Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Lookback: Boxed Up

Player of the Week
Nik Olsson
2 goals, no assists, 2 points.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Penalties. Penalties. Penalties. There is simply no other storyline from this past weekend’s series with the Providence Friars. Over the course of the two games, BU took 18 of them, including five alone in the first period on Friday night.
The Terriers did a nice job on the kill Friday, holding the Friars scoreless on the man advantage dispute having to kill off a five-minute major and an extended five on three. Even though Providence never found the back of the net on Friday, the penalties still took their toll.

“We had to kill eight minutes of penalties in the first period and that really took us out of our rhythm,” Said Coach Quinn.

Saturday was much of the same. BU took a staggering 10 penalties and was chasing the game from midway through the opening frame. Unlike the night before, PC was able to cash in on the power play once and scored again just one second after a Nick Roberto penalty expired.

Penalties were a major issue for the entire team, but maybe more so for Kieffer Bellows. Bellows only (I use that term nicely) took three penalties over the course of two games, but was benched for the majority of Saturday’s game. When asked about why Bellows was sat, Quinn simply said, “penalties.” Like the old toilet paper ads used to say “less is more.” I think that’s what we got from Quinn on this one.

Coming Back
The comeback: It’s been a staple of Dave Quinn’s BU teams since he took over in the Fall of 2013. BU once again dug themselves out of a late third period hole on Saturday night to salvage a 2-2 tie. Friday, despite not playing their best game and having a parade to the penalty box, the Terriers overcame a first period deficit by scoring two goals in the second to win 2-1.

“I’m not going to apologize for winning a hockey game that you don’t feel great about your performance in because the season has a funny way of playing out. There are going to be nights you play really well and you don’t win and there are gonna be nights you don’t play great and you win… I think we dodged a bullet,” Quinn said after Friday’s game.

They may have dodged a bullet, but they also showed some character. Good teams have to go through games like these and find a way to win (or tie). It’s these types of situations that help the team become battle tested for a playoff run in March and hopefully April.

Good To Be Back
Nik Olsson made an immediate impact in his return to the Terrier lineup this weekend. The junior forward from San Diego scored the game-winning goal Friday night and the game-tying goal with less than three minutes left on Saturday. According to Brian Kelley, BU’s director of Media, Olsson’s Friday night tally was his first since the 2015 Hockey East Championship game vs Lowell. BU has played 56 games since, and Olsson has missed 32 of them due to injury. His most recent setback was due to an undisclosed “upper body injury” that was reportedly not related to the shoulder injury that sidelined him for most last season. Olsson's last game was against Quinnipiac back on October 22nd.

Scoring In Bunches
Daily Free Press writer Nick Frazier pointed out after BU scored two quick goals on Friday that it was the fifth time this year the team had scored two goals in less than 1:25. Saturday, they scored two in 2:21.

At The Polls
BU jumped up one peg to 5th in the USCHO rankings. Minnesota Duluth was again number one and Denver was second. Making their first ever appearance in the top five was Penn State at three, while Boston College was fourth.

Hockey East Scoreboard
Boston College 2, @ Northeastern 1

Notre Dame 4, @ UMass 5
Maine 1, @ New Hampshire 5
UConn 3, @ Lowell 2
Boston University 2, @ Providence 1

Lowell 2, @ UConn 2 (OT)
Notre Dame 3, @ UMass 0
New Hampshire 4, @ Maine 3
Boston College 3 vs North Dakota 4 (at Madison Square Garden)
Providence 2, @ Boston University 2

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