BOSTON — At this point last year, Boston University defenseman Doyle Somerby was often an afterthought in the Terriers’ offensive game plans.
Accruing just three points through 13 games, the then-sophomore was often assigned to deliver a physical presence out on the ice — with any spurts of scoring standing as an added luxury for the 6-foot-5 Marblehead native.
So far this season, however, the New York Islanders prospect has been a familiar presence on BU’s score sheet.
With a two-point performance in BU’s 3-0 victory over Bentley University Tuesday night at Agganis Arena, Somerby claimed a new career-high mark in scoring — posting eight points through the Terriers’ first 13 contests of the 2015-16 campaign.
Despite posting just 10 points through his first two seasons at BU, Somerby’s emergence as a legitimate offensive force comes as no surprise to Terrier bench boss David Quinn.
"He’s a junior now, and he had a great second half last year," said BU head coach David Quinn. "Actually, he had a good start — had a bit of a lull in the middle of the year — and then really played well the second half of the season. He’s had a great year so far. He hasn’t had many bad nights.
"When he’s playing to his capabilities — he’s a big guy who’s athletic and his skating continues to improve. He’s worked on his shot an awful lot and has improved to the point where he gets a power-play goal tonight. He’s been a big, big part of our success over the last year and a half and we’re going to rely on him heavily moving forward."
Coming off a weekend in which he tallied the game-winning goal in a 3-2 comeback win over Michigan, Somerby continued to get involved on both sides of the ice against the Falcons.
Despite outshooting Bentley by a double-digit margin for a most of the first 40 minutes of play, the Terriers had only managed to jump out to a precarious 1-0 lead. A hooking call on Bentley defenseman Michael Reardon gifted BU with a power-play opportunity at 17:06 in the second stanza, which Somerby promptly used to cash in with third goal of the season off of a blast from the point just 17 seconds later.
Somerby’s strike stood as the 14th goal scored this season by a BU blue liner — good for second in the nation behind Providence College (15).
"I think I was pretty surprised today, watching that puck go in the net," Somerby said. "It’s just kind of a testament to how we’re playing as a team. Friday night’s goal and tonight’s goal, you don’t score a lot from the point without the net-front presence that we’ve been having. I have to give those guys props. It’s just getting the pucks to the net as much as I can and things are just kind of clicking right now."
While he has seen his all-around game improve drastically during his tenure with the Terriers, Somerby shirked most of the talk directed towards his individual growth. Rather, he harped on the progression a Terrier club looking to respond after an up-and-down showing over the weekend against the Wolverines.
"After the weekend we had, I knew we were really disappointed," Somerby said. "You could kind of tell yesterday during practice that we were going to be ready to go from the puck drop, because we didn’t want to feel that. We know that we have to play sixty minutes and that’s how we’re going to be successful down the road, so we wanted to start tonight."