The Look Back: BU sweeps Maine


There’s no other way to put it: It was another great weekend for the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team.

Pegged against the University of Maine for a weekend series, BU pushed its win streak to eight games with back-to-back victories. The first came on Friday night at Agganis Arena, with the Terriers knocking off the Black Bears, 4-1.

While that scoreline flatters BU, it wasn’t until a flurry of goals in the third frame that head coach David Quinn’s squad pulled away. What the third stanza did do, though, is set the stage for Saturday night’s rematch at Alfond Arena.


Maine was certainly boosted by playing on home ice, but the Terriers still etched out a 3-1 win. Here are some thoughts from the weekend’s games:

  • Patrick Harper: The freshman forward scored on the power play on Saturday, but then got injured and sat out the third period. We’ll touch base with Quinn early this week and see what his status is.
  • Clayton Keller: In my opinion, more people should be talking about what Keller’s return from injury in early December did to this squad. He now has a 10-game point streak and simply elevates his teammate’s play.
  • Jake Oettinger: What else is there to say about the 18-year-old goaltender? He stopped 39 of the combined 41 shots he saw against Maine; the only two that beat him were flukes off the stick of Blaine Byron. Should Oettinger keep this pace up, he could carry BU towards some hardware.
  • Kieffer Bellows: One surprise from Friday’s game was that Bellows dropped to the fourth line. He stayed there for Saturday’s contest, too, and saw time in both on the second power-play unit. It would be unfair to say he’s playing poorly, but fans have to be yearning for more offensive contributions from him.
  • Quick turnaround: BU will have hardly time to bask in these wins, as a visit to Merrimack College awaits on Tuesday night. The squad will take Sunday off, have an abbreviated practice on Monday and then get right back into the thick of it.


Press Conferences

Tweets of the Weekend

Live Blog: BU hosts Maine at Agganis Arena

We’re live at Agganis Arena for tonight’s clash between the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team and the University of Maine.

The Terriers are riding a six-game winning streak, while the Black Bears are tied for last in Hockey East. For an account of all the night’s action, follow along on our live blog below!

Live Blog BU vs. Maine @ Agganis Arena

Here are tonight’s lines:

BU readies for home-and-home series with Maine

24490147551_8261ce418d_hOver the last month or so, everything has been turning up roses for the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team.

The Terriers are riding a six-game winning streak, seven players recently secured a silver or gold medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger boasts a .956 save percentage in his last three tilts and sophomore forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is a man on fire in front of the goal.

However, the message inside Agganis Arena goes something like this: don’t let any of that get to your head.

“We definitely like to keep everything inside our walls and control what we can control,” said sophomore winger Bobo Carpenter. “The battle right now is against our own team in how we can be better each night. We just want to come and work hard every practice, every game and be better than we were the day before.”

As mentioned, BU’s (14-5-2, 7-2-2 Hockey East) order of business this weekend comes against a team that’s struggling somewhat to kick into gear. One needs to look no further than where the Black Bears (8-11-3, 2-7-1 Hockey East) sit in the conference standings to deduce that, as they’re tied for last place.

That doesn’t mean the Terriers are going to take them lightly, though. Especially not with Red Gendron, Maine’s third-year head coach leading the charge.

“His team’s play so hard. Other than the last game when we played them here last year, it’s always been a tight, one-goal game,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “I’m anticipating that type of game [Friday] night. They’re going to come hard, they’re going to go to the net, they’re going to take away your time and space. We have to be ready to win our mano-e-mano battles.”

Arguably the stiffest battles will come against forwards Cam Brown (26 points) and Blaine Byron (23 points), both of whom rest inside Hockey East’s top 15 scorers. Meanwhile, Maine’s likely starting netminder, sophomore Rob McGovern, was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. He boasts a 2.80 goals against average and .914 save percentage for the year.

Given those threats, Brandon Hickey, a junior defenseman for the Terriers, said he holds a healthy respect for the Black Bears.

“The last couple years that I’ve been here, we’ve always had trouble with Maine,” Hickey said. “They’ve been a big team, a fast team. We can’t come in here and take them lightly because of the season they’re having. We have to come in here and prepare like they’re [Boston College].”

It’s notable that Hickey references BC (14-9-2, 9-3-1 Hockey East) largely because BU is coming off its first weekend sweep of its archrival since the 2001-02 season. It outscored head coach Jerry York’s side 5-1 during the weekend series, climbing up to second place in the conference standings along the way.

That run of form left Carpenter surging with confidence.

“It’s always the best when you can beat BC,” Carpenter said. “I mean, they’re our rivals, so getting on top is the best and sweeping them makes it even better. I definitely think the momentum is going to help us, because everyone is excited getting off to a good second start [of the season].”

Now, as Carpenter suggested, the challenge before BU is continuing this red-hot start to 2017.

Maine, a team that’s 3-2 in its last five contests, stands in the way of those hopes. However, Quinn feels that if the Terriers play with purpose and speed, the points should continue to pile up.

“We’ve been talking about it as a group; we’re not preparing to play an opponent, we’re preparing to play to the best of our ability,” Quinn said. “That’s all it’s about. It’s just about every day coming here and trying to be the best player you can be and be the best team we can be.

“It’s creating the mindset that this is about playing at a pace, skating and being physical,” Quinn added. “Everything else will take care of itself.”

*This article was originally published on The Daily Free Press*

Shoddy penalty kill downs Terriers in loss to Maine

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

The lightning should have served as a warning about what was to come.

The Boston University men’s hockey team already trailed the University of Maine 1-0 when sophomore center Sam Kurker was called for tripping.

Within seconds a flash of light filled Fenway Park and a clap of thunder shocked everyone sitting within the confines of the stadium – including the players who promptly scurried off the ice.

It took one hour, nine minutes and five seconds, but the Black Bears scored on their second power-play chance. In fact, Maine converted on its first three chances with the man-advantage en route to defeating the battered Terriers 7-3 during Frozen Fenway Saturday afternoon.

“Our penalty kill has been pretty good all year,” said BU coach David Quinn. “Right now we’re in a situation where it’s one thing after another. It’s a different problem every game right now, and that’s something we’re going to have to correct.

“Penalties have crept into our game. Early in the season they were a huge problem for us. I thought we had corrected it as the season went on.”

Quinn said from the first week of the season that he wanted the Terriers to have no more than four penalties per game. By the time BU entered November, the team was living up to that expectation. In the three games since the second half of the season kicked off, though, the team has faltered once again with a nine-penalty game against Harvard University, three penalties in the first period against Dartmouth College and Saturday’s six-penalty game against Maine.

Despite that, BU’s penalty kill had done well leading into Saturday’s tilt with the Black Bears as the Terriers had a success rate around 85-percent. Even during the Jan. 4 and Jan. 8 games against Harvard and Dartmouth, respectively, BU killed off all of the penalties it faced.

That ability did not work against Maine, though, as the Black Bears took the first three chances they had to jump on the board with the man advantage, ultimately putting the Terriers into a 4-0 hole by the end of the first.

It started when senior captain Garrett Noonan went to the box for boarding at 5:26, just a few seconds after BU had failed to convert on its own power-play chance. Just over a minute into the penalty, Maine wing Ryan Lomberg picked up a pass while in the slot and sent it through sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor’s five-hole.

Maine’s second goal was far more crazed as it took just five seconds into the power-play for them to score, but took more than an hour from the time of the penalty to the goal for it to occur. After a thunderstorm paused over Fenway and workers spent more than half an hour trying to fix the ice, Kurker made his way to the box. Right off of the faceoff defenseman Ben Hutton wristed a shot into the back of the net.

As Maine scored its first even-strength goal of the night, freshman defenseman Doyle Somerby was called for slashing. Once again, it took less than a minute for Maine to convert as center Devin Shore put the final goal of the frame by O’Connor.

With the end of the first came the end of Maine’s power-play surge, as the Terriers went three-for-three on the penalty kill for the rest of the game. Those first-period goals, however, put BU in a hole it could not escape.

“Unnecessary, needless penalties put us behind the 8-ball,” Quinn said. “Three-for-six, that hasn’t happened to us all year long. Give their power play credit. …They’re not drawing a Picasso out there. They get it to the point, they get it to the net and their forwards get to the net with a purpose. It gave our goalie problems and it gave our net-front D problems.”

UPDATED: Washed away: Terriers toppled 7-3 in flooded Frozen Fenway contest with Maine

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

When it rains, it pours for the Boston University men’s hockey team. The Terriers were washed out of the ballpark Saturday at in front of 25,580 fans at Fenway Park, dropping a waterlogged Frozen Fenway contest to the University of Maine 7-3.

Weather conditions made the contest look more like a swim meet than a hockey game, as an hour and nine minute rain delay made the first period last close to two hours and the rest of the game very, very wet.

Maine (11-7-2, 5-2-1 Hockey East) scored the only goal before that rain delay, as forward Ryan Lomberg received a pass from senior Mark Anthoine and snapped it past BU (7-11-2, 2-5-1 Hockey East) goaltender Matt O’Connor for a power-play goal. Right after sophomore forward took a tripping penalty with 12:35 remaining in the first, lightning flashed, thunder boomed and the teams scurried to their respective clubhouses.

The rain delay featured a torrential downpour of rain to go with the thunder and lightning, which flooded the playing surface with around an inch of water. Squeegees and shovels were brought out, as the ice crew shoved waves of water out the zamboni door to re-prepare the surface for play.

“[The ice maintenance crew] even came up to me and said, ‘We did that for you guys, we have never had to do something like that,'” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “There was a lot of water removed.”
The Black Bears did not waste any time scoring after the weather delay though, as defenseman Ben Hutton ripped a wrister past O’Connor to give his team a 2-0 lead entering the mid-first-period break where teams switched ends. It was Hutton’s eighth goal of the season, and third point against BU in two contests.

“Don’t underestimate what [the wait] can do to you mentally,” said BU coach David Quinn. “Because you wait for an hour and then you go out there and then boom… It’s 2-0.”

The second half of the first period didn’t bring any more luck to the Terriers though. Junior Andrew Cerretani and sophomore Devin Shore scored goals less within a minute of each other with less than five minutes remaining in the frame, giving the Black Bears a commanding four-goal lead. Shore’s goal, which was on a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle, was Maine’s third power-play goal of the contest.

Shore’s goal also signaled the end of O’Connor’s night, as he was pulled in favor of sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire. O’Connor has now been pulled in each of his last two starts, and has a 15.08 goals-against average and .789 save percentage during that span.

“The first half of the season he was aggressive, he was square, he was big,” said BU coach David Q. “There wasn’t a lot of room there. Now, in the last two games he has played there have been a lot of point shots that have found their way to the net, which wasn’t happening earlier in the season.”
Lomberg struck again in the second period, when a failed centering pass bounced out to his stick and he snapped it over Maguire’s shoulder. It was the winger’s sixth goal of the season.

Freshman forward Dillon Lawrence left the ice with an apparent leg injury during the second period, adding to what was already a large total of injuries for the Terriers. Lawrence returned to action in the the third period, though. With forwards Evan Rodrigues and Jake Moscatel, as well as defenseman Matt Grzelcyk out of the lineup already, an injury to Lawrence leaves BU without enough healthy skaters to fill lineup.

Senior captain Garrett Noonan got the Terriers on the board with a one-timer that zipped into the top-right corner of the net, before freshman forward Nick Roberto added a power-play goal later in the third. When junior winger Cason Hohmann added his third goal in as many games, things got a little more interesting.

“I was proud of the way we came together in the third, we stuck together in the third period,” Quinn said. “We did a lot of the little things that we’re trying to accomplish and we’ve got to hold onto that and build onto that.”

However, when the Terriers pulled the goalie, Hutton slid a slow-moving puck the length of the ice and across the goal line before sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen could clear it away — sealing the BU loss. Shore added another empty net goal to widen the lead to four.

It was BU’s sixth consecutive game without a win, and it concludes a season series with Maine in which it was outscored 14-3. The slumping Terriers will travel to Conte Forum Friday to take on No. 5 Boston College, which sits atop the Hockey East standings.

“We are in that little funk where you fix one hole in the dam and the other one springs loose and you put your finger in that one and another one springs loose,” Quinn said. “We have to find a way to put all our fingers in all the holes and stop that dam from leaking all over the place.”

Live blog: BU takes on Maine at Frozen Fenway

Time/location: 3 p.m., Fenway Park

BU lines:
Nick Roberto – Danny O’Regan – Cason Hohmann
Dillon Lawrence – Robbie Baillargeon – Matt Lane
Brandon Collier – Mike Moran – Kevin Duane
Tommy Kelley – Sam Kurker – Matt Ronan

Garrett Noonan – T.J. Ryan
Ahti Oksanen – Patrick MacGregor
Doyle Somerby – Dalton MacAfee

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia

Maine lines:
Connor Leen – Devin Shore – Steven Swavely
Mark Anthoine – Stu Higgins – Ryan Lomberg
Brian Morgan – Cam Brown – Brady Campbell
Bill Norman – Jon Swavely – Andrew Cerretani

Ben Hutton – Brice O’Connor
Jake Rutt – Conor Riley
Eric Schurhamer – Dan Renouf

Martin Ouellette
Dan Sullivan
Matt Strickrott

Referees: Keith Kaval, Kevin Shea
Assistant Referees: Paul Scleparis, Marc Sullivan

Live blog:


Battered Terriers turn to Fenway stage to end skid

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

Back in the middle of October when the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers faced off for the American League title, Danny O’Regan took the short trek over to Fenway Park for a game. With the Sox down 5-1 in the sixth inning of Game 2, the Needham native left early.

By the time O’Regan made it back to his dorm, David Ortiz launched a grand slam to tie the game and the Red Sox went on to win 6-5.

The Boston University men’s hockey team poses for a group picture
on the ice at Fenway Park on Jan. 10. Photo by Michelle Jay/DFP Staff
Anchored by a laughing Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn on his left and senior captain Garrett Noonan on his right, O’Regan relayed that story Friday afternoon at Fenway.
“It was tough,” the sophomore center said. “That was my last time here.”

With a five-game winless streak in tow, O’Regan and the Terriers (7-10-2, 2-4-1) will look for some better luck as they take on the University of Maine (10-7-2, 4-2-1 Hockey East) during Frozen Fenway at 3p.m. Saturday.
The pressure of the team’s current drought and the fanfare of Fenway will combine with a rematch of what appears, at least on paper, as one of the worst games the Terriers played in the first half of the season.

“It was a long bus ride home from Orono last time we played them, licking our wounds from a 7-0 defeat,” Quinn said of when BU faced Maine on Nov. 15.

“If this was a week later, I think that 7-0 loss would sting a lot more and it would be fresher in our memory. … If you lost 4-2 it probably wouldn’t sit with you the way a 7-0 loss does. I’m hoping it does create a little bit more of a desire and a little bit more of a drive and passion, but we have enough issues that hopefully the game itself, playing at Fenway, we don’t need that type of motivation.”

Among those issues is a continuous battle with injuries. After dealing with multiple players missing time in the first half of the season, BU had a healthy squad for the first game back in 2014. That did not last for long, however, as senior wing Jake Moscatel and junior wing Evan Rodrigues suffered injuries during the tilt with Harvard University on Jan. 4.

Rodrigues and Moscatel both skated during Friday’s practice at Fenway, but both donned blue, non-contact jerseys.

An even larger dilemma for the Terriers was that sophomore defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was not dressed for practice. Instead, Grzelcyk sat on the sideline with his left arm in a sling after he dislocated his shoulder during Thursday’s practice.

“I don’t know if there is a good time to lose your best player,” Quinn said when asked if Grzelcyk’s injury came at the worst time for BU. “It’s unfortunate because obviously he has shown in the first half of the season with us and his performance at World Juniors, he is such a competitive kid, he is a great kid and he is a great player.”

Despite all of the setbacks, though, Quinn and the predominantly New England based squad still showed awe at the chance of playing within the confines of Fenway.

Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn takes a picture
of his surroundings at Fenway on Jan. 10. Photo by Michelle Jay/DFP Staff.

“I think coming to Fenway, a bunch of us are Boston kids, we’ve grown up wanting to play here,” Noonan, who is from Norfolk, said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get out of a little slump and get this ship going in the right direction.”

For Quinn, who came out onto the field before practice to look around and take a few photos, the chance to play at Fenway could be summed up in one word – unbelievable.

“Walking out of the visitor’s clubhouse and to be able to walk down that runway where Jeter and Riviera and all of those guys – I am 47 years old, I feel like I’m 17 right now walking through the clubhouse,” Quinn said. “I’d be lying to you if I say it’s not a little special feeling for me too.”