Terriers rolling into home game against Quinnipiac on Saturday night

This season is looking eerily similar to the 2017-18 campaign for the Boston University men’s hockey team.

Last year, the Terriers were underwhelming before the holiday break after receiving a top ten ranking in the preseason polls. BU then picked up steam at the beginning of the new year with sound performances in games against New Hampshire and Providence before rattling off six straight wins and eventually winning the Hockey East Tournament.

2018-19’s version of the Terriers is following a similar path. BU was subpar in the first half of the season as new head coach Albie O’Connell got accustomed to his fresh role.

On the morning of December 8, BU was just 4-8-2 and fans were wondering if O’Connell’s tenure would begin with a losing season. Since, the Terriers are 4-0-1 and they are heading into the second semester with consecutive wins against the aforementioned Wildcats and Friars.

BU will kick off a five-game homestand this Saturday night against sixth-ranked Quinnipiac. The Bobcats have already matched last year’s win total as they have soared to the top ten of the USCHO.com rankings. However, Quinnipiac has won just once in their last four games despite this stretch including just one ranked opponent.

The Bobcats split their ECAC back-to-back this past weekend, handling Dartmouth 5-1 before losing 2-1 to Harvard. Quinnipiac fell behind the Big Green by a goal at the end of the first period before throttling the visitors over the final two frames.

Five different players scored goals for the victors including senior defenseman Chase Priskie, who leads the team with 13 goals. Sophomore forward Odeen Tufto registered an assist, pushing his team-best point total to 29.

The following night, the Crimson did a good job of holding the Bobcats to just one score despite facing an onslaught of shots. Quinnipiac recorded 47 shots, including five from Tufto and four from Priskie. Somehow, the Bobcats failed to score until the final minute of the game and by that point it was too late.

Terriers junior goalie Jake Oettinger needs to be prepared for a busy night at Agganis Arena on Saturday. The Bobcats take 31.0 shots per game and are outscoring opponents by an average of 1.9 goals per night.

Notes: BU received good news on Monday morning as freshman forward Joel Farabee was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week. The Flyers prospect scored twice and notched three assists in the first week of 2019…This is the Terriers lone matchup against the Bobcats this season…BU beat Quinnipiac 3-2 on the road in overtime in their only meeting in 2017-18. Junior forward Patrick Harper had two goals and a helper and sophomore forward Shane Bowers netted the game-winner…You can watch or listen to this game via GoTerriers.com. 

Can BU win their third game in a row? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Terriers show resiliency in 4-3 victory at Providence

In a battle against #7 Providence with major Hockey East implications, BU overcame a two-goal deficit and got late goals from David Farrance and Logan Cockerill to tie and overtake the Friars en route to winning their second game of the new year.

“It was a big statement game” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell regarding the victory.

Looking to replicate their 5-0 thumping of BU back in October, Providence (12-6-4, 6-4-1 in Hockey East) came storming out of the gates, tallying two goals within the game’s first ten minutes. Junior Josh Wilkins got the Friars on the board early with a power play goal just six and a half minutes into the contest, and senior Scott Conway doubled Providence’s lead less than three minutes later. Wilkins’ tally gave the junior his team-leading 25th point, while Conway’s goal made him the first Friar to ten goals on the season.

“Just stick with it” was the simple message shared by O’Connell to his team after going behind 2-0.

With sour memories of the 5-0 thrashing in the back of their minds, BU (8-8-3, 7-5-2 in Hockey East) came up with an immediate response through the stick of Shane Bowers with nine minutes left in the first. The sophomore’s powerful net drive and clever finish cut the Providence lead in half before the teams headed into the first intermission.

“That got us going,” remarked Coach O’Connell about the early Bowers goal.

In the middle stanza, the teams traded opportunities for ten minutes before Bowers brought BU even with his second goal of the game, separating himself as the lone Terrier with seven goals on the season, good for second on the team, only behind captain Bobo Carpenter’s ten tallies. Providing the sophomore with a pass into space was Joel Farabee, continuing the freshman’s red-hot start to 2019.

Providence had three chances on the power play in the second frame, but the BU penalty kill was resilient throughout the period, and Jake Oettinger remained rock-solid between the pipes for BU. Following the second break, though, the Friars caught the BU defense by surprise just eleven seconds into the third period. Conway matched Bowers’ mark with his own second goal of the contest, regaining the Providence lead before BU could even gain possession in the final frame.

Despite going down late, the Terriers would not go away, as sophomore David Farrance drove in a shot from distance to level the game once more with 17 minutes left in regulation. Riding the momentum of the game-tying tally, BU kicked into an extra gear, and found a go-ahead goal just five minutes later. It was sophomore Logan Cockerill who provided what would prove to be the game-winner, snapping a shot past senior netminder Hayden Hawkey to put BU ahead for good.

“That’s a season-changing play by Cockerill,” commended O’Connell.

The Terriers would gain the benefit of a five-minute major penalty called against Providence’s Vimal Sukamaran with four and a half minutes to play, but Oettinger would still be called into action to preserve the BU lead as the Friars poured on pressure in the game’s waning minutes. It was a heroic effort from the junior netminder, fending off 33 shots and getting his second win in as many nights.

Continuing their undefeated start to 2019 with the victory over Providence, the Terriers will now turn their focus to #3 Quinnipiac (16-5-1, 7-4-1 in ECAC) when the Bobcats come to Boston next Saturday.

Terriers look to continue unbeaten run into Providence

Following their 5-2 home victory over UNH, the Terriers will complete their busy three-game week by making the short trek south to take on Providence College.

Both teams have entered the new year red-hot: BU (7-8-3, 6-5-2 in Hockey East) respectively drew and won in clashes with Harvard and UNH, while Providence (12-5-4, 6-3-1 in Hockey East) beat Brown, Dartmouth, and Miami of Ohio, while also tying the Redhawks in the second game of the teams’ weekend series. While BU has played half as many games as the Friars have in 2019, there is clear momentum behind both teams ahead of this Hockey East bout.

BU struggled in their first meeting with the Friars this season, falling 5-0 at Agganis Arena to their visitors. The loss came during a major scoring drought for the Terriers, but since that defeat against Providence, BU has only been blanked once in 13 contests.  A lot has changed since the two Hockey East sides met on October 26, and BU head coach Albie Connell is confident that his Terriers can get revenge on the Friars the second time around.

“There were some really good stretches in that game that we played”, said the first year skipper about the loss to Providence back in the Fall.

Leading the lines for the Friars have been junior Kasper Björkqvist and senior Scott Conway, both of which hold a team-best nine goals on the season. Close behind, sophomore Greg Printz and freshman Jack Dugan have both tallied seven goals for the Friars. Dugan is second on the team in points with 23, while junior Josh Wilkins leads the team in that category with 24.

As for the visiting Terriers, senior captain Bobo Carpenter added to his team-leading goal total (10) in the win over UNH. Junior co-captain Dante Fabbro and freshman Joel Farabee also provided goals in the contest, bolstering their impressive point totals to 16 and 15 respectively. The Terriers may also be regaining an experienced blueliner, with junior Chad Krys set to make his return from injury.

“I hope he’s in tomorrow”, said O’Connell on Friday night. “He was like 50/50 for tonight.”

One of the most highly-anticipated individual matchups in this contest will be a pair of players settled nearly two hundred feet apart, with two of the conference’s premier goaltenders going head-to-head for the second time this season. Starting in net for Providence is expected to be senior Hayden Hawkey, who holds a .911 save percentage, while his likely counterpart junior Jake Oettinger possesses a percentage of .924 for BU.

Both teams are undefeated in 2019 for now, but one team’s streak will likely come to an end on Saturday night. This Hockey East tilt will begin at 7pm at Providence’s Schneider Arena, and can be heard through GoTerriers.com, or watched on Friars.com.

Are you confident that BU can get the road victory against a very talented Providence team? Let us know your thoughts ahead of the game in the comments below!

Terriers overcome UNH with late offensive explosion

In their first game at Agganis Arena in 2019, the Terriers fought to a 5-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire in Hockey East play.

BU (7-8-3, 6-5-2 in Hockey East) dominated the Wildcats (6-8-6, 2-5-3 in Hockey East) immediately from the first puck drop, and scored a well-deserved opener after two minutes and 17 seconds of play. It was freshman Jack DeBoer who got the Terriers on the board early, knocking in his first collegiate goal after receiving the centering pass from senior linemate Ryan Cloonan.

BU’s hot start in the first period was reminiscent of their early effort against Harvard earlier this week. In that contest, it was Matthew Quercia who tallied his first collegiate goal, lighting the lamp just 2:05 into the game. Cloonan was the provider for that goal as well.

“It’s nice to see a senior leading “said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “It’s also nice to get a guy on the board from a confidence standpoint.”

After the UNH defense temporarily quieted the Terrier attack, BU got back into an offensive rhythm on the power play . During the man advantage, junior Dante Fabbro took in a pass from sophomore Shane Bowers and launched a seeing-eye wrist shot that found its way through a sea of bodies and into the Wildcat net to double BU’s lead. It was the captain’s fourth goal of the season, and his team-leading fourteenth point.

The Terriers would hold a 2-0 lead and a 12-5 advantage in shots at the end of the first, but it was UNH who took hold of the middle frame. On a power play of their own halfway through the period, the Wildcats managed flurry of opportunities before junior Liam Blackburn finally poked the puck behind BU netminder Jake Oettinger. By the end of the second, BU still led 2-1, but the teams were level on shots, with 16 apiece.

“We weren’t really clean through that second period on the breakouts”, summarized O’Connell.

2:23 into the third, Blackburn brought UNH level with his second short-range goal of the game, but BU responded quickly through a Joel Farabee laser into the top right corner to restore the Terriers’ lead. It was the second goal in as many games for the standout freshman, who has become a major contributor in just his first season with the squad.

“We’re creating a lot more offense for ourselves, and it’s helped me out too,” said the forward.

Sophomore Cam Crotty gave BU some insurance at 13:21 in the third, sneaking in on the weak side and shoving the puck home for his third goal of the season. Just 58 seconds later, Bobo Carpenter sealed the victory with a pinpoint shot from the goaltender’s left, getting the co-captain’s senior season goal total to double digits.  With the points secured, the Terriers put the finishing touches on a strong 5-2 victory.

After surrendering a two-goal lead, the offensive outburst in the third brought the Terriers some confidence ahead of taking on a high-powered Providence team tomorrow night. The Friars will be BU’s biggest test in their busy three-game week, and puck drop will be at 7:30pm at Providence’s Schneider Arena.

Terriers return to home ice looking for first win of 2019

After tying Harvard 2-2 in their first game in almost a month, the Terriers will face the University of New Hampshire Wildcats this Friday in a Hockey East contest at Agganis Arena.

Unlike BU (6-8-3, 5-5-2 in Hockey East), UNH (6-7-6, 2-4-3 in Hockey East) has had three games since the holidays. In 2019, the Wildcats have beaten both Bentley and Merrimack and tied Yale. UNH previously faced BU on November 10th on the Wildcats’ home ice, and fell to the visiting Terriers 2-3.

Since their matchup, a trend has surfaced in both teams’ results: both BU and UNH have tied Boston College, lost to Providence, and beaten Dartmouth. There is differentiation in the UMass Lowell games, where UNH tied the Riverhawks and BU lost one game and won the other. In addition, when UNH beat Merrimack, BU lost.

Starting in between the pipes for the Wildcats looks to be freshman standout Ty Taylor, who has a save percentage of .863. In the net for the Terriers will most likely be junior Jake Oettinger. Oettinger will have to pay his most attention to freshman Angus Crookshank, who is UNH’s leader in goals (6) and is tied for the team lead in points (15) for the Wildcats. Along with Crookshank upfront, Ara Nazarian, Jackson Pierson, and Brendan Van Riemsdyk are also top scorers for UNH.

On offense for the Terriers, senior captain Bobo Carpenter leads the Terrier attack with nine goals, but was kept off the scoresheet against Harvard. BU’s Dante Fabbro, Shane Bowers, and Joel Farabee have also found a knack for putting the puck in the net for the Terrier attack. Adding depth up front for BU, Matthew Quercia scored his first goal as a Terrier in Tuesday’s game against Harvard, and looks to be involved again on Friday.

The game will begin at 7:30pm, and can be watched or listened to through GoTerriers.com. As always, there will be a live blog of the game right here on the Boston Hockey Blog.

Can Boston University secure a big Hockey East win over New Hampshire? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Men’s Hockey: Terriers begin second half with draw at Harvard

After nearly a month without a game, the Boston University men’s hockey team drew 2-2 with Harvard in a visit to crosstown rivals to open play in 2019.

Coming off of the midseason holiday break, the Terriers (6-8-3, 5-5-2 in Hockey East) received much-needed reinforcements from multiple sources. Freshman Joel Farabee and sophomores Shane Bowers and Logan Cockerill returned from the World Junior Championship, having departing for the international tournament prior to the conclusion of the first half of the season. Senior captain Bobo Carpenter also became available after missing the 2018 finale due to injury, while junior defenseman Chad Krys remained sidelined for the Terriers.

BU started strong against the Crimson (6-4-3,  3-3-2 in ECAC), tilting the ice early and getting rewarded for their efforts. Less than three minutes into the opening period, it was Matthew Quercia who knocked in a centering pass from Ryan Cloonan to score the game’s first goal. Cloonan ‘s strong move and pinpoint pass gave the senior his first assist of the season, while his freshman linemate Quercia collected his first goal as a Terrier on the tap-in.

In the second, BU gained a pair of power plays in rapid succession, but successful kills by the Crimson defense propelled Harvard forward towards BU net. After two dangerous chances were denied by junior Jake Oettinger, Crimson junior Adam Fox fired a shot by the BU netminder with three minutes to play in the second stanza. The tally boosted Fox’s team lead in points to 21, and brought the game level leading into the final 20 minutes.

Harvard’s momentum continued into the third, as senior Lewis Zerter-Gossage put the Crimson in front, slapping in a rebound on the power play less than two minutes into the third period. Harvard’s leading goal scorer did not have much time to celebrate his tenth tally of the season though, as Joel Farabee knotted things up with a power play goal of his own just minutes later, his fifth goal of the campaign.

With the game tied at two, Jake Oettinger was called into action more frequently than his goaltending counterpart senior Michael Lackey, but BU’s Dallas Stars prospect was equal to the task throughout on every occasion. After goalmouth tussles on both ends, the third period buzzer sounded, and the game headed to an additional frame.

In overtime, the Terriers dominated zone time, but Lackey came up with his best saves of the night for the Crimson to ensure that BU would not find a winner. 65 minutes would not be enough to separate the two sides, and the game would finish tied 2-2.

Continuing the quest for their first win of the new year, the Terriers will move on to two crucial Hockey East matchups later this week. First, BU will return to Agganis Arena on Friday to take on the University of New Hampshire (6-7-6, 2-4-3 in Hockey East), and then the Terriers head to Providence to face the Friars (12-4-4, 6-2-1 in Hockey East) on Saturday.

What did you think of the draw against Harvard? Let us know your thoughts below!

 

Please Read! Live Blog Update

Readers – this post is less of an article, and more of a public service announcement regarding the future of BU hockey live blogs through the Boston Hockey Blog:

The website that has previously been used for these in-game blogs, CoverItLive, has shut down their services, leaving us in search of an alternative. While there may be other third-party blogging hosts available, the best immediate solution seems to be simply using the comments section of posts on this website to conduct our live blogs.

If you are familiar with another live blogging host (preferably for free), please let us know so we can explore whether or not using that website might be a possibility. I apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause, and I thank you for your flexibility and continued viewership and participation with BU hockey live blogs through the Boston Hockey Blog.

Go Terriers!

Brady