Lighting the Lamp: Jan. 30, 2019

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On this week’s episode of Lighting the Lamp, Brady Gardner and Liam O’Brien recap a weekend of mixed results for the Boston University men’s hockey team and give their thoughts on a few notable storylines that emerged during the two-game series.

The guys also preview a big week ahead for the Terriers, featuring a meeting with No. 2 UMass Friday night and the Beanpot beginning in less than a week on Feb. 4.

To finish the show, Brady and Liam cover the red-hot run of the women’s team and take a brief look at the road ahead for the Terriers, including their own Beanpot tournament right around the corner.

With heavyweight Hockey East bouts and high-stakes Beanpot play coming right up for both BU hockey teams, listen to Lighting the Lamp to get yourself all caught up before these major matchups.

Terriers set to host #2 UMass on Friday in greatest test thus far

In a final tune-up before the Beanpot, the Boston University men’s hockey team will host the University of Massachusetts on Friday night in one of the Terriers’ greatest tests of the season thus far.

While history may favor BU (10-10-3, 8-5-2 Hockey East), who have not lost to the Minutemen (19-5, 11-3 Hockey East) since 2013, a victory over this UMass team is by no means a guarantee. The Minutemen have been consistently ranked among the top teams in college hockey all season, including multiple stints holding the number one spot in the Division 1 rankings.

This season, UMass has the 2nd highest scoring offense in D1 hockey, averaging 3.79 goals per game. Individually, senior forward Jacob Pritchard holds a team-best 31 points on 12 goals and 19 assists, while sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee leads the team with 15 goals. Chaffee has also been recognized on a national level, currently tied for third among all Division 1 players with an average of .65 goals per game.

On the defensive end, the Minutemen have been nearly as dominant as they have been in attack. UMass has allowed the fifth fewest goals per game in the NCAA’s top division with only 1.96 goals conceded on average. Anchoring the defensive effort has been sophomore goaltender Matt Murray, who is fifth in college hockey in terms of save percentage, turning away 93 percent of all shots faced.

While the Minutemen boast the joint-best winning percentage in Division 1 at .792, the Hockey East leaders have stumbled as of late. UMass fell 1-2 in a visit to Northeastern on January 19, before splitting a series at the University of Maine between the 25th and 26th. The team’s current road swing could be responsible for the Minutemen’s drop in form, as all but one of their losses have come away from home ice.

Like UMass, BU will also be entering Friday’s contest coming off a loss, as the Terriers fell 3-0 to #17/15 Arizona State University on  January 26. After benefitting from some fortunate bounces to put up four goals in a 4-2 victory over the Sun Devils the night prior, the Terrier offense came up dry in the second game of the weekend series. It was the first time in nine games that the Terriers had been held goalless, a streak dating back to December 1st.

“The team that wants it more usually wins,” said BU Head Coach Albie O’Connell in the minutes after the loss to the Sun Devils. “Arizona State wanted the game more.”

The Terriers were without a few significant names last Saturday night, as junior netminder Jake Oettinger and senior forward Bobo Carpenter each got the night off during the loss. After appearing in every one of BU’s 22 contests prior, Oettinger was replaced by freshman Vinnie Purpura, who made 36 saves in his debut with the Terriers.

“Our goalie was our best player,” remarked Coach O’Connell after the game regarding Purpura, who joined the Terriers during the winter break.

As for the captain and leading goal scorer, Coach Albie O’Connell reported that Carpenter had been banged up going into Friday’s contest, in which he was still able to tally his 100th point as a Terrier – joining a list of only 82 BU hockey alum who have hit the century mark.

“I love Bobo,” commended Coach O’Connell following Carpenter’s milestone game. “Everything he gets, he deserves.”

While a rest was certainly deserved by these two star Terriers, all hands will be on deck for this week’s meeting with UMass. BU’s two-game home-and-home set against the Minutemen will be split between the first two Friday nights of February, separated by the first round of the Beanpot on Monday the 4th.

It will be a challenging stretch for the Terriers, but one that will be crucial to their season, simultaneously fighting to claim a Beanpot title and climb up the Hockey East standings.

The Terriers will take the ice against the Minutemen at 7:30pm on Friday, February 1. We will have minute-by-minute coverage of the game through our live blog, accessible through this website or our twitter account.

Terrier offense stifled by Sun Devils in Purpura’s debut

Looking to build on a Friday night victory over the Sun Devils, the Boston University men’s hockey team was upended by #17/15 Arizona State 3-0 on Saturday night to split the weekend series.

“We have had a lot of benchmark wins this year. This one is going to rank at the top though,” stated ASU head coach Greg Powers.

Freshman Vinnie Purpura made his first start in goal for the Terriers (10-10-3, 8-5-2 HE), giving junior Jake Oettinger a well-deserved rest after appearing in every one of BU’s 22 games thus far. Coming from the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, Purpura was added to the Terrier roster during the winter break, and has already made a positive impression in his first few weeks with the squad.

“He looks good,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “He’s calm at practice, and he was really calm before the game.”

There was little to separate the two teams in the first period, and neither side could break the deadlock through 20 minutes. Purpura started the game flawlessly in the BU crease, turning away all ten Sun Devil efforts, while BU were kept off the board on their nine shots on goal by ASU junior netminder Joey Daccord.

In the second period, it was the Sun Devils (17-10-1) who tilted the ice and took control. Sophomore forward Filips Buncis drew first blood for ASU three minutes into the period, lofting a shot over Purpura in four-on-four play after a pass from senior forward Anthony Croston. It was the second time in as many nights that the duo linked up for a goal.

After an ASU onslaught that saw the Terriers pinned deep in their own zone for much of the period, sophomore forward Johnny Walker made the Sun Devil lead two at 18:46 with his nation-leading 20th goal of the season. Among a crowd in front of Purpura, Walker got a stick on a drive from freshman defenseman Josh Maniscalco, with the second assist credited to senior forward Dylan Hollman.

“It’s just what he does,” reacted Coach Powers regarding Walker.

Arizona State may have doubled BU in shots on goal 18-9 in the second stanza, but O’Connell knows his team left opportunities on the table in the middle period.

“We had a ton of chances,” said the first-year manager. “We could have had 50 shots tonight if we were willing to shoot the puck.”

With the Sun Devils holding a two-goal lead going into the final 20 minutes, it was Walker again who provided the Sun Devils with their third goal to all but seal the victory for Arizona State.  Nearing the halfway point in the period, the standout attacker tossed home a rebound opportunity, with the assists by junior Brett Gruber and sophomore Jacob Wilson.

With his star forward kept quiet the night prior by the Terriers, Powers knew that Walker was poised for a big night the second time around.

“Johnny’s always confident, trust me” laughed the 11-year veteran.

The game got scrappy in the end, but Arizona State would finish the 3-0 victors. It was the first win over BU in program history for the Sun Devils.

“The team that wants it more usually wins,” remarked Coach O’Connell. “Arizona State wanted the game more.”

As for the hosts, it was the first game in nine that the Terriers were held goalless through sixty minutes – a streak dating back to December 1st when BU drew with Boston College 0-0.

“Our goalie was our best player,” said O’Connell of Purpura, who made 36 saves in the loss. “It was a really good effort by him.”

The Terriers will face a tough test next Friday, as they host UMass to conclude their 5-game homestand.

Terriers defeat Sun Devils 4-2 in captain Carpenter’s milestone night

In a game highlighted by two goals from freshman Joel Farabee and a milestone assist for senior captain Bobo Carpenter, the BU men’s hockey team skated to a 4-2 victory over #17/15 Arizona State on Friday night at Agganis Arena.

The Terriers (10-9-3, 8-5-2 HE) conceded first for the fourth consecutive game, lasting just about six minutes at a scoreless deadlock before the Sun Devils (16-10-1) took the lead. It was senior Anthony Croston who netted the opener, scoring from close range off the pass from sophomore Filips Buncis.

“We have to find a way to get the first goal,” remarked BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “But our response is normally pretty good.”

BU’s response to this early deficit was no different than the positive response Coach O’Connell alluded to, as the Terriers came storming back with a goal of their own through Joel Farabee at 10:46. On a turnover deep in the Arizona State end, freshman Jack DeBoer found Farabee alone in front of the net, and the standout freshman did the rest, deking around junior keeper Joey Daccord to slide in his seventh goal of the season.

“Joel’s been really coming on,” said O’Connell. “He’s a threat.”

The initial turnover was forced by captain Bobo Carpenter, providing the senior with a milestone point on the second assist. With a total of 56 goals and 44 assists, Carpenter reached 100 points as the Terrier – the 83rd player in team history to hit that mark.

“It’s makes you look back [at] the players you played with that helped you get to that mark,” reflected the captain. “It’s pretty special.”

“I love Bobo,” commended Coach O’Connell. “Everything he gets, he deserves.”

As the period came to a close, junior Patrick Curry gave BU the lead with 38 seconds remaining before the first intermission. After sophomore Ty Amonte won the puck in the corner, junior Patrick Harper moved it along to classmate Patrick Curry, who lofted the puck over Daccord to pot his sixth goal of the campaign and put the Terriers on top at the break.

The teams traded punches at the start of the second period before the Terriers doubled their lead at the 7:16 mark. It was Farabee again who lit the lamp for BU, with his centering pass taking a convenient bounce off a defender and into the ASU net for his second goal of the game, and eighth as a Terrier. The assists were credited to co-captains Carpenter and junior Dante Fabbro.

“I just kind of got a lucky bounce there,” admitted Farabee.

Just as the Terriers had in the first period, the Sun Devils came up with a quick response to bring the BU lead back to one. At 9:12, junior captain Brinson Pasichnuk drove in a laser from the point on the assist from freshman Demetrios Koumontzis to quiet any momentum held by the Terriers after the second Farabee tally.

BU did end up with the last laugh in the middle stanza, again benefitting from a fortunate deflection to restore their two-goal lead. After passes from senior Ryan Cloonan and sophomore Shane Bowers just under 13 minutes into the period, Chad Krys’ effort from distance glanced off a Sun Devil and past Daccord for the sophomore’s fourth goal of the season.

“We got some bounces,” acknowledged O’Connell. “It was nice the puck was going in the net for us.”

The focus for the Terriers shifted towards defense in the last 20 minutes, and BU’s work in their own zone was rock-solid throughout the final period, killing off two Sun Devil power plays along the way. Jake Oettinger stood tall for BU, making several key stops late en route to totaling 38 saves on the game. BU’s defensive emphasis would pay off, as the game finished 4-2.

Between Farabee’s two goals and Carpenter’s 100th assist, the two linemates had quite a night. As both players acknowledged after the game, this freshman-senior duo has developed a strong relationship on the ice that has helped the pair get the most out of their respective play.

“We’re both hard workers,” said Farabee. “that creates offense for ourselves.”

“I’ve never seen a player see the ice so well,” responded Carpenter. “The chemistry is there for sure.”

The Terriers will look to take the series sweep over the Sun Devils when the teams return to Agganis Arena for a rematch at 7pm on Saturday, January 25.

Live Blog: BU vs. Arizona State, 1/25 at 7:30pm

In the first matchup of a two-game set at Agganis Arena this weekend, BU will face off against #17/15 Arizona State. The Terriers skated all over the Sun Devils last season, but these teams are very different from the two that met in 2018, so it is tough to tell which way this series will go.

Our live blog of the game will begin at 7:15pm, with the opening puck drop set for 7:30. Come join us!

Lighting the Lamp: Jan. 25, 2019

In this week’s episode of Lighting the Lamp, Brady Gardner and Liam O’Brien recap everything that has happened in BU hockey since the end of last semester. The guys begin on the men’s side, covering everything from a solid win over Dartmouth to conclude 2018 to a blowout victory over Merrimack in the team’s most recent game. They also take a look at an exciting series against Arizona State coming up at the end of the week.

Switching over to the women’s side, Brady and Liam revisit the Terriers’ tough stretch to finish December, but impressive start to the new year. They also give their thoughts on what has been the key to the team’s success as of late and recognize some key contributors who have been leading the team.

It’s the first episode in more than a month, so come get your BU hockey fix by listening to Lighting the Lamp.

Terriers begin tough stretch with home series against Arizona State

Having lost just once in the last seven games, the Boston University hockey team has merely started its climb back into the national polls.

Despite not having to leave Massachusetts until February 15, the Terriers (9-9-3, 8-5-2 Hockey East) will be tested sufficiently over the next few weeks. A Beanpot rematch with eighth-ranked Northeastern University is sandwiched by a home-and-home series against second-ranked UMass Amherst in the first eight days of February.

But, BU can’t afford to peek past this weekend. The squad will have its hands full with two home contests against 17th-ranked Arizona State University on Friday and Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

This Sun Devils team is a lot different than the one the Terriers swept with ease a year ago.

Last January, BU clobbered Arizona State by a combined 12-3 in two games in the desert. The Sun Devils won just one of their subsequent six games after enduring the sweep to finish the season with an 8-21-5 record.

This year, Arizona State has turned it around. They boast a stout defense, ranking 16th with 2.65 goals yielded per game. It’s nearly impossible to score against its penalty kill. The Sun Devils penalty killing unit leaves the ice without allowing a goal 85.34 percent of the time, the 10th-best mark in the country.

Considering BU scored three power play goals in a 7-2 home win over Merrimack College on Monday afternoon, this should make for an enticing affair.

“Special teams is a huge factor so it was big to get our power play going,” senior forward Ryan Cloonan said. “Especially conference-wise. Hopefully, we can carry that into the future.”

It’s going to be difficult to transfer Monday’s success into these two tilts against Arizona State. They head to Agganis Arena sporting a 16-9-1 mark and have managed to come to the east coast and defeat some respectable hockey clubs. In November, they shocked Penn State University, currently the 15th-ranked team in the country, with a 4-3 overtime triumph in State College, PA.

Two weeks later, they traveled to Allston and escaped Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center with a 3-2 overtime win over the Crimson in the second game of a two-night series. A few weeks later, they ventured east yet again and swept Princeton University in New Jersey.

Arizona State’s journeys eastward have not been perfect, as they are coming off a pair of losses at 12th-ranked Cornell University two weekends ago. However, this a dangerous unit.

The Sun Devils rank 17th in the country with 3.12 goals per game. The team is also 21st in the nation with 18 power play goals.

Terriers fans will need to watch out for sophomore forward Johnny Walker. Walker’s father, Jeff, was a goaltender for Boston College in the late 1980s and his son will look to continue his legacy and inflict some harm on BU this weekend.

Walker is the primary source of offense for the Sun Devils. He finished 2017-18 second in the country in freshman goal scoring with 17 tallies and he has already eclipsed that mark in his second season in college. Walker leads the country with 19 goals and is the only player on his team with more than 10.

He is also 10th in the country with 27 points and the only Sun Devil with more than 16 points. If you are going to the game, Walker is the guy to keep your eye on.

The Terriers will seek to limit Walker and build on the momentum they garnered in Monday’s bashing of Merrimack.

“It was a good win,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “We picked it up and got better and better.”

Terriers flex their offensive muscle in 7-2 trouncing of Merrimack

Looking to return to winning ways after a devastating late loss to Quinnipiac, the BU men’s hockey team broke out for three unanswered goals in the third period to down Merrimack, 7-2.

Freshman Chase Gresock got the Warriors (7-17-1, 4-11 Hockey East) on the board first with a goal immediately from a faceoff win by senior Derek Petti just over eight minutes into the game. It was the third straight game that saw the Terriers (9-9-3, 8-5-2 Hockey East) go down early, having fallen behind by two goals in the first period against both Providence and Quinnipiac.

However, as they did against both the Friars and Bobcats, the Terriers would respond well to the early deficit. At 14:34, David Farrance powered in a shot from the point on the power play to knot the game up at one. It was the sophomore’s third goal of the season, with assists from juniors Patrick Harper and Patrick Curry.

“Just get the next goal” was the mantra Farrance identified as his team’s key to coming back after conceding first.

With less than a minute remaining in the first period, BU would earn the lead through senior Ryan Cloonan with the assist credited to sophomore Cam Crotty. In a frenzy in front of the net, it was Cloonan who jammed the puck in to give the Terriers the advantage at the break, tallying his first goal of the season.

“It was a sigh of relief,” joked Cloonan about finally scoring his first as a senior.

Not only was it the first tally of Cloonan’s 2018-19 season, but it was also his first since his freshman campaign. Still, BU head coach Albie O’Connell has been impressed by the play of the Massachusetts native.

“He’s played really well in the second half, and for the most part, all year”, commented the first-year manager.

In the second frame, BU doubled their lead through a shorthanded goal by graduate student Max Willman at 9:39. The former Brown University Bear showed impressive speed to escape Warrior defense, and made a nifty move to pot his first goal of the season.

“He scored a really nice goal,” commended Coach O’Connell. “Hopefully that gives him a little bit of confidence.”

With Willman and linemate Cloonan both scoring their first goals of the season, Coach O’Connell seemed optimistic about the potential for the two veterans to contribute offensively down the stretch.

“[Those were] two guys with no goals, now they have a goal each, and hopefully that can springboard those guys and give us some more scoring.”

Junior Patrick Harper would make the BU lead three at 13:17 in the period, attacking a loose puck just outside the Merrimack crease for his second goal of the campaign. Only 20 seconds later, Merrimack freshman Logan Drevitch would negate the Harper goal with a breakaway effort to send the teams into the final intermission at 4-2.

The game became a rout in the third, as BU tacked on three goals in nine minutes to seal the victory. Junior Dante Fabbro kicked off the onslaught with a rocket on the power play for his fifth of the season, assisted by junior Chad Krys and freshman Joel Farabee.

Just four minutes later, Farabee assisted again, banking a pass off Merrimack netminder Craig Pantano and into position for sophomore Shane Bowers to net his ninth of the campaign. After four more minutes, David Farrance fired in his second of the game to cap off the victory for BU, assisted by junior Patrick Harper and sophomore Kasper Kotkansalo.

With his third and fourth goals of the season, Farrance has already surpassed his total posted in his freshman campaign.

“I think I just have a lot more experience now”, said the sophomore. “the game is coming a little easier.”

The 7-2 BU victory was a far cry from the 4-0 thrashing the Terriers took at the hands of the Warriors back in October.

“Tonight they had their legs, and we had trouble keeping up”, remarked Merrimack coach Scott Borek.

From BU’s perspective, it was exactly the performance the Terriers needed to rebound from a heartbreaking loss against Quinnipiac two nights before.

“They gave a good effort and played pretty physical tonight,” said O’Connell. “It was big.”

The Terriers will return to the ice on Friday night as they host a weekend series against Arizona State (16-9-1) in their final nonconference fixtures of the campaign, excluding the Beanpot.