Minnesota State University’s graduate transfer goaltender Connor LaCouvee is no stranger to Agganis Arena, the home of the No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team. The Qualicum Beach, British Columbia native played his past three seasons with the Terriers (2-1) and on Friday night, allowed BU only three goals in Minnesota State’s (1-1) 6-3 win.
The former Terrier goaltender said being back in his previous rink for the Mavericks’ first ever matchup against BU was surreal.
“I mean it’s awesome coming back to play at BU and [I have] nothing but good things to say about the city of Boston and Boston University hockey,” LaCouvee said. “It’s just an awesome program.”
The Terriers’ fast and physical style of play came out quickly against Minnesota State after scoring two goals within a six-minute span.
Freshman forward Shane Bowers collected at 2:03 after a feed from freshman forwards Hank Crone and Brady Tkachuk during BU’s first power play.
Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway also notched a power-play goal, his first goal of the season, after tipping the puck off his stick into the net to give BU a 2-1 lead.
However, the Mavericks knotted the score at 2-2 before the end of the first period and went on to score three more goals without a response from the Terriers.
BU head coach David Quinn said he thought his team played hard for the first 10 minutes, but lost its edge and urgency for the remainder of the game.
“[It was] just really disappointing because I thought for the first 10 minutes we actually played well and after that, it was almost like we completely changed our mindset and lost focus,” Quinn said. “For the next 50 minutes they played men’s hockey and we played boy’s hockey, and that was the difference. We just weren’t physical at all.”
While the team had many opportunities, bodies continued to pile up in front of Minnesota State’s net and the Terriers were unable to find the back of the net.
Despite leading in shots during the first period, BU fell behind and ended the night being outshot by the Mavericks 35-45, namely at the hands of the team being unable to get stick-to-stick passes and turning over the puck.
“When you’re making 50 foot passes instead of five foot passes, your completion rate deteriorates in a hurry and that was our problem,” Quinn said. “The first 10 minutes, I thought we were supporting the puck and moving it. Then we just abandoned that for some reason.”
Although, a main concern for Quinn was the fact that his defense gave up 45 goals throughout the game with 20 in the final frame of the game while sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger made 39 saves during the night.
“Every time they shot a puck, we turned and watched for it,” Quinn said. “We didn’t defend with our feet in the defensive zone. We looked like we never played d-zone coverage before. [There was] just no urgency.”
The Terriers also struggled at winning puck battles in the face-off circles. BU ended the night only winning 31 face-offs in comparison to Minnesota State’s 36.
One of the Terriers’ main face-off men, junior forward Bobo Carpenter went 11-14 in terms of face-off wins to losses while Bowers won 10 of his and lost six.
Quinn said he remains concerned about his team especially after a good practice, but is optimistic that the team and its defense will have another chance against the Mavericks on Saturday night.
“We’ll see how we react to our first sign of adversity,” Quinn said. “You know that’s the key, how do you respond to it and good news is it happened on a Friday night and we get to come back tomorrow and see how we do respond.”