Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Lookback: Maine Offers Little Resistance

Player of The Week
Ahti Oksanen
2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points. Oksanen
was also named Hockey East player
of the week.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Trying to forget last night's Patriots game? Yeah, so am I.

Let's talk hockey instead.

To say this weekend's performance was BU's most dominant weekend of the year would be an understatement. Really, outside of the first ten minutes of Friday's game in Orono, BU utterly dominated Maine in all phases of the game.

Maine's early pressure was more self inflicted than Maine actually generating chances. The Terriers struggled to get the puck out and make simple passes in the opening frame at Alfond. Thankfully, Sean Maguire was there to bail his team out with two spectacular saves. He finished the weekend with a .947 save percentage and only allowed 3 goals on 57 shots.

Offense From Everyone
The offense continued to score in bunches as it has really all second semester. Eight different Terriers found the back of the net in the course of the two game series. Bobo Carpenter, Matt Lane and Ahti Oksanen all registered multi goal games, but that wasn't all. Mike Moran scored his first goal of the year on Friday night. Doyle Somerby, who hadn't scored since late November showed some offensive flare on an unassisted wraparound goal on Saturday. Even second semester newcomer Oksar Andrén registered his first two points as a Terrier in Saturday's 6-1 win.

Playing A Complete Game
In both games, BU turned in a complete effort. There was no need for the usual third period comeback. In fact, it was the complete opposite. BU had a multi goal lead every time Maine scored this weekend. The Terriers also added goals of their own after the Black Bears scored. They did what the Patriots were unable to do: Make Maine play on their terms.

Dave Quinn: “Just a great weekend for us. Any time you get four points over the weekend in this league, it’s a great accomplishment. That team tests your work ethic and your physicality and for six periods, I thought we did a good job of moving our feet and playing at a pace I don’t think we’ve been playing at lately.”

Matt Lane: “It was focusing on not just playing 60 minutes, but 120. I think we might’ve only swept once this year and at this point in the season in Hockey East, it’s time to buckle down. We need sweeps, and we need to string together some wins. We know what we’re capable of as a team, and in a sense we didn’t feel we were meeting our standards. This is maybe the first weekend where we’ve played six good periods from start to finish.”

At The Polls
BU climbed two pegs this week in the USCHO ranking, moving up from 11th to 9th. It's their highest ranking since Halloween when they were 8th. Quinnipiac was once again number one and North Dakota was two. St. Cloud made the jump from fifth to third, Providence dropped from third to fourth and BC closed out the top five.

The Terriers moved up one slot over the course of the weekend in the PairWise from 12th to 11th. If the tournament field was selected today, they would be a three seed. I will have a full projected bracket out later this week.

Around Hockey East
Tuesday: Maine fought off a late charge from Quinnipiac at home to tie 3-3.

Friday: Providence doubled up Lowell 4-2 at home… Boston College routed UMass 8-0 at the Mullins Center. BC Coach Jerry York picked up his 1,000th career victory with the win… Noter Dame steamrolled UNH 5-1 at the Whit… Northeastern handed Merrimack a 5-2 loss at Lawler… Vermont took down Connecticut 4-2 in Hartford… BU handled Maine 5-2 in Orono.

Saturday: Notre Dame completed the sweep of UNH with a 3-2 win.. UConn and BC staked to a 3-3 tie at the Heights… Northeastern swept Merrimack with a 4-1 win. It was Northeastern's sixth win a row and Merrimack's ninth consecutive loss… Vermont toppled UMass 6-4 in Amherst… Lowell avoided a swept from Providence after a 3-1 win at home… BU ran over Maine again, 6-1.

Next Up
Merrimack, Friday, 7:30, Home

Northeastern, Monday, 8:00, Beanpot Semis

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