What has traditionally been one of college hockey’s best rivalries in recent decades lacked much of its luster on Friday night as Boston College severely outplayed Boston University in a 5-1 win at BU’s Agganis Arena.
The game was the first for Boston University’s David Quinn as BU’s head coach and it was about as rude a welcome as he could feel to the storied rivalry.
Sure, Quinn was a part of BC-BU as a player and assistant. But you can imagine that when he took over this BU team last summer, one of the dates he circled on his calendar was November 8.
Maybe that is part of the reason that after the game Quinn took much of the blame.
“I didn’t think I did a good job of coaching the team and preparing us tonight,” said Quinn. He said that in certain situations he didn’t have the right personnel on the ice and said he felt responsible for a couple of goals.
All that said, a majority of blame has to be put on the players. Numbers certainly don’t lie. The Terriers had just six – yes, six - shots on goal 5-on-5 on Friday. Seventeen of BU’s shots came during its seven power plays. And during arguable BU’s best opportunity to get back in the game, a 5-0n-3 man advantage for a minute late in the second trailing 3-1, the Terriers couldn’t get a shot on goal.
“We find a way to fire [the puck] into pads or we miss the net,” said Quinn. “It’s just a mentality. If you’re not aware of who has the puck or who is on top of you, you’re not going to get the shot off.”
Take nothing away from the BC team that was across the ice from the Terriers. For the good part of 60 minutes on Friday, particularly in the third period, the Eagles looked like they were putting on a clinic. Doing so against your premier rival certainly feels pretty darn special.
“It’s two points every game,” said BC’s Bill Arnold who collected his 100th career point Friday. “But when you play BU, it’s a totally different game.”
Maybe so or maybe not. Friday’s win gives BC an 11-9-1 advantage in the last 21 meetings but, at the same time, the Eagles hold a lopsided 10-3-1 advantage over BU at Agganis Arena since the building opened in 2005.
Those stats meant little to a low-key Quinn after the game. Yes, this was BC. But no, this wasn’t the effort he wanted from his team. And he knows it.
“The score was indicative of the way the game was played,” Quinn said. “I want [the loss] to sting. We need to feel this pain.”