Men’s hockey emerges winless from a two-game series with No.3 Boston University following a loss in the second matchup, 3-0, at home tonight.
An explosive, nearly sold-out Conte Forum welcomed the cross-town rivals to the contest in Chestnut Hill Monday evening—continuing a longstanding rivalry that contains 272 chapters. Kelley Rink was so jam-packed that many BC students had to huddle, shoulder to shoulder, in the space behind the overflowing student section just to catch a glimpse of the action.
Unlike possible assumptions lent from the shut-out score, the tension between the Terriers and the Eagles was so extreme in the rink that one could deem it as palpable. The electric energy vibrating through Conte sent the Eags reeling through the rink following a 2-1 loss down the road in the first game of the Battle of Comm. Ave. Friday night.
“We’ve matured and we played pretty well over the weekend. But pretty well’s not gonna win a big series. We’ve got to move up our level of play,” head coach Jerry York declared.
The first period was a scoreless battle, with the Eagles edging the Terriers 14-8 in shots. In the second, however, the penalty kill proved to once again be a liability for BC. Just one second away from killing a penalty off a Colin White slashing call, BU’s Patrick Curry found the twine just when the Eagles looked away to reload, assuming the rivals were almost back to even strength. Curry’s goal propelled the Terriers until the wire of the third period—enduring two BC power plays over the next period and a half. The Eagles, on the contrary, crumbled on the penalty every time.
BC morale—fed by the crowd decked out in maroon and gold—was high for an equalizer goal leading down to the bottom of the third, when the Eagles only trailed by one and were outshooting the Terriers in the period.
“It was 1-0 late in the third, and I think our crowd was ready to erupt if we could’ve just tied it,” said York.
But the tide quickly turned when Michael Kim took on a slashing penalty with 2:53 remaining. That foul—coupled with a Colin White charging call with 1:15 to go—allowed a 5-on-3 BU offense to score the compromising goal with under a minute left, putting the Terriers up 2-0. To further the debt, BU made it 3-0 in the final 30 seconds on a net empty of Joe Woll.
When the going gets tough, York’s team cannot expect to continue to compete when both the power play and the penalty kill are its biggest weaknesses. All three of the Terriers' goals were scored on power plays. On the contrary, BC failed to execute on any of its three power plays.
“You’ve got to find a way to score goals. You can’t go buy them at the store. You’ve got to earn them and capitalize on chances,” York asserted.
BC might have outshot the Terriers 34 to 32, but the shots that were taken seemed to end up in all the least desirable places: against the boards, in the net above the student section, or to the left or right of the pipes—and very few were taken from the slot.
“You take what you’re given. We’d love to get grade-A opportunities from the slot but they weren’t there,” York relayed while commenting on his team’s shooting performance.
If his players wants to compete in the postseason, they’ll have to start creating scoring opportunities, instead of just taking what they’re given.
Up next: BC faces UMass at home this Friday evening at Kelley Rink.