Game Notes (11/30): Boston University vs. Yale
BOSTON UNIVERSITY vs. YALE:
Two teams that have struggled to put goals in the net got together tonight as Boston University played host to the Yale Bulldogs. BU would get nearly all of its offence from its defence, and what a night it would be for two Terriers defencemen.
BU still had sophomore defenceman Jekabs Redlihs (CBJ) and sophomore forward David VanderGulik (CGY) out ofthe lineup due to injuries. Redlihs, who has not played a game this season and is nursing a broken collarbone is expected to back in the Terriers lineup in January.
The first period was almost completely dominated by the Terriers in every facet of the game, expect perhaps in great saves by the goaltender. It would be a signs to come for Yale of just how bad things could get. Terriers netminder senior Sean Fields didnít see much work in the 1st period. His counterpart, freshman Matt Modelski got much of the work early and often. The Terriers, who did an excellent job of utilising their aggressive forechecking and physical play had outworked and thoroughly outplayed the Bulldogs. The Bulldogsí young and inexperienced defensive corp would contribute to their downfall in the game.
The Terriers would get on the board first at the 9:21 mark. Junior defenceman Ryan Whitney (PIT) would score the first of BUís 6 goals by their blueliners. It began with a dump in shot that was retrieved by freshman Kenny Roche (NYR). Roche wheels in from the backboards to pitch the puck at the net only to have it picked off by teammate Whitney. Whitney then makes a tip-in attempt but Modelski is there for the save and sends it to the left boards where Whitney gains possession of it again and moves to near the blueline where he just flings the puck at the net that makes its way in over Modelskiís shoulder. The goal was a controversial one because the net was clearly off its moorings when it had made its way in. Modelski along with the Yale bench had protested vehemently to no avail, so the goal stood. Roche and sophomore John Laliberte (VAN) would be credited with the assists. At the 9:48 mark, Yale would be assessed a delay of game penalty sending the Terriers on the power play. At the 11:00 mark, the Terriers would capitalise on an absolutely horrendous defensive effort by Yale. It all began with a dump in by Yale into the BU zone. Whitney goes back to retrieve the puck and begins skating it out. He goes coast to coast up the left side without ever getting touched by a Yale defender. He does a nice job of splitting the Bulldogs defenders just inside the Yale zone and then goes in to shoot the puck through the five-hole on Modelski for his 2nd goal of the night. Less than one minute later, the Terriers would get on the board again. Once again, poor defensive coverage by Yale would become a costly one. It starts off with a nice retrieve behind the net by Laliberte who then proceeds to wheel around to the left side of the Yale net. Laliberte then finds freshman Kevin Schaeffer all alone in the slot area. Laliberte then makes the pass to Schaeffer who has to settle down the puck before firing a nice wristshot past Modelski just between his left arm and left post. Laliberte and Roche would be credited with the assists. This made it 3-0 BU. Throughout the period, BU did an excellent job of not allowing the Yale skaters much room to get plays setup or create any sort of sustained attack.
The 2nd period began with the Bulldogs on the power play, thanks to a late first period roughing penalty that was assessed to Terriers sophomore forward Brad Zancanaro at the 19:47 mark. The Bulldogs played much better in the 2nd period, showing more sense of urgency and picking up the physical play. Yale, whose strength is on their power play was not able to capitalise on the early period opportunity. At the 8:32 mark, Yale senior forward, Ryan Steeves (COL) would be assessed a roughing minor that would put the Terriers back on the power play. It would also prove to be costly for Yale. At the 10:08 mark, Schaeffer would get his 2nd goal of the night. It begins with some nice perimeter passing by BU. After a little give & go with sophomore defenceman Dan Spang (SJ), Schaeffer gets the puck back then proceeds to fling a shot at the net from the left point. The shot makes its way through a myriad of bodies in front of the Yale net and gets over and by Modelskiís right shoulder. Senior forward Kenny Magowan (NJ) did a nice job of helping to provide a screen. Spang and senior forward Frantisek Skladany (COL) were credited with the assists. The score was now 4-0 BU. While the Terriersí tenacious play served them well throughout the game, it also got them into some penalty trouble for being a little too tenacious at times. This was more evident in the 2nd period than any other time in the game. Still, the Terriers penalty killers did an excellent job of keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. At the 18:34 mark the Terriers would extend their lead. The goal would be the only one of the night not scored by a defenseman. It began with a nice battle between BUís Skladany and Yale sophomore defenseman Matt Grobe. Grobe appeared to have possession, but Skladany did a nice of creating the turnover, by jarring the puck loose from Grobe. Terriers forward, junior David Klema (PHX) was there to pick it up. He would skate in towards the Yale net and would hold up, showing some great patience with the puck. He spots Magowan coming to the net at the same time trying to fend off Yale defenceman freshman Bill Leclerc. Klema then slides the puck over to Magowan. Magowan, in a terrific individual effort, literally outmuscles Leclerc to not only get his stick down but also get a backhanded flip shot off to get the goal. Klema and Skladany would be credited with the assists. An area that plagued Yale for much of the night was turnovers. Nowhere was that more evident than on BUís next goal. It began when Yale defenceman Joe Callahan (PHX) makes a horrendously poor claering attempt that instead ends up as a perfect tape to tape pass to BU freshman Kevin Schaeffer who is parked at the blueline. Schaeffer then proceeds to fire in a nice low shot, where it makes its way through alot of traffic and goes in just inside the far post. Modelski had difficulty seeing the shot, let alone Schaeffer through all the bodies in front. Schaeffer would record his first career hat-trick at the 19:10 mark, with the lone assist going to fellow blueliner Spang. This gave BU a 6-0 lead going into the 3rd period.
The final stanza saw a goaltending change for Yale as junior Peter Cohen came in to replace the youngster Modelski. While Yale had a mountain to climb just to get back into the game, they didnít give up. They kept coming and it would eventually pay off. At the 8:10 mark, BU defenceman junior Bryan Miller would be off for a cross-check, putting the Bulldogs on the power play. The very good Yale power play, which hadnít been effective all night would finally come through in a hurry. Just 5 seconds into the power play at the 8:15 mark, Yale would spoil BU senior Sean Fieldsí shutout bid. It began with a nice faceoff win by sophomore Jeff Hristovski. The loose puck is retrieved by senior Jeff Dwyer (ATL). Dwyer then proceeds to fire a rocket at the BU net. There to get the tip-in is senior Ryan Steeves (COL) for the goal. Dwyer and Hristovski would be credited with the assists. This made it 6-1 BU. However, Yale was not done just yet. At the 11:40 mark, Yale would score again. It began with a nice kickout save by Cohen to the right faceoff circle. There to retrieve it was Steeves. Steeves then proceeds to fly down the left side. Once in the zone, he goes one-on-one against BU junior defenceman Bryan Miller. Steeves then makes a terrific inside-outside move around Miller to skate in on Fields. He moves the puck from his forehand to backhand and then deposits the puck just over Fieldsí glove for the score. Yale netminder Peter Cohen would draw the lone assist. This made it 6-2. However, the Terriers still had another ďtrickĒ up their sleeve. At the 18:37 mark, Ryan Whitney would score BUís 2nd hat-trick of the night on a goal that was one for the highlight reels. The goal was a stellar individual effort by Whitney. The play began with a nice outlet pass by Magowan to Whitney. From there, it was all Ryan Whitney. He gets into the Yale zone and goes one-on-one with Yale freshman Bill Leclerc. Whitney, showing his incredible use of size and strength, goes wide on Leclerc towards the net. As heís going wide, heís protecting the puck with his body. In another show of just how strong he is, decides to move the puck from his forehand to his backhand while shielding it and then proceeds to flip the puck over Cohen that makes its way in the net just inside the far post. Magowan and Skladany would draw the assists.
The game would end 7-2 in favour of BU. BU defencemen Kevin Schaeffer and Ryan Whitney (PIT) would net BUís first double hat-trick since 1994.
What won the game for BU was thorough dominance that was a mixture experience, tenacity, total team effort and skills. It was clearly evident that Yale was not only the more inexperienced team but also the less skilled team. Furthermore, Yale failed to get into the physical play early. However, not all of it was bad for Yale. Despite being sacked with the loss freshman netminder Matt Modelski actually played well, having to basically fend for himself through much of the 1st period. The best player of the night for Yale was senior Ryan Steeves (COL). Steeves possesses some tremendous speed and was one of the few Bulldogs players who was very effective around the net tonight.
But clearly this was BUís night. The team overall played beautifully. BUís lines of the night were the Magowan-Mullen-Skladany and Roche-Zancanaro-Laliberte lines, who were terrific at both ends of the ice. Both lines created excellent scoring chances as well as playing sound defensively, being quite effective in the checking department. But the overall top performers of the night were the defencemen Kevin Schaeffer and Ryan Whitney. Both of whom showed great offensive prowess as well as playing some solid defence.
On a lighter note about the game....late in the 3rd period, the crowd at Walter Brown Arena broke out in a chorus of "O Canada" all while the game was on, and you know what? Those BU Terriers faithful knew all the words too!
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