Game Previews

Terriers hope to right the ship in midweek meeting with No. 9/12 Harvard

David Farrance lines up during warmups before Red Hot Hockey. Photo by Brady Gardner.

Concluding November on the wrong end of two consecutive shutouts, the Boston University men’s hockey team will look for a positive start to a new month when they host No. 9/12 Harvard University at Agganis Arena on Tuesday night.

“We’re just gonna move forward,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell, whose team was blanked twice in a row for the first time in over a year. “We’re not that far off.”

This will be the first Boston rivalry contest of the season for the Terriers (4-6-5, 3-3-4 Hockey East), kicking off a week that will see BU go on to meet another crosstown foe in Northeastern over the weekend. The Terriers reignited a different rivalry in their most recent game, squaring off with Cornell at Madison Square Garden for Red Hot Hockey last Saturday.

The Big Red prevailed in front of more than 15,000 fans at the biennial clash, silencing the BU attack and striking twice in a span of 20 seconds for a 2-0 victory. BU graduate goaltender Sam Tucker made 26 saves in the losing effort, but providing run support for Tucker continued to be the issue for the Terriers, whose goal drought extended to seven periods.

“We’re going to have to get a little hungrier,” said O’Connell. “If we finish off a couple of those plays in the first period, some in the second period, it’s a different game, but we didn’t.”

On the other side, Harvard (6-1, 6-0 ECAC) has posted a D1-leading five goals per game thus far, but last Friday’s bout with Boston College saw a return to Earth for the top-scoring offense in the nation. The Crimson attack was tripped up when the visiting Eagles scored four unanswered goals to hand the hosts their first loss of the season, 4-2.

Through seven games, the fewest among the country’s top 20 teams, freshman forward Nick Abruzzese’s 1.14 assists per game rank fourth in the nation, while sophomore forward Casey Dornbach has posted the country’s second-most points per game (1.71) and the sixth-most goals per game (.71).

On the BU scoresheet, junior defenseman David Farrance is the only Terrier among the nation’s scoring leaders, setting the pace for defensemen with the most goals (10) to go along with the second-most points (19). Farrance’s eight strikes on the power play are tied for the lead among all skaters, three clear of the next closest defender.

The Terriers and Crimson met twice last season. After skating to a 2-2 tie at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center in January, the teams settled the score at February’s Beanpot consolation game, which was won by the Crimson 5-2. Now-senior forward Frederic Gregoire provided two goals for Harvard, including the game-winner.

“[Harvard] was more competitive,” said O’Connell last season’s loss to Harvard. “They were skating harder.”

BU will shoot for their first win over the Crimson since the 2018 Beanpot semifinals when they hit the ice on Tuesday at 7 p.m. For coverage throughout the game, make sure to tune in to the Boston Hockey Blog’s live blog, which can be found through and @BOShockeyblog on Twitter.

One Comment

  1. Brady I like you think the ceiling for this team is high . In stating that I also understand some of the frustration some fans write about. The facts are we are currently below 500 but that by no means is indicative of where we are as a team. I can’t say it enough we need to have patience with this young team we can’t give up on them in November. I truly believe we are close to making a run. I believe in a run this year and I see many kids coming back next year from this freshman class and I see the program to be in a great place for the future. I apparently see things as always being sunny so here are the positives I see from this team thus far 1 we never give up effort is always there minus {sacred heart} which was a game we were looking past.2 we have guys with high end talent. 3 we have been getting good goaltending as of late.4 We have depth we have guys like Witkowski Boguslavsky And even lately Debour not suiting up all players who could dress and contribute at many D1 schools. 5 our defense can really move the puck. Fensore and Ferrance are really special players. Kotkansalo and Crotty are solid D who head man the puck well. 6 tremendous movement on the pp 7 guys on the third and fourth line like Chabot and Quercia who can score and be responsible in our end of the ice. 8 this may anger some but I honestly believe we are in the best shape of all the teams in hockey east no one works as hard as we do. This will make differences in games Down the stretch because coach Czech oversees these kids you can bet they have the drive to fight through tired legs late in a game. 9 our coaching staff gets it they are some of the best coaches in the game. 10 one of the most important yet simplest answer we hate to loose. Now that I have gotten the positive points out of the way let’s tie in what some on the blog say are our negatives in our game and then I hope to offer some solutions 1 we never give up very true however when we get down we sometimes get away from our game plan. Coach has referred to it as chasing the game when we do this often times we take unnecessary chances. Now how we go about fixing this score early and often or have the confidence in our game to come back from deficits. This will come from maturity. 2 our talent I have seen some guys make some unbelievable individual moves what others are complaining about are results and it’s fair we need to play more north and south the dipsey doodling in neutral zone does not work at this level. The fix here is more north south dumping pucks in being stronger on half wall. Also huge for this team is get bodies in front of net we did a slightly better job the other night but not nearly good enough. We can’t get pushed out of front of net we need to fight back we need more dirty goals. As I stated earlier we need to play a mean game. 3 we can’t give up golden opportunities to the other team. We need to help out tucker. 4 I would love to see Witkowski get back in line up before he was pulled he had two strait games with points you could see the jump in his stride. He can shoot the puck confidence controls a lot with college age kids. 5 when our D moves puck forwards just can’t stop at blue line they need to keep moving there feet so Fensore or Ferrance don’t go 1 on 4 . Crotty I think is still battling foot injury but can’t take bad penalties I think second half he comes back big time. 6 movement on power play is fantastic if we were playing keep away what we need to do is get pucks to the net and then use our speed and talent to retrieve or burry rebounds. 7 just let those guys do there thing 8 don’t need to change a thing we have the best strength coach in college hockey and come second half when teams struggle we will pass them. 9Our coaching staff see what our issues are they are working consistently with the kids to correct issues with this team eventually our patience will pay off. 10 these kids hate to loose and you will see them make the adjustments hopefully sooner rather then later but again one needs to have patience. Go bu