Terriers riding high into regular season finale vs. UMaine

Entering their final regular season game, the Boston University Terriers (14-15-4, 12-9-3 Hockey East) will face the University of Maine Black Bears (14-15-4, 10-9-4 Hockey East) in a Saturday battle at 7:30pm in Orono.

The Terriers tallied yet another big win last week, beating last seeded Merrimack 5-1 at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. Not only is BU looking to continue their five game unbeaten streak, but they are trying to climb as high up in the conference rankings as they can.

“[There is] quite a bit [of pressure] I think,” said junior defenseman Dante Fabbro regarding the Terrier’s upcoming game against Maine. The co-captain had an outstanding performance in the Merrimack game, tallying 5 points.

BU has the opportunity to land in the 3, 4, or 5 seeds heading into the Hockey East tournament depending on this weekend’s conference results. The top four positions host first round playoff matchups, so the fifth-place Terriers are still on the outside looking in at UMass Lowell one point ahead, and Northeastern two points ahead. BU hold the tiebreaker over these two teams, so if BU wins against Maine and Northeastern loses against UNH, BU will overtake Northeastern. In addition, if BU wins or even ties against Maine and UMass Lowell loses against Vermont, the Terriers will jump above UML.

It is no a secret that the game against Maine is not going to be a walk in the park for BU. The two sides already met twice  back in November when the teams split a home-and-home series. The first night in Boston, BU won 3-2, while the next night Maine grabbed the win on their home ice with a 3-1 victory.

“I think if we keep building off of things we have worked on in the last half year or so we will do really well. At the same time, we have to execute what coach is saying and bring it everyday,” said Fabbro.

A player to watch on the Black Bears’ bench is freshman defensive standout Simon Butala. Butala has appeared in every game for Maine and has logged 40 blocks for the Bears. Leading Butala and the rest of the Black Bears is senior captain Rob Michel, who has recorded 39 blocks of his own.

Moving up the ice, the Black Bears have an extremely deep junior class at the forward positions. Mitchell Fossier, Chase Pearson, and Tim Doherty are the leaders in points for the Bears. The one player that BU will key in on is Fossier. Fossier’s vision on the ice is undeniable and has an impressive 27 assists for the Bears. If BU is able to subtract him from the play, Maine will have a much tougher time unlocking the Terrier defense.

It is not the best of circumstances for the Terriers to play Maine away from their home ice, but with the confidence booster that they gained after beating Merrimack, the Terriers are flying high into their season finale up north.

Along with their recent results, an improvement in health has given the Terriers reason to be optimistic going forward. BU has finally been gifted with the return of senior captain Bobo Carpenter, who missed more than a month with a lower body injury. Always providing leadership and an offensive spark, the Terriers have already noticed a difference with captain Carpenter back on the ice.

“His competitiveness is infectious.,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell about having Carpenter back in the lineup. “His presence on the bench was felt.”

If the Terriers want any shot at home ice in the playoffs, Saturday’s game is a must-win. Tell us what you predict will happen on Saturday’s match in the comments below! You can follow the game through our live blog as well as on Twitter. You can also listen to the game through GoTerriers.com.

Terriers aim to keep home-ice hopes alive in weekend tilt with Merrimack

Approaching their second to last regular season game, the Boston University men’s hockey team is looking to continue their four-game unbeaten streak after tying Providence 1-1 on Thursday night.

On Saturday, the Terriers (13-15-4, 11-8-3 Hockey East) will face the Merrimack Warriors (7-23-3, 4-17-2 Hockey East) at 7pm in Agganis Arena. Currently sitting at fifth  in the Hockey East conference, there is reason to believe BU should win against last-seeded Merrimack.

The Terriers were hungry for a win against Providence, who currently sit two spots above the Terriers in the Hockey East conference at second. With just two extra points under their belt, BU would have improved their case for a playoff game on home ice.

“They [knew] the importance of the points tonight,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said referring to his players.

Once again, Boston University’s goaltender, junior Jake Oettinger, came out and had an unbelievable performance on the ice. The Terriers would have been looking at a whole lot different of a score at the end of game if it were not for Oettinger’s 45 saves.

“Our goaltender was the story,” said O’Connell.

As the game played on, BU started to lose the tenacity that they were playing with for the early stages of the game. This led to Providence finally getting the puck behind Oettinger in the 8th minute of the 3rd period. The Terrier’s response to this goal was not as strong as they would have liked to see.

“At the end of the game we gave up a 3 on 1 with 30 seconds to go in overtime,” said O’Connell as he reflects on how close the tie was to becoming a loss.

Now approaching Merrimack, BU has to play with the same force that they did when they came out against Providence. BU has already faced Merrimack twice this season; once back in October when the Terriers lost 4-0 on the road, and then again in January when BU bounced back at Agganis Arena and won 7-2.  Although the Warriors have struggled in the Hockey East conference, they are not low on talent, and are definitely not a team that BU can overlook.

One of Merrimack’s strengths is their depth when it comes to goalkeepers. Although it appears that senior Craig Pantano will start in between the pipes for Merrimack, but if necessary, the Warriors will have no problem throwing in their other two goalies: senior Drew Vogler and sophomore Logan Halladay. Both Vogler and Halladay have logged a sufficient amount of minutes for Merrimack.

Supporting Pantano in the back is junior standout Ryan Cook. Cook has an impressive number of 37 blocks for Merrimack this season. Although he is a very strong player, BU mostly has to worry about him on the defensive end. Cook has tallied no goals for the Warriors this season so far. Freshman Chase Gresock makes up for it though with 11 goals and 13 assists to his name in the 2018/19 season. Gresock got on the board during BU and Merrimack’s last battle back in January, which resulted in a 7-2 Terrier victory.

In addition, Merrimack just put up a very impressive fight on Thursday against league leading UMass. The score ended 4-2 UMass, but the Minutemen were only comfortable once standout defenseman Cale Makar tucked away an empty-netter.

There are many more games to be played in the regular season before the Hockey East tournament. Currently, BU still sits 5th in the conference. However, the Terriers could come level with Northeastern if the Huskies lose to Boston College tonight or tomorrow. Likewise, BU could come level with UMass Lowell if the Riverhawks fall to New Hampshire tonight or tomorrow. If the seedings stand, BU will be traveling to Northeastern for the first round of the tournament.   

Before we start focusing on the Hockey East, BU has to focus on tomorrow and shutting down Merrimack. You can follow the game through our live blog as well as on Twitter. You can also listen to the game through GoTerriers.com.

 

Terriers look to turn things around in Beanpot third place game

Last week, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell to the Northeastern Huskies in a 2-1 overtime battle at the TD Garden. This Monday at 4:30PM, the Terriers will play the consolation game against Harvard, who lost their semi-final game to Boston College.

“You don’t go into the Beanpot wanting to lose,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.

Although the Terriers have missed their chance at attaining the Beanpot title, they are still given the opportunity to finish in third place in Monday’s match.

Boston University (10-12-3, 8-6-2 Hockey East) played Harvard (11-7-3, 8-5-2 Ivy League) back on January 8, with the score ending in a 2-2 tie. The game remained relatively equal in both possession and the number of shots taken by each team; BU with 31 and Harvard with 28.

This past Friday, the Terriers played a rematch with #2 UMass, but were defeated by the Minutemen again 4-2. BU improved, however, conceding three less goals than they did when they played UMass on February 1.

Now, the Terriers must focus on Harvard. Narrowing in on some dangerous players from the Crimson are freshman forward Casey Dornbach and senior forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage. Dornbach is currently the second leading scorer in points with 22. His greatest strength is his excellent vision on the ice. Zerter-Gossage is currently leading the Crimson in goals with 12. As a senior, BU can expect him to come out hungry to finish out his last Beanpot tournament with a win.

Between the pipes for Harvard is senior Michael Lackey with a saving percentage of .925 this season, a similar mark to BU’s star goaltender, Jake Oettinger, who has a current saving percentage of .923.

Supporting Lackey in the back is junior defenseman Adam Fox. Fox is not only a power in the back, but is a very big threat in the attacking end. He is currently sitting first in the country, for defensemen, in scoring per game.

In order to pull out a win, BU is going to have to play a consistent 60-minute game. If the Terriers are able to do that, and have Oettinger play as well as he did in the previous Beanpot game, BU should finish in 3rd place for the 67th Beanpot tournament.

Be sure to follow our live blog for full coverage of the game! You can also listen to the game through goterriers.com.

 

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

Terriers return to home ice looking for first win of 2019

After tying Harvard 2-2 in their first game in almost a month, the Terriers will face the University of New Hampshire Wildcats this Friday in a Hockey East contest at Agganis Arena.

Unlike BU (6-8-3, 5-5-2 in Hockey East), UNH (6-7-6, 2-4-3 in Hockey East) has had three games since the holidays. In 2019, the Wildcats have beaten both Bentley and Merrimack and tied Yale. UNH previously faced BU on November 10th on the Wildcats’ home ice, and fell to the visiting Terriers 2-3.

Since their matchup, a trend has surfaced in both teams’ results: both BU and UNH have tied Boston College, lost to Providence, and beaten Dartmouth. There is differentiation in the UMass Lowell games, where UNH tied the Riverhawks and BU lost one game and won the other. In addition, when UNH beat Merrimack, BU lost.

Starting in between the pipes for the Wildcats looks to be freshman standout Ty Taylor, who has a save percentage of .863. In the net for the Terriers will most likely be junior Jake Oettinger. Oettinger will have to pay his most attention to freshman Angus Crookshank, who is UNH’s leader in goals (6) and is tied for the team lead in points (15) for the Wildcats. Along with Crookshank upfront, Ara Nazarian, Jackson Pierson, and Brendan Van Riemsdyk are also top scorers for UNH.

On offense for the Terriers, senior captain Bobo Carpenter leads the Terrier attack with nine goals, but was kept off the scoresheet against Harvard. BU’s Dante Fabbro, Shane Bowers, and Joel Farabee have also found a knack for putting the puck in the net for the Terrier attack. Adding depth up front for BU, Matthew Quercia scored his first goal as a Terrier in Tuesday’s game against Harvard, and looks to be involved again on Friday.

The game will begin at 7:30pm, and can be watched or listened to through GoTerriers.com. As always, there will be a live blog of the game right here on the Boston Hockey Blog.

Can Boston University secure a big Hockey East win over New Hampshire? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!