BU’s season comes to an end with 2-1 overtime loss to Northeastern in Hockey East semifinal

Playing with their season on the line in the 2019 Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell to Northeastern University in overtime, 2-1.

BU head coach Albie O’Connell put it best: “it’s not fun being on the wrong side of it.”

It was a familiar matchup at the Garden, as BU (16-18-4) and Northeastern (26-10-1) had met on February 4 for the Beanpot semifinals. That contest was decided in overtime by a score of 2-1, 53 days before the result would be repeated in Hockey East tournament play.

“We knew that there was a little bit of an incentive there for them,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan, acknowledging the Terriers’ hunt for Beanpot revenge.

The Terriers suffered a major blow in the hours leading up to the game, as freshman forward and leading scorer Joel Farabee was announced unavailable due to a lower-body injury suffered in the final game of the quarterfinal series against the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

“We had a bunch of guys who were pretty dinged up,” O’Connell said.

Despite missing their offensive leader, the Terriers came out on the front foot, gaining the immediate advantage in zone time. Senior forward and co-captain Bobo Carpenter and sophomore forward Shane Bowers both saw Northeastern netminder Cayden Primeau turn away their early attempts.

The Huskies would finally turn things around past the halfway point in the period, maintaining possession in the offensive zone and getting dangerous chances from defensemen Jeremy Davies and Eric Williams.

With the first period winding down, the Terriers regained their rhythm, and nearly broke the game’s deadlock.

On a rebound chance in the slot, sophomore forward Logan Cockerill spun and fired one by Primeau. However, the officials would review the play, ultimately determining that Carpenter had interfered with the Husky keeper on the edge of the crease, nullifying the goal.

With the Terrier tally taken off the board, the teams would return to the locker rooms still level at 0-0.

“They took the play to us a little bit in the first,” recalled Madigan.

Beginning the second period, it was Northeastern who grabbed the majority of the zone time in the period’s opening minutes. The Huskies’ pressure was boosted by the game’s first power play, but the Terrier penalty killers held on to survive the two minutes.

Receiving a power play of their own, BU flipped play to the Northeastern end, and earned an opener that would stay on the board.

As the Husky penalty expired at 7:39, sophomore defenseman David Farrance let go a long drive that fell in front. Picking up the rebound, sophomore forward Ty Amonte caught Primeau sprawling out and roofed the shot to beat the recently-named Hockey East goaltender of the year.

“They’re hard to beat,” said Madigan, who had seen his team concede four consecutive goals to the Terriers in BU’s lone win over Northeastern back in November.

The teams would trade punches on unsuccessful odd-man rushes and well-worked shot opportunities, with the best chance coming for BU junior forward Patrick Harper, who rang the post from close range on the pinpoint feed from Cockerill.

Northeastern turned up the heat late in the period with shots from defenseman Jeremy Davies and forward Tyler Madden, among others. Still, BU junior goalkeeper Jake Oettinger stayed perfect, accumulating 18 saves in the second period compared to 8 in the first.

The frame would come to an end on a scrappy note, with a late scuffle resulting in four-on-four play to conclude the period. The late intensity set up for an exciting final 20 minutes, as the Terriers took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

We’ve come a long way as a team,” said O’Connell, referring to BU’s newfound sense of tenacity and unity he had noted after the quarterfinal series in Lowell.

With both teams skating four-on-four to open the third, it did not take Northeastern very long to find their equalizer.

16 seconds into the period, forward Matt Filipe drove in on the backhand, and pulled the puck back to a streaking Madden. The standout freshman did the rest, beating Oettinger just as he had in February to overcome BU in the Beanpot semifinals.

“We’ve excelled in the third period,” Madigan said. “There’s a confidence level.”

With the Husky fans finding their voice and the team sensing an opportunity for a lead, Northeastern nearly grabbed a go-ahead goal at the 13:19 mark.

Crashing the Terrier net, forward Brandon Hawkins could not get through Oettinger, but the puck would slide across the line on the second effort from forward Lincoln Griffin. Upon review, goaltender interference was called once again, this time against Hawkins for the initial net drive.

Gaining a lifeline on the disallowed goal, BU found new energy, coming closest on a rocket from sophomore forward Shane Bowers that glanced off the iron and into the protective netting above Cayden Primeau.

“We had chances to make some plays,” said O’Connell.

The second half of the period would feature porous defense, but masterful goaltending to make up for it. Primeau kept out bids from the likes of Cockerill and Amonte, while Oettinger denied good looks from Huskies such as forwards Grant Jozefek and Zach Solow to counter Primeau.

Back-and-forth play and late power plays for both teams would not be enough to separate the sides, who would require overtime just as they did back in the Beanpot matchup, tied 1-1.

As O’Connell put it simply, “it was a tight game.”

Moving into the extra frame, the Huskies tilted the ice early, but would not find a winner in the first minute like they did in February. The Terrier defense held firm, including an impressive kill of a power play three and a half minutes in.

“I thought our guys played really hard,” O’Connell said.

BU were able to gain opportunities as overtime wore on, with promising chances from Carpenter and Cockerill falling apart in great positions. Freshman forward Matt Quercia would have BU’s best look of the fourth period, jamming away at a resilient Primeau just outside the crease.

“We had some chances that we didn’t capitalize on,” claimed O’Connell.

While the Terriers looked to have taken the upper hand, it was clear that fatigue was becoming a factor. With 4:16 to play in overtime, Northeastern would take advantage.

Holding the puck deep in the left corner, Brandon Hawkins zipped it centrally for Zach Solow. Receiving the pass in the slot, Solow ripped one top shelf, taking Northeastern to the conference title game and pushing BU into the offseason.

“You have to tip your cap to them,” said O’Connell. “They made a play in a critical time of the game.”

The final score was a repeat of BU’s Beanpot defeat at the hands of the Huskies, and also marked the first loss all season for the Terriers when leading after two periods.

As Madigan suggested, “this game could’ve gone either way.”

Northeastern’s win was their program-record 26th of the season. The Huskies will play for a 27th tomorrow when they take on Boston College in the Hockey East final before turning their attention to the national tournament.

“[I’m] thrilled we’re in the championship,” Madigan said.

With the semifinal defeat, the Terriers’ season has come to an end. BU will graduate five skaters: captain Bobo Carpenter, Ryan Cloonan, Max Prawdzik, Shane Switzer, and Max Willman.

“The seniors played really hard,” credited O’Connell.

As the offseason begins, stay tuned for reflection on the 2018-19 season and team updates in anticipation of the 2019-20 campaign right here on the Boston Hockey Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

*HE Semifinals* Live Blog: BU vs. Northeastern, 3/22 @ 4pm

Join here!

In the 35th annual Hockey East tournament, the Boston University men’s hockey team will open the semifinal round against Northeastern on Friday afternoon at the TD Garden.

The Terriers overcame UMass Lowell in three games last weekend, taking games one and three through a mix of lock-down defense and timely scoring, while falling in the middle game despite a valiant comeback effort.

On the other side, Northeastern took down the University of Maine in the first round with a two-game sweep, outlasting the visitors in overtime in game one, and finishing it off with another hard-fought victory the next night.

The Terriers and Huskies know each other well, having met three times already this season. In their November home-and-home series, BU tied Northeastern to earn their first point of the season, and then gained their first win of the campaign in the second half of the back-to-back.

While BU got the better of the Huskies in the fall, the history that is getting the most attention is February’s Beanpot semifinal meeting. Jake Oettinger made a season-high 47 saves for the Terriers, but it was not enough, as the Huskies found the winner less than a minute into overtime en route to securing back-to-back championships.

Can the Terriers get Beanpot revenge on Northeastern and keep the season alive? Join our live blog for constant coverage and conversation throughout the game! The blog will begin at 3:50pm, with puck drop is set for 4.

BU with reason to be optimistic entering Hockey East championship weekend

Written by Liam O’Brien and Brady Gardner

We have made it to the final weekend of Hockey East play and the Boston University men’s hockey team is still alive.

After missing out on a golden chance to host a conference quarterfinal series, the fifth-seeded Terriers responded with fervor to knock off fourth-seeded UMass Lowell with two wins in a best-of-three series this past weekend.

While doubts had circled overhead leading up to the series, the Terriers impressed last weekend in Lowell. They could have been discouraged after relinquishing the chance to stay at home, but they instead unleashed their rage on the helpless Riverhawks.

“They earned it,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell of his Terriers.

In the opening game of the series, junior goaltender Jake Oettinger saved all 25 UMass Lowell shots on goal, pitching his 13th shutout as a Terrier to tie the program record. Meanwhile, his offense took care of him as freshman phenom Joel Farabee scored early in the second period to break a scoreless tie, and Cam Crotty and Patrick Curry finished off a 3-0 victory for the Terriers.

After a 6-4 loss on Saturday night, BU closed the door on Sunday afternoon. The Terriers have struggled in the first period often in the second semester, but that did not happen with the season on the line. Junior defenseman Chad Krys, Farabee and junior forward Patrick Harper said goodnight to Tsongas Center with a goal each in the first period and BU proceeded to win, 4-1.

“I thought we played a good hockey game from start to finish,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell after securing the series-deciding victory.

As a result of their victorious weekend in Lowell, BU receives the opportunity to defend its Hockey East crown this weekend, starting on Friday in the semifinals against Northeastern.

“I’m really happy for our players,” said Coach O’Connell. “Really excited for them.”

The Huskies roll into this matchup having won nine of their last 10 games. However, the Terriers have enjoyed relative success against their counterparts from Huntington Ave.

Each team has won once in the season series in addition to a 5-5 tie at Matthews Arena on Nov. 1, one of the more entertaining games of the season. BU entered the game winless and Northeastern scored twice in the first four minutes. Unfazed by the early hole, the Terriers made a statement that Thursday evening in front of a raucous road crowd.

Sophomore forward Logan Cockerill netted a highlight reel goal the slice the deficit in half before the first stanza concluded. Patrick Curry knotted the score in the second period off assists from sophomores Kasper Kotkansalo and Ty Amonte. The lead then changed hands multiple times before ending in a tie.

Two nights later, the Terriers hammered the Huskies, 4-1, at Agganis Arena for their first win of the season. In that contest, junior defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the first pair of goals before senior forward Bobo Carpenter and Curry netted goals in the latter part of the third period to give BU a 4-0 lead.

The teams met again on the first Monday of the Beanpot, a rematch of last season’s lopsided Northeastern win in the tournament finale. This tilt was a classic. Each team scored in the first period with junior defenseman Chad Krys doing the honors for the Terriers.

After that, neither team was able to put one past the keeper before Northeastern freshman forward Tyler Madden ended the game with a goal 51 seconds into overtime. The Huskies have been scary at TD Garden over the past two years, but there is no reason why BU can’t beat Northeastern at the Bruins den for the first time since 2016.

“I’d be scared to play the Terriers at the Garden,” remarked Farabee.

Should the Terriers best the Huskies, BU will be taking on the winner of Friday’s nightcap between the University of Massachusetts and Boston College.

Finishing as the Hockey East leaders in dominant fashion, the Minutemen hosted eighth-seeded University of New Hampshire in the quarterfinals. UMass suffered an early scare in their series with the Wildcats, going down 3-0 just past the halfway point in Game One. However, the Minutemen rallied for the 5-4 victory in overtime, and finished off the visitors the following night with a convincing 6-0 thrashing of UNH.

On the other side, Boston College had an underwhelming regular season, finishing in the conference’s seventh seed. However, the Eagles came through when it mattered, taking down Providence College on the road last weekend. The series went the distance, with the first two games getting split by way of two overtime finishes. Level through two periods in Game Three, BC would gain an eventual winner, shocking the hosts and leaving with the series win.

With so much potential variation in what could occur, only one thing is certain – it is going to be an exciting weekend of Hockey East playoffs at the TD Garden. Tune in to the games on NESN, and follow along with BU hockey through the Boston Hockey Blog’s live blog during the game.

BU opens Hockey East tournament at UMass Lowell

The Boston University men’s hockey team had a golden opportunity to finish in the top four of the Hockey East heading into last weekend.

Maine had other plans, silencing the Terriers (14-16-4, 12-9-3) in a 6-0 shutout that bounced BU into the Hockey East tournament with a sour taste in its mouth.

The Terriers had the chance to eclipse UMass Lowell in the standings with a win against the Black Bears. The result was far from satisfactory, however, forcing BU to make the trek to Lowell for the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East tournament this weekend.

The best-of-three series will begin on Friday night at Tsongas Center, extend into Saturday night and conclude with a Sunday afternoon Game 3 if necessary.

“Lowell is a pretty good hockey team,” BU head coach Albie O”Connell said. “They are well-balanced. They have a lot of go-to guys, a lot of guys with good experience. A highly-competitive team.”

This should be an entertaining affair as these two teams split the season series with each team taking care of business on the road. In the first meeting on December 7, the Riverhawks (18-11-5, 12-7-5) continued the Terriers rough beginning to the season with a 5-3 win at Agganis Arena.

“It’s been a challenge with the group this year,” O’Connell said. “There have been some ups and downs.”

UMass Lowell scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, but goals by sophomore forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty and senior forward Bobo Carpenter evened it up at 3-3 early in the third stanza.

The Riverhawks took control from there, however. Freshman defenseman Seth Barton scored his first career goal 7:45 into the third period to give his team a lead they would not relinquish.

“It’s a team that is very impressionable,” UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said. “They are going to rely on the experience of some of our seniors who have been there before and have gotten to the championship game.”

The series moved north to Tsongas the following night and that result should give the Terriers confidence they can go to Lowell and win this playoff series.

BU responded well from its defeat the previous night. The Terriers scored three times in a four-minute stretch in the first period to take a 3-0 lead. Carpenter accounted for two of those tallies with sophomore forward Shane Bowers chipping in the other one.

“It’s really about getting off to a good start and having a good first period,” O’Connell said. “There have been times where we have gotten down and we have had to chase the game.”

Sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo assisted on the first two goals and BU continued its offensive dominance in the third period. Junior forward Patrick Curry extended a one-goal lead to 4-2 five minutes into the last frame before putting the game out of reach by assisting on Bowers’ second score of the night with three minutes remaining.

“Guys know their role and understand how we have to play to be successful,” O’Connell said.

That win signaled a massive swing of momentum for BU. This game kicked off a five-game streak without a loss, a stretch which included crucial Hockey East wins over New Hampshire and Providence.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” O’Connell said. “We started out slow. Then we got going a little bit. Towards the end of the first semester, we had some big games. As we went into the second half, we had a pretty good stretch there. Right now, we are relatively healthy for the first time in awhile.”

Do you think BU can advance to TD Garden? Let us know below! 

 

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.

Hockey East quarterfinals set

Here is the schedule for the Hockey East quarterfinals which will take place next weekend:

No. 1 Boston College takes on No. 10 Merrimack at Conte Form. BC swept Merrimack in the regular season.

No. 2 Northeastern hosts No. 8 UMass Amherst with both teams picking up a victory in their home-and-home series.

No. 3 Providence hosts No. 6 Maine with Providence sweeping the regular season.

No. 4 Boston University is set to host No. 5 UConn. The teams split the regular season 1-1-1.

After the quarterfinals, the teams will be reseeded for the semi-finals.

Liam and I will provide updates of the three other games via either twitter or our live blog.

 

Live Blog: BU plays BC in Hockey East semis

The Hockey East semifinals are here at long last, with an extra does of rivalry.

Starting at 8 p.m., the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team will do battle with No. 14 Boston College, all with a berth in Saturday’s title game on the line. The game, held at TD Garden, will be broadcast on NESN and ESPN3.

BU has beaten BC three times already this season, and an Eagle loss practically guarantees their NCAA Tournament dreams are squashed. As for BU, there’s all to play for ahead of what’s a guaranteed spot in the NCAA Tournament.

We’ll be live all night at the Garden, so follow along below!

Live Blog BU vs. BC – Hockey East semifinals
 

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The Look Back: BU channels comeback mindset to sweep Northeastern

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Chad Krys scored Saturday’s game-winning goal. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

What a weekend it was for the No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team.

Pegged against Northeastern University in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament, the Terriers had quite the task before them. The Huskies were 11-3 in their last 14 contests heading into the weekend and boasted two of the nation’s top-five scorers in forwards Dylan Sikura and Zach Aston-Reese.

By Saturday night’s end, however, none of that mattered. Head coach David Quinn’s side dug deep in game one and game two, producing virtually identical performances to upend their cross-city foes.

On both occasions, head coach Jim Madigan’s team jumped out to 2-0 leads in the first period, only for BU to turn into The Comeback Kids. Friday’s encounter went into overtime, while Saturday’s was decided with 24.9 seconds left – and each time a 3-2 scoreline in favor of BU stood tall.

Looking ahead, BU now plays next Friday at TD Garden in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament against a to-be-determined opponent. Early indicators are it’ll face either Boston College or the University of New Hampshire, though.

Now that the dust has settled, let’s reflect on the series that was against Northeastern.

Content

  1. Friday’s recap, with a game-winning goal by Jordan Greenway.
  2. Friday’s sider on BU’s first-period woes.
  3. Saturday’s recap, with a game-winning goal by Chad Krys.
  4. Saturday’s sider on BU’s never-say-die attitude.

Highlights

Press Conferences

Quotes of the Weekend

“You lose one of your top players in [sophomore forward] Bobo Carpenter and one of your top [junior] defenseman in Johnny MacLeod, two heavy players that are really good players and to be able to dust yourself off. Being down 2-0 and losing two players in the same period says an awful lot about our mental toughness.” – David Quinn

“It’s never easy to end somebody’s season. That’s a heck of a hockey team we just played. I don’t think there’s a team in the country that you’re playing like that in the second round of your playoffs. We may move forward and not see teams as good as them.” – David Quinn

“We just have to play a full 60. You don’t always have to be on your best every single shift, but we have to limit our worst when we’re coming out of the gates and take that never-die approach to the Garden.” – Doyle Somerby

“We can’t keep playing with fire the way we have been the last few weeks. But like I said before, I certainly like some of the characteristics we’ve shown over the last few weeks in being mentally tough and playing well in crucial and critical times.” – David Quinn

Tweets of the Weekend

Live Blog: BU hosts Northeastern in game two of Hockey East quarterfinals

When Boston University and Northeastern square off on Saturday night, both will have high stakes on the line.

The Terriers, fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory in game one of the Hockey East quarterfinals, will be playing for a berth in the semifinals next weekend at TD Garden. Meanwhile, the Huskies’ season will be on the line, as a loss guarantees their exit from postseason play.

With those plotlines, puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at Agganis Arena, and the clash will be streamed on NESN and the American Sports Network.

We’ll also be at Agganis all evening, so follow along on our live blog below!

Live Blog BU vs. Northeastern – Hockey East quarterfinals game two
 

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