Last Saturday, the Boston University men’s ice hockey team hosted No. 13 Northeastern University in the first half of its home-and-home series. Led by a hat-trick by senior forward Nolan Stevens last weekend, the Huskies (6-2-1, 4-0-0 Hockey East) emerged with two wins in two highly physical tilts.
The Terriers (4-6-1, 2-3-1 Hockey East) came into the second half of the series looking to rebound and spilt the series. Just like the first leg of the series, BU would not be able to overcome Northeastern as it dropped the second game of the series 6-1.
The Terriers came into the season with high hopes for its defensemen as they entered the season with seven blueliners already drafted to professional teams. However, defensive miscues have plagued the team throughout the course of the season and tonight was no different.
BU head coach David Quinn said the Terriers have work they need to improve on.
“It’s a work in progress,” Quinn said. “Just like every team at this point of the season. We’re going to get out of it.”
Senior captain and defenseman Brandon Hickey did not play due to an upper-body injury. The Terriers also played without freshman defenseman David Farrance.
Quinn said Farrance would “probably” play against the No. 13 University of New Hampshire on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
In the lineup against Northeastern was senior defenseman John MacLeod, who played in his 100th game for the Terriers. BU also inserted senior defenseman Brien Diffley into the lineup for his second game of the season.
“I don’t think we defended great, but it wasn’t like we were hemmed in our zone the entire night,” Quinn said.
The Terriers found themselves down 1-0 three minutes into the game because of a costly turnover in their defensive zone. Freshman forward Ty Amonte attempted a pass to junior forward Ryan Cloonan, which Cloonan was unable to convert. It was picked up by Northeastern’s freshman forward Zach Solow and sent to Stevens who scored the game’s first goal.
The Huskies would strike again just over three minutes later. Junior forward Adam Gaudette would connect on a pass from forward Grant Jozefek and would put the puck past into the left side of BU’s sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger.
BU’s defensemen have been an active part of the offense for the Terriers’ all season. Diffley played a part in BU’s lone goal, his first assist of the season, less than a minute into the second period when he got the puck to freshman forward Brady Tkachuk who fed it to Harper.
BU replaced Oettinger with sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik after allowing five goals. The last goal that Oettinger allowed was scored 13:55 into the final period. He came out to play the puck, but ran into Amonte, which opened the net for junior forward Lincoln Griffin to score his second goal of the night.
Prawdzik faced two shots and allowed one goal during his six minutes in net. This marked his first appearance in net for his BU career.
“I just feel like the last goal summarized everything that was happening tonight,” Quinn said. “Everything they shot found a way to go into the net and we couldn’t buy a goal.”
The Terriers’ defensemen blocked eight shots with only sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro recording multiple blocks at two while Northeastern blocked 18 shots.
“At the end of the day, this is a game about scoring goals,” Quinn said. “We can talk about forechecking, d-zone coverage, we can talk about power plays and penalty kills, but you got to score goals.”