BU opens Hockey East tournament at UMass Lowell

The Boston University men’s hockey team had a golden opportunity to finish in the top four of the Hockey East heading into last weekend.

Maine had other plans, silencing the Terriers (14-16-4, 12-9-3) in a 6-0 shutout that bounced BU into the Hockey East tournament with a sour taste in its mouth.

The Terriers had the chance to eclipse UMass Lowell in the standings with a win against the Black Bears. The result was far from satisfactory, however, forcing BU to make the trek to Lowell for the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East tournament this weekend.

The best-of-three series will begin on Friday night at Tsongas Center, extend into Saturday night and conclude with a Sunday afternoon Game 3 if necessary.

“Lowell is a pretty good hockey team,” BU head coach Albie O”Connell said. “They are well-balanced. They have a lot of go-to guys, a lot of guys with good experience. A highly-competitive team.”

This should be an entertaining affair as these two teams split the season series with each team taking care of business on the road. In the first meeting on December 7, the Riverhawks (18-11-5, 12-7-5) continued the Terriers rough beginning to the season with a 5-3 win at Agganis Arena.

“It’s been a challenge with the group this year,” O’Connell said. “There have been some ups and downs.”

UMass Lowell scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, but goals by sophomore forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty and senior forward Bobo Carpenter evened it up at 3-3 early in the third stanza.

The Riverhawks took control from there, however. Freshman defenseman Seth Barton scored his first career goal 7:45 into the third period to give his team a lead they would not relinquish.

“It’s a team that is very impressionable,” UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said. “They are going to rely on the experience of some of our seniors who have been there before and have gotten to the championship game.”

The series moved north to Tsongas the following night and that result should give the Terriers confidence they can go to Lowell and win this playoff series.

BU responded well from its defeat the previous night. The Terriers scored three times in a four-minute stretch in the first period to take a 3-0 lead. Carpenter accounted for two of those tallies with sophomore forward Shane Bowers chipping in the other one.

“It’s really about getting off to a good start and having a good first period,” O’Connell said. “There have been times where we have gotten down and we have had to chase the game.”

Sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo assisted on the first two goals and BU continued its offensive dominance in the third period. Junior forward Patrick Curry extended a one-goal lead to 4-2 five minutes into the last frame before putting the game out of reach by assisting on Bowers’ second score of the night with three minutes remaining.

“Guys know their role and understand how we have to play to be successful,” O’Connell said.

That win signaled a massive swing of momentum for BU. This game kicked off a five-game streak without a loss, a stretch which included crucial Hockey East wins over New Hampshire and Providence.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” O’Connell said. “We started out slow. Then we got going a little bit. Towards the end of the first semester, we had some big games. As we went into the second half, we had a pretty good stretch there. Right now, we are relatively healthy for the first time in awhile.”

Do you think BU can advance to TD Garden? Let us know below! 

 

Terriers suffer worst defeat since 2013 in finale against UMaine

With playoff home-ice up for grabs in the last game of the regular season, the Boston University men’s hockey team fell flat at the University of Maine on Saturday night, falling 6-0 in their most lopsided loss since 2013.

“Give Maine credit, they played a really good game,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.

The Terriers (14-16-4, 12-9-3 Hockey East) were in search of a crucial victory to secure home ice for next weekend’s Hockey East quarterfinal series with UMass Lowell. Meanwhile, Maine (15-15-4, 11-9-4 Hockey East) had little to gain from the contest, as their sixth seeding and matchup with Northeastern had already been confirmed.

However, as the Terriers would quickly learn, the Black Bears would not be an easy out on their Senior Night, and their final game of the season at Orono’s Alfond Arena.

“It’s the seniors’ last game in the building,” acknowledged O’Connell.

The Terriers conceded the opening goal to the Black Bears in the teams’ two meetings earlier this season, and this game was no different. The third time around, it was the Black Bears who struck first again, scoring less than two minutes into the contest.

Taking control from fellow defenseman Sam Becker near his own net, Brady Keeper lofted the puck forward into the BU end. Forward Brendan Robbins won the footrace to the bouncing puck and unleashed a laser to the far side to beat BU junior goalkeeper Jake Oettinger.

“They came out hot,” Coach O’Connell said.

The Black Bear lead would become two before the eight-minute mark in the period. After a hard hit by forward Mitchell Fossier on the forecheck jarred the puck loose from BU junior defenseman Dante Fabbro, forward Chase Pearson was right there to take advantage.

Alone in front, Pearson shoveled a backhand past Oettinger, collecting his team-leading 16th tally of the season and doubling the UMaine lead.

“[Maine] didn’t do anything fancy, they just outworked us,” said O’Connell.

To their credit, the Terriers would not hang their heads following the two early goals. BU gained the benefit of two power plays, and did everything but push one over the line on multiple scrums in front against senior netminder Rob McGovern, who was making just his third appearance of the season.

By the end of the opening frame, BU would lead in shots on goal 13-8, but trail on the scoreboard, 2-0.

According to Coach O’Connell, “if [BU] get a couple of goals in the first, it’s a different game.”

The glimmer of hope for BU following the first would quickly be diminished, as the Black Bears came out of the break with the same energy and, ultimately, output that they opened the game with.

It was Robbins again who lit the lamp for UMaine in the early stages of the period, streaking in and knocking home his second goal of the game just 2:28 into the frame. The play was set up by Becker and forward Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, feeding Robbins for UMaine’s third goal.

“It [was] a back-breaker,” O’Connell said in reference to the second Robbins tally.

Nearing the halfway point of the period, Maine would extend the lead to four. The goal would come on Schmidt-Svejstrup’s second assist of the frame, sending the puck ahead after an initial pass from Robbins, whose secondary assist made it a three-point night for the senior.

On the receiving end of Schmidt-Svejstrup’s leading pass was forward Tim Doherty, who snuck one by Oettinger to give UMaine their fourth goal of the opening thirty minutes. Doherty’s tally marked the end of Oettinger’s night, as freshman keeper Vinnie Purpura came on in relief.

“Jake has played terrific for us,” reaffirmed Coach O’Connell, who voiced his confidence in the junior goaltender going into the playoffs.

Worn down by the relentless Black Bear attack, BU stumbled their way through the second half of the period, taking a 4-0 deficit into the second intermission.

Things went from bad to worse for BU as the third period progressed. On an inspired individual effort, Brady Keeper took in a pass from Mitchell Fossier and weaved his way through the Terrier defense, snagged his own rebound, and tucked it in from behind the net at 7:22.

“They had a high level of urgency,” O’Connell said.

The Keeper goal would bring the score line to 5-0, equaling BU’s worst deficit of the season, which came in a defeat against Providence at Agganis Arena back in October. Six minutes after the fifth tally, however, a sixth Black Bear goal would come.

It was Keeper and Fossier who linked up for the second time in the period to produce the final Black Bear tally. Taking in the puck from Pearson, Keeper fluttered one goal-bound. Screening Purpura, Fossier was there to tip the puck into the net, and bring the total to six.

In O’Connell’s words, “[Maine] stuck to their game plan.”

The teams would skate out the final minutes to finish 6-0, ending a game that had been decided well before the final horn sounded.

It was the worst loss suffered by the Terriers since November 15, 2013, which saw BU by a score of 7-0, coincidentally in a visit to Maine as well.

“That’s hockey,” remarked Coach O’Connell.

While the ugly loss was not what the Terriers had in mind to end their regular season, BU will have to rebound quickly as they open the first round of the playoffs at UMass Lowell on Friday, March 15.

Live Blog: BU @ UMaine, 3/9 @ 7:30pm

Join here!

Closing out regular season play, the Boston University men’s hockey team will face off against the University of Maine at Alfond Arena in Orono at 7:30pm. The Terriers and Black Bears will meet for the final contest of any Hockey East regular season game, as all nine other teams concluded play last night or earlier this week.

Last night’s results had some major implications on the conference standings. Northeastern’s win over UNH made them the three seed, so BU will be the four or five seed and UMass Lowell will be other, meaning BU and UML will meet in the first round.

Lowell’s tie vs. UVM opened the door for the Terriers to overtake UML with a win at Maine, holding the same total points and head-to-head wins as the RiverHawks, but gaining the tiebreaker through total conference wins, which would become 13 if BU can take down UMaine.

In short, a win tonight for BU would make the Terriers the hosts for the first round series against UMass Lowell. With a loss or tie, UML would retain the fourth seed, and BU would travel to Lowell for the series.

The regular season has come down to the wire, so don’t miss a second of this crucial finale by joining our live blog for constant coverage and conversation throughout the game! Coverage will start at 7:25pm, with puck drop set for 7:30.

Lighting the Lamp Podcast – 3/6/19

Listen here!

On this week’s episode of “Lighting the Lamp,” Brady Gardner and Liam O’Brien start by discussing the Boston University men’s hockey team and their tie with Providence and win over Merrimack this past week. They also preview Saturday’s regular season finale against the University of Maine, and look at the state of the Hockey East standings with one game to go.

On the women’s side, Brady and Liam review a series win over the University of New Hampshire, as the Terriers advance in the women’s Hockey East tournament to face Boston College this Saturday. The guys set the stage for that matchup and consider the potential outcomes of the final four before the tournament wraps up on Sunday.

The playoffs are well underway for the women’s team, and the men’s team is just a week away from starting their own postseason play. Listen to “Lighting the Lamp” to get your fill of all things Terriers at this exciting time of year.

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.

Krys, Fabbro shine in 5-1 pounding of Merrimack on Senior Night

Junior defensemen Dante Fabbro and Chad Krys combined for three goals and six assists in the Boston University men’s hockey team’s convincing 5-1 win over Merrimack College on Saturday at Agganis Arena.

“[Fabbro and Krys] offensively and defensively were very good,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell.

It was Senior Night at Agganis Arena, as Class of 2019 Terriers Ryan Cloonan, Max Prawdzik, Shane Switzer, Max Willman and captain Bobo Carpenter were recognized in a ceremony before the game.

“It was a big night for the Seniors,” O’Connell said.

It was an especially significant game for captain Carpenter, who made his first appearance in over a month after being kept out for ten games with a lower body injury.

“He’s got a smile on his face,” said O’Connell of his returning captain. “I hadn’t seen him smile in a while.”

The four skaters would lead the Terriers (14-15-4, 12-8-3 Hockey East) into the meeting with Merrimack (7-24-3, 4-18-12 Hockey East) as starters for the opening puck drop, and Prawdzik would enter the game late in the third period.

“I thought the Seniors played well,” O’Connell said after the game.

The Terriers came flying out of the gates, capitalizing on the game’s first penalty with a power play goal four minutes into the period.

After seeing his stick snap on a one-timer attempt just seconds before, junior defenseman Dante Fabbro would grab a new twig and immediately find the back of the net on a shot that redirected off a Warrior skate and inside the far post to put BU up 1-0. The tally came on passes from freshman forward Joel Farabee and Krys, assisting the co-captain’s seventh goal of the season.

Fabbro and Krys would factor in again for BU’s second goal later in the period, as this time it was the penalty-killing unit that provided a goal for the Terriers.

Skating shorthanded 11 minutes in, sophomore forward Ty Amonte spotted a seam in the Warrior defense. Receiving the puck from Krys, Dante Fabbro slid a pinpoint pass forward to Amonte, who deked goaltender Craig Pantano and slipped the puck into a gaping net. Making the lead 2-0, Amonte’s seventh tally of the campaign also brought BU’s shorthanded goal total to a nation-leading 10 on the season.

“I think we had no goals five-on-five,” said O’Connell in regards to his team’s effectiveness in special teams play to put up five goals without a tally at even strength.

While unsuccessful with their two chances on the man advantage, Merrimack would find their legs in the second half of the opening frame. Freshman forward Chase Gresock tallied five shots on target by himself, carrying the visitors to a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal by the end of the period.

We have to be willing to shoot the puck,” O’Connell said about trying to match Merrimack’s offense shot-for-shot.

BU would weather the Warrior storm, holding the 2-0 lead at the break.

With Merrimack taking another penalty three minutes into the second period, BU’s power play unit would go to work once again.

Just twenty seconds into the man advantage, co-captains Fabbro and Carpenter combined to set up Krys with time at the left circle. Taking the space given to him, the assistant captain would unleash a laser past Pantano to provide the third-year Terrier with his sixth goal of the season, and BU with the three-goal cushion.

“The first goal was teed up for me pretty well,” said Krys. “You kind of grip it and rip it at that point.”

Never deterred, Merrimack clawed one back four minutes later, persisting with the pressure that would result in a 30-20 shots-on-target lead by the end of the frame.

Nearing the contest’s halfway point, forward Jordan Seyfert found forward Logan Drevitch shuffling in to junior netminder Jake Oettinger’s right. Firing away uncontested from the dot, Drevitch would beat the keeper to the far post, reducing the Terrier lead back to two with a 3-1 score line.

Nine minutes into the period with the Terriers down a man again, Merrimack would concede a penalty of their own, and the Terriers would get the better of the Warriors in four-on-four play.

At the 9:35 mark in the second stanza, Fabbro hit an open Krys from the first draw after the Merrimack penalty. From one hot hand to another, Krys reached the same position he took aim from for his first tally, and the result was no different. The junior’s shot trickled through Pantano and over the goal line, boosting the Terrier lead to 4-1.

Krys’ two-goal night was just the second of his career, which has seen the Connecticut native find the back of the net 19 times through his three seasons. Krys’ father Mark, who also donned the scarlet and white between 1987 and 1991, only scored one goal as a Terrier.

“I scored more goals tonight than he did in his career,” joked Krys about his father.

With a back-and-forth second half of the middle period, both teams would threaten late, including a five-on-three opportunity for the Warriors. Following the theme of solid special teams play, the Terrier penalty killers would get the job done.

After 40 minutes, BU were still on top, 4-1.

With the power play unit firing on all cylinders through two periods, it was no surprise when BU were successful for the fourth time with the extra skater.

A minute into a Merrimack penalty, Krys tossed the puck to Fabbro, who moved it along to Joel Farabee in the Terrier zone. The Philadelphia Flyers prospect did the rest, soaring through the Warrior defense and made a slick move to beat Drew Vogler, who had taken over for Pantano in net. Coming at the 3:33 mark, it was Farabee’s team-leading 13th tally, and the fourth assist of the night for Fabbro to make the lead 5-1.

“The goal that Joel scored was a highlight reel [goal], ” O’Connell said.

Killing off two penalties in the final eleven minutes, the Terriers put the finishing touches on an impressive victory. Oettinger would finish with 32 saves in just over 50 minutes between the pipes, and Prawdzik had four of his own after coming on in relief for the game’s final moments.

According to O’Connell, “special teams and goaltending at this time of the year [are] going to be important.”

The game would conclude with BU the 5-1 victors.

It was a ten-point night for the defensive pair of Dante Fabbro and Chad Krys. Both were involved in every Terrier tally, as Fabbro notched one goal and five assists, while Krys knocked in two goals of his own to go along with three helpers.

“Our defense helped our offense tonight for sure,” said O’Connell.

The big win pushed the BU point streak to five games, and kept the Terriers in the hunt for home-ice in the Hockey East playoffs. With one game to play, the fifth-place Terriers now sit just one point outside the final position to host a quarterfinal matchup, currently occupied by UMass Lowell. With Saturday’s results across the league, BU is confirmed to finish between third and fifth in the division.

“[The win] was definitely huge for us heading down the stretch here,” said Fabbro.

The Terriers will march north to Orono to face off against the University of Maine in the regular season finale next Saturday at 7pm.

Live Blog: BU vs. Merrimack, 3/2 @ 7pm

Join here!

With two games left in the Hockey East regular season, the Terriers will return to Agganis Arena tonight to square off against Merrimack.

BU tied their most recent contest 1-1 at Providence, continuing their four-game unbeaten streak. While gaining only one point against the Friars hurt fifth-place BU’s chances at reaching the conference’s top four to secure a home-ice playoff game, losses from Northeastern and UMass Lowell last night mean that the Terriers are still right there in the hunt.

As for the visitors, Merrimack bring up the bottom of the division standings, and are weeks removed from being serious playoff contenders. That said, the Warriors did put up a good fight in a 4-2 loss to league-leading UMass earlier this week, and beat BU 4-0 in October before falling to the Terriers 7-2 at Agganis Arena later in the season.

It’s an ugly day. hockey fans. Can’t make it to Agganis? Our live blog has you covered! Join us for constant coverage and conversation throughout the game. The blog begins at 6:50pm, with puck drop set for 7.

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.

 

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

Join here!

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.