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.

Oettinger’s effort not enough for Terriers in OT Beanpot loss

Despite a 47-save performance from junior netminder Jake Oettinger, the Boston University men’s hockey team suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Northeastern University in the semifinal round of the Beanpot at the TD Garden on Monday night.

“It hurts, it’s frustrating,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell, who saw his Terriers (10-12-3, 8-6-2 in Hockey East) knocked off by the Huskies (15-8-1, 9-6-1 Hockey East) in Beanpot play for the second year in a row.

As they had in six consecutive games prior, BU conceded the game’s first goal, with Northeastern’s opener coming at the 3:14 mark in the first period. On a giveaway in the Terrier end, senior forward Liam Pecararo provided the feed to classmate Patrick Schule, who fired it past Jake Oettinger to put the Huskies on top.

“The first one, [Oettinger] didn’t really have much of a chance on,” said O’Connell after the game.

BU squandered two early opportunities on the frame’s only power plays, but eventually found their equalizer with 21 seconds to play in the period.

On a pass from sophomore forward Shane Bowers, fellow sophomore Cam Crotty launched a wrister towards Northeastern sophomore keeper Cayden Primeau. The puck fell to Joel Farabee alone at the back post where the freshman forward angled the rebound in off Primeau to tally his tenth goal of the season and knot the game at one going into the break.

“I thought Joel was dynamite,” said O’Connell about his standout freshman.

In a scoreless second period, Jake Oettinger came up big with some dazzling saves as pressure poured in from the Huskies. BU gained their best chances towards the end of the frame, but could not capitalize.

It was the Terrier goal scorer Farabee who had both opportunities for the Terriers, getting in alone twice within the period’s final five minutes but being denied by Primeau on both occasions. Ahead of the final twenty minutes, the teams would retreat to the locker rooms still tied 1-1.

“You’d like to bury those chances, but to put yourself in a situation to get two breakaways in a game, obviously shows a high level of intelligence and skill,” said a positive-minded O’Connell about Farabee’s two missed opportunities.

The drama continued into the third period, as the tension mounted the longer the game remained even. Northeastern attempted 34 shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation alone, holding a 48-27 lead in shots on goal after 60 minutes.

“We were dominating them, so we had all the confidence,” said Northeastern’s Primeau regarding the mindset of his Huskies during their offensive onslaught in the Terrier end.

Despite the pressure, Jake Oettinger refused to budge, and both the BU junior and his counterpart Primeau remained strong to keep the game level despite late power plays for both teams in the waning minutes of regulation. The score line would hold after three period of play, and the teams would continue on to overtime.

“I thought both goalies were outstanding,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan.

The additional frame would not last very long, as the Huskies rallied for a game-winner just 51 seconds into overtime. Taking advantage of a mistimed Terrier line change, junior defenseman Jeremy Davies found freshman forward Tyler Madden streaking into the BU end. Oettinger got a piece of Madden’s shot on the breakaway, but the puck would trickle through, bringing an abrupt end to BU’s 2019 Beanpot bid and sending the Huskies into next week’s final.

“[There were] bright lights out there, and I shine in those,” said the confident freshman.

For the Terriers, it was the first semifinal loss in a Beanpot tournament since 2014, in which the Terriers were bounced by Harvard 6-2. The loss to Northeastern was also a repeat of last season’s championship game, which saw the Huskies overcome BU to win their first Beanpot title in three decades.

“I think everyone on our team is disappointed,” said O’Connell about the heartbreaking loss. “Tip the cap to [Northeastern].”

While he may have finished on the losing side of the game, Oettinger’s 47 saves were his most since last year’s Beanpot tournament, in which the Minnesota native also tallied 47 in a victorious semifinal effort against Harvard.

“It was probably one of the best games he’s played in a BU uniform,” said O’Connell of Oettinger. “It’s a good sign for our team if he can play at that level.”

The schedule will get no easier for the Terriers, as they travel to Amherst to visit #2 University of Massachusetts on Friday night before returning to the Garden to face Harvard in the Beanpot’s third place game the following Monday.

*BEANPOT* Live Blog: BU vs. Northeastern, 2/4 at 8pm

In the first round of the 2019 Beanpot, Boston University will take on Northeastern at the TD Garden. The Huskies won last year’s tournament, getting a 5-2 win in the final over BU. The Terriers will be seeking revenge, looking to get one step closer to their 31st Beanpot title.

It’s one of the biggest games of the year, so come join our live blog! Coverage will start at 7:45pm, with puck drop set for 8pm.

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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BU hosts Northeastern in Hockey East Tournament quarterfinals

This article originally appeared on The Daily Free Press.

M46A0355Playoff hockey is back.

Beginning Friday night, the No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team will host Northeastern University at Agganis Arena for a best-of-three series in the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East Tournament. The second-seeded Terriers and eighth-ranked Huskies will square off again on Saturday evening and, if necessary, on Sunday night.

Both squads are riding high, as BU is fresh off earning a share of the Hockey East regular-season title, while Northeastern is 11-3 in its past 14 games. Perhaps more importantly, though, senior captain and defenseman Doyle Somerby said that postseason play brings about urgency.

“It’s pretty serious now; it’s a big brand of hockey,” Somerby said. “ … When we met on Tuesday, we left it all on the line and said, ‘This is a weekend where we need to play the way we can play and set a tone for what our playoffs are going to be like.’ We trust ourselves, and it’s just something that has to come from within.”

These two sides met back in early November, with the Terriers taking three of a possible four points from the weekend series. However, BU (21-10-3, 13-6-3 Hockey East) head coach David Quinn said those results won’t influence these upcoming games.

The dominant reasons, Quinn said, are head coach Jim Madigan’s team is healthy and “better defensively.” As for Somerby, he said Northeastern (18-13-5, 9-10-3 Hockey East), which won the 2016 Hockey East Tournament, always seems to get hot come playoff hockey.

“They’re a really good team,” Somerby said. “They’re fast, they’re up-tempo, they like to push the pace. They put up so much offense.”

The superlatives from Somerby bear fruit, too.

Northeastern’s power-play unit scores 28.95 percent of the time, good for second in Division I hockey. Meanwhile, it boasts three of the nation’s top-10 scorers in senior Zach Aston-Reese (62 points), junior Dylan Sikura (56 points) and sophomore Adam Gaudette (52 points).

The Huskies’ biggest flaw, arguably, is goaltender Ryan Ruck, whose goals against average (2.94) and save percentage (.896) all rank in the bottom three of Hockey East netminders. Through those highs and lows, Quinn said Northeastern poses a serious challenge.

“We certainly understand our opponent and how talented they are, and we just have to make sure we don’t give them time and space,” Quinn said. “If you do that, you have a much better chance to have success.”

Leading that charge for BU – the youngest team in college hockey – will be a slew of talented youngsters.

M46A0533Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, who will start on Friday, ranks in the top-10 nationally in goals against average (2.06), save percentage (.927) and shutouts (four). Meanwhile, forwards Clayton Keller (38 points) and Patrick Harper (34 points) both rank in the top-five nationally in freshman scoring.

Outside of any single player, Somerby said another motivator is how BU fared in the 2015-16 postseason.

In the Hockey East Tournament, the Terriers narrowly squeezed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the opening round, only to be promptly bounced by the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Come the NCAA Tournament, BU lost in the opening round, 7-2, to the University of Denver.

In simple terms, Somerby said playoff hockey means there’s no guarantee of another game.

“We’re not taking anything for granted,” Somerby said. “We know we have a special group and we have a close-knit group, so we put it on the line that we’re playing for each other and extend our season for as long as we can. That starts tomorrow.”

All things considered, Quinn said BU must approach the weekend one tilt at a time. From that, he said, BU could secure its ninth Hockey East Tournament title.

So, what will Quinn be looking for?

“Our puck movement, our urgency,” Quinn said. “When a puck comes to you, are you ready to do something with it? The edge that we have physically and offensively, and then our commitment to playing defense. Those are the things that are going to determine our success throughout the weekend.”

Live Blog: BU hosts Northeastern in Hockey East quarterfinals

Playoff hockey is officially here, BU hockey fans!

We’re live at Agganis Arena for Friday night’s clash between the Terriers and Northeastern, which will get underway at 7:05 p.m. This is the first clash of a best-of-three series, with other contests occurring on Saturday and Sunday.

We’ll be providing minute-by-minute updates, so follow along on our live blog below!

Live Blog BU vs. Northeastern – Hockey East Quarterfinals
 

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