<
>

Tie suits UMass better than BU

BOSTON -- Some ties feel like wins, some feel like losses. Clearly, BU coach Jack Parker felt like his Terriers were on the losing side of Saturday's 2-2 stalemate with UMass.

"It seems like we each got the same out of this game, but in reality they got a lot more out of this game," Parker said. "Not only did they get a point on the road, but they came back from 2-0 on the road to do it."

The Terriers (2-0-1) dominated play early, building a 2-0 lead midway through the opening period, only to have UMass (0-2-1) storm back after a scoreless middle stanza.

"I thought we lost our poise and gave the puck away a hundred times," Parker said. "It was bizarre to me. But I’ve seen it happen a lot: A team gets up 2-0 and thinks, 'Oh, we’re pretty good.'

"We were playing shinny hockey, and they were playing thorough hockey."

Parker must be looking over his shoulder at last season, when the Terriers consistently frustrated their coach with uneven play. A win Saturday would have given the Terriers only their second 3-0-0 start in the past nine years, the last one coming in 2008-09, when BU won the national championship. But Parker said the issues weren't the same, even though the results were.

"Our guys didn't want to make the first effort," he said. "Most of our brand-name players did not play well tonight. I think they were full of themselves."

BU junior captain Chris Connolly and junior goaltender Kieran Millan didn't disagree. Both said the Minutemen taught the Terriers an important lesson.

"We let them hang around and were looking to score more goals instead of tightening up defensively," said Connolly. "It cost us a point. That's a game we should have closed. We need to learn from that."

The tie also taught the Minutemen a valuable lesson, as Toot Cahoon's squad proved resilient despite getting steamrolled in the opening 10 minutes. The tie secured the Minutemen's first point on the young season, after they were swept by Minnesota the previous weekend. Cahoon acknowledged Saturday's game featured "a lot of momentum swings."

"Pretty good goaltending at both ends, two teams that seemed like they desperately wanted two points, makes for an interesting evening," said the former BU assistant. "Obviously, falling behind by two, it was a positive from our standpoint that we were able to claw back into it and get the point."

Another bright spot that both coaches took away was the play of their goaltenders. BU's Millan played with a calm efficiency and was especially good in tight. Meanwhile, Cahoon must be relieved to know he has a solid freshman backing up senior captain Paul Dainton, who missed Saturday's game with a leg injury. Jeff Teglia is a big, unorthodox netminder, but he regrouped nicely after BU took the early lead and absolutely shut the door to the UMass goal for the final 55 minutes.

"We've yet to play with a lead," said Cahoon. "It'd be nice to get a lead, and see what we can do with it."

The Minutemen and Terriers renew acquaintances next weekend in Amherst.