BU Add Grad Transfer Goalie, Sam Tucker

By: Patrick Donnelly

Head coach Albie O’Connell and the Terriers announced this week that the team has added graduate transfer Sam Tucker. Tucker played four seasons for Yale (ECAC) before committing to BU. 

Over the course of his four years at Yale, Tucker played in 54 games for the Bulldogs, registering 20 wins and three shutouts between the pipes. The 23-year-old finished his Yale career with a 2.88 goals against average (GAA) and .903 save percentage; both stand as sixth-best in program history.

In 19 games as a senior last season, the Wilton, Connecticut native recorded a career-best .917 save percentage, the ninth-best single-season save percentage in program history, as well as a 2.53 GAA, the 12th-best single-season GAA in program history. Tucker’s senior season was highlighted by a 43-save performance versus No. 15 Harvard as well as shutouts against RPI and Union.

As a junior in 2017-18, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound netminder recorded a .893 save percentage as well as a 3.08 GAA in 20 games after carding a .899 save percentage and 3.05 GAA in 15 games as a sophomore in 2016-17.

Tucker dressed in 17 games as a freshman in 2015-16, but did not see game action that season. Before Yale, he played four seasons with the prep school Choate Rosemary Hall where he had a career .930 save percentage; his .952 save percentage during his senior year led prep school goaltenders.

A four-time ECAC All-Academic Team honoree, Tucker graduated Yale with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government. After the Terriers saw both Jake Oettinger and Max Prawdzik depart at the conclusion of last season, fans can expect Tucker to add experience to a BU goaltending group that has just two total starts (both from Vinnie Purpura last season), and compete for the starting job in the crease.

Terriers Add Grad Transfer Forward, Alex Brink

By: Patrick Donnelly

The Terriers and head coach Albie O’Connell announced on Wednesday that the team has added graduate transfer Alex Brink. Brink played four seasons for Brown University in the ECAC before committing to play at BU this season. The 25-year-old skated in 95 total games for the Bears, registering 28 total points (12G, 16A) over that span. 

In 31 games as a senior last season, Brink notched six goals and eight assists for 14 points to go along with 68 penalty minutes; his plus-seven rating was good enough for second on the team. The forward was named MVP of the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh with four points in two games, highlighted by a three-point performance (2G, 1A) against Union in the championship game, earning him ECAC Player of the Week honors for the week of January 7th, 2019.

The year prior as a junior, the 6-foot, 200-pound skater tallied one goal and four assists in 31 games as well as 50 penalty minutes. After notching nine points (5G, 4A) in 30 games as a freshman, Brink only skated in three games as a sophomore after an injury cost him the rest of his season.

Before attending Brown, the Hamilton, New York native played two seasons of junior hockey for the Boston Jr. Bruins of the USPHL Premier League, totaling 40 goals, 64 assists, and 104 points in 95 total games played. Brink graduated Brown with a bachelor’s degree in business, entrepreneurship, and organizations, and was a three-time ECAC All-Academic Team honoree with the Bears.

Fans may recall last season’s graduate transfer Max Willman also having joined BU from the Brown University hockey program. A high-energy forward himself, Brink looks to fill a similar role as Willman, adding depth to the Terriers’ forward corps with the ability to chip in with offensive production.

Terriers announce complete 2019-20 schedule

See the schedule here!

The BU men’s hockey team has officially announced their schedule for the 2019-20 season.

Here are our immediate takeaways from this final list of games:

The Terriers will enter a critical 10-game stretch of Hockey East meetings early in the campaign between October 25 and November 23. During this run, notable opponents include UMass Lowell, who the Terriers eliminated on the road in last season’s conference quarterfinals, as well as Massachusetts, who in 2018-19 won Hockey East and appeared in the division one national championship.

To fill the gap of competitive fixtures through much of December and early January, BU has organized two exhibition games. The first will be a return to Walter Brown Arena for the Terriers as they host the Concordia Stingers of Montreal, while the second will see the Terriers travel to Michigan to face the USA U-18 team, who the Terriers defeated 5-4 in an exhibition last season.

The ever-important rivalry contests against Boston College have been scheduled for January 18th (away) and February 29th (home), moving to the second half of the season after these fixtures took place in the early months last season. The second of the two meetings will be followed by two clashes with Northeastern to conclude the regular season after seven consecutive Hockey East bouts, meaning the Terriers will have to finish strong against stiff competition as they push towards the postseason.

How do you feel about BU’s schedule for the upcoming season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

FYI: BHB Meet-Up Cancelled

Followers of the blog –

Due to scheduling difficulties and lack of response, the BHB meet-up set for May 19th has been cancelled. If you have any ideas or comments you had hoped to share, please reach out to our director Brady Gardner via email at [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you at Agganis Arena again in the fall.

Lighting the Lamp Offseason Update – 5/3/19

Listen here!

In a bonus episode of Lighting the Lamp, Brady Gardner, Paige Mautner, and Liam O’Brien provide an offseason update. The group runs through the BU men’s hockey team’s captain selections, home game schedule and incoming players.

They also look across to the women’s team, touching on a few impressive accomplishments achieved by certain Terriers and potential candidates for leadership positions. To close, they say goodbye to Liam, who will be graduating, and give insight towards what to expect in the fall.

We may be in the dead of the offseason, but there is still hockey news to talk about! Listen to Lighting the Lamp to get all caught up with the state of all things hockey at BU.

Terriers ready to turn the page to 2019-20

After an action-packed 40 games and an eventful first month of the offseason, the dust has finally settled on the 2018-19 BU men’s hockey season.

“There were a lot of ups and downs this year,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell in reflection on the 2018-19 campaign.

It was O’Connell’s first season at the helm for the Terriers, and according to the former BU captain, he received some assistance along the way from BU hockey legend Jack Parker and now-New York Rangers boss David Quinn, whom O’Connell served as an assistant coach for during his tenure at BU.

“[Those were] two guys I leaned on a little bit this year,” O’Connell said. “They were pretty helpful to me and our staff in the transition.”

The first-year manager was certainly tested in his inaugural season, leading a team that finished with an overall record of 16-18-4. While the Terriers went winless in their first five competitive games, the team would only fall in three of their final 10 fixtures – an improvement that O’Connell credits to his players.

“They stuck with it and kept working,” said the Duxbury resident. “Guys were playing pretty banged up.”

Although BU’s form appeared to peak at just the right time down the stretch, the season would ultimately conclude with no hardware returning to Commonwealth Avenue.

“We were, in the Beanpot and the Hockey East semifinals, a goal away,” said O’Connell in regards to his team’s 2-1 overtime losses to Northeastern University in both competitions. “Those are tough pills to swallow.”

In terms of simply getting to the Hockey East semifinals, O’Connell believes earning a spot among the conference’s final four was a notable accomplishment in itself.

“It’s hard to get to the Garden,” the coach said. “The league was very tight this year.”

The final results may not have come for Terriers, but the way Coach O’Connell saw it, effort was never a question from his men on the ice.

The guys gave it their all,” O’Connell said. “We look for the same, if not more, from the returners.”

Embarking on a new season this upcoming fall, the Terriers will rely on continued contributions from major pieces of the 2018-19 squad. Among those anticipated to carry the weight will be a leadership group comprised of rising seniors Patrick Curry and Patrick Harper, as well as rising juniors Logan Cockerill and Cam Crotty.

Curry will serve as BU’s sole captain as announced by Coach O’Connell at the team’s annual banquet. The Illinois native had a breakout season as a junior, tallying 26 points to top his total from his first two collegiate seasons combined. With Curry entering his senior season, the Terriers know that they have a strong skipper to set an example for the club.

“To the guys who are in the weight room, watch what Curry did last year,” said Coach O’Connell. “We love the way he plays, we love the way he competes.”

Alongside Curry will be fellow senior Patrick Harper, who was named an assistant captain. As one of just a handful of seniors on the roster, Harper will be expected to continue his knack for production that has brought about three straight seasons of 20 or more points.

“He’s a great scorer, playmaker, and offensive threat,” O’Connell said about Harper. “We believe we have the most dynamic guy in the league in Patrick Harper.”

Cam Crotty will also wear an “A” in his third season with the team, and as the only non-forward among the leadership group, the Canadian looks to be the clear-cut leader of the BU defensive corps.

“He really was stable back there,” said O’Connell of Crotty. “He gave us some offense at times, but didn’t do it in the way of losing any defense.”

Another junior in a leadership position, Logan Cockerill will round out the list of BU assistant captains. To Coach O’Connell, Cockerill presents major potential on both ends of the ice, and could play a critical role for BU as an upperclassman.

“When he’s on his game, he’s about as good as anyone in the country,” said the head coach. “He’s a competitive guy, and we expect him to be like that every game next year. Consistency will be a key for him.”

The team will welcome ten recruits to Agganis Arena in the fall, replacing the five graduating seniors and five premature departures bound for professional hockey. Per Coach O’Connell, the team also has plans to bring in a graduate transfer goaltender to fill the void left by junior Jake Oettinger, who has elected to move on to the Dallas Stars organization.

Oettinger patrolled the BU crease for the previous three seasons, and the Terriers understand that a graduate student would only serve as a temporary solution between the pipes. Within the program, O’Connell is confident that rising sophomore Vinnie Purpura is poised to make a long-term impact, whether it be this upcoming season or the next.

“He did a really good job,” O’Connell said regarding Purpura. “We expect him to have a good summer and push for the number one job.”

Another freshman from the 2018-19 team deserving of recognition is Joel Farabee. In his first and only season with BU, the now-Philadelphia Flyer led the team in goals (17) and points (36), and was recently named both the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and the Most Outstanding Freshman in NCAA Division I.

As O’Connell put it simply, “Joel had a terrific freshman year.”

Looking towards the fall, the central mission for the team appears to be creating an emphasis on teamwork and cohesiveness.

“We have the ability to have a good team if we become a team right away,” said O’Connell.

The trait of team unity on the ice was an attribute that O’Connell noted as a point of development among his team over the course of his first season in charge.

“At the start of the year, we had a lot of individuals. We had a lot of guys on their own page at times,” the coach said. “By the end of the year, we became a team – we played a team game. We weren’t worried about who was scoring, we were worried about winning. That’s what the program should be about.”

While the academic semester may be concluding, there will be no break for BU hockey, as the Terriers aim to prepare themselves as best they can before they take the ice against Union College to open the 2019-20 campaign.

“The new season is starting now,” said O’Connell. “We’re worried about pushing as hard as we can to start October when we go down to Union to play that first game.”

As the offseason progresses, stayed tuned for continued posts, articles, and podcasts by the Boston Hockey Blog at hockey.dailyfreepress.com and @BOSHockeyBlog on Twitter.

Of Blizzards, Beers and Beanpots – David Snow

The following article was submitted by David Snow, and is the second work published in our “YOU write for the blog” series. David is a longtime BU hockey supporter, and a season ticket holder in section 115, row Q, seats 20-22. Have a story to share, or an opinion to defend? Submit your own article to [email protected]!

 

On February 6, 1978, I was a 14-year old high school freshman headed to something I’m sure I had looked forward to all the preceding weekend. My older brothers, Mark, 24 and Jack, then a 20-year old BU student, were taking me, I would imagine begrudgingly, to the Beanpot. It is a Boston tradition, an annual college hockey tournament played at the Boston Garden between Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern University. The tournament is played like clockwork, on the first two Mondays in February. This story is less about the event, though it has been written about plenty by many, and more about the events of the date itself.

Mark packed us into his Ford Mustang soft-top convertible and off we went to the “Gahden”. My father worked at Boston University in their athletic facility and both brothers attended BU tuition free as an employee benefit. I like to think that him working there was all part of a plan to get his four kids through college. Makes for a better story. Nah! If that guy had worked at the dump I’m sure today we all would have been garbagemen or pawn brokers. But the benefit was a great one and his employment at BU would shape a portion of my life I still cling to.

The forecast that day was for about six inches of snow. That’s enough to get attention but not enough to shut anything down in Boston. There was probably that much on the ground from previous storms and we likely needed a coat of white to cover up the soot-stained piles on the city streets. I’m sure I was psyched to be going all day at school while imagining the bright lights of the Garden and the noise of a sold out arena. I regularly went to BU hockey games courtesy of the back door at Walter Brown Arena.  They were a national college hockey power whose fate generally had me in their grip. I sat many a night with a transistor radio in hand listening to games out West where the Terriers were bound to get screwed by some blind Western referee. I was pretty sure that God was responsible for every bad loss they had ever suffered. I lived and died by the results.

Watching them in the Beanpot at the Garden was a welcome distraction and invitation to ignore Algebra for that day (and every other class according to my grades). When that bell rang to end the school day,  I ran through Harvard Yard and caught the 73 bus home but in my mind I’m sure I was flying. No time to taunt Harvard students with my friends or steal an apple at Nini’s Corner in Harvard Square. I had to get home so there was no excuse to be left behind. I’m sure my brothers were thrilled with that 85 pound anchor for the night.

Despite high winds and heavy snow we were going “in town” no matter what. We zipped into the city (a big 3 mile trip in total), parked illegally under the elevated highway in Charlestown and walked through what appeared to be way more than the predicted half foot of snow to meet my brother’s college friends. I was so short at the time, they could have put me in their coats. My brothers and their friends seemed so big to me, all over 6 feet tall, and they took me under their wing. That meant having their friend working the door at Sully’s Tap look the other way when a 5 foot 2 inch skinny schoolboy snuck by. The bar was so packed nobody could even see me once I was in there. I was handed a beer by one of their friends and the night got a little shaky for Game 1 between Northeastern and Harvard. We eventually made it into our nosebleed balcony seats at one end of the Garden. Choosing the last row had to be strategic so that the guys could literally turn around and order from the beer stand in back of our row. I was buzzed by the combination of beer, the acceptance of my brother’s peers who were happy I hadn’t thrown up yet, and the anticipation of the civil war between BU and BC in the night’s second semi-final.

The rivalry between the two schools in college hockey is to this day fierce and well fought. In short, they have been playing since what seems like forever and there is not much to separate the two in terms of on-ice success. I hate and respect the Eagles and back then they were evil personified.  Peering down to center ice through the smoke filtering up to the lights of the Garden, the spoked B of the Bruins made this war all the sweeter. Both teams were really good that year and the joint was electric. The bands, the student sections – everything pointed to another epic game. 

The game became secondary before the first whistle had blown. When you sat in the balcony at the old Garden, you could open the fire doors up top to see what was happening out there. This night, it was just a blanket of constantly falling snow and you could hear the winds howling all around North Station. After each period you could hear people talking about what had become “the blizzard”. We were no longer talking inches. We were predicting accumulation in feet. All I knew was there would be no school in Cambridge tomorrow (or as it turned out – for the next 3 weeks). I found out what a state of emergency was starting the very next day – it was no joke (even if then Governor Dukakis’ sweaters were). This storm had become serious. 

Throughout the second game, the lights began to flicker in the old barn and BU was pummeling BC. There was an announcement after the second period that this was the worst storm ever and people should consider leaving (my brothers were feeling no pain and leaving to drive seemed less safe than staying). At some point in the 3rd period they announced that all who remained had to go or plan on staying over at the Garden. After years of seeing mice, rats and every other kind of vermin roaming those dusty rafters and stands, the choice was clear. Let’s button up and face whatever Mother Nature is brewing outside. I think about 600 fans stayed and got stuck at the Garden for several days (eating hot dogs, pretzels and probably game programs before they were freed). 

We trudged through the drifts of snow that were already above my waist in some places, dug out my brother’s car and pushed it onto the snow packed roads. The windswept snow was pounding us and fortunately there were hardly any cars on the roads by then. That was probably a good indicator that we should not have been out there either. For some reason we were dropping off Jack’s friends downtown so we had a full sled. Mark went with the moment and put the top of the Mustang down like any good New Englander would in that situation. From the open car, we made snowballs and hummed them at anyone foolish enough to be walking along the Charles River that night. We kept having to get out and push the Mustang out of drifts. My brothers were more than half in the wrapper based on a night of pounding drafts in the balcony. They were in good spirits so it was necessity and good humor that found me steering the Mustang all over Memorial Drive while they pushed. It didn’t seem as unsafe as it reads because everything seemed cushioned by all the snow. That may have been the beers talking to me.

We made it to the Mount Auburn Hospital area and by then the roads were impassable. The remaining mile walk in that storm is something I will never forget. It was well after midnight, cold, windy and visibility was near nonexistent. We laughed and made the most of the ghost town like city we were trampling through. By the time we made it down the street to our home there had to be three feet of snow on the ground and drifts that looked at least double that at the foot of the small hill that led to our front door. We made it in and my mother was both relieved and upset at once. I can still feel the cold, wet clothes falling off of me. I was never so appreciative of the roof and government-provided heat of our project home. In the morning we could literally jump out our second floor window into the drifts. And we did!

 The next three weeks off were a bonanza for our entrepreneurial souls as we raced out each morning to go shovel for the rich people of Brattle Street and the Larches. It was hard work but four foot drifts made people pay and we were there to take it. When we did get to play in it we became experts in snow tunnels and igloos. I seem to recall remnants of that storm lasting almost to June in some parking lots. 

 Lots of people got stuck during the Blizzard of ’78 and there were serious implications for many. We may have got stuck, but the adventure was worth all of it. The second night of the Beanpot was eventually played vs. Harvard and BU won it (again!). They went on to win the national title that year and good triumphed over evil (BU 6 BC 3) in the national final to win it all (for the record and the rub they beat BC all four times they played that year).

 My favorite story from that night comes from the BU hockey team’s trip home. The players knew there would be no school the next day and wanted to stop at their favorite bar – The Dugout. Coach Parker told the driver to stop at Marsh Chapel (directly across the street from the Dugout so the boys could say a prayer – wink wink). The BU team got out at the chapel, turned and crossed the street and, in the words of Terrier star and 1980 gold medal winning Olympian Dave Silk, “we all went into the Dugout and by the time we came out, the snow was gone and so were the 70’s.”

But the memories live on!

Curry for Captain – Matt Martin

The following article was submitted by Matt Martin, and is the first work published in our “YOU write for the blog” series. Matt led the Boston Hockey Blog before graduating this past winter, but is back to share his thoughts on the future of the program, and one player in particular.

 

Don’t look now BU hockey faithful, but the Terriers are about to look a whole lot different next season. With Dante Fabbro, Chad Krys, Joel Farabee, Jake Oettinger and Shane Bowers signing early — couple with the graduation of Bobo Carpenter, it certainly seems that the Terriers have more questions than answers heading into next year.

Perhaps the easiest question to answer, is who will dawn the “C” for the Terriers next season. The answer? None other than Patrick Curry.

Remember the Freshman class of 2016? Well, only Patrick Curry, Gabe Chabot, Nico Lynch and Patrick Harper remain from that class.

With a freshman class featuring NHL prospects of Clayton Keller, Kieffer Bellows, Krys, Harper, Oettinger, Harper and Fabbro, it seemed as if Curry may never be looked upon to be a major contributor to his teams.

One quick look at his freshman and sophomore year stats seem to justify that idea as he combined for only 21 points.

However, his junior season he managed to more than double his point total as he finished third on the team with 26 points.

Who were the two people in front of him? None other than Farabee and Fabbro who both had first round pedigrees.

Although Curry may have been a better scorer this season, one aspect of his game has not changed since he first step foot on Commonwealth Avenue — his motor.

Terrier fans don’t need to look too far in the history books to see a Captain that got better every year and had a high motor. Last season Terrier fans got to see Bobo Carpenter lead the Terriers as a captain.

Although the Carpenter might be a better player than Curry, their styles are similar as both never take a shift off and stick up for their teammates on the ice.

Not sold yet? Let’s talk about maturity.

Last season, the average age of a Terriers was 20.5 years old, a mark that placed them as the youngest team in the country.

With Shane Switzer currently in the NCAA transfer portal, Curry is the oldest player slated to return next season.

Although being the oldest player is not a requisite to being named captain, there will not be a player on the roster that has played in as many games for the Terriers as Curry.

Moreover, a part of a captain’s duties is to help the underclassmen adjust to college life. Nobody is more suited for that role and to get the freshman apart of the Terrier tradition than Curry.

By naming Curry as captain will reward a player for his hard work and tenacity, which has the ability to create a ripple effect and show other players that it is possible to succeed without being an NHL prospect right away.

Besides, you cannot spell “capitan” without Pat C.

First Annual BHB Meet-Up! Come Join Us!

You read that right, folks! Our team invites you to join the Boston Hockey Blog for our first annual offseason meet-up later this spring.

All Boston Hockey Blog community members are welcome to drop in to T’s Pub on Sunday, May 19, any time between 5pm and 8pm! 

How did this come about, you ask? It was like any other night on the live blog at Agganis Arena, until Dave in DC questioned (for the hundredth time) the identity of the fan behind the name “Son of Caesar Carlacci”.

Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, blog newcomer Juice suggested that we meet in person to end this uncertainty once and for all. Dave and SoCC agreed, and thus, the idea was born.

Our former leader Matt Martin will be back in Boston for his graduation the weekend of May 18th, so it only seemed right to make our plans around when he would be available.

I really hope to see you there, and finally get to meet some of you in person! If you know you can make it, please RSVP in the comments section below.

YOU could write an article for us!

Hey readers, in lieu of the lack of content at this point in the offseason, I am opening up the site up to you! Have an opinion you want to defend? A memory you’d like to share? If you write an article about anything BU hockey, we’ll publish it!

Your article can be anywhere from 100 to 1,000 words (sorry to sound like a professor, haha). Please send it to myself at [email protected], and I’ll read it over to make sure it’s good to go, and post it to the site.

Thank you in advance for your submissions – the readers are what keep this blog going!