Oettinger carries BU to a point in 1-1 tie with Providence

Behind 45 saves from junior netminder Jake Oettinger, the Boston University men’s hockey team skated to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in a visit to Providence College on Thursday night.

“Our goaltender was the story,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell. “We’re pretty fortunate to get out of the rink with a point.”

With fifth-place BU (13-15-4, 11-8-3 Hockey East) only four points behind second-place Providence (20-9-5, 13-7-3 Hockey East) with a game in hand on the Friars at the time of the opening puck drop, the Terriers were looking for the full two points to assist their mission of securing a playoff game on home ice.

“They [knew] the importance of the points tonight,” O’Connell said of his squad.

BU nearly got on the board less than a minute into the game, as junior defenseman Chad Krys spotted a seam in the Friar defense on one of BU’s first rushes of the game. Krys beat senior goaltender Hayden Hawkey, but could not beat the post to the keeper’s left, and Providence would survive the early scare.

“I think we were mentally…and physically ready to go,” O’Connell said about his team’s quick start.

Building off of the early Krys chance, BU kept the pressure on Providence through the opening stages of the game, and were rewarded for their efforts eight minutes into the period.

After Oettinger made a phenomenal double-save to rob forward linemates Tyce Thompson and Scott Conway, the Terriers turned the other way, skating four against one. After freshman forward Joel Farabee was denied by Hawkey, sophomore forward Shane Bowers was there to knock in the rebound for his 11th goal of the season.

“We got off to a really good start – that gave us a chance to get a goal,” said Coach O’Connell.

Awoken by the Terrier opener, the Friars came charging back, riding an effective forecheck to a 14-7 shots on goal advantage by the end of the period. Coming off a dominant weekend against the University of Vermont, Oettinger stayed strong, fending off point-blank chances from forwards Kasper Bjorkqvist and Greg Printz among others.

According to O’Connell, “[Providence] did a really good job of getting in, forechecking, and holding pressure on [BU].”

Despite the lopsided shots on target counts, BU led 1-0 after one.

The Terriers started the second frame on the front foot, as Hawkey was forced into action five minutes into the period to keep out sophomore forward Ty Amonte’s diving effort, getting a stick on a saucer pass from junior linemate Patrick Harper in the corner.

Turning the tides as the period progressed just as they had in the first, Providence peppered Oettinger throughout the middle ten minutes of the second stanza en route to a 28-13 lead in terms of shots in goal by the end of the period.

Battling wave after wave of Friar attacks, Oettinger and his defense weathered the storm. The greatest threat from Providence came from defenseman Spenser Young swinging away in front with eight minutes remaining in the period, but Oettinger and a crowd of Terriers smothered the chance just in time.

“I thought we defended hard,” said Coach O’Connell, who saw his Terriers concede a maximum of one goal for their fourth consecutive game.

After another important stop by Oettinger to deny junior Vimal Sukumaran up close, BU would finally gain some zone time in the waning moments of the period with the game’s lone power play. Still, it was Providence’s Scott Conway who had the best chance while BU were up a man, stickhandling his way into shooting position but seeing his drive turned away by Oettinger.

“Providence played a really good game,” O’Connell said regarding the constant danger brought by the Friars.

After 40 minutes, the score would stand, 1-0.

Continuing their theme of hot starts into the third, the Terriers hit the ground running for the final twenty, as junior forward Patrick Curry’s off-balance swipe at a rebound was kept out by a sprawling Hawkey three minutes into the frame. That would be the closest BU would come in the third, as the Friars would once again find their stride as the period wore on.

“As the game wore on, we wore down,” O’Connell said.

After 53 minutes of flawless defense, Oettinger and the Terrier blueliners would finally cave in. On a break into the attacking zone, Greg Printz found forward Jack Dugan streaking towards the BU net. With quick hands, Dugan slipped the puck through the five hole, netting his tenth goal of the season for Providence and levelling the game at one.

“They made a really nice play on the goal,” said O’Connell of the Printz-Dugan link-up.

After an unsuccessful final push from both sides to end regulation, the teams would move on to overtime. It was the second game in BU’s last three that would require an additional frame.

In the extra five minutes, it was Oettinger again who played the role of hero for BU, stoning back-to-back chances from Kasper Bjorkqvist and defenseman Vincent Desharnais to keep the Terriers alive. With mere seconds left, Oettinger made one final save against Tyce Thompson, bringing his total to 45 on the night.

“Jake was there, and he was able to get us a point,” Coach O’Connell said.

The deadlock would not be broken, and the game would finish 1-1.

With the Friars tallying a whopping 82 shots with 46 on goal compared to BU’s 41 shots with 20 on goal, Oettinger’s efforts were essential to the Terrier cause.

In the words of O’Connell, “[Oettinger] was lights out.”

While Oettinger and his defensemen have been rock-solid as of late, the Terrier attack has been kept to low totals by opposing defenses, as BU has scored just a single goal in each of their previous three games. Knowing the current scoring drought his team is suffering from, O’Connell recognized the importance of the early energy from his team.

“[Providence] seemed a little flat, we weren’t, and it allowed us to get a point,” said the first-year head coach of the game’s opening minutes.

The full two points would have been advantageous for BU in terms of the Hockey East standings, but O’Connell voiced his satisfaction with the results his team gained in their trips this season to Providence’s Schneider Arena.

“We took 3 of 4 points off Providence in their own building, so that’s pretty good,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Friars clinched a home playoff game with the point, leaving just the positions currently occupied by Northeastern and UMass Lowell as the only spots to host a playoff game that are still undetermined.

“That’s a really good hockey team,” said Coach O’Connell of Providence. “They’re going to be a tough out for anyone.”

BU will look to keep their unbeaten run going and the home-ice hopes alive when they return to Agganis Arena against Merrimack on Saturday, March 2 at 7pm.

Live Blog: BU @ Providence, 2/28 @ 7pm

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Tonight, the Boston University men’s hockey team travels south to face Providence in a high-stakes Hockey East tilt.

The Terriers come into this one tied for fifth in the division, and only three points away from UMass Lowell and Northeastern deadlocked at third. Coming off a sweep of Vermont to extend the win streak to three, BU feeling confident as they look to gain ground on the Friars, who are four points ahead of the Terriers but have also played one more game.

As for the hosts, Providence ride their own win streak into the contest, gaining maximum points in their previous four games. The impressive run has featured two victories over UMass Lowell, as well as one apiece against league leaders UMass and a strong UConn team. While the extra game played may give the Friars a dangerous sense of security, Providence are as hot as it gets as they prepare to face BU.

Tonight’s game is pivotal towards BU’s quest to climb the Hockey East standings and earn a home playoff game by finishing in the conference’s top four. Don’t miss a second of the action by following along with our live blog, and talking BU hockey throughout the game! Coverage will start at 6:50pm, with puck drop set for 7.

BU rolls into Providence on win streak

It took a while, but the Boston University men’s hockey team is back to its winning ways.

After securing two victories in Vermont last weekend, the Terriers have won three consecutive contests heading into their final matchup against a ranked opponent.

“It was a good sweep,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “It’s huge. We battled hard.”

Playing on a Thursday for the first time this season, BU will head down to Rhode Island to take on eighth-ranked Providence College.

BU has experience going down to Schneider Rink and emerging victorious, handling the Friars 4-3 during a five-game stretch without a loss last month. In order to win their second straight against Providence, the Terriers will need to bring the intensity they have sported over their most recent streak.

After shutting out UConn on February 16 behind a perfect night from junior goaltender Jake Oettinger and goals from sophomore forward Ty Amonte and freshman forward Joel Farabee, BU rolled over the cellar-dwelling Catamounts to leap into a tie for fifth place in the Hockey East standings

The Vermont students brought the ruckus both nights, with over 3,500 fans piling into Gutterson Fieldhouse each game. However, the Terriers handled the situation with ease. The first night, Oettinger was impeccable yet again, stopping 12 shots in the third period to preserve a scoreless tie and send the tilt to overtime.

“Our defense played hard,” O’Connell said. “We gave up one goal on the weekend so it was positive. [Oettinger] was dynamite. He didn’t make a mistake all weekend so that is a great sign for BU hockey.”

The Dallas Stars draftee finished with 29 saves and junior defenseman Chad Krys finished off the Catamounts with an unassisted game-winner 4:44 into the extra frame. The following night, Vermont got on the board first with a power play score in the opening eight minutes.

The Terriers are used to playing from behind and they were not fazed by this one-goal deficit. BU garnered the equalizer at the end of the second period as junior forward Patrick Harper scored his fourth goal of the season off assists from classmate Patrick Curry and sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty.

Oettinger was able to keep the Catamounts at bay throughout the third period, opening the door for Farabee’s game-winner with 57 seconds remaining off helpers from sophomore forward Logan Cockerill and sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo.

“The guys battled hard,” O’Connell said. “It was a really good showing. Just to get a sweep on the road, it’s not easy. We made two really nice plays that ended up winning us the game.”

It was one of the Terriers most successful weekends of the year, a nice breath of fresh air in which the team realized its potential against an inferior opponent.

You certainly can’t say the same about Providence, a team with a freshman defenseman, Jay O’Brien, who will be playing alongside Farabee on the Philadelphia Flyers one day.

The Friars have won three consecutive games against ranked opponents. 14th-ranked UMass Lowell was no match for them two weekends ago, as Providence swept the home-and-home series by a combined score of 7-1.

Last Saturday, the Friars hosted the hottest team on the East Coast, UMass Amherst. After falling behind the nation’s second-ranked team in the first period, Providence outscored the Minutemen 3-1 over the final two periods to garner its best win of season.

Senior forward Scott Conway scored the go-ahead goal for the victors in the third period, and he has produced plenty of tallies this year. The England native is tied for the team lead with 13 goals.

The other scorer on the team with 13 goals this year is junior forward Kasper Bjorkqvist, whose hometown of Espoo, Finland is shared by Kotkansalo. Bjorkqvist registered two goals in Providence’s 6-1 win over UMass Lowell on February 15.

Notes: No need to pull out your computer for this one. This game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Boston at 7 PM on Thursday…Do you think BU can win the season series against the Friars? Let us know below!

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.