Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Lookback: No Show

Player of the Week
Ryan Cloonan

No goals No assists.
He was the only player who had
any jump on Saturday.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
This past weekend was a combination of two things: BU's inability to score and Lowell's nearly perfect game plan and execution. I have already said a lot about this series in the game recaps and the post on Saturday afternoon, but I just want to go over a few things. 

Thankfully, despite not showing up in Lowell and not advancing to the Garden these results haven't ruined BU's chances of getting into the NCAA Tournament. All indications are that BU won't finish worse than 9th in the PWR regardless of next weekend's results. 

Whoever they end up playing in two weeks in the tournament, BU has to find a way to put the puck in the net. BU has not scored more than three goals in a game vs anyone other than last place UMass since January 29th. That was to Merrimack. In fact, BU has only scored more than three goals against a team in the top 16 in the PWR once since the break and that was to Harvard. 

Somehow, this team needs to find a way to get more offense. They played a nearly perfect game against BC in the Beanpot and never scored. Same with the Notre Dame loss. I alluded to this on Saturday… the key might be getting a two goal lead. In the second semester, when BU has a multi goal lead, they are 8-0-0. Playing from behind like BU did in the first semester was playing with fire. Luckily they found a way not only to avoid losses, but they actually won a handful of games with huge comebacks. 

There have been no such comebacks in the second semester, outside of the Harvard game, which was the first game back from break. BU needs to get the lead, extend it, and make teams play from behind. That will be the formula if BU has any chance of winning a game in the tournament. Hopefully, having this week off will give the team a chance to regroup and get back on track. 

So What Went Wrong 
BU's student newspaper The Daily Free Press ran an article following Saturday's loss and there were a few quotes that really stood out. The first one is from Danny O'Regan, the second from Matt Lane.  

“It’s tough to create offense on them, but I think we didn’t do the things that we’ve been doing in the past that made us successful offensively, so a lot of it’s on us,” O’Regan said. “We didn’t get a lot of grade-A chances or get to the net enough and make it hard for the goalie so I mean that’s kind of on us, I guess.”

“It’s hard to pinpoint one thing,” said senior assistant captain Matt Lane. “I thought we came out with the right attitude, the right mindset, we definitely had a lot of energy … They got some bounces, we didn’t. Their goalie was hot, he was good last night [Friday], just a couple little things in all areas.”

They are both right. Nothing did go right and it is incredibly hard to score on Lowell. It always has been. Lowell plays a very defensive style game and jumps on opponents mistakes. They scored two power play goals on Friday night and got a fortunate bounce off Brandon Hickey's skate that completely altered Mike Louria's shot. It threw Maguire off and he couldn't react in time to recover. 

That's all Lowell had on Friday. That and a suffocating defense that got every puck that needed to get out, out and they made life for BU in front of the net almost non existent. 

Saturday, BU just didn't show up. They had no offense, less of a defense and the goaltending was the worst it has been since mid October. It was just a huge step backwards in all departments at the absolute worst time of the year. 

At The Polls 

No one cares

Around Hockey East
Friday Game 1's: Providence took down Merrimack 3-1… Boston College blanked Vermont 3-0… Northeastern dropped Notre Dame 3-1… Lowell got past BU 3-2. 

Saturday, Game 2's: Providence swept Merrimack with a 2-0 win… Vermont forced Game 3 with Boston College after a 4-2 win… Northeastern advanced to the Garden for the first time since 2011 with a 6-4 win at Notre Dame… Lowell cruised to a  5-0 win and series weep over BU.

Sunday' Game 3's: Boston College needed overtime to dispatch Vermont, 4-3. 

Semi Final Match-ups

1. Boston College vs 6. Northeastern. 
2. Providence vs 4. Lowell. 

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