Boston University Struggling To Find Itself Under First-Year Quinn
by Bryan Lipiner/CHN Reporter
BOSTON It’s been approximately 40 days since the fourth Red Hot Hockey game at Madison Square Garden, a biannual contest featuring Boston University and Cornell.
To Terriers head coach David Quinn and his 7-10-2 team, however, it was the last time Boston played with a desire to win.
“We haven’t played well since the Cornell game,” Quinn said Wednesday night following the team’s 4-2 loss to Dartmouth. “I don’t know why. It’s my responsibility, I’ll figure it out. It’s gonna be addressed. We have way too many guys who are comfortable.”
Yet, the problems on Commonwealth Ave. loomed long before the trip to New York City. Although starting the season on the three-game win streak, Boston University went 2-6 in its next eight. Following wins against Connecticut, North Dakota and Cornell, the team went 0-2-1 in December. Even when things were going well, the team was getting heavily outshot.
In the Terriers' last two games against Harvard and Dartmouth, BU was outscored 11-6, and also took eight first-period penalties over the two nights.
After Wednesday’s lost to Dartmouth, Quinn said nobody played well, and that losing battles was detrimental.
“The third goal just summarizes the game in a nutshell,” Quinn said. “They win a faceoff, everybody is in the right position, and three guys lose 1-on-1 battles. Story of the game, story of our season.”
Quinn, who took over as head coach on March 25, 2013, succeeded the now-retired Jack Parker, who announced his intention to leave the position earlier that month following 40 seasons at the helm and three national championships.
Since then, it's been a rocky start, and a series of injuries hasn't helped. This week, just as BU got some players back from injury, and two players back from the World Junior tournament, Evan Rodrigues went down with an injury and will be out indefinitely.
But that is no excuse, according to Quinn.
“They need to want to win more,” Quinn said. “You’re in a corner with somebody, you gotta want to win a battle. That’s all it is, and we lost that along the way somehow.
“We’re a work in progress, but right now we’re losing games because we deserve to.”
Sophomore Matt Grzelcyk, whom just recently returned to the Terriers after competing for the United States at the World Juniors in Sweden, said that BU has been lacking determination.
“I think it just comes down to hard work,” Grzelcyk said. “It seems like we’re not a very determined group right now, and we need to fix that for sure.”
Grzelcyk added that the Terriers are in a similar spot compared to last season.
“What we went through last year was kind of a hard time,” Grzelcyk said. “I think we have great leaders on this team, and I think we’ll get out of that groove.”
BU next plays Jan. 11 vs. Maine outdoors at the 2014 Frozen Fenway; a chance to right its ship against a former rival that trounced the Terriers 7-0 in Orono earlier this season.
“I think we have a little unfinished business,” Grzelcyk said. “I don’t think the score resulted in how we played there. It’s definitely a game we’ve had marked on our calendar for a while now. Hopefully we can go out there and execute our gameplan.”
Quinn, meanwhile, didn’t offer any excuses for Saturday’s rematch.
“You lose to a team 7-0, I hope you have a little bit of will and self-pride that you want to pay somebody back,” Quinn said.