Sunday, December 07, 2014

O’Regan, Eichel power BU past Merrimack--UPDATED

Held in check the past two games, BU’s OREO line produced all four goals in the Terriers 4-2 win against Merrimack at Agganis Arena. Led by Danny O’Regan’s first career hat trick, Jack Eichel’s four assists and Brandon Hickey’s first collegiate goal, BU completed the weekend series with the Warriors, earning three points and a share of first-place in Hockey East.

Responding to Coach David Quinn’s call to put more shots on goal, BU did so 17 times in the first period alone. Terriers took the lead at the 11 minute mark when Ahti Oksanen sent Eichel into the offensive zone and the freshman dished to O’Regan who beat Colin Delia with a backhander.

BU fired another 17 shots on goal in the middle period, but had more to show for it. Just 16 seconds in, O’Regan redirected a John MacLeod shot past Delia, with Eichel also assisting. Two and a half minutes later, O’Regan passed to Eichel whose drop pass was wristed home by Hickey.  Senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann nearly increased the margin to 4-0 when he banked a shot off a Warrior defender, but the goal was waived off after a review.

Merrimack got on the board when a centering pass glanced off Brian Christie early in a power play, but BU answered just a minute later. From the left corner, Eichel backhanded a no-look pass to O’Regan charging down the slot and the junior from Needham rammed it home to complete the hat trick and extend BU’s lead to 4-1. 

After O’Regan nearly finished off passes from his linemates for a fourth goal, a flock of BU penalties in the third period, including Doyle Somerby’s five-minute major, gave the Warriors multiple opportunities to get back into the game, but the Terrier penalty killers stymied Merrimack. Christie narrowed the lead to 4-2, potting a rebound with 5:15 remaining, but the Terriers kept the puck in the Warrior zone for most of the remaining time.


Matt O'Connor turned aside 30 Warrior shots to gain his ninth victory against two losses and a tie. BU's three-period shot total was 46.

Discussing the win, Quinn explained:
Last night we wouldn’t shoot the puck; we wouldn’t pass the puck. Tonight, I thought we did both of those things very well. I thought our puck movement was as good as it’s been in a while.

● recap and comprehensive box score
● Video highlights
● Post-game comments: Coach David Quinn, O’Regan & Hickey
● Daily Free Press recap
● Boston Hockey Blog: Pluses & Minuses, Defensemen Key Victory
● USCHO recap
● Mack Report recap
College Hockey News: Hockey East recaps
●  SB Nation recap 

► Terriers finish the first semester of conference play with a 7-1-2 record, putting themselves into a first-place tie with UMass-Lowell, which has a game in hand.

►The win was BU’s tenth, equaling the victory total for last season.

►O’Regan’s hat trick gives him 10 goals for the season, the same number he scored in 2013-14.

►Eichel leads all D1 skaters in assists with 17,  points with 25 and plus/minus with +20. O’Regan is second in points (21) and plus/minus (+17) 

Terrier Take-Away: Today’s entry from blog reader Five Hole Terrier 
□ The Terriers played a full 60 minutes of hockey and were particularly effective in the first two periods. Merrimack goalie Delia kept his team in the game making a number of exceptional saves.
□ The team played much more physically and with an edge.
□ The team's passing was much better than on Friday night, utilizing shorter passes. Consequently, they did a much better job getting the puck out of their own end.
□ We learned that Fortunato is a tough kid.  He took a nasty (and somewhat high) hit from a much bigger Merrimack player and was taken to the locker room for evaluation. He toughed it out and was able to get back into the game.  Very impressive -- especially for a player of his size. 

Looking ahead

2015 recruit Maxim Letunov assisted on two goals for Youngstown in a 6-2 win against the NTDP U18 squad and now has 26 points (11G, 15A) in 22 games

2016 recruit Clayton Keller assisted on a goal for the NTDP U17s, who dropped a  4-2 decision to Muskegon. 

Looking back
Former Terrier captain and All-American Kevin Shattenkirk scored his third goal of the season and added two assists as St. Louis overcame a 3-0 deficit and cooled off the Islanders, 6-4
Recap and video

Colin Wilson scored his sixth goal of the season—and his third in the last four games—but it was Nashville’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to Chicago.
Recap and video 

Women’s Team
#5 Terriers defeated Vermont 4-1 at Gutterson Fieldhouse to extend their unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1). Junior Sarah Lefort scored her 12th and 13th goals, both unassisted, to lead an attack that outshot the Catamounts, 38- 15.

After Lefort gave BU a 1-0 lead late in the first period, freshman Rebecca Leslie doubled the margin early in the second, scoring her fifth of the season. UVM cut the lead in half three minutes later; but  sophomore Samantha Sutherland scored with a second left in the period.
Lefort closed the scoring in the third period with a shorthander. Late in the game, BU took consecutive penalties and Vermont pulled its goalie to create a 6-on-3, but the Terrier penalty-kill unit kept the Catamounts off the board.

Sophomore Victoria Hanson made 14 saves to improve her record to 8-1-1.

● recap and comprehensive box score
● Video highlights
● Post-game comments: Coach Brian Durocher (audio)
● HockeyEastOnline recap

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