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.


  1. Section9RowA-I-Miss-WBA

    Vinny P had a solid first start but the team didn’t match his effort and focus in the final two periods.

    Here are the season +/- for our forward lines.

    Bowers -3
    Cockerill +3
    Farabee -1

    Harper +1
    Amonte +3
    Curry +1

    Cloonan 0
    DeBoer +1
    Willman -2

    Cheremeta -4
    Quercia -1
    Chabot -3

    A four line total of -5 (most of the damage being done by the 4th line) but the top line players really need to produce more.

    For comparison, ASU’s top line is +27 on the season. Ours is -1.

    We’re just young and inconsistent and our most talented guys leave early so we’re always young and inconsistent. (e.g., Keller, Greenway, Tkachuk, McAvoy could all still be on the team but we recruit not expecting them to stay longer than 1 or 2 years. Meanwhile older players on other teams (Jonny Walker is a 22 year old sophomore!) take advantage of our youth. Need to adjust our recruiting philosophy and get older & talented 3-4 year players better mixed in with the elite 1 or 2-and-dones.

  2. sonofcaesarcarlaci

    Our boys just did not want to play Saturday. That is all one can say. My opinion is out for now as to our new goalie.

  3. I waited a day to post because as so many on here point out I’m always positive. Last night after watching that game I was not positive at all. We were out hit out shot out played. I can’t remember a foot race we won. The best player was Purpora . Unfortunately he can’t score. it seemed as though we just gave this one away. I was more frustrated this Saturday then last. Last week we did not play well this Saturday we did not show up. We played our backup our captain was out who was hurt but it just felt like ok we will get a split that’s ok but it’s not. We don’t have games to give away we let this one slip by the boards last night and I’m angry about that. Now that I got that off my chest time to be positive if there was a game to loose and I hate saying that last night was it. Next week Jake who is riding a hot hand should be back in net . Bobo should be back and the players I saw last night sure looked and acted like they knew they let one slip by. It is a young team as I have pointed out and these things happen it was good to see them stick up for each other especially at the end when willman got jumped by 4 of there players. Cloonan and Fabro went right in there I saw Dante come off the ice he’s a competitor and he won’t let this substandard performance linger. I’m positive in believing this will be another learning experience. On a side note the officials did not cost us the game and I don’t want to bash them every post but I noticed something last night. I saw them review just about every play reviewable the only play they did not review was there third goal the one I thought should have been and the only one I saw us ask to be reviewed I’m speechless in trying to figure that one out. And the hit from behind was if anything boarding Amonte was parallel with the guy i say clean hit. Next week is the test as a kid I respect so much told me win the next 3 win the next 7 go terriers🐾

  4. well like Bill Parcells once said – you are what your record says you are. we are a 500 team at 10-10-3. i can kinda accept the “young” rationale for the first half of the season, but not now after 23 games. next year will be the same. we will lose 3 seniors and who knows how many underclassmen. potentially, fabbro, ottenger, farrance (will he continue to pay his way), bowers, maybe krys. so we start young again and again and….

    since it is looking highly unlikely that this team will make the NCAA tournament, i would like to play purpura more. he looked good last night. but he needs experience for next year so i say give him 1/3 of the rest of the games and see what he can do. i am NOT knocking Jake; just trying to protect our future interests as a program.

    please note, i was not critical of one player or coach in this post

  5. Vinnie I hear what you are saying but I’m not ready to give up on this year yet. I wanted the win last night I liked the way Purpura played but I think we over thought this one. I’m the coaches biggest fan I think he’s the best in the country but jake should have been in and unless carpenters hip was falling off he should have been in as well. Carpenter is as tough as nails so if he was not playing because he could not then I understand but if he was just getting a maintenance day to prepare for next weekend then that’s unacceptable we need every game. I also understand I’m not at practice or around the team as much this time of year and I don’t want to pile on the guy who I have the utmost respect for but everyone let this game slip by . Purpura was good but jakes our guy and as a fan and a friend to him I’m a little pissed off that he did not start. Loyalty means something. I know coach thinks the world of jake I just think everyone overthought this game. I hate to be the guy critical but I have to call it like I see it. By the way this does not change the way I feel about this coaching staff or players it only makes me stronger in my resolve that we will figure things out mistakes happen on to UMass 🐾

  6. No need to panic at this point. The team is generally playing a lot better than earlier in the season although that old bug a boo, the inability to score hit us again tonite. Some big games are coming up and there is everything to play for vs UMASS and then the Beanpot which we certainly can win. Home ice is certainly a possibility for the playoffs as it seems both the beagles and the Friars are fading and we are playing better than most teams in hockeyeast at the moment. Its good that we have two good goalies now and coach now has the option of choosing either one and it will help to keep Jake fresher for the big games coming up

  7. To quote Katie Perry: You’re hot then you’re cold. Sums up this years team. Inconsistency will haunt them. Senior leadership not strong enough to overcome it. They have talent but not enough high end players. Lots of JAG’s on this team. TK out.

  8. Vito I love the optimism and I said Friday I loved the way we were shaping up. I just did not like our compete Saturday. I know we will be back Friday against UMass . We need to stop blind behind the back passes I saw a half dozen of them pass or shoot leave the fancy stuff at the door. Go bu🐾