By: Dan Shulman
TOP – Ahti Oksanen
GRADE – B+
WEEKEND STATS – 13 shots on goal, 2 goals, 1 assist, +1 for the weekend, 0 PIM
Oksanen was a huge factor for the Terrier offense last weekend. He was always looking to get pucks on net, and was rewarded with a pair of goals. The Finnish forward also stayed disciplined, and led to positive play from the rest of his team. Oksanen, along with his top line partners Jordan Greenway and Danny O’Regan, were prolific on Friday night and the NTDP had no answer. Saturday, the trio held a more reserved role, but still combined for 12 shots thanks to the efforts of Ahti Oksanen.
TOP – Brandon Fortunato
GRADE – A-
WEEKEND STATS – 3 shots on goal, 1 goal, 1 assist, -2 for the weekend, 0 PIM
Fortunato saw his first action of the season Friday against the NTDP. Despite going -4 on the night, no goals were directly from any mistake by Fortunato. He played with three different defense partners on Friday, and saw action on the first power play unit. His speed and ability to take the puck up the ice quickly led to him scoring his second career goal on Saturday. His more confident play led to another goal Saturday when Fortunato had his shot deflected by Chase Phelps, into the back of the net. Paired on the second defensive line with Doyle Somerby, look for the tandem to kick start the blue-liners with a balance of speed and physicality.
BOTTOM – A.J. Greer
WEEKEND STATS: 4 shots on goal, 0 points, -3 for the weekend, 2 PIM
Greer has had a difficult start to the season. The highly touted sophomore was poised to be one of the top players on a very talented team. Instead, he has yet to record a point this season and was demoted to the third line. In the game on Friday against the NTDP, Greer had three giveaways in the Terrier defensive zone, two of which led to goals for the other team. He was sloppy when in possession of the puck and chose to hit the opposing players rather than go for loose pucks. Saturday, his play improved slightly as his physical presence was felt. However, his play still lacked urgency and he effectively ended a Terrier power play with a crease violation.
BOTTOM – John MacLeod
GRADE – D+
WEEKEND STATS – 3 shots on goal, 0 goals, 1 assist, Even for the weekend, 4 PIM
MacLeod is a draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning and featured on the top defensive pairing a year ago. This season, MacLeod has found himself on the third defensive line, and likely the first defenseman out when Matt Grzelcyk returns. On Friday night, he looked in awe of the speed the NTDP forwards displayed as they easily skated around MacLeod. The second goal was a direct result of that. He ruined power play momentum by failing to keep a puck in the offensive zone. Both games saw MacLeod take boarding penalties, showing his frustration. His clearance passes were sloppy both nights as well, leading to odd-man rushes for the opposition.
SURPRISE – Chase Phelps
GRADE – B-
WEEKEND STATS – 2 shots on net, 1 goal, 0 assists, +1 for the weekend, 0 PIM
The physical, fourth-line sophomore was one of the biggest surprises coming out of preseason camp. His improved play was on display this weekend. Taking a reserved role on Friday with two extra-forwards dressing, Saturday, Phelps and the fourth line were the top unit on the ice. Along with senior center Mike Moran and freshman winger Bobo Carpenter, the trio contributed to a pair of Terrier goals, with Phelps scoring one, then delivering a hit to give the Terriers the puck in the build-up to the team’s fourth goal of the night. The sophomore’s continued improvement makes Phelps a denizen on the fourth line.
SURPRISE – Ryan Cloonan
GRADE – B
WEEKEND STATS – 1 shot on net, 0 goals, 2 assists, Even for the weekend, 0 PIM
If you look at the Terrier’s team leaders in offense, Cloonan, who some slated to be on the bench at the start of the season, is currently the team leader in points. With a goal and two assists thus far, Ryan Cloonan has been a pleasant surprise to say the least. Promoted to the second line for Saturday’s game, his speed was too much for Wisconsin to handle. Assisting on two Terrier goals, the freshman resembled the style of linemate Matt Lane. Along with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, the second unit looks to be one of the fastest in the nation. As Cloonan matures, his play will only improve.