HAMDEN, CT- The Quinnipiac Bobcats found their undefeated streak snapped Saturday night at the hands of the Boston University Terriers. Despite an early 1-0 lead for QU, Boston U rebounded for 3 goals and added an empty netter for the 4-1 win.
Quinnipiac had put on pressure early in the first period which culminated in Landon Smith rushing into the zone. He fed the puck across to Chase Priskie and on to Sam Anas who cut across and beat BU’s Sean Maguire handily flinging it past the diving keeper effectively.
Maguire and the Terriers would see their fortunes increase for the rest of the game however. About ten minutes later in the first, Jordan Greenway maneuvered behind the Quinnipiac net and fed it out to Matt Lane who was positioned perfectly in front for a quick goal.
Early in the second, BU’s Robbie Baillargeon came in from Michael Garteig’s right and shot it at an odd angle. Somehow the puck slid by and into the net, despite the Terrier being almost perpendicular to the goal, for what would ultimately be the game winner. An assist went to Charlie McAvoy as well.
Despite Quinnipiac’s effort to even things, Bobo Carpenter struck in the third when he came up with the puck, spun, and shot it hard diagonally past Garteig from the back of the zone. The Bobcats didn’t go away and had some power plays to work with as well, but nothing went in the net. Garteig headed to the bench with over a couple of minutes left in the period.
QU avoided disaster when a player tripped and the puck skidded to a BU player who passed it to a teammate for the easy set up but it was mishandled. However not long afterward the puck ricocheted out of the BU zone and Lane got it outskating a Bobcat to deposit it in the empty net. Quinnipiac falls to 15-1-2 on the year, and Boston U is 9-6-3.
“BU had more commitment to winning this hockey game. They were very focused and they did a good job,” Quinnipiac Coach Rand Pecknold said post game. “I thought our effort tonight was poor. I thought we lacked composure at times. I thought we panicked a lot…Still a great first half of the year and I’m proud of the guys, how we battled. 15-1-2 is a pretty good record.” He would later add that “we need a better kind of restart button.”
“I think we had good energy throughout the game, we just got a little sloppy, little details weren’t great,” QU’s Sam Anas said. “We weren’t getting pucks in, trying to be too cute in places. I give credit to BU. They played well and their goalie played awesome.”
BU Coach David Quinn gave a rundown of his team’s performance. He noted that after struggling in the first few minutes “I thought we really recovered, got together in the first period, battled back and tied the game. Did a real good job in the second period…we played well in the third. We got a goal…then we take two penalties, it just really gave them life. Penalty kill was huge, blocking shots, our goaltending was outstanding.”
As Quinn said, a great deal of credit for the BU win lay with Maguire who made 36 saves on QU’s 37 shots. After giving up the first goal of the game he took care of everything that came his way. QU managed some major chances late, but Maguire stopped it including a wraparound try that led to a rebound. He also robbed Travis St. Denis at one point after an excellent shot.
“Maguire was a stud in net. He made saves when they needed them. He was great at controlling the rebounds,” Pecknold said.
Though Quinn also explained the Terriers on the offense was “at the net. We paid a price for our goals. You’re going to have to do that against anybody, but particularly against this team. They have some good old defensemen, and a great goalie. We earned our goals.”
Quinnipiac struck out on the power play despite having five of them. Pecknold lamented that “we took too long to move pucks, it was just slow and sluggish. We still had 15 shots on net.”
Boston U’s Lane was asked about what the team did to stop QU’s man advantage. He answered the team strategy was to “be aggressive.” He mused that earlier in the season “I think we were a little too laid back, too lackadaisical. We knew we were going to have to kill penalties…we were more aggressive and we got more clears. You clear the puck you don’t let them set up and the penalty kill seems to be a lot shorter.”
Garteig made 24 saves on the 27 Boston U shots he faced including saves on breakaways from BU’s top players like Ahti Oksanen and Lane. When asked about the Baillargeon goal Pecknold responded that “I think Garteig would want that one back. He’s been so good this year it’s going to happen once in a awhile. It wasn’t his best game but he made a lot of good saves for us. We had 3 breakaways, maybe 4 breakaways. We’re giving up breakaways all over the place, Garteig’s bailing us out. I think we iced the puck 15 times. We haven’t done that in two or three months.”
Also of note, BU blocked 21 shots on the night, and QU blocked 10.
After the break Quinnipiac will do a home and home with Princeton going to Hobey Baker December 29th and hosting the Tigers December 30th. BU plays Harvard January 7th.
Additional observations. (Just some plays which won’t make the score sheet that were noticed.)
Defense and Transition
Alex Miner-Barron cleared it from in front of the net after a Garteig save, and later stole it as a Terrier broke in ending that attempt. He also recovered an errant BU pass to end a zone entry as well.
Bo Pieper had a steal early on, Kevin McKiernan got in front of the net and cleared it during a BU attack. Tommy Schutt, stole a puck in the QU zone leading to an eventual scoring chance. Connor Clifton intercepted a Terrier pass and brought it out. Also, Chase Priskie had a least 1 blocked shot.
Andrew Taverner fought to keep the puck in the zone on an attack leading to further offensive chances and St. Denis disrupted a shot on the lone Bobcats penalty kill.
Defense and Transition
Among BU’s efforts, Bobo Carpenter, John MacLeod had steals, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson fought to keep the biscuit in the zone leading to a scoring try and Lane had a steal in the BU end that eventually lead to a scoring opportunity.
Penalty Killing & Extra Attacker Response
Danny O’Regan had numerous clears during the the several man down situations. Brien Diffley was also very active getting the puck out of the zone numerous times. Greenway, McAvoy, A.J. Greer, and Brandon Fortunato also contributed to whacking pucks out.
Greenway interfered with a QU entry during one of the segments and on another back and forth he followed QU into their zone to harass them for a bit to kill time.
Forsbacka Karlsson had a blocked shot and on a different penalty kill blocked a shot and cleared the puck immediately. McAvoy and Doyle Somerby had blocks as well, and Baillargeon blocked a shot and cleared it as well. Diffley also deflected a QU attempt.
Baillargeon had a key steal and in another sequence, Diffley disrupted a pass and later another QU entry.
When QU had their extra attacker late, Fortunato disrupted Quinnipiac’s setup and also Ryan Cloonan cleared the puck.
[Note: Article prepared for Sportzedge initially, if it appears there it will be removed from here.]