Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Lookback: The Grzelcyk Factor

Player of the week: Matt Grzelcyk
4 goals, 1 assist.
He was also named Hockey East
Player of the Week.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
There is no mistaking that the impact of having Matt Grzelcyk back in the lineup is big, but I never thought it was this important. Grzelcyk has missed 12 of BU's 18 games this year, but the Terriers are a remarkable 5-1-2 in games when Grzelcyk dresses. Oh, and that one loss? Yeah, he got hurt during the game and did not finish. It's not a stretch at all to say that he gives BU a totally different look when he's healthy and in the lineup.

Grzelcyk, along with some A+ setups from Danny O'Regan and Brandon Fortunato broke open the UMass game. That was a game that UMass was hanging around in and with a little puck luck, maybe they could have won the game. Grzelcyk all but ended that threat with a natural hat-trick in just a 6:49 span that bridged the end of the second and into the third period. After the three goals, the game was over.

What was most impressive in the win was that BU limited UMass to just five shots in the third period. That was something that Coach Quinn pointed out in the presser:

“We were a little sluggish in the first five minutes. I thought we really started knuckling down and doing a much better job of managing the puck, playing the puck, and doing the job in our end. … Seven goals is great, but the thing I really like is we gave up five shots in the third period.”

That's also a good lead in to the Harvard game. It feels like every game this year we hear that "we started slow, but finished well" line from Quinn. BU is a completely different team in the third period. The Harvard game took that to a completely different level. The Harvard play by play guys even pointed out during the broadcast that they could not believe that they were watching the same game. And for good reason. BU was at one point being outshot 26-3. 

The comeback against Harvard has the potential to be a huge springboard for this team. They finally have everyone back and if they can get relatively decent goaltending (much like this weekend), this team can really start rolling. Next weekend will obviously be a huge series with BC, as it usually is.  

This weekend, seniors accounted for 9 of BU's 13 goals. Danny O'Regan had two vs Harvard, Matt Lane also added a pair vs the Crimson, and Grzelcyk, along with the hat-trick vs UMass, scored a goal vs Harvard, too. 

At The Polls
BU moved up one slot in the USCHO poll from 11 to 10. North Dakota was again one, Quinnipiac two, Providence somehow stayed at three, despite only getting one point from BC this weekend. Speaking of BC, they moved up from seventh to fourth and St. Cloud rounded out the top five.

In the PWR, BU moved up from 12th entering the weekend, to 9th.  

Around Hockey East
Tuesday: UMass fell to Yale 3-2 in overtime at the Mullins Center.

Thursday: BU scored three goals in the a 2:09 span in the final minutes of the third to drop Harvard 6-5. 

Friday: Boston College routed Providence 7-3 at Conte... Lowell shutout UNH at the Whitt... Cornell blanked Merrimack 3-0 at home... Maine topped Colgate 3-1 at Alfond... Northeastern posted a goose egg on St. Lawrence 3-0 in Canton... Connecticut lost to Michigan Tech in the opening round of the Desert Hockey Classic in Arizona, 4-2... Vermont shutout Dartmouth in Burlington 1-0... Notre Dame ran over Western Michigan 7-1 in South Bend. 

Saturday: Boston College came back to tie Providence 4-4 at PC... Cornell completed the home sweep of Merrimack with a 5-2 win... Colgate got back at Maine with a 5-1 win... NU completed the road sweep of St. Lawrence, doubling up the Saints 4-2... Notre Dame and Western Michigan skated to a 3-3 draw... BU dumped UMass 7-2 at home.

Sunday: UConn blanked Arizona State in the consolation game of the Desert Hockey Classic 3-0.

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