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 — coupled 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 “captain” without Pat C.

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!

Bobo Carpenter: Thank You Terrier Nation

The following letter was submitted by Bobo Carpenter, a four-year Terrier forward who has moved on to the New York Islanders after serving as BU’s co-captain during his senior season.


Dear Terrier Nation,

Four years really does go quick. Now that my time on campus has come to an end, I can honestly say Boston University will always have a special place in my heart.

Our fans are like no others. You all made it special to play in Agganis Arena every night and always give us the energy we need to succeed. I will always remember the creative DogPound chants, especially the “BC Sucks.” Your loyalty has never gone unnoticed; I know you will cheer even harder for the returners and all the new players that will soon call BU home.

Our band is incredible and is always by our side supporting, even if we were out west for a regional. Your send offs and traditions pump us up and remind us of how special it is to be a part of BU Hockey. They elevate the experience at games not just for us as players, but all our fans too.

Our coaches are so knowledgeable about the game of hockey and guide us to succeed individually and most importantly as a whole. Their dedication to teaching and developing us is unmatched and I will be forever grateful for the things I learned while a Terrier. I cannot thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream and play at BU.

Our director of hockey ops, training staff, equipment staff, weight room staff, and all those at Agganis Arena are a huge part of the reason me and my teammates are able to do what we do. Your hard work behind the scenes and support are admired and appreciated by all. I hope you all know how helpful, caring, and supportive you all were during my career at BU. I am extremely grateful to have been able to work with all of you and create life long friendships.

I am so thankful to have been able to play with so many talented hockey players during my time at BU, who made me a better person and better player every day. I created so many memories with you all on and off the ice that I will never forget. You helped me stay confident and always pushed me to be the best I could be for myself and for all of you. I am going to miss you guys more than you know.

I have to thank my girlfriend, parents, and siblings for all of their support throughout my four years. Being able to see you all in section 120 every home game meant the world to me and I owe everything I have been able to experience to you.

To those who still have some time left as a Terrier: learn as much as you can, work your hardest every rep and shift, support one another and show everyone why it is so special to be a Terrier. Four years goes by in a blink of an eye.

Thank you Boston University for all of the memories and for letting me wear the scarlet and white the past four years. It was an honor.

It’s a great day to BU.

Once a Terrier Always A Terrier.

Robert “Bobo” Carpenter

BU Hockey 2018-19 Season Superlatives

As I look back on this past season for BU men’s hockey, there are certain names that stand out among the rest, for a variety of reasons. These picks were made by Brady Gardner, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the Boston Hockey Blog team. Without further ado, here are my season superlatives for 2018-19.

Most improved during the season – Hugo Blixt

Even Hugo Blixt himself would have to admit that the first-year defenseman looked like a deer in headlights at times to begin his debut season at BU. However, as the Sweden native adjusted to the pace and style of college hockey, he became an integral part of the BU blueline corps, logging important minutes in special teams play late in the campaign. With BU’s top two defensemen moving on to the pros, Blixt will certainly be relied on more heavily in 2019-20.

Biggest surprise – Patrick Curry

Becoming an upperclassman among a relatively young team, Patrick Curry took full advantage of his increased ice time with a break-out year to spark a Terrier squad with admittedly few bright spots in attack. After tallying a combined seven goals and 22 points between his freshman and sophomore seasons, the Illinois native beat both totals with 13 goals and 26 points in his junior year alone. While BU has seen multiple offensive weapons depart in recent weeks, Terrier fans can be confident that Curry will be a consistent top forward in his fourth year with BU.

Unsung Hero – Cam Crotty

Likely overshadowed by talented d-men above him on the line sheet, Cam Crotty deserves some credit as a solid member of the Terrier defense in all 38 games throughout the season. The sophomore put up five goals after just one in his first year on Commonwealth Avenue, and finished tied for second on the team with a +2 rating, and third with 68 blocks. There will be holes to fill on the BU blue line in the fall, but it appears Crotty is ready to take on a bigger role.

Most to prove in next season – Patrick Harper

It doesn’t take a hockey expert to notice that Patrick Harper didn’t have the season he was hoping for in 2018-19. Despite appearing in every game for BU, the junior posted his lowest goal total (6) and second-lowest assists total (14) in his three-year collegiate career. The Connecticut native did heat up late in the 2019 playoffs, so the Terriers will hope Harper can continue that increase in production into the fall.

Biggest unknown ahead of next season – Jake Wise

Jake Wise was a heralded talent upon joining the team in the fall, and excited Terrier fans with encouraging performances early on. However, a season-ending injury brought an abrupt end to the Blackhawks prospect’s promising freshman campaign after just 12 games. Heading into 2019-20, it will be interesting to see if Wise can become the player the BU faithful were optimistic he could be when he arrived at BU.

Biggest offseason departure – Jake Oettinger

You would struggle to find a team who relied on a single goaltender as much as BU relied on Jake Oettinger these last three years. The junior appeared in all but two games for the Terriers in 2018-19, and was asked on a near-nightly basis to mask inconsistent team defense with flawless play between the pipes. Oettinger did it all throughout his Terrier career, from maintaining a high level of play season to season (see: 13 career shutouts, tied most in BU history), to coming up big in significant games (also see: 89 saves on 93 shots at the TD Garden in 2019). With the BU net now left to a keeper who has made two collegiate starts in Vinnie Purpura, Jake Oettinger will be a major loss for the Terriers as he moves on to the Dallas Stars farm system.

Terrier of the Year – Bobo Carpenter

This one is a no-brainer. Captain Carpenter was one of just two four-year Terrier skaters on the roster in 2018-19, but the North Reading, Massachusetts resident more than pulled his weight in terms of leadership among a very young team. After Carpenter missed ten games late in the season, there was a clear injection of energy and urgency when the senior returned to the lineup for the team’s playoff push. Carpenter demonstrated the highest level of toughness and dedication late in the season for BU, and served as both a role model and source of inspiration when the Terriers needed it the most.

Defensive Player of the Year – Dante Fabbro

You could not possibly put together a list of BU hockey superlatives from 2018-19 and not include Fabbro. The Canadian blueliner was a warrior for the Terriers as a junior, compiling the most time on ice by far for BU over the course of the season. The co-captain was involved on both ends of the ice, setting the pace for BU with 26 assists, and leading all of Hockey East with 82 blocks. After concluding his time at BU has one of the team’s most reliable players over his three-year career, Predators fans have reason to feel good about Fabbro heading to Nashville.

Most Valuable Player – Joel Farabee

Dante Fabbro gave Joel Farabee a run for his money with this title, but the freshman phenom edges out the co-captain solely based on his consistent production and immediate impact in his first season at BU. The Hockey East Rookie of the Year exploded for a team-leading 17 goals and 36 points in 2018-19, and was especially crucial in BU’s postseason run, tallying four goals in three games to lead BU over UMass Lowell in the conference quarterfinals. While Farabee would prove to follow the one-and-done path through college hockey, his presence was certainly felt on Commonwealth Avenue in the year that he was with the Terriers.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear your picks for these superlatives below!

Lighting the Lamp Podcast – 3/25/19

Listen here!

On the season finale of “Lighting the Lamp,” Brady Gardner, Paige Mautner and Liam O’Brien recap Boston University’s 2-1 overtime loss to Northeastern in the Hockey East semifinals.

Moving into the offseason, Brady, Paige and Liam recognize the seniors and newly signed professional players who are leaving the team. They also look ahead to the future of BU hockey, including their picks for captain next season.

It’s a special season-ending episode, so end the season right by listening to “Lighting the Lamp.”