—including a spectacular right foot save in the final minutes of the period to keep the score at 0-0.

The second was another story as BU found its game and scored three times. Freshman John MacLeod’s hard blueline wrist shot off a Rodrigues feed opened the scoring. Three minutes later, with BU on a power play, freshman Jack Eichel threaded a pass from the blue line to Danny O’Regan just outside the crease and the junior redirected it past Scott Diebold. The third goal was of the flukey variety. Freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey, who had pinched down into the corner to the right of Diebold, flung a pass toward the goal that the RPI netminder misplayed into the net. BU outshot RPI 15-10 in the period.

In the third, the Terriers held back the Engineers’ attempts to get back into the game and then extended the lead to 4-0 on freshman J.J. Piccinich’s first collegiate goal, a turnaround shot from the slot assisted by his senior linemates, Hohmann and Rodrigues. With three minutes remaining, Rensselaer foiled O’Connor’s shutout bid, following a weak clearing attempt. Sophomore Nick Roberto’s empty-netter closed the scoring.

O’Connor stopped 35 of 36 shots to earn his 10th win against two losses and a tie and lowering his GAA to 1.67. 

● recap and comprehensive box score 
● Video highlights 
● Post-game comments: Coach David Quinn, O’Regan 
● Daily Free Press recap 
● Boston Hockey Blog: Pluses & Minuses, Second-period adjustments 
● RPI Athletics recap 
Albany Times-Union recap
● Hockey East Online recap 
College Hockey News: Hockey East recaps

► With his 12th goal, O’Regan has 22 points, equaling his 2013-14 total. Eichel’s pair of assists give him a Division 1 best 19 as well as the nation's top points-per-game of 1.69 and point total with 27.

► In addition to his two assists, Hohmann had a particularly strong night at the faceoff dot, winning 13 of 18 draws. 

At the break, Rodrigues has 16 points (5G, 11A), two points more than his 2013-14 total.

Terrier Take-Away: Today’s entry from Terrier Blogger

□ Strong effort from the second line with a goal and five assists to go with nine shots on goal. A step toward the needed scoring balance.

□ Terriers took only one penalty, a season low.

□ Big contributions from the freshman class—goals from MacLeod, Hickey and Piccinich—and assists from Eichel (2) and A.J. Greer, who turns 18 today. Greer had a strong game, creating several scoring chances for himself and his linemates.

□ In the face of a strong forecheck, BU’s breakouts need quicker, crisper passes and better execution on indirects. This improved in the second and third periods.

Terrier Trivia [as presented on Inside BU Hockey]
Q--Jack Eichel will be playing in his second World Junior Championship tournament this month. Which former Terrier is one of just 16 players to have skated in three World Junior Championships?
A—BU’s new director of hockey operations, Scott Young, was a member of Team USA for the 1985, 1986 and 1987 WJCs. He also skated for Team USA in three Olympics: 1988, 1992 and 2002.

Looking ahead
2016 recruit Patrick Harper, off to a strong start for Avon Old Farms, has been added to the U.S. roster for next week’s Under-17 Four Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor. The diminutive forward from New Caanan, Conn., who has 6 goals and 6 assists in five games thus far, joins a roster primarily made up of the NTDP U17s, including fellow 2016 recruit Clayton Keller. Team USA, the defending champion, takes on Russia on Tuesday, followed by games against Switzerland and Slovakia.  

2017 recruit David Farrance, one of the top ’99 defensemen, scored a power play goal and added an assist for the Syracuse Stars U16s, who defeated the NH Jr. Monarchs, 4-2, on Friday night.  Farrance has a 14-13-27 scoring line in 17 games. 

2015 recruit Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson had primary assists on three goals in Sioux City’s 4-1 win against Des Moines. The Swedish center has 23 points in 22 games.

OCS recap

2015 recruit Maxim Letunov collected his 17th on the game-tying goal and scored once again in the shootout; but Youngstown lost 3-2 to Tri-City. The 6-3, left-shot center has been successful in all three shootout attempts in recent Phantom games.

2015 recruit Robert Carpenter scored his 10th goal and recorded his 23rd point in Sioux City’s 3-1 win over Cedar Rapids.

Looking back

 Kevin Shattenkirk’s fourth goal of the season, coming on a power play, knotted St. Louis with Colorado in the first period.Then, a minute into overtime, he assisted on the game-winner. The former BU captain and All-American leads the NHL in power play points with 16.
Recap and video

 Nick Bonino’s eighth goal of the season was all the Vancouver scoring in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. 
Recap and video

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