Game Recaps

O’Brien leads Terriers past Providence, 4-1

By James Garrison

The No. 20 Boston University men’s hockey team (16-10-3, 11-6-3 Hockey East) traveled south Thursday night to take on the No. 17 Providence Friars (18-12-2, 9-10-1 HE). Looking to continue their win streak, the Terriers took the contest 4-1. 

Even with two incredibly high-stake Beanpot games between this game, the Terriers still faced a very important matchup with major implications for both their Hockey East standings and their national ranking. 

Going into Thursday, the Terriers sat even with UConn for third place in Hockey East, with Providence only two points back. Additionally, with BU sitting 20th in the USCHO national rankings and the Friars at 17th, there was much to play for. 

“Hard to play a game in between the Beanpot,” said Terriers’ Head Coach Albie O’Connell in his post-game press conference. “Especially against a team like Providence in such an important game within our standings,” O’Connell added. 

It was just under two weeks ago when these two sides met for the first time this season at Agganis Arena, with the Terriers taking the contest 5-2. Two goals from junior forward Wilmer Skoog led BU past Providence on Jan. 30. 

Both teams came out flying Thursday night, exchanging chances on both ends of the ice in what was a tight-checking, highly competitive and physical first period.

The scoring finally opened up in the second period after junior forward Jay O’Brien took an elbowing penalty that was reviewed for a potential major. O’Brien would not be in the box long after being dealt a minor. 

Friars’ junior forward Patrick Moynihan put Providence up 1-0 at 10:09 of the second. O’Brien would soon get revenge against his former team though by evening things up at 8:28, scoring a power-play goal identical to the one he scored on Monday against Harvard. 

For the second time this season, the coach’s challenge would come up big for the Terriers. BU’s coaching staff challenged a hit on Case McCarthy earlier in the second when the Terriers were on the penalty kill. 

“Live it looked like a clear hit from behind,” O’Connell said. “John Sherman did a good job, he called down and said it was for sure a ‘five.’ It was definitely on the numbers”. 

After the review, the Terriers would be awarded a five-minute major power-play. Continuing his hot streak, junior forward Matt Brown sniped one short-side on Friar goaltender Jaxson Stauber to put the Terriers up 2-1 late in the second. 

Brown has gone on a tear in which he has thirteen points (7g, 6a) in his last twelve games dating back to Dec. 3 against UNH––Brown’s second game back from injury. 

Early on in the third, the Terriers’ power-play would continue its red-hot streak with goals in four straight games and seven goals across that stretch overall with another tally from O’Brien, putting the Terriers up 3-1.

“I think we’ve got guys in the right seats,” O’Connell said. “We’ve got [Brown] and [O’Brien] on those two half-wall spots. Both guys can score, both guys like to shoot.” 

Freshman forward Brian Carrabes, who was re-inserted into the lineup in Ty Amonte’s absence, got on the board to pad the Terriers’ lead, putting them up 4-1 to finish off the night. 

The Terriers were able to use their speed and skill at Agganis the last time they played Providence. Coming into Providence on Thursday night, the Terriers were forced to play a much grittier, chippy game. 

Forty-one combined penalty minutes aside, the Terriers continue to find ways to win, even if the game is not played on their terms. This is much unlike the BU team that we saw in the first half of the year. 

O’Brien seemed to be just about everywhere Thursday night, continuing to build his stats against his former team. With two goals and an assist Thursday, O’Brien brought his points total to eight points in four games against Providence since he joined the Terriers. 

“Coming back here, he definitely gets up for some games,” O’Connell said. “I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he played well (…) he’s turned into a little bit of a leader on the team.”

With the win, the Terriers jump into second place in Hockey East standings with 35 points, passing both UConn and Massachusetts who have 32 and 33, respectively. 

Although second place may be temporary for the Terriers, as every team in the conference has games-in-hand on them except for Providence, they are starting to cement their position at the top of Hockey East in the final few weeks of the regular season. 

The Terriers will earn a well-deserved weekend off before they continue their stretch of big games with their biggest tilt yet this year, a date with the Northeastern Huskies in the 2022 Beanpot finals at 7:30pm on Monday. 

“It’s going to be an electric, electric crowd,” O’Connell said about the Beanpot. “The Beanpot is back and kind of the way it used to be (…) it seemed like it had a way different vibe and more of an old-school vibe. The guys will be pretty excited for it.”

Follow along on Instagram and on Twitter @BOShockeyblog for live updates of the Beanpot championship Monday. Previews and recaps can also be found before and after the game on the blog.


  1. Terriers played a very good game. Providence came out hard hitting everything but bu took there best and countered with there game.

    I can’t say enough about our guys who come into the line up to fill-in for injuries. I wrote in last blog about wanting to see Tristan in there because his last game he was named hockey East performer list yesterday Carabis enters line up not only scores but played very well. We also have Markus who can play not in line up. I think the reason these kids are having so much success is because we are healthy when they are inserted they play there game not someone else’s game.

    Not rooting my own horn but I was confident all season once we got healthy we would make a run . Kids stuck with it terrific coaching by in to team play all have lead to a enjoyable second half keep it going terriers.

  2. While a successful season is still very much a work in progress, I must applaud Albie for putting together a team that has upperclassmen who are not only good leaders but provide significant offense too. For too many years, it was all based on a one and done guy being our offense. Juniors and seniors were not often on the scoresheet. Very happy that we now have older guys who light the lamp on a regular basis.

  3. Rolling now. i think on monday, all the pressure is on NU. they are the defending champs so the bullseye is on their backs.

    i thought last night’s game was huge. 1. between beanpot game 2. on the road where PC was 10-3-2 at home 3. PC’s power play is third in the nation 4. Bu’s played its back up goalie who has been sensational. vinnie d has a chance to go 4-0.

    however, that said, 8 penalties are way too many. Two on Zabs. NU will exploit that. no retaliation penalties at all

    Can Matt Brown shoot or what? O’Brien, Skoog, and cockerill are gonna lead us to hoist the trophy on monday night

  4. Echoing Vinnie, BU needs to stay disciplined because you know the Huskies will be trying to get them off their game, yapping away and trying to coax BU into taking dumb penalties. Gotta stay away from that.

    Another solid effort that led to a W at The Schneid last night.

    Nice to see this team becoming a TEAM to play and fight for one another.

    May Albie had us fooled all along and he’s pulling a Craig Berube, who took the Blues from last in the Western Conference in January 2019 to a Stanley Cup title six months later.

    BU just needs to stay focused and play their game at both ends of the ice and maybe we’ll get that POT back on Monday night.

    Colin…you have to give the pregame speech in the locker room…

    • Lol many have already heard from me but I let the coaches coach I just offer encouragement when I see them. I do agree with many comments here NU will play dirty they will try and sell calls bu has to be disciplined the guys have been told this so it’s just a case of controlling your response. This team will be ready to play the coaches will as coach O’Connell said probably need to settle them down not psych them up.
      “One thing about this game is it’s just a game. The mindset should be for 60 minutes it’s the most important thing in life and should be played like it is. After the game the results will fade but everyone of them will remember the effort they put forth that will stick with you for life. If you quit on this game it will live forever no matter what success you have in hockey so don’t let them win a single battle break the game down into small segments play it one shift at a time win every shift win every period win the game. You have proven you belong in this game you all know the history between these programs go out and play the way you know you can play and hold your head up high” that would be my pre game pep talk thanks for humoring me Mark go bu 🐾

  5. I still think that to win a National Championship, BU’s teams have to be more disciplined. But will certainly back track on some of my criticism based on:
    1. We finally figured out how to have an effective power play. Put Skoog in front of the goalie! All of a sudden we are scoring goals like some of the best teams in the country, i.e. pucks from the defense to the net with the goalie screened.
    2. We are finally winning important face-offs. Winning them to start the power play and penalty kill. It seemed like we always started the power play with 1:20; and never cleared off the face-off when on the kill.
    3. And finally, we must give credit to Albie for getting our team to play hard every shift for 60 minutes. It is so much more fun watching our Terriers when they skate, play hard, block shots, etc.
    Let’s keep it going!

  6. This team is peeking The greatest coach in college hockey Jack Parker was the master at having his teams do just that.

    A key to this game other then the discipline issue everyone has spoken about is to get everyone involved early.

    Being as big a fan as I am of this program I think the butterflies I have in my gut already will be worse then the players. The players butterflies they get will pass as soon as there skate blades hit the ice. Therefore it’s important to dictate the game from the beginning.

    Coach has done a fantastic job of running all 4 lines and putting them in a position to succeed. We need to get all four lines going the earlier the better get the bench hoping.

    As I mentioned before Harvard momentum can change quickly in this tournament never let your foot off the pedal. One criticism I have is bu for whatever reason tends to try and play defensively after scoring I’m not saying abandon defense but keep the attack going.

    Very happy for this program I can’t wait for Monday go bu 🐾

  7. Geez , i hope this goalie form NU turns into a pumpkin before Monday. played well again against lowell

    • I share your sentiment but have a feeling the Huskie fans are saying exactly the same thing about our Cinderella goalie. Hopefully ours prevails! 🙂

  8. This game will be a test of who handles the pressure better. I like our chances here’s why the underdog always has less pressure. We have experience playing in front of a big crowd already this year at Maddison Square garden and played very well there for stretches of the game and we know what we did wrong there. Northeastern has 2+ lines that are dynamite we have four that can play with anybody as the game goes on if it’s tight we will have the fresher legs. I’m so excited can’t wait for Monday. Go BU 🐾

  9. Did you guys see that Braden Doyle signed with northeastern ?

  10. Let’s hope he turns out meh like collier and kurker

  11. What’s meh?