Terriers show resiliency in 4-3 victory at Providence

In a battle against #7 Providence with major Hockey East implications, BU overcame a two-goal deficit and got late goals from David Farrance and Logan Cockerill to tie and overtake the Friars en route to winning their second game of the new year.

“It was a big statement game” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell regarding the victory.

Looking to replicate their 5-0 thumping of BU back in October, Providence (12-6-4, 6-4-1 in Hockey East) came storming out of the gates, tallying two goals within the game’s first ten minutes. Junior Josh Wilkins got the Friars on the board early with a power play goal just six and a half minutes into the contest, and senior Scott Conway doubled Providence’s lead less than three minutes later. Wilkins’ tally gave the junior his team-leading 25th point, while Conway’s goal made him the first Friar to ten goals on the season.

“Just stick with it” was the simple message shared by O’Connell to his team after going behind 2-0.

With sour memories of the 5-0 thrashing in the back of their minds, BU (8-8-3, 7-5-2 in Hockey East) came up with an immediate response through the stick of Shane Bowers with nine minutes left in the first. The sophomore’s powerful net drive and clever finish cut the Providence lead in half before the teams headed into the first intermission.

“That got us going,” remarked Coach O’Connell about the early Bowers goal.

In the middle stanza, the teams traded opportunities for ten minutes before Bowers brought BU even with his second goal of the game, separating himself as the lone Terrier with seven goals on the season, good for second on the team, only behind captain Bobo Carpenter’s ten tallies. Providing the sophomore with a pass into space was Joel Farabee, continuing the freshman’s red-hot start to 2019.

Providence had three chances on the power play in the second frame, but the BU penalty kill was resilient throughout the period, and Jake Oettinger remained rock-solid between the pipes for BU. Following the second break, though, the Friars caught the BU defense by surprise just eleven seconds into the third period. Conway matched Bowers’ mark with his own second goal of the contest, regaining the Providence lead before BU could even gain possession in the final frame.

Despite going down late, the Terriers would not go away, as sophomore David Farrance drove in a shot from distance to level the game once more with 17 minutes left in regulation. Riding the momentum of the game-tying tally, BU kicked into an extra gear, and found a go-ahead goal just five minutes later. It was sophomore Logan Cockerill who provided what would prove to be the game-winner, snapping a shot past senior netminder Hayden Hawkey to put BU ahead for good.

“That’s a season-changing play by Cockerill,” commended O’Connell.

The Terriers would gain the benefit of a five-minute major penalty called against Providence’s Vimal Sukamaran with four and a half minutes to play, but Oettinger would still be called into action to preserve the BU lead as the Friars poured on pressure in the game’s waning minutes. It was a heroic effort from the junior netminder, fending off 33 shots and getting his second win in as many nights.

Continuing their undefeated start to 2019 with the victory over Providence, the Terriers will now turn their focus to #3 Quinnipiac (16-5-1, 7-4-1 in ECAC) when the Bobcats come to Boston next Saturday.

Terriers look to continue unbeaten run into Providence

Following their 5-2 home victory over UNH, the Terriers will complete their busy three-game week by making the short trek south to take on Providence College.

Both teams have entered the new year red-hot: BU (7-8-3, 6-5-2 in Hockey East) respectively drew and won in clashes with Harvard and UNH, while Providence (12-5-4, 6-3-1 in Hockey East) beat Brown, Dartmouth, and Miami of Ohio, while also tying the Redhawks in the second game of the teams’ weekend series. While BU has played half as many games as the Friars have in 2019, there is clear momentum behind both teams ahead of this Hockey East bout.

BU struggled in their first meeting with the Friars this season, falling 5-0 at Agganis Arena to their visitors. The loss came during a major scoring drought for the Terriers, but since that defeat against Providence, BU has only been blanked once in 13 contests.  A lot has changed since the two Hockey East sides met on October 26, and BU head coach Albie Connell is confident that his Terriers can get revenge on the Friars the second time around.

“There were some really good stretches in that game that we played”, said the first year skipper about the loss to Providence back in the Fall.

Leading the lines for the Friars have been junior Kasper Björkqvist and senior Scott Conway, both of which hold a team-best nine goals on the season. Close behind, sophomore Greg Printz and freshman Jack Dugan have both tallied seven goals for the Friars. Dugan is second on the team in points with 23, while junior Josh Wilkins leads the team in that category with 24.

As for the visiting Terriers, senior captain Bobo Carpenter added to his team-leading goal total (10) in the win over UNH. Junior co-captain Dante Fabbro and freshman Joel Farabee also provided goals in the contest, bolstering their impressive point totals to 16 and 15 respectively. The Terriers may also be regaining an experienced blueliner, with junior Chad Krys set to make his return from injury.

“I hope he’s in tomorrow”, said O’Connell on Friday night. “He was like 50/50 for tonight.”

One of the most highly-anticipated individual matchups in this contest will be a pair of players settled nearly two hundred feet apart, with two of the conference’s premier goaltenders going head-to-head for the second time this season. Starting in net for Providence is expected to be senior Hayden Hawkey, who holds a .911 save percentage, while his likely counterpart junior Jake Oettinger possesses a percentage of .924 for BU.

Both teams are undefeated in 2019 for now, but one team’s streak will likely come to an end on Saturday night. This Hockey East tilt will begin at 7pm at Providence’s Schneider Arena, and can be heard through GoTerriers.com, or watched on Friars.com.

Are you confident that BU can get the road victory against a very talented Providence team? Let us know your thoughts ahead of the game in the comments below!

Terriers overcome UNH with late offensive explosion

In their first game at Agganis Arena in 2019, the Terriers fought to a 5-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire in Hockey East play.

BU (7-8-3, 6-5-2 in Hockey East) dominated the Wildcats (6-8-6, 2-5-3 in Hockey East) immediately from the first puck drop, and scored a well-deserved opener after two minutes and 17 seconds of play. It was freshman Jack DeBoer who got the Terriers on the board early, knocking in his first collegiate goal after receiving the centering pass from senior linemate Ryan Cloonan.

BU’s hot start in the first period was reminiscent of their early effort against Harvard earlier this week. In that contest, it was Matthew Quercia who tallied his first collegiate goal, lighting the lamp just 2:05 into the game. Cloonan was the provider for that goal as well.

“It’s nice to see a senior leading “said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “It’s also nice to get a guy on the board from a confidence standpoint.”

After the UNH defense temporarily quieted the Terrier attack, BU got back into an offensive rhythm on the power play . During the man advantage, junior Dante Fabbro took in a pass from sophomore Shane Bowers and launched a seeing-eye wrist shot that found its way through a sea of bodies and into the Wildcat net to double BU’s lead. It was the captain’s fourth goal of the season, and his team-leading fourteenth point.

The Terriers would hold a 2-0 lead and a 12-5 advantage in shots at the end of the first, but it was UNH who took hold of the middle frame. On a power play of their own halfway through the period, the Wildcats managed flurry of opportunities before junior Liam Blackburn finally poked the puck behind BU netminder Jake Oettinger. By the end of the second, BU still led 2-1, but the teams were level on shots, with 16 apiece.

“We weren’t really clean through that second period on the breakouts”, summarized O’Connell.

2:23 into the third, Blackburn brought UNH level with his second short-range goal of the game, but BU responded quickly through a Joel Farabee laser into the top right corner to restore the Terriers’ lead. It was the second goal in as many games for the standout freshman, who has become a major contributor in just his first season with the squad.

“We’re creating a lot more offense for ourselves, and it’s helped me out too,” said the forward.

Sophomore Cam Crotty gave BU some insurance at 13:21 in the third, sneaking in on the weak side and shoving the puck home for his third goal of the season. Just 58 seconds later, Bobo Carpenter sealed the victory with a pinpoint shot from the goaltender’s left, getting the co-captain’s senior season goal total to double digits.  With the points secured, the Terriers put the finishing touches on a strong 5-2 victory.

After surrendering a two-goal lead, the offensive outburst in the third brought the Terriers some confidence ahead of taking on a high-powered Providence team tomorrow night. The Friars will be BU’s biggest test in their busy three-game week, and puck drop will be at 7:30pm at Providence’s Schneider Arena.

Men’s Hockey: Terriers begin second half with draw at Harvard

After nearly a month without a game, the Boston University men’s hockey team drew 2-2 with Harvard in a visit to crosstown rivals to open play in 2019.

Coming off of the midseason holiday break, the Terriers (6-8-3, 5-5-2 in Hockey East) received much-needed reinforcements from multiple sources. Freshman Joel Farabee and sophomores Shane Bowers and Logan Cockerill returned from the World Junior Championship, having departing for the international tournament prior to the conclusion of the first half of the season. Senior captain Bobo Carpenter also became available after missing the 2018 finale due to injury, while junior defenseman Chad Krys remained sidelined for the Terriers.

BU started strong against the Crimson (6-4-3,  3-3-2 in ECAC), tilting the ice early and getting rewarded for their efforts. Less than three minutes into the opening period, it was Matthew Quercia who knocked in a centering pass from Ryan Cloonan to score the game’s first goal. Cloonan ‘s strong move and pinpoint pass gave the senior his first assist of the season, while his freshman linemate Quercia collected his first goal as a Terrier on the tap-in.

In the second, BU gained a pair of power plays in rapid succession, but successful kills by the Crimson defense propelled Harvard forward towards BU net. After two dangerous chances were denied by junior Jake Oettinger, Crimson junior Adam Fox fired a shot by the BU netminder with three minutes to play in the second stanza. The tally boosted Fox’s team lead in points to 21, and brought the game level leading into the final 20 minutes.

Harvard’s momentum continued into the third, as senior Lewis Zerter-Gossage put the Crimson in front, slapping in a rebound on the power play less than two minutes into the third period. Harvard’s leading goal scorer did not have much time to celebrate his tenth tally of the season though, as Joel Farabee knotted things up with a power play goal of his own just minutes later, his fifth goal of the campaign.

With the game tied at two, Jake Oettinger was called into action more frequently than his goaltending counterpart senior Michael Lackey, but BU’s Dallas Stars prospect was equal to the task throughout on every occasion. After goalmouth tussles on both ends, the third period buzzer sounded, and the game headed to an additional frame.

In overtime, the Terriers dominated zone time, but Lackey came up with his best saves of the night for the Crimson to ensure that BU would not find a winner. 65 minutes would not be enough to separate the two sides, and the game would finish tied 2-2.

Continuing the quest for their first win of the new year, the Terriers will move on to two crucial Hockey East matchups later this week. First, BU will return to Agganis Arena on Friday to take on the University of New Hampshire (6-7-6, 2-4-3 in Hockey East), and then the Terriers head to Providence to face the Friars (12-4-4, 6-2-1 in Hockey East) on Saturday.

What did you think of the draw against Harvard? Let us know your thoughts below!

 

Please Read! Live Blog Update

Readers – this post is less of an article, and more of a public service announcement regarding the future of BU hockey live blogs through the Boston Hockey Blog:

The website that has previously been used for these in-game blogs, CoverItLive, has shut down their services, leaving us in search of an alternative. While there may be other third-party blogging hosts available, the best immediate solution seems to be simply using the comments section of posts on this website to conduct our live blogs.

If you are familiar with another live blogging host (preferably for free), please let us know so we can explore whether or not using that website might be a possibility. I apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause, and I thank you for your flexibility and continued viewership and participation with BU hockey live blogs through the Boston Hockey Blog.

Go Terriers!

Brady

 

Terriers open 2019 with Boston rivalry clash at Harvard

After nearly a month without a game due to the midseason holiday break, the Terriers will return to the ice on Tuesday in a visit to their Allston foes, the Harvard Crimson.

The Terriers concluded the natural first half of their season with a 6-8-2 record, going 5-5-2 in Hockey East play. While an 0-4 start and a midpoint record hovering right around .500 may not have been what first-year head coach Albie O’Connell had in mind to begin his tenure, there is certainly an optimism surrounding the team coming into the second half.

“I think we made good strides”, said O’Connell in an interview with Scott Weighart of GoTerriers.com. “We’ve played some good hockey, but the consistency level of individual and team have to match up and connect. When that happens, we play really well.”

“We have a very young team and a new coach,” said junior forward Patrick Curry to Weighart. “[The first half] wasn’t the greatest, but we went out a high note with two wins before the break.”

As alluded to by Curry, the Terriers found some success towards the end of 2018, pulling off back-to-back wins over UMass Lowell (9-8-1, 5-4-1 in Hockey East) and Dartmouth (5-7-2, 4-2-1 in ECAC). The wins featured five and four goals respectively for the Terriers, whose shorthanded roster at the time made the victories that much more impressive.

Away from the team, freshman Joel Farabee and sophomore Logan Cockerill built some individual confidence as contributing members of the silver medal-winning USA squad at the World Junior Championships in British Columbia. Sophomore Shane Bowers also participated in the tournament, proving to be a key performer for Team Canada throughout the tournament.

“I think the guys played well”, said Coach O’Connell. “Hopefully their confidence level is high.”

On the Harvard side, the Crimson (6-4-2, 3-3-2 in ECAC) will be playing their second game of 2019 after defeating RPI (5-14, 3-6 in ECAC) in overtime on January 4, with freshman Casey Dornbach scoring the game-winner. Senior Lewis Senior Zerter-Gossage assisted Dornach’s goal, and also opened the scoring for Harvard earlier in the contest, recording his team-leading ninth tally of the season.

With his goal against RPI and an assist as well, Dornbach moved to second on the team in points with 18. Junior Adam Fox leads the team with 20 points, creating attacking production despite his primary role as a defenseman. Dornbach and Fox share the team lead in assists with a whopping fifteen helpers each, seven assists ahead of the next closest provider, freshman Jack Drury.

Senior netminder Michael Lackey made 24 saves in his victorious effort against RPI, and has been relied on by the Crimson all season, starting eleven of the team’s twelve games and holding a save percentage of .912. Likely opposing Lackey on Tuesday will be BU junior Jake Oettinger, who has assumed a similar workload, but holds a slightly superior save percentage of .924.

For the Terriers, this game will be the first of three in what will be a very busy week to open up play in 2019. Following their visit to Harvard on Tuesday, BU will host the University of New Hampshire (6-7-6, 2-4-3 in Hockey East) and travel to Providence College (12-4-4, 6-2-1 in Hockey East) over the weekend.

Getting a win against Harvard could give the Terriers some coveted momentum ahead of two major Hockey East contests, and propel the team forward into the second half of the season.

“We’re going to have to start on a strong note,” summarized O’Connell.

The game will be played at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center on January 8 at 7pm, and can be heard through GoTerriers.com, or watched for a fee on ESPN+.

Can BU get off to a strong start in 2019 against Harvard? Share your thoughts in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!

BU Men’s Hockey’s New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to 2019, hockey fans! As people often do upon embarking on a new year, I am putting together a collection of New Year’s resolutions, but not for myself. Instead, I will be compiling a list of potential improvements that could bring the BU Men’s Hockey team a successful 2019. These ideas are all my own, so if you have any additional thoughts or responses to my resolutions, please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section or on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

Resolution 1: Tighten up on defense

The Terrier defense has been uncharacteristically inconsistent throughout the first half of the season, allowing the fourth most shots on goal of any team in the league thus far (543). Worse, BU has allowed the second most shots on goal per game (33.94), only better than Vermont, who sit at the bottom of the division. To their credit, BU’s blueliners have been heavily involved in the offense this season, but if the Terriers want to make a run for the league title, the defensive side of the game must be improved.

Resolution 2: Take pressure off of Jake Oettinger

This resolution is closely related to the first, but one cannot consider improvements for BU in 2019 without mentioning the goaltender. At third-worst in the Hockey East in the terms of goals against, Jake Oettinger has conceded 40 goals thus far, a total driven by the number of shots he has faced. The Dallas Stars prospect has single-handedly kept BU in games at times, but such performances can take a toll on a keeper over the course of a season. For Oettinger to still be sharp come March, BU must find a way to lessen the workload on their standout keeper.

Resolution 3: Get the most out of attacking talent

BU has great talent at the offensive positions, but cold stretches from certain forwards have prevented the BU attack from finding their rhythm as an entire unit. As we know, hockey can be a game of streaks, and within a matter of games, we could see previously-quiet Terriers emerge as consistent producers and threats to opposing defenses. As points become more and more crucial with the season nearing its close, BU will need these potential contributors to step up, especially if team defense continues to be an issue.

Resolution 4: Spread the wealth on offense

In the first half of the season, BU has relied on the likes of Bobo Carpenter, Dante Fabbro, and Joel Farabee to lead the way on offense. While getting production out of those who are expected to produce is certainly a positive, BU must develop depth in scoring if they aim to become a real offensive danger in Hockey East. The Terriers are already progressing towards acquiring this depth, as four of the team’s top 10 leading scorers are defensemen, but for success in both 2019 and beyond, BU will need to get goals out of players further down the offensive depth chart.

There is a lot of hockey left to be played in BU’s season this year. Will the Terriers make the necessary adjustments to become true contenders for the Hockey East tournament? Only time will tell.