FYI: BHB Meet-Up Cancelled

Followers of the blog –

Due to scheduling difficulties and lack of response, the BHB meet-up set for May 19th has been cancelled. If you have any ideas or comments you had hoped to share, please reach out to our director Brady Gardner via email at [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you at Agganis Arena again in the fall.

Lighting the Lamp Offseason Update – 5/3/19

Listen here!

In a bonus episode of Lighting the Lamp, Brady Gardner, Paige Mautner, and Liam O’Brien provide an offseason update. The group runs through the BU men’s hockey team’s captain selections, home game schedule and incoming players.

They also look across to the women’s team, touching on a few impressive accomplishments achieved by certain Terriers and potential candidates for leadership positions. To close, they say goodbye to Liam, who will be graduating, and give insight towards what to expect in the fall.

We may be in the dead of the offseason, but there is still hockey news to talk about! Listen to Lighting the Lamp to get all caught up with the state of all things hockey at BU.

Of Blizzards, Beers and Beanpots – David Snow

The following article was submitted by David Snow, and is the second work published in our “YOU write for the blog” series. David is a longtime BU hockey supporter, and a season ticket holder in section 115, row Q, seats 20-22. Have a story to share, or an opinion to defend? Submit your own article to [email protected]!

 

On February 6, 1978, I was a 14-year old high school freshman headed to something I’m sure I had looked forward to all the preceding weekend. My older brothers, Mark, 24 and Jack, then a 20-year old BU student, were taking me, I would imagine begrudgingly, to the Beanpot. It is a Boston tradition, an annual college hockey tournament played at the Boston Garden between Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern University. The tournament is played like clockwork, on the first two Mondays in February. This story is less about the event, though it has been written about plenty by many, and more about the events of the date itself.

Mark packed us into his Ford Mustang soft-top convertible and off we went to the “Gahden”. My father worked at Boston University in their athletic facility and both brothers attended BU tuition free as an employee benefit. I like to think that him working there was all part of a plan to get his four kids through college. Makes for a better story. Nah! If that guy had worked at the dump I’m sure today we all would have been garbagemen or pawn brokers. But the benefit was a great one and his employment at BU would shape a portion of my life I still cling to.

The forecast that day was for about six inches of snow. That’s enough to get attention but not enough to shut anything down in Boston. There was probably that much on the ground from previous storms and we likely needed a coat of white to cover up the soot-stained piles on the city streets. I’m sure I was psyched to be going all day at school while imagining the bright lights of the Garden and the noise of a sold out arena. I regularly went to BU hockey games courtesy of the back door at Walter Brown Arena.  They were a national college hockey power whose fate generally had me in their grip. I sat many a night with a transistor radio in hand listening to games out West where the Terriers were bound to get screwed by some blind Western referee. I was pretty sure that God was responsible for every bad loss they had ever suffered. I lived and died by the results.

Watching them in the Beanpot at the Garden was a welcome distraction and invitation to ignore Algebra for that day (and every other class according to my grades). When that bell rang to end the school day,  I ran through Harvard Yard and caught the 73 bus home but in my mind I’m sure I was flying. No time to taunt Harvard students with my friends or steal an apple at Nini’s Corner in Harvard Square. I had to get home so there was no excuse to be left behind. I’m sure my brothers were thrilled with that 85 pound anchor for the night.

Despite high winds and heavy snow we were going “in town” no matter what. We zipped into the city (a big 3 mile trip in total), parked illegally under the elevated highway in Charlestown and walked through what appeared to be way more than the predicted half foot of snow to meet my brother’s college friends. I was so short at the time, they could have put me in their coats. My brothers and their friends seemed so big to me, all over 6 feet tall, and they took me under their wing. That meant having their friend working the door at Sully’s Tap look the other way when a 5 foot 2 inch skinny schoolboy snuck by. The bar was so packed nobody could even see me once I was in there. I was handed a beer by one of their friends and the night got a little shaky for Game 1 between Northeastern and Harvard. We eventually made it into our nosebleed balcony seats at one end of the Garden. Choosing the last row had to be strategic so that the guys could literally turn around and order from the beer stand in back of our row. I was buzzed by the combination of beer, the acceptance of my brother’s peers who were happy I hadn’t thrown up yet, and the anticipation of the civil war between BU and BC in the night’s second semi-final.

The rivalry between the two schools in college hockey is to this day fierce and well fought. In short, they have been playing since what seems like forever and there is not much to separate the two in terms of on-ice success. I hate and respect the Eagles and back then they were evil personified.  Peering down to center ice through the smoke filtering up to the lights of the Garden, the spoked B of the Bruins made this war all the sweeter. Both teams were really good that year and the joint was electric. The bands, the student sections – everything pointed to another epic game. 

The game became secondary before the first whistle had blown. When you sat in the balcony at the old Garden, you could open the fire doors up top to see what was happening out there. This night, it was just a blanket of constantly falling snow and you could hear the winds howling all around North Station. After each period you could hear people talking about what had become “the blizzard”. We were no longer talking inches. We were predicting accumulation in feet. All I knew was there would be no school in Cambridge tomorrow (or as it turned out – for the next 3 weeks). I found out what a state of emergency was starting the very next day – it was no joke (even if then Governor Dukakis’ sweaters were). This storm had become serious. 

Throughout the second game, the lights began to flicker in the old barn and BU was pummeling BC. There was an announcement after the second period that this was the worst storm ever and people should consider leaving (my brothers were feeling no pain and leaving to drive seemed less safe than staying). At some point in the 3rd period they announced that all who remained had to go or plan on staying over at the Garden. After years of seeing mice, rats and every other kind of vermin roaming those dusty rafters and stands, the choice was clear. Let’s button up and face whatever Mother Nature is brewing outside. I think about 600 fans stayed and got stuck at the Garden for several days (eating hot dogs, pretzels and probably game programs before they were freed). 

We trudged through the drifts of snow that were already above my waist in some places, dug out my brother’s car and pushed it onto the snow packed roads. The windswept snow was pounding us and fortunately there were hardly any cars on the roads by then. That was probably a good indicator that we should not have been out there either. For some reason we were dropping off Jack’s friends downtown so we had a full sled. Mark went with the moment and put the top of the Mustang down like any good New Englander would in that situation. From the open car, we made snowballs and hummed them at anyone foolish enough to be walking along the Charles River that night. We kept having to get out and push the Mustang out of drifts. My brothers were more than half in the wrapper based on a night of pounding drafts in the balcony. They were in good spirits so it was necessity and good humor that found me steering the Mustang all over Memorial Drive while they pushed. It didn’t seem as unsafe as it reads because everything seemed cushioned by all the snow. That may have been the beers talking to me.

We made it to the Mount Auburn Hospital area and by then the roads were impassable. The remaining mile walk in that storm is something I will never forget. It was well after midnight, cold, windy and visibility was near nonexistent. We laughed and made the most of the ghost town like city we were trampling through. By the time we made it down the street to our home there had to be three feet of snow on the ground and drifts that looked at least double that at the foot of the small hill that led to our front door. We made it in and my mother was both relieved and upset at once. I can still feel the cold, wet clothes falling off of me. I was never so appreciative of the roof and government-provided heat of our project home. In the morning we could literally jump out our second floor window into the drifts. And we did!

 The next three weeks off were a bonanza for our entrepreneurial souls as we raced out each morning to go shovel for the rich people of Brattle Street and the Larches. It was hard work but four foot drifts made people pay and we were there to take it. When we did get to play in it we became experts in snow tunnels and igloos. I seem to recall remnants of that storm lasting almost to June in some parking lots. 

 Lots of people got stuck during the Blizzard of ’78 and there were serious implications for many. We may have got stuck, but the adventure was worth all of it. The second night of the Beanpot was eventually played vs. Harvard and BU won it (again!). They went on to win the national title that year and good triumphed over evil (BU 6 BC 3) in the national final to win it all (for the record and the rub they beat BC all four times they played that year).

 My favorite story from that night comes from the BU hockey team’s trip home. The players knew there would be no school the next day and wanted to stop at their favorite bar – The Dugout. Coach Parker told the driver to stop at Marsh Chapel (directly across the street from the Dugout so the boys could say a prayer – wink wink). The BU team got out at the chapel, turned and crossed the street and, in the words of Terrier star and 1980 gold medal winning Olympian Dave Silk, “we all went into the Dugout and by the time we came out, the snow was gone and so were the 70’s.”

But the memories live on!

Curry for Captain – Matt Martin

The following article was submitted by Matt Martin, and is the first work published in our “YOU write for the blog” series. Matt led the Boston Hockey Blog before graduating this past winter, but is back to share his thoughts on the future of the program, and one player in particular.

 

Don’t look now BU hockey faithful, but the Terriers are about to look a whole lot different next season. With Dante Fabbro, Chad Krys, Joel Farabee, Jake Oettinger and Shane Bowers signing early — couple with the graduation of Bobo Carpenter, it certainly seems that the Terriers have more questions than answers heading into next year.

Perhaps the easiest question to answer, is who will dawn the “C” for the Terriers next season. The answer? None other than Patrick Curry.

Remember the Freshman class of 2016? Well, only Patrick Curry, Gabe Chabot, Nico Lynch and Patrick Harper remain from that class.

With a freshman class featuring NHL prospects of Clayton Keller, Kieffer Bellows, Krys, Harper, Oettinger, Harper and Fabbro, it seemed as if Curry may never be looked upon to be a major contributor to his teams.

One quick look at his freshman and sophomore year stats seem to justify that idea as he combined for only 21 points.

However, his junior season he managed to more than double his point total as he finished third on the team with 26 points.

Who were the two people in front of him? None other than Farabee and Fabbro who both had first round pedigrees.

Although Curry may have been a better scorer this season, one aspect of his game has not changed since he first step foot on Commonwealth Avenue — his motor.

Terrier fans don’t need to look too far in the history books to see a Captain that got better every year and had a high motor. Last season Terrier fans got to see Bobo Carpenter lead the Terriers as a captain.

Although the Carpenter might be a better player than Curry, their styles are similar as both never take a shift off and stick up for their teammates on the ice.

Not sold yet? Let’s talk about maturity.

Last season, the average age of a Terriers was 20.5 years old, a mark that placed them as the youngest team in the country.

With Shane Switzer currently in the NCAA transfer portal, Curry is the oldest player slated to return next season.

Although being the oldest player is not a requisite to being named captain, there will not be a player on the roster that has played in as many games for the Terriers as Curry.

Moreover, a part of a captain’s duties is to help the underclassmen adjust to college life. Nobody is more suited for that role and to get the freshman apart of the Terrier tradition than Curry.

By naming Curry as captain will reward a player for his hard work and tenacity, which has the ability to create a ripple effect and show other players that it is possible to succeed without being an NHL prospect right away.

Besides, you cannot spell “capitan” without Pat C.

First Annual BHB Meet-Up! Come Join Us!

You read that right, folks! Our team invites you to join the Boston Hockey Blog for our first annual offseason meet-up later this spring.

All Boston Hockey Blog community members are welcome to drop in to T’s Pub on Sunday, May 19, any time between 5pm and 8pm! 

How did this come about, you ask? It was like any other night on the live blog at Agganis Arena, until Dave in DC questioned (for the hundredth time) the identity of the fan behind the name “Son of Caesar Carlacci”.

Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, blog newcomer Juice suggested that we meet in person to end this uncertainty once and for all. Dave and SoCC agreed, and thus, the idea was born.

Our former leader Matt Martin will be back in Boston for his graduation the weekend of May 18th, so it only seemed right to make our plans around when he would be available.

I really hope to see you there, and finally get to meet some of you in person! If you know you can make it, please RSVP in the comments section below.

Max Prawdzik set to graduate from BU

After serving as a goaltender for Boston University for three seasons, redshirt junior Max Prawdzik’s career as a Terrier has come to an end.

The Andover, Massachusetts native did not see ice time as a freshman, but was recognized with Hockey East All-Academic honors. In 2016-17, Prawdzik spent his second semester guiding the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League to a Robertson Cup title.

Returning to BU as a redshirt sophomore, the once-again Hockey East All-Academic honoree appeared in three games, and was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week after a 29-save shut-out of the University of Maine. In 2018-19, Prawdzik conceded two goals in three appearances.

After joining BU from the Brook School where he was named 2015 Independent School League Hockey League Most Valuable Player, Max Prawdzik finishes his collegiate career with a 2.46 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in six appearances.

During Prawdzik’s time at BU, the Terriers won a Hockey East championship and made three appearances in the national tournament.

Terriers riding high into regular season finale vs. UMaine

Entering their final regular season game, the Boston University Terriers (14-15-4, 12-9-3 Hockey East) will face the University of Maine Black Bears (14-15-4, 10-9-4 Hockey East) in a Saturday battle at 7:30pm in Orono.

The Terriers tallied yet another big win last week, beating last seeded Merrimack 5-1 at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. Not only is BU looking to continue their five game unbeaten streak, but they are trying to climb as high up in the conference rankings as they can.

“[There is] quite a bit [of pressure] I think,” said junior defenseman Dante Fabbro regarding the Terrier’s upcoming game against Maine. The co-captain had an outstanding performance in the Merrimack game, tallying 5 points.

BU has the opportunity to land in the 3, 4, or 5 seeds heading into the Hockey East tournament depending on this weekend’s conference results. The top four positions host first round playoff matchups, so the fifth-place Terriers are still on the outside looking in at UMass Lowell one point ahead, and Northeastern two points ahead. BU hold the tiebreaker over these two teams, so if BU wins against Maine and Northeastern loses against UNH, BU will overtake Northeastern. In addition, if BU wins or even ties against Maine and UMass Lowell loses against Vermont, the Terriers will jump above UML.

It is no a secret that the game against Maine is not going to be a walk in the park for BU. The two sides already met twice  back in November when the teams split a home-and-home series. The first night in Boston, BU won 3-2, while the next night Maine grabbed the win on their home ice with a 3-1 victory.

“I think if we keep building off of things we have worked on in the last half year or so we will do really well. At the same time, we have to execute what coach is saying and bring it everyday,” said Fabbro.

A player to watch on the Black Bears’ bench is freshman defensive standout Simon Butala. Butala has appeared in every game for Maine and has logged 40 blocks for the Bears. Leading Butala and the rest of the Black Bears is senior captain Rob Michel, who has recorded 39 blocks of his own.

Moving up the ice, the Black Bears have an extremely deep junior class at the forward positions. Mitchell Fossier, Chase Pearson, and Tim Doherty are the leaders in points for the Bears. The one player that BU will key in on is Fossier. Fossier’s vision on the ice is undeniable and has an impressive 27 assists for the Bears. If BU is able to subtract him from the play, Maine will have a much tougher time unlocking the Terrier defense.

It is not the best of circumstances for the Terriers to play Maine away from their home ice, but with the confidence booster that they gained after beating Merrimack, the Terriers are flying high into their season finale up north.

Along with their recent results, an improvement in health has given the Terriers reason to be optimistic going forward. BU has finally been gifted with the return of senior captain Bobo Carpenter, who missed more than a month with a lower body injury. Always providing leadership and an offensive spark, the Terriers have already noticed a difference with captain Carpenter back on the ice.

“His competitiveness is infectious.,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell about having Carpenter back in the lineup. “His presence on the bench was felt.”

If the Terriers want any shot at home ice in the playoffs, Saturday’s game is a must-win. Tell us what you predict will happen on Saturday’s match in the comments below! You can follow the game through our live blog as well as on Twitter. You can also listen to the game through GoTerriers.com.

Terriers aim to keep home-ice hopes alive in weekend tilt with Merrimack

Approaching their second to last regular season game, the Boston University men’s hockey team is looking to continue their four-game unbeaten streak after tying Providence 1-1 on Thursday night.

On Saturday, the Terriers (13-15-4, 11-8-3 Hockey East) will face the Merrimack Warriors (7-23-3, 4-17-2 Hockey East) at 7pm in Agganis Arena. Currently sitting at fifth  in the Hockey East conference, there is reason to believe BU should win against last-seeded Merrimack.

The Terriers were hungry for a win against Providence, who currently sit two spots above the Terriers in the Hockey East conference at second. With just two extra points under their belt, BU would have improved their case for a playoff game on home ice.

“They [knew] the importance of the points tonight,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said referring to his players.

Once again, Boston University’s goaltender, junior Jake Oettinger, came out and had an unbelievable performance on the ice. The Terriers would have been looking at a whole lot different of a score at the end of game if it were not for Oettinger’s 45 saves.

“Our goaltender was the story,” said O’Connell.

As the game played on, BU started to lose the tenacity that they were playing with for the early stages of the game. This led to Providence finally getting the puck behind Oettinger in the 8th minute of the 3rd period. The Terrier’s response to this goal was not as strong as they would have liked to see.

“At the end of the game we gave up a 3 on 1 with 30 seconds to go in overtime,” said O’Connell as he reflects on how close the tie was to becoming a loss.

Now approaching Merrimack, BU has to play with the same force that they did when they came out against Providence. BU has already faced Merrimack twice this season; once back in October when the Terriers lost 4-0 on the road, and then again in January when BU bounced back at Agganis Arena and won 7-2.  Although the Warriors have struggled in the Hockey East conference, they are not low on talent, and are definitely not a team that BU can overlook.

One of Merrimack’s strengths is their depth when it comes to goalkeepers. Although it appears that senior Craig Pantano will start in between the pipes for Merrimack, but if necessary, the Warriors will have no problem throwing in their other two goalies: senior Drew Vogler and sophomore Logan Halladay. Both Vogler and Halladay have logged a sufficient amount of minutes for Merrimack.

Supporting Pantano in the back is junior standout Ryan Cook. Cook has an impressive number of 37 blocks for Merrimack this season. Although he is a very strong player, BU mostly has to worry about him on the defensive end. Cook has tallied no goals for the Warriors this season so far. Freshman Chase Gresock makes up for it though with 11 goals and 13 assists to his name in the 2018/19 season. Gresock got on the board during BU and Merrimack’s last battle back in January, which resulted in a 7-2 Terrier victory.

In addition, Merrimack just put up a very impressive fight on Thursday against league leading UMass. The score ended 4-2 UMass, but the Minutemen were only comfortable once standout defenseman Cale Makar tucked away an empty-netter.

There are many more games to be played in the regular season before the Hockey East tournament. Currently, BU still sits 5th in the conference. However, the Terriers could come level with Northeastern if the Huskies lose to Boston College tonight or tomorrow. Likewise, BU could come level with UMass Lowell if the Riverhawks fall to New Hampshire tonight or tomorrow. If the seedings stand, BU will be traveling to Northeastern for the first round of the tournament.   

Before we start focusing on the Hockey East, BU has to focus on tomorrow and shutting down Merrimack. You can follow the game through our live blog as well as on Twitter. You can also listen to the game through GoTerriers.com.

 

Terriers look to turn things around in Beanpot third place game

Last week, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell to the Northeastern Huskies in a 2-1 overtime battle at the TD Garden. This Monday at 4:30PM, the Terriers will play the consolation game against Harvard, who lost their semi-final game to Boston College.

“You don’t go into the Beanpot wanting to lose,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.

Although the Terriers have missed their chance at attaining the Beanpot title, they are still given the opportunity to finish in third place in Monday’s match.

Boston University (10-12-3, 8-6-2 Hockey East) played Harvard (11-7-3, 8-5-2 Ivy League) back on January 8, with the score ending in a 2-2 tie. The game remained relatively equal in both possession and the number of shots taken by each team; BU with 31 and Harvard with 28.

This past Friday, the Terriers played a rematch with #2 UMass, but were defeated by the Minutemen again 4-2. BU improved, however, conceding three less goals than they did when they played UMass on February 1.

Now, the Terriers must focus on Harvard. Narrowing in on some dangerous players from the Crimson are freshman forward Casey Dornbach and senior forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage. Dornbach is currently the second leading scorer in points with 22. His greatest strength is his excellent vision on the ice. Zerter-Gossage is currently leading the Crimson in goals with 12. As a senior, BU can expect him to come out hungry to finish out his last Beanpot tournament with a win.

Between the pipes for Harvard is senior Michael Lackey with a saving percentage of .925 this season, a similar mark to BU’s star goaltender, Jake Oettinger, who has a current saving percentage of .923.

Supporting Lackey in the back is junior defenseman Adam Fox. Fox is not only a power in the back, but is a very big threat in the attacking end. He is currently sitting first in the country, for defensemen, in scoring per game.

In order to pull out a win, BU is going to have to play a consistent 60-minute game. If the Terriers are able to do that, and have Oettinger play as well as he did in the previous Beanpot game, BU should finish in 3rd place for the 67th Beanpot tournament.

Be sure to follow our live blog for full coverage of the game! You can also listen to the game through goterriers.com.