It hasn't been easy for Boston University
early in the season, but that's been a growing trend in
recent years for the Terriers.
Peter MacArthur — shown in action earlier this
year at the Red Hot Hockey game against Cornell at Madison
Square Garden — will have a different look the
next time the Terriers take the ice, as a "C"
will be added to the front of his sweater.
BU is 4-9-2, tied for eighth with Merrimack
and fresh off the wrong end of a sweep by Boston College
"Just inconsistency, I think, coming
out hard one night and not playing hard the next,"
MacArthur said of the team's troubles. "That's the
main problem. You could say that we have young guys in whatever
positions here and there. But, I think the main thing is
we all as a collective unit have to come out and just work
as hard as we can every night, and our record will definitely
start to turn around.
"I don't think we're a 4-9-2 team. I
don't think our record should be that way. I think a couple
games we got unlucky where we did deserve to win the game.
But, it's inevitable that we are 4-9-2, so hard work is
the only thing that is going to change that."
MacArthur's claims of inconsistent effort
sounded similar to those heard out of the Terrier locker
room last season when they started 2-2-4.
"Pretty much the same exact thing,"
MacArthur agreed. "On a night-to-night basis, we're
just wondering what team is going to show up. Is it going
to be the team that everybody legitimately hates to play
against, or is going to be the team that lets you do whatever
you want against them and you kind of go through the motions
like you're playing pond hockey? We've got to get that through
everybody's heads that it's a battle, and anybody can win
on any given night. If we don't show up to play when they
drop the puck, it's going to be a long year. It was pretty
much the same thing last year."
The Terriers still parlayed that slow start
into a 20-10-9 record by season's end and the No. 3 seed
in the Hockey East playoffs. It's a familiar tune for Jack
Parker's squad — start sluggish, win the Beanpot,
carry the momentum to a strong finish, rinse, repeat.
Boston University began 2005-06 with a 6-7-2
record. Later, the team ripped off a 19-1-2 streak, one
of the all-time best stretches under Parker. The year before
that, when MacArthur was a freshman, the Terriers were a
modest 7-6-0 before finishing 23-14-4. BU has won the Beanpot
and appeared in the NCAA tournament in each of those seasons.
As a senior, MacArthur knows he needs to put
the team on his back to turn the ship around. But he knows
there could come a time when he asks some of his old teammates
how to get that done.
"We're trying to handle it in house [first],"
said MacArthur, the Hockey East Player of the Month in November.
"Us seniors, as leaders of the team, are trying to
straighten it out. If it keeps going on, we'll talk to them
about some of the things they maybe did last year. Maybe
even guys like [Brad] Zancanaro, [Brian] McConnell, [David]
Van der Gulik, talk to them about what they did to make
the team so successful."
MacArthur especially drew back to the 2005-06
"That was just an unbelievably tight-knit
group of guys, and the biggest thing with that team is everybody
held everybody else accountable for their actions,"
MacArthur recalled. "If you weren't doing the right
thing, you heard about it. On the other hand, if you were
doing the right thing, you heard about it and you were encouraged
to keep doing it. Van der Gulik and Zancanaro were great
captains that year. They really kept us in check.
"The biggest thing with us is sometimes
we have a tough time believing we can be good, and that
year, we really believed that we could be good. That was
a big thing. We had the belief that no matter who we were
playing, no matter what the scenario was during the game,
there was a sense on that bench and in the locker room that
we were going to win the game no matter what."
Despite the current state of the Terriers
— who are allowing 3.67 goals per game (ninth in Hockey
East), killing 77.2 percent of their penalties (ninth),
and are 0-7-0 against ranked opponents — they could
still look at their situation as a glass-half-full scenario.
They're second in the league with 3.53 goals
per game and third in power-play percentage (23.1). Plus,
they're only six points behind first-place Northeastern
with a game in hand, and BU is just three points out of
the running for home ice.
"We know we're in the thick of things,"
MacArthur said. "We know we can still win this league.
We've played two less games than most of the teams in front
of us, and I think we're three or four points behind them.
We need to string together some wins in the league for sure,
but we know that there's definitely time to get ourselves
in position for home ice. That's really what we're working
SEEN AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
In the doghouse: Things didn't
get much easier for the Terriers earlier this week, however,
when the team announced the suspension of four players for
violating team rules.
Three seniors — captain Brian McGuirk,
Bryan Ewing and Dan McGoff — and junior Brandon Yip
are suspended indefinitely.
"I'm disappointed that these four chose
to break one of our team rules," BU coach Jack Parker
said in a statement released by the team. "This is
strictly a team matter."
As a result, Pete MacArthur has been named
captain, while senior Ryan Weston and junior Matt Gilroy
have been named assistant captains.
"I'm just going to go about my business
the same way I have the last four years, MacArthur said.
"Just be a leader by example, work as hard as I can
every shift, help out the young guys who have questions
and whatnot. I think I'm pretty similar to [David] Van der
Gulik. He didn't really take any crap from people, and that's
kind of my personality. We'll see where it goes. Just because
I have a letter on my jersey doesn't mean that I'm a completely
Ewing leads the Terriers with 11 assists and
17 points this season. Yip is tied for third with five goals
to go along with three assists. McGuirk, who scored the
game-winning goal in overtime to lift BU over Boston College
in last year's Beanpot championship, has two goals and four
assists. McGoff has a goal and an assist.
Great Weekend Getaway
Hampshire at UMass (Sat.)
The Wildcats visit the Minutemen Saturday night in
the teams' first meeting since last year's double-overtime
thriller in the Hockey East semifinals at the TD Banknorth
Garden. Bobby Butler scored the game-winner for the
Wildcats in their 3-2 win in one of the most exciting
games of the season. UMass took last year's regular-season
What To Do While You’re There:
UMass fans were once hopeful they could double-dip
with a football game before the puck dropped, but
if you're sticking around for an extra day, you can
check out some futbol. The UMass men's soccer team,
which knocked out No. 1 Boston College in the second
round, hosts Illinois-Chicago Sunday at noon at Rudd
Field in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
from Hockey East — BU sophomore defenseman Brian
Strait, BU freshman forward Colin Wilson and UNH freshman
forward James vanRiemsdyk — were named Wednesday
to the 2008 United States National Junior Team.
scored 2.17 goals per game (last in Hockey East),
allowed 2.75 goals per game (seventh), converted 4-of-57
power plays (last) and killed 76.8 percent of penalties
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Former UMass goalie Jon Quick was
called up to the Los Angeles Kings this week.
• BC forward Nathan Gerbe earned Hockey
East Player of the Week honors after recording four goals
and three assists in the team's sweep of BU over the weekend.
Gerbe scored his first career hat trick Friday and tied
a career high with four points on Saturday. Ben Smith also
registered his first career hat trick in part of a five-point
night on Saturday.
• The Terriers have scored 16 first-period
goals this season after posting 24 last year.
• Maine is in the middle of a stretch
in which it plays just one game in four straight weekends.
• UMass and Cornell skated to a scoreless
tie Friday night, the first time UMass has played in a scoreless
draw since Jan. 22, 2000, at Merrimack.
• Of the 22 skaters who have dressed
for the Minutemen this year, 21 have scored a point.
• UMass Lowell split the season series
with UNH (1-1-1) for the first time in three years.
• Merrimack will attempt to sweep the
season series against Maine for the first time in program
history when the Warriors visit Orono Saturday. MC earned
a home sweep of the Black Bears on Nov. 16-17, the last
time the Warriors have won this season.
• UNH is 7-0-0 when Matt Fornataro scores
a point this season.
• The Wildcats have scored at least
two points in all five Hockey East weekends this season.
• Northeastern's seven-game unbeaten
streak (6-0-1) is tied with Notre Dame for the longest current
streak in the country. This is the longest such streak for
the Huskies since Nov. 22-Dec. 28, 1997, when they went
6-0-2 over an eight-game stretch. Since Hockey East went
to its current regular-season format in 1989-90, this is
the first time Northeastern has won six conference games
• Providence goalie Tyler Sims recorded
his sixth career shutout when the Friars won at Vermont
on Saturday, breaking Mario Proulx's school record.
• Vermont hosts Harvard Saturday in
one of the better reunions in New England college hockey.
UVM coach Kevin Sneddon and Harvard bench boss (and former
Boston Bruin) Ted Donato carried the Crimson to the 1989
national championship. Donato was named the Most Outstanding
Player of the 1989 Frozen Four, while Sneddon was selected
to the All-Tournament Team.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Jeff Howe can be reached