Terriers end skid with win over UConn, pitch shutout in Oettinger’s 100th game

In the 100th game of junior goaltender Jake Oettinger’s collegiate career, the Boston University men’s hockey team kept the University of Connecticut scoreless en route to a 2-0 victory, splitting the weekend series and bringing an end to BU’s six-game losing streak.

“It was important to bounce back,” said Oettinger. “It definitely feels good to get a win at home.”

After conceding twice in the opening frame on Friday night, the Terriers (11-15-3, 9-8-2 Hockey East) kept the Huskies (10-18-2, 5-13-2 Hockey East) showed early improvements on Saturday, with the teams remaining scoreless through 20 minutes. UConn attempted nine shots on goal in the stanza while BU put up 14 – an encouraging development following the mere five shots on target the Terriers tallied in the same amount of time the night before.

We protected our net,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell about the advances made on Saturday following the rough start in the series opener on Friday.

BU were the closer of the two teams to breaking the deadlock in the first. Junior forward Patrick Curry, who scored a late game-tying goal in the teams’ first meeting, found a hole in the Husky defense with four minutes remaining. This time around, though, the Illinois native would not be able to beat freshman keeper Tomas Vomacka, and the sides stayed 0-0 after one.

“Their goalie in the first made some highlight reel saves,” said O’Connell of Vomacka.

The deadlock would persist through the second period, with both teams struggling to establish an offensive rhythm. BU came up just inches away on multiple opportunities, including a two-on-one chance for Curry and linemate Joel Farabee late in the frame. The freshman looked to feed Curry on the rush, but the play was broken up just outside of Vomacka’s crease.

“That line’s got some pretty good chemistry,” said Coach O’Connell regarding the partnership of Farabee, Curry, and sophomore linemate Shane Bowers – all of which created chances throughout the weekend.

Play became more chippy into the final minutes of the frame as the Terriers and Huskies pushed for a late go-ahead goal to grab the lead at the break. Play would be halted three different times for penalties – two for BU, one for UConn – but even in special teams, nothing could separate the sides after 40 minutes, keeping the score 0-0.

“It was hard to get open ice,” said O’Connell of the tight play through two periods.

The ice was finally broken in the third, as sophomore forward Ty Amonte lit the lamp for BU 1:27 into the final frame. Sophomore Cam Crotty’s shot was knocked down by Vomacka following a pass by senior forward Ryan Cloonan, but Amonte was right there to sweep it in and give BU the lead. It was the sophomore’s fifth goal of the season, and his first in eight games.

“I think we’ve been competing real hard,” said Jake Oettinger, whose Terriers were rewarded for their competitive effort by scoring the opener for just the second time in eleven games.

Oettinger was solid throughout the game, but the junior really stood tall when the Terriers were defending the one-goal advantage. With BU in search of a second on the power play with nearly 12 minutes to play in regulation, UConn leading goal scorer Alexander Payusov snuck in for a breakaway. However, the junior forward was denied by the glove of Oettinger.

That definitely was nice for me to chip in a little bit,” said the Dallas Stars draftee, who made 26 saves in the contest. “I didn’t think I had a ton of work tonight.”

Oettinger and the Terrier defense would survive long enough for their attack to double the lead. Working on the penalty kill, Ryan Cloonan made a diving stop to win the puck for BU. It fell to sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo, who fed it forward for a streaking Joel Farabee. The Flyers prospect did the rest, firing high to the blocker side to put BU up 2-0 with 4:18 remaining. The tally marked his eleventh goal of the season – tied with linemate Curry for the team lead.

“Capitalizing on those chances is huge,” said Oettinger. “[The Farabee goal] gave us a little bit of breathing room.”

A final attempt to rally would come up empty for the Huskies, and BU would finish 2-0 victors. It was the first victorious shut-out of the season for the Terriers, and a welcomed end to the six-game skid.

We can breathe,” joked O’Connell about finally ending the losing streak – the program’s longest since 2014, and just one loss short of being BU’s longest since 1962.

On a more positive historical note, the shut-out was the 11th of Jake Oettinger’s career with BU, putting the junior just two away from reaching the Terrier record. With a flawless performance in his 100th game, it was certainly a special night for the Minnesota native.

“It’s crazy that it’s already been 100 games. It feels like I was playing my first one yesterday,” said Oettinger. “It’s definitely a cool milestone and nice to get a win in the 100th game.”

Even with the struggles as of late, the Terriers still find themselves just three points away from hosting a Hockey East playoff game, and four points off of the second spot in the division.

“This afternoon we looked at the records and said ‘look, everything’s up for grabs,’” said Coach O’Connell.

With confidence returning and a favorable schedule ahead, Coach O’Connell and his goaltender  Oettinger are optimistic about the state of their team going forward.

“Guys were committed to doing the right thing and playing the right way, said O’Connell. “There was a lot of buy-in, so that’s a positive sign for sure.”

“Top to bottom I think it’s a really close-knit group,” said Oettinger. “It’s just really fun to be around the room.”

The Terriers will look to keep things moving in the right direction as they travel for a two-game set at the University of Vermont next weekend.

Live Blog: BU vs. UConn, 2/16 @ 7pm

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Finishing off a home-and-home weekend series against the University of Connecticut, BU return to Agganis Arena looking to avenge last night’s overtime loss to the Huskies and finally end their six-game losing streak.

Can BU get back in the win column and earn some much-needed Hockey East points tonight against UConn? Join our live blog for minute-by-minute coverage and conversation during the game!

Third period comeback not enough as Terriers fall to UConn 3-2 in OT

Coming off of five consecutive defeats, the Boston University men’s hockey team nearly stole a victory late from the University of Connecticut, but were ultimately defeated by the hosts in overtime, 3-2.

“That’s a tough one to take,” said Terrier head coach Albie O’Connell.

BU (10-15-3, 8-8-2 Hockey East) fell victim to another slow start, allowing 13 shots on goal to their five in the first period and surrendering three penalties in the opening eight minutes alone. UConn (9-17-2, 4-12-2 Hockey East) were able to cash in on the second man advantage, as senior forward Karl El-Mir tipped in a shot from junior defenseman Philip Nyberg to get the Huskies on the board first at 7:06.

“Good things [happen] when you’re at the net and you shoot the puck,” said O’Connell.

The Terriers finally showed some life on a power play towards the end of the period, but it would be the Huskies who would tally the game’s next goal. With 2:09 left in the frame, junior defenseman Wyatt Newpower tossed in a shot from range that got through a crowd and found the back of the BU net, making the lead 2-0 at the first intermission.

While BU could not cut into the deficit in the second period, the Terriers did show some tenacity, mainly through physicality after the whistle from junior forward Patrick Curry and senior forward Ryan Cloonan. However, freshman forward Joel Farabee would receive a 10-minute game-misconduct penalty for his role in a scuffle 30 seconds before the buzzer.

“UConn always plays physical,” said Coach O’Connell. “I thought we matched our competitiveness.”

The middle stanza saw few clear-cut chances, maintaining the 2-0 score line going into the final 20 minutes. Junior netminder Jake Oettinger made a pair strong saves on El-Mir efforts late in the second frame, while a breakaway from sophomore forward Shane Bowers was denied by freshman keeper Tomas Vomacka, as well as the ensuing the rebound chance for Curry.

According to O’Connell, “[Vomacka] gave [UConn] every chance to win the game.”

Trailing by two goals into the third, the Terriers finally got one back just past the halfway point in the period. Soaring in from Vomacka’s right side, junior forward Patrick Harper circled the net and snuck in a wrap-around attempt for his third goal of the season, with assists credited to the defensive pairing of junior Dante Fabbro and sophomore David Farrance.

Still down one with time winding down, the Terriers would eventually find their equalizer off the stick of Patrick Curry with just over a minute to play. Farrance and Fabbro linked up for the assists once again, with the former slinging a pass across the attacking zone for Curry to slam in for his team-leading 11th goal of the season, sending the game beyond regulation time.

“We pushed hard to win tonight,” said Coach O’Connell.

BU had the momentum into overtime, but the Terrier excitement would be short-lived. 51 seconds into the extra frame, freshman forward Jáchym Kondelík threw in a shot from range that was knocked down by Oettinger, but junior forward Alexander Payusov was right there to tap in the uncontested rebound and keep the coveted Hockey East points in Connecticut.

“That’s a frustrating one,” said O’Connell. “For it to end the way it did – wow.”

It was déjà vu in multiple ways for the Terriers. Last season, BU came away from their visit to Connecticut with an overtime loss as well. In more recent memory, BU’s overtime surrender brought back memories of Northeastern’s OT win over the Terriers in Beanpot play just two weeks ago, in which the game-winner also came exactly 51 seconds into the extra period.

“It is what it is,” said Coach O’Connell. “The only thing we can do is be ready for tomorrow.”

Still in search of the elusive victory to break the losing skid, the Terriers will return to Agganis Arena for a rematch with UConn on Saturday, 2/16 at 7pm.

Live Blog: BU @ UConn, 2/15 @ 7pm

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Looking to end a 5-game losing skid, BU travel south to UConn to face the Huskies in the opener of a two-game weekend series. The Terriers could really benefit from gaining some coveted points in Hockey East play, as just three points separate seventh-place BU from third-place BC.

Couldn’t make it to Connecticut? Our live blog has you covered! We will have live play-by-play and conversation during BU vs. UConn tonight! Coverage starts at 6:50pm, with puck drop set for 7. Come join us!

Tilts against Union, Michigan, U.S. National Junior Team highlight Terriers’ 2014-15 schedule

By Conor Ryan/DFP Staff

David Quinn’s second go-around with the Boston University men’s hockey team looks to be a memorable, if not challenging, campaign.
The program released its 2014-15 schedule Thursday, revealing plenty of both new and familiar matchups for the Terriers.
Games against reigning NCAA champion Union College, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan and both the U.S. National Junior Team and the U.S. National Under-18 Team highlight the schedule for the Terriers, who are looking to rebound from a disappointing 2013-14 year.
BU’s season will kick off on Oct. 4, as the Terriers will host St. Thomas University-New Brunswick before opening up regular-season play on the road against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on Oct. 10.
The Terriers will then host the U.S. U-18 team on Oct. 18 before starting their home schedule the following weekend with games against Michigan State University and Michigan on Oct. 24 and 25, respectively.
Other notable non-conference games on the schedule include the first ever meeting between Union and BU at Agganis Arena on Jan. 3 and contests against Harvard University (Nov. 25), Colgate University (Nov. 29), Dartmouth College (Nov. 30) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Dec. 13).
The Terriers will also travel to Madison for the first time since 2000 to take on Wisconsin in a two-game road tilt on Jan. 9-10. BU will also move back to its old confines of Walter Brown Arena on Dec. 19 to take on the U.S. National Junior Team.
Twenty-two Hockey East games are set for the upcoming season, including a home game against Boston College on Jan. 16. Two Hockey East teams will be making their first trips up to Agganis this season, as BU will host the University of Notre Dame for a weekend series on Feb. 20-21 and new conference member University of Connecticut on Nov. 16.
The Terriers will kick off the 63rd annual Beanpot on Feb. 2 and 9 at TD Garden. BU will take on Harvard in the first round before taking on either Boston College or Northeastern University the following weekend.
For the full schedule, check out the “2014-15 schedule” tab on the left.