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!

From the FreeP: Despite Terrier loss, David Quinn has happy reunion with family

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
After the Boston University men’s hockey team’s 3-1 loss to No. 3 Providence College on Saturday, BU coach David Quinn was less than pleased. Poorly timed penalties again did his team in, as BU missed a chance to sweep a home-and-home series against one of the top-ranked squads in the country, and the No. 18 Terriers remained winless on the road.

But about a minute and half later, Quinn had more important business to tend to.

He walked through the bowels of the Friars’ home rink and up a small set of metal stairs to hug four children, each clamoring for his attention. Quinn’s smile was as wide as it was the day he was named BU’s head coach.

Quinn’s four cousins — all 11 years old or younger — were part of a contingent 16 people strong who came to see him at Schneider Arena. Quinn, a Cranston, R.I. native, grew up 10 minutes from Schneider, where he also played plenty in his youth.

Saturday was his first time there since being named BU’s head coach in March.

“I have a lot of memories and a lot of great memories there,” Quinn said prior to the weekend series. “It will be special. It will be pretty cool to go down there and play against the Friars and be the head coach of BU. That will be pretty neat.”

Pluses and Minuses: Untimely BU penalty leads to 3-1 loss to Friars

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff
PROVIDENCE, R.I.  – For the coaches of both the No. 18 Boston University and No. 3 men’s hockey teams, when the teams took each other on in a home-and-home tilt this weekend it displayed one thing for sure – some typical Hockey East play.
Since the beginning of the season, many of the coaches have discussed the parity in the conference, and this weekend’s games showed just that.
While BU (4-4, 2-1 Hockey East) and the Friars (5-1-1, 1-1 Hockey East) eventually split the weekend series, both contests featured a tie heading into the third period. With Providence’s 3-1 win on Saturday, the team that ultimately won each game was the one that bounced back from an early deficit.
Pluses
Nick Roberto’s pass
With Friar defenseman Steven Shamanski in the box for interference about 13 minutes into the second period of Saturday night’s game, sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanenadded on to his team-leading points total with his second goal of the season.
Much like he did with his other goal this season, Oksanen one-timed the puck right by Providence goalie Jon Gillies.
The play never would have happened, however, if it wasn’t for Roberto’s pass. The freshman wing hesitated with the puck along the wall, waiting for the Providence defense to shift, and giving him a wide opening to send the puck straight to Oksanen.
“He kind of faked a quick back-door play, and Ahti was wide open on the back door,” said BU coach David Quinn. “It was a great goal. I thought Nick had a good weekend overall.”
Another solid start in goal
Netminder Sean Maguire hasn’t won a game since the Terriers season opener against the University of Massachusetts on Oct. 11. Maguire’s record, in fact, sits at 1-3 after four starts this season. Those results, however, do not reflect Maguire’s performance in goal.
The sophomore, who has not given up more than three goals in a game this season, holds a 2.03 goals against average and a .941 save percentage.
During Saturday’s loss to Providence, Maguire gave up just two goals – one of which came during a 5-on-3 Friar power play – and picked up 22 saves. It took Providence until the final two minutes of the second period to find the back of the net.
Minuses
Bad timing
Quinn has said all season that he wants BU to have four or fewer penalties per game. He got that this weekend with the Terriers having just two in the game on Friday and four during Saturday’s contest.
The problem on Saturday, however, was the timing of the penalties.
With sophomore wing Sam Kurker already in the box for tripping with fewer than four minutes left in the second period, sophomore wing Mike Moran was called for cross checking.
Six seconds into the 5-on-3 situation, Providence scored to tie up the game and give the team momentum heading into the third period the game.

“We get up 1-0, and we take two stupid penalties,” Quinn said. “Against a team like that you can’t take penalties like that, and that’s the disappointing part.”
Driving toward the net
One of the reasons BU found so much success in the second and third period during Friday’s game was because the team took more Grade A chances.
Providence had 16 chances from in close during the game, including the game-tying and game-wining goal. Meanwhile, the Terriers had 10, and their lone goal of the game was scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
Quinn said after the game that the Terriers also did not shoot the puck as much as they needed to during a power-play opportunity in the third period.
“The minute you pass the puck to someone, and you can turn and be in a one-time position, you got to do it,” Quinn said. “At least look like you’re going to be a threat. People may respect you, and they may overplay you, and all of a sudden someone else might be open.”

UPDATED: Terriers falter in third period, drop road contest against Providence 3-1

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Sports

The road has not been friendly to the No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team, which lost its third consecutive game away from Agganis Arena 3-1 to No. 3 Providence College Saturday night at Schneider Arena.

After coming back in grand fashion at home Friday night, BU fell behind by a goal late in the contest and could not put another one past Providence goaltender Jon Gillies as it returned to a .500 record on the season.

The two teams were about as evenly matched as could be in the first period, as BU (4-4, 2-1 Hockey East) and Providence (5-1-1, 1-1 Hockey East) traded scoring chances with nothing getting by Gillies and sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire. Maguire made 12 saves for the Terriers while Gillies stopped nine shots for Providence in a frame that only included one penalty.

“Obviously, when you lose the first game you come out with a little bit more desperation and energy,” said BU coach David Quinn. “I thought we matched it early,”
The Terriers finally jumped out to a lead a little more than 15 minutes into the second period after Providence captain Steven Shamanski took an interference penalty along the Terriers’ bench. BU freshman forward Nick Roberto picked up a loose puck at a sharp angle to Gillies’ right and hesitated, drawing defenders out of position before feeding wide-open sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen at the top of the slot. Oksanen stepped in and ripped a one-timer into the top-right corner of the net for his second goal and team-leading ninth point of the season.

While it took a long time for the Terriers to open the scoring, it did not take long for the Friars to answer with a power-play goal of their own. Sophomore forwards Sam Kurker and Mike Moran ended up in the sin bin for tripping and cross-checking, respectively, giving Providence a 23-second 5-on-3 advantage in the final three minutes of the second period.

“Against a team like that you can’t take penalties like that,” Quinn said. “That’s the disappointing part.”
The Friars did not need that long though, as Providence forward Derek Army scooped up a rebound six seconds into the 5-on-3 opportunity and tied the game entering the third frame. The goal was the first power-play goal BU allowed in its previous 11 penalty kills.

Friars junior Ross Mauermann took the game into his own hands as the third period began, as he drove the puck wide before cutting it to the front of the goal and pushing it through Maguire’s five-hole. It was Mauermann’s team-leading sixth goal of the season and his second goal in as many nights against the Terriers.

BU immediately had a chance to get back in the game when Mauermann was sent to the box for cross-checking. However, despite some more crisp passing with the man advantage, BU could not get any clear shots at Gillies and the score remained in Providence’s favor.

Mauermann put the game away with Maguire pulled in the final minute, scoring his second goal of the to put the Friars ahead 3-1 with 46.6 seconds remaining.

Third periods in opposing arenas have been particularly tough for the Terriers, who have not scored a goal while allowing seven in the final frames of their three road games on the year.

The Terriers had a chance to win remain unbeaten in Hockey East play entering the third period Saturday. Instead, the Terriers split the season series with a Friars team that figures to be among the top of the league come the end of the end of the season.

“When you come into this weekend like this, a team as good as Providence and the start that they’ve had, to play five periods and be in a position to get six points is a good position to get in,” Quinn said. “But we have to learn to win games like this, and unfortunately we weren’t able to get it done tonight.

Live Blog: Terriers look for weekend sweep against Providence

Time/location: 8 pm., Schneider Arena

BU lines:
Evan Rodrigues – Danny O’Regan – Robbie Baillargeon
Matt Lane – Cason Hohmann – Kevin Duane
Brendan Collier – Nick Roberto – Sam Kurker
Mike Moran – Dillon Lawrence – Jake Moscatel

Ahti Oksanen – Garrett Noonan
Matt Grzelcyk – Patrick MacGregor
Doyle Somerby – Dalton MacAfee

Sean Maguire
Matt O’Connor
Anthony Moccia

Providence lines:
Stefan Demopoulos – Ross Mauermann – Shane Luke
Nick Saracino – Mark Jankowski – Drew Brown
Niko Rufo – Noel Acciari – Derek Army
Brandon Tanev – Kevin Rooney – Steven McParland

Tom Parisi – Anthony Florentino
John Gilmour – Kevin Hart
Kyle McKenzie – Steven Shamanski

Jon Gillies
Nick Ellis

Referees: Chris Federico, Scott Hansen
Linesmen: Brendan Blanchard, Matt Riegert
Live Blog:

Pluses and Minuses: Four unanswered give Terriers big win over Friars

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

David Quinn put it simply: The No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 4-3 win over No. 3 Providence College on Friday was a tale of two games.

After the first “game,” i.e. the first period, the Terriers trailed 3-0 and looked like the team that was manhandled last weekend. But by the final buzzer at Agganis Arena they turned it around completely, using four goals in fewer than 20 minutes of game time to catapult themselves to a win.

Here’s a look at what the Terriers (4-3, 2-0 Hockey East) did well against the Friars (4-1-1, 0-1 Hockey East).

Pluses 

Danny O’Regan gets a pair
The sophomore forward, who owned just one goal three weekends into the season, found the back of the net twice — once to tie the game, once to win it.

The first was the prettiest the Terriers have put together all season, a give and go between O’Regan and freshman forward Robbie Baillargeon right up the middle of Providence’s defensive zone. The second came when O’Regan put away a rebound from Baillargeon’s initial shot.

“It felt great,” O’Regan said of the first. “It was a great play by Robbie and it was kind of hard work paying off so it felt great.”

It is also worth noting that those two goals came from BU’s “new” top line. Quinn swapped the wings — Baillargeon played the right, junior Evan Rodrigues the left — and the tweak was successful.

Matt O’Connor recovers
The first period wasn’t pretty for the Friday night starter in net — three goals on 19 shots, a far cry from two goals on 42 shots against the University of Michigan last week.

Part of that disparity was part of the Terriers’ general lack of energy, with the third goal in particular the result of a tough, one-on-goalie situation.

But O’Connor bounced back to stop the next 18 shots the rest of the way, including stopping dangerous PC center Ross Mauermann. With O’Connor’s momentum shifting right, Mauermann deflected a shot to the left, but the netminder used his length to swiftly recover and get a piece of puck, keeping it out of the goal.

O’Connor was solid, but not otherwordly. Sophomore Sean Maguire will likely get the start in Providence Saturday.

Lack of penalties
Whatever Quinn told the team after the first period, during which BU took two penalties in the first three minutes (see more below), must have worked. They didn’t send a man to the box for the final 40 minutes, much to Quinn’s delight.

“It was huge,” Quinn said. “We have a goal of four or less and we took two and we gave ourselves a chance to win tonight.”

Working the game plan
PC goalie Jon Gillies, the reigning Hockey East rookie of the year and a second-team All-American, entered the contest with .950 save percentage and 1.71 save percentage. Quinn’s tactic: just get pucks to the net.

For more on how the Terriers did exactly that, read Kevin Dillon’s article here.

Minuses

First period
Everything that went wrong for the Terriers can pretty much be lumped into that 20-minute span, during which they revisited all of their mistakes from last weekend’s two-game stint in Michigan: turnovers, poor faceoff results, trouble breaking out of the neutral zone, bad penalties — and badly timed penalties — and giving up too many shots.

The most blatant turnover belonged to senior captain Garrett Noonan in the neutral zone and immediately led to PC’s third goal, Brandon Tanev unassisted. BU finished 5-19 on draws after the first, and although it didn’t get much better (23-45 was the final), it did not significantly hamper the Terriers offensively.

The first-period penalties were perhaps the most reminiscent aspect of last weekend. BU had a power play less than a minute into the contest, but 16 seconds later Rodrigues was called for interference. Freshman center Nick Roberto tripped a Friar in the offensive zone one and a half minutes later and sat the rest of the period as a result.

Getting the message: Terriers do just what David Quinn asks in 4-3 comeback win over Providence

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

A week ago, the No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team lost back-to-back games in Michigan and struggled to produce offense because it got away from the things Coach David Quinn wanted it to do. These things included staying out of the penalty box, maintaining puck possession and creating scoring chances in front of the opposing goaltender.

“We have got to get together with coach,” senior captain Garrett Noonan said after the team’s 3-1 loss to Michigan State University. “He knows what is best for us and when we get back to listening to coach we will start to get the Ws.”

It looked like Quinn’s messages finally got through to his team after the first period of Friday night’s 4-3 comeback win over No. 3 Providence College, as the Terriers scored four unanswered goals after a disastrous first period.

“It was a frustrating period to watch, especially after what happened out in Michigan,” Quinn said. “I just told them, ‘Hey, there’s a team over there that’s playing faster, stronger, making better passes and we need to be willing to change on the fly – change our mental approach on the fly,’ and obviously we did it.

Once the first frame was over, BU (4-3, 2-0 Hockey East) did just about everything Quinn was looking for. Perhaps the biggest improvement the Terriers made was their ability to stay out of the penalty box over the final two stanzas.

Things did not start so well for BU in regards to staying out of the box. After jumping out to an early power play, junior winger Evan Rodrigues took a bad interference penalty 17 seconds into the opportunity to bring the teams to four-on-four. Shortly afterward, freshman center Nick Roberto took an offensive-zone tripping penalty to give the Friars (4-1-1, 0-1 Hockey East) a power play of their own. Roberto did not play for the remainder of the first period after the infraction.

But after those two penalties, BU’s penalty bench collected dust as the Terriers stayed out of the box and drew four Providence penalties. A power-play goal from sophomore winger Matt Lane was key in BU’s turnaround, and the team did not give the Friars any chances to strike back with a man advantage.

“It puts us in a hole,” Quinn said of the first period penalties. “We just have to stop taking those penalties. We have a goal of four [penalties] or less and we took two and we gave ourselves a chance to win tonight.

Another thing Quinn had preached after the previous weekend in Michigan was that he wanted his team to possess the puck better and have more time in its opponent’s zone. The Terriers really struggled to keep control of the puck in the first period, which resulted in Providence attempting 25 shots (19 on goal) compared to BU’s 12 (eight on goal).

However, things turned around for the Terriers in the next two frames. BU began to pass the puck around the offensive zone better, as displayed in the Terriers’ fourth goal. Sophomore center Danny O’Regan started the play by passing the puck from the left circle to sophomore defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, beginning a rotation of the puck around the zone and back onto O’Regan’s stick for the goal. BU had been threatening with several scoring chances in the shifts preceding O’Regan’s game-winning goal as well.

“Puck possession is obviously huge,” O’Regan said. “It’s just a matter of… making all of the simple plays. Not trying to do too much with the puck. I think that’s where we are best as a team and as a line in creating offense.”

That puck possession led to scoring chances for BU though because it was working hard for pucks in front of Providence goaltender Jon Gillies — something Quinn had highlighted in practice leading up to Friday’s game. Gillies, who has a big frame at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, entered Friday’s game with a 1.71 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. All four of BU’s goals on the night came within a close proximity to Gillies, two of which came off of rebounds.

BU had 11 grade-A chances in the final two periods as opposed to Providence’s seven. It was the Terriers’ ability to outwork the Friars’ defensemen that helped them come back, according to Providence coach Nate Leaman.

“I thought they really won the battles around our net,” Leaman said after the game. “I thought overall we played a very good first period, but defensively after the first period I thought we were atrocious.”

With the win in hand, it is apparent that the Terriers got the message that Quinn told them in the locker room between the periods. Quinn can only hope that that message sticks with the team as it travels to Providence to face the Friars on the road Saturday night.