Terriers head to the Zoo for second crack at UMass Amherst

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for the Boston University men’s hockey team.

Somehow, the Terriers biggest challenge is still ahead of the them.

Last Friday night, BU welcomed the No. 2 team in the country, UMass Amherst, to town in front of a packed crowd at Agganis Arena. The Terriers put up a valiant effort, but it was to no avail as the Minutemen dropped seven goals on BU’s head en route to a 5-7 defeat.

On Monday, BU came up short in a barnburner once again, this time under the bright lights of the 67th Beanpot at TD Garden. The Terriers traded goals with Northeastern before the Huskies staged a repeat of last year’s tournament finale and skated off the ice with a victory, this time in overtime by a score of 2-1.

BU has little time to dwell on this early ejection from the Beanpot, however. The going only gets tougher on Friday as they venture out to one of the most raucous atmospheres in college hockey, the Mullins Center in Amherst, for their second crack at the formidable Minutemen.

UMass remains at No. 2 in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll heading into this tilt, not having dropped a slot since last week. This team has been lethal all season, boasting five players with at least 20 points.

The Terriers learned about the firepower of this group in their most recent appearance at Agganis Arena. UMass is led in the scoring department by senior Jacob Pritchard, who made his presence felt 46 seconds into the game on Friday with his 13th goal of the season.

Despite his tally on Friday, Pritchard is not the top goal scorer on the squad. That title belongs to sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee, who has a team-best 15 goals to go along with 14 assists. The Michigan native added to his dime total last week against the Terriers, helping out on freshman Ty Farmer’s go-ahead goal 8:49 into the third quarter which snapped a 4-4 tie.

Farmer has come on strong for UMass as of late. BU fans heard his name called two times too many on Friday as he scored an unassisted goal to increase the Minutemen lead to 6-4 late in the third period.

He has notched at least one point in five of his last six games and multiple points in two of those games. Although he is just seventh on the team in total points, Farmer has been getting the job done heading into the final few weeks of the season.

The Terriers have been fighting a bug in the first period. In order to upset UMass, they’re going to have to come with some firepower at the outset of the game, something they have been struggling with in the second semester.

BU has not scored first in a game since January 11 against New Hampshire, a span of seven games. They have done an adequate job of battling back from these slow beginnings, but UMass is a nearly impossible team to climb out of a hole against.

Game Notes: We don’t know how BU is going to start out the game, but we do know this: the atmosphere is going to be lit on Friday night. The Mullins Center has announced a sellout for what should be one of the most fun games the Terriers play in this season…This game will be broadcasted regionally on NESNplus…Follow along with live game coverage here!

Oettinger’s effort not enough for Terriers in OT Beanpot loss

Despite a 47-save performance from junior netminder Jake Oettinger, the Boston University men’s hockey team suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Northeastern University in the semifinal round of the Beanpot at the TD Garden on Monday night.

“It hurts, it’s frustrating,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell, who saw his Terriers (10-12-3, 8-6-2 in Hockey East) knocked off by the Huskies (15-8-1, 9-6-1 Hockey East) in Beanpot play for the second year in a row.

As they had in six consecutive games prior, BU conceded the game’s first goal, with Northeastern’s opener coming at the 3:14 mark in the first period. On a giveaway in the Terrier end, senior forward Liam Pecararo provided the feed to classmate Patrick Schule, who fired it past Jake Oettinger to put the Huskies on top.

“The first one, [Oettinger] didn’t really have much of a chance on,” said O’Connell after the game.

BU squandered two early opportunities on the frame’s only power plays, but eventually found their equalizer with 21 seconds to play in the period.

On a pass from sophomore forward Shane Bowers, fellow sophomore Cam Crotty launched a wrister towards Northeastern sophomore keeper Cayden Primeau. The puck fell to Joel Farabee alone at the back post where the freshman forward angled the rebound in off Primeau to tally his tenth goal of the season and knot the game at one going into the break.

“I thought Joel was dynamite,” said O’Connell about his standout freshman.

In a scoreless second period, Jake Oettinger came up big with some dazzling saves as pressure poured in from the Huskies. BU gained their best chances towards the end of the frame, but could not capitalize.

It was the Terrier goal scorer Farabee who had both opportunities for the Terriers, getting in alone twice within the period’s final five minutes but being denied by Primeau on both occasions. Ahead of the final twenty minutes, the teams would retreat to the locker rooms still tied 1-1.

“You’d like to bury those chances, but to put yourself in a situation to get two breakaways in a game, obviously shows a high level of intelligence and skill,” said a positive-minded O’Connell about Farabee’s two missed opportunities.

The drama continued into the third period, as the tension mounted the longer the game remained even. Northeastern attempted 34 shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation alone, holding a 48-27 lead in shots on goal after 60 minutes.

“We were dominating them, so we had all the confidence,” said Northeastern’s Primeau regarding the mindset of his Huskies during their offensive onslaught in the Terrier end.

Despite the pressure, Jake Oettinger refused to budge, and both the BU junior and his counterpart Primeau remained strong to keep the game level despite late power plays for both teams in the waning minutes of regulation. The score line would hold after three period of play, and the teams would continue on to overtime.

“I thought both goalies were outstanding,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan.

The additional frame would not last very long, as the Huskies rallied for a game-winner just 51 seconds into overtime. Taking advantage of a mistimed Terrier line change, junior defenseman Jeremy Davies found freshman forward Tyler Madden streaking into the BU end. Oettinger got a piece of Madden’s shot on the breakaway, but the puck would trickle through, bringing an abrupt end to BU’s 2019 Beanpot bid and sending the Huskies into next week’s final.

“[There were] bright lights out there, and I shine in those,” said the confident freshman.

For the Terriers, it was the first semifinal loss in a Beanpot tournament since 2014, in which the Terriers were bounced by Harvard 6-2. The loss to Northeastern was also a repeat of last season’s championship game, which saw the Huskies overcome BU to win their first Beanpot title in three decades.

“I think everyone on our team is disappointed,” said O’Connell about the heartbreaking loss. “Tip the cap to [Northeastern].”

While he may have finished on the losing side of the game, Oettinger’s 47 saves were his most since last year’s Beanpot tournament, in which the Minnesota native also tallied 47 in a victorious semifinal effort against Harvard.

“It was probably one of the best games he’s played in a BU uniform,” said O’Connell of Oettinger. “It’s a good sign for our team if he can play at that level.”

The schedule will get no easier for the Terriers, as they travel to Amherst to visit #2 University of Massachusetts on Friday night before returning to the Garden to face Harvard in the Beanpot’s third place game the following Monday.

Lighting the Lamp: February 4, 2019

Listen here!

In this week’s episode of Lighting the Lamp, Brady Gardner, Paige Mautner and Liam O’Brien start by recapping the 7-5 loss for BU men’s hockey against No. 2 UMass and giving their thoughts on some takeaways from the game for the Terriers going into the Beanpot.

Transitioning into the Beanpot, Brady, Paige and Liam preview a wide-open men’s tournament with exciting matchups across the board. They also take a quick look at next week’s rematch against UMass.

Moving into the women’s team, Brady, Paige and Liam cover the continued unbeaten streak of the Terriers, including a 7-2 trouncing of the University of Vermont in their most recent contest. They finish the show by looking ahead to the women’s Beanpot and Turnpike Trophy matchup.

*BEANPOT* Live Blog: BU vs. Northeastern, 2/4 at 8pm

In the first round of the 2019 Beanpot, Boston University will take on Northeastern at the TD Garden. The Huskies won last year’s tournament, getting a 5-2 win in the final over BU. The Terriers will be seeking revenge, looking to get one step closer to their 31st Beanpot title.

It’s one of the biggest games of the year, so come join our live blog! Coverage will start at 7:45pm, with puck drop set for 8pm.

Terriers begin Beanpot against Northeastern in 2019 championship rematch

The 67th annual Beanpot tournament starts this Monday at TD Garden, and the Boston University men’s hockey team are hungry for their 31st Beanpot championship victory.

The Terriers (10-11-3, 8-6-2 Hockey East) will face last year’s champion, Northeastern University, in the first round at 8 p.m. Having lost to the Huskies (15-8-1, 9-6-1 Hockey East) 5-2 in the championship game last year, the Terriers are gearing up for revenge.

Although the Terriers beat the Huskies Nov. 3 by a score of  4-1, the Huskies have recently struggled, having lost their past three games. However, they will likely still be riding the momentum from winning the beanpot title last year, which was their first after a 30-year drought.

Nerves are high for Terrier fans as BU senior co-captain Bobo Carpenter may be unable to suit up after not playing the last two games. According to BU head coach Albie O’Connell, the chances of Carpenter making an appearance in his last beanpot semifinal match are about 50-50.

Although the Terriers were missing Carpenter’s presence on the ice, they managed to light the lamp five times against No. 2 UMass in a game Friday night, when BU fell short 5-7.

Junior forward Patrick Curry talked about the takeaways from the UMass game going into the Beanpot.

“It seemed like we had at least three of our four lines going,” Curry said. “If we can get our fourth line going, that will be good because obviously those are huge minutes.”

Scoring five goals on the No. 2 in the country, the UMass game is proof that the Terriers have the offensive talent to get numbers up on the scoreboard against good teams. Still, Northeastern’s strong defense may likely prevent BU from scoring any easy goals. The Huskies allow the second-least amount of goals among Hockey East teams, allowing 55 all season. Only UMass beats that number with 52.

Between the pipes for Northeastern is goaltender Cayden Primeau, who has a current save percentage of .921. Supporting him in the back is defenseman Ryan Shea, who has had 42 blocks so far this season.

In addition to Shea is defenseman Jeremy Davies, a player who is not only difficult to get by, but also a threat offensively with five goals and 20 points so far this year.

The recurring theme for BU this season is falling behind early in the game. BU has only scored the first goal in seven out of 24 of their games so far this season.

“We do a good job at not worrying about it,” O’Connell said.

BU was down by two goals early in their Friday match against UMass. However, O’Connell said, “there was no nervousness on the bench.”

On the frontline for Northeastern is forward Zach Solow, who has tallied 11 goals and 17 points this season. Alongside him is forward Grant Jozefek, who has tallied 10 goals and 19 points. Two of his 10 goals this season were awarded when BU and Northeastern faced off Nov. 1, so Jozefek is a player the Terriers have to keep a tight leash on.

“We have to learn how to play thorough,” O’Connell said about playing against Northeastern.

All games will be played at the TD Garden and streamed on NESN. In addition, The Boston Hockey Blog will have minute-by-minute coverage of the game through a live blog, accessible through this website or this twitter account.

Here’s the schedule for the 2019 Beanpot:

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, @ 5 p.m.  — Boston College vs. Harvard University

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, @ 8 p.m.  — Boston University vs. Northeastern University

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, @ 4:30 p.m. — Consolation game

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, @ 7:30 p.m. — Championship game

Resilient Terriers come up just short against #2 UMass

In a game that featured three surmounted deficits for the hosts, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell to #2 University of Massachusetts 7-5 at BU’s Agganis Arena on Friday night.

“Both teams pushed hard, both teams competed well,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “[UMass] got on the right side of it.”

The Minutemen (20-5, 12-3 Hockey East) took no time taking a lead in the opening frame as senior forward Jacob Pritchard snuck in at the back post and knocked home a feed from sophomore forward John Leonard just 49 seconds into the game. It was the sixth consecutive game in which the Terriers (10-11-3, 8-6-2 Hockey East) conceded the game’s first goal.

“I don’t have an answer for that,” said Coach O’Connell regarding his team’s consistent struggles from the opening puck drop. “Just keep fighting.”

As alluded to by their coach, the Terriers did fight back. Awoken by the early UMass tally, BU temporarily tied the game six minutes in as senior forward Ryan Cloonan unleashed a laser into the top right corner off the pass from graduate forward Max Willman. After being kept off the scoreboard throughout the first half of the season, it was Cloonan’s second goal in as many weeks.

“I liked the way we bounced back competitive-wise,” said O’Connell following another slow start for his Terriers. “We kept playing.”

The Minuteman lead would be restored just two minutes later, as freshman forward Bobby Trivigno tipped in a shot from sophomore defenseman Cale Makar. The assist was the 30th point of Makar’s season, and the lone point of the night for the talented Canadian who has taken Hockey East by storm.

[Makar] is about as good as anyone I’ve seen in this league in a long time,” commended BU’s O’Connell.

With four minutes left in the period, freshman defenseman Marc Del Gaizo launched a seeing-eye rocket from the blue line, soaring through a crowd in front and into the BU net. The assist went to senior forward Kurt Keats, and the teams retreated to the locker rooms for the first intermission with UMass leading 3-1.

“We kind of just took our foot off the gas at a few moments in the game,” said junior forward Patrick Curry in response to the Terriers giving up multiple goals in quick succession.

Just past the halfway point of the middle stanza, it was BU who tilted the ice on the Minutemen. During a 5-on-3 power play, a centering pass from sophomore forward Ty Amonte trickled through the UMass crease, and it was freshman forward Joel Farabee there to sweep it in and give BU their second goal of the game.

Farabee would be involved in BU’s third goal as well, flicking across a pinpoint pass to a wide-open Curry at the back post. The junior would make no mistake, tallying his eighth goal of the season and tying the game for the Terriers with less than five minutes to play in the period.

BU’s joy would be short-lived, however, as the UMass regained the lead just a minute later. In a flurry in front, the puck fell kindly to sophomore forward Philip Lagunov, who buried it from just a few feet out. John Leonard was credited with the assist for his second of the night, and UMass had the one-goal lead going into the second intermission.

Three and a half minutes into the third period, Patrick Curry added his second goal of the game to bring the Terriers even 4-4. A rebound fell to the junior, who slid it in with assists credited to sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo and Ty Amonte.

“The compete level was there all night,” said Curry after the game.

Once again though, the level scoreline would not stand for long, as freshman defenseman Ty Farmer benefitted from a convenient rebound at 8:49 off a shot from Bobby Trivigno to put the Minutemen up for good.

“We just weren’t sharp at times defensively,” said Coach O’Connell.

Farmer would fire in his second goal of the period on a breakaway inside of three minutes left to make the lead 6-4, but BU sophomore forward Logan Cockerill would reduce the advantage to one goal again less than a minute later. After Farabee came up empty on a one-on-one with the keeper, Cockerill came flying in for the rebound to get his fourth goal of the campaign.

With the goalie pulled in search of a seventh, BU would surrender a breakaway to Leonard, leaving sophomore defenseman David Farrance no choice but to take the attacker down from behind. A goal would be awarded to Leonard in place of a penalty shot on an empty net, giving the sophomore a 3-point game, and UMass a two-goal cushion.

There would be no last-second miracle for BU, and the game would finish 7-5 in favor of the Minutemen.

“It’s happened a few times this year,” recalled O’Connell. “We’ve made comebacks and we haven’t been able to get it done.”

Jake Oettinger had 27 saves in the defeat for BU, and his skaters would be the first to admit that the junior netminder was left alone at times against a potent UMass attack.

“We didn’t help Jake Oettinger out very much,” admitted Patrick Curry.

Senior co-captain Bobo Carpenter was absent Friday against UMass, and may be unavailable for the first round of the Beanpot on Monday has well.

“I think it’s like 50/50 right now,” shared Coach O’Connell.

Despite missing their leading goal scorer in Carpenter, the first-year head coach was impressed with his team’s offensive output against the Minutemen.

“Not having him and scoring five goals – if you gave me that before the game, I would have said I liked my chances.”

While a loss is never a result to be satisfied with, O’Connell was proud of his team’s effort against the second ranked team in college hockey.

“It was a tight game from start to finish,” said the BU coach.

The Terriers will now turn their attention to the Beanpot, which kicks off on Monday night at 8pm when BU will take on Northeastern in a rematch of last year’s championship game.

Photos by the Boston Hockey Blog’s Emily Hunter.