Pluses and Minuses: Carpenter, Maguire carry Terriers in playoff-opening victory

The University of Massachusetts Amherst gave the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team quite the challenge in the first game of the Hockey East Tournament, pushing BU into an overtime contest. Ultimately, though, the Terriers earned a 2-1 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series at Agganis Arena on Friday night.

There were a couple things we didn’t like, but a whole, whole, whole lot of things we really, really, really didn’t like. Here’s just a sampling:


My pretty immediate reaction after the game is that my only plus on the night was for freshman forward Bobo Carpenter. Judy has more about his two-goal night in her sidebar.

Maguire in OT
After immediately feeling like Carpenter was the only good thing about BU in Friday’s game, I decided that was an unfair sentiment toward senior goaltender Sean Maguire, who had some mindblowing saves in overtime — including one on a delayed penalty where he dove in front of a wide-open net and made a blocker save to keep the score knotted.

“I thought the game was over,” said BU coach David Quinn. “He makes a phenomenal save to allow us to regroup.”

Twenty-eight saves on 29 shots isn’t too shabby of a night, either. His save percentage on the year is now at .930 and his goals-against average sits at 2.09.


It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how lightly the Terriers were taking UMass entering this game, considering they’d beaten them by scores of 7-2 and 6-3 already this season.

You could point to the fact that it’s a playoff game, a fresh start, where UMass has nothing to lose. But BU showed next to no urgency through the first two periods — looking like, quite possibly, they have have underestimated just how hard the Minutemen would come out in this game.

Here’s what Quinn had to say:

“Well, they’re 18-to-22-year-olds, and you beat a team 7-2 and 6-3 and there’s 700 people in the building,” Quinn said. “I without question thought that human nature was a factor in the first two periods from our end of it.

“That being said, I thought they played very well. They played hard, they were physical, they blocked a ton of shots, so I don’t want to discredit the way UMass played.”

Here’s Carpenter’s take:

“I don’t think so, I just think it’s playoff hockey,” he said. “And everyone’s got a chip on their shoulder to get the championship. I think the rest of the games are going to be the same way, everyone’s going to give it their best so they don’t end their season early.”

And here’s senior forward Ahti Oksanen’s take:

“That’s what coach told us too, just that obviously we really destroyed them the first two games,” Oksanen said. “So it might’ve been that we started a little slow and thought that would be just an easy game for us, but obviously that wasn’t the truth.”

Couldn’t solve Renyard — or get a rebound
While Maguire had a good night, UMass goalie Nic Renyard’s was even better. He had a career-best 46 saves in the game, and BU couldn’t figure out how to get past him, save for some great play by Carpenter.

That being said, Renyard left plenty of rebounds up for grabs in the slot, however, and BU couldn’t seem to capitalize, as nobody was ever in the right position. Forty-eight shots on goal is an impressive number, but there were even more chances there that the Terriers couldn’t seem to grasp.

Power play
BU had three total shots on three power plays.

That really says it all, but Oksanen had more to say about what’s going wrong on the power play, which hasn’t been right for quite some time. They’ve gotten just one power-play goal in seven attempts over the past three games.

“That’s a good question, if we know what we’re doing wrong, we would change it right away,” Oksanen said. “But … I guess we’re a little much in so-called ‘power-play mode,’ just not playing normal hockey. We have our setup, and we just stand there, and not really do anything. We just need to play simple hockey and get the puck in.”

Basically — too much passing, not enough shooting.

Quinn exaggerated a bit when he said that there were only 700 people in the building, but just 1,752 fans showed up to Agganis Arena on Friday night, which, according to BU Sports Information Director Brian Kelley, is the lowest total in building history for a men’s hockey game.

That can probably be partially attributed to the fact that spring break is underway for BU students. Regardless, though, even though it’s UMass and only a first-round matchup — yikes. This weekend’s the last time BU will play at home this year, so just a bit unfortunate.

Last home game with the three of us
Andrew’s headed off for spring vacation, so he’ll miss tomorrow’s game — thus making Friday night the last time all three of us will cover a game together at Agganis Arena. We’ll have our friend Nick Frazier helping us out tomorrow, but regardless, sad to see our last time together at a place with many, many good memories.

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers earn ‘true team win’ in victory over No. 10 Notre Dame

Senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP FILE PHOTO

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — In the penultimate game of its regular season, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team made what’s to come a little bit easier on itself.

The Terriers (19-9-5, 12-5-4 Hockey East) defeated the No. 10 University of Notre Dame by a score of 3-2 in an important conference matchup to help decide where they will officially fall in the standings.

They played well in what would be described by BU head coach David Quinn as a playoff atmosphere, and we thought so, too.

Here’s what we liked and didn’t like in the victory:


Depth and the fourth line

BU’s second goal of the evening was scored by senior forward Mike Moran, who was back to centering the fourth line as junior forward Robbie Baillargeon returned to the lineup after missing last weekend’s slate with the University of New Hampshire. Moran and his wingers, sophomore Chase Phelps and junior Tommy Kelley, provided an energetic and physical presence on the ice.

Andrew has more about this in his sider.

True team win

In his postgame press conference, Quinn praised the way the win on Friday seemed to come from the top of the lineup all the way through the bottom. He said it was like a postseason hockey game in a lot of ways, and that the Terriers’ effort was that of a “true team win.”

“I thought our goalie was really good. I thought our forwards to our first line to our fourth line played well. Our D played well. And just really proud of our guys,” he said. “To come in to this building and beat a very good hockey team, well-coached, they’ve got a lot of good players there. It takes all 20 guys pulling in the right direction. I thought we had that tonight.”

Quinn added that this is the time of year when the little things really start to matter. Not that they don’t early in the year, he clarified, but they tend to mean more now.

“Just really proud of our guys,” he said. “They really answered the bell.”

Much of that had to do with the way the Terriers defended throughout the game. Neither of the Irish’s goals came at 5-on-5, and Quinn attributed that to the way BU played its opponent.

“I thought we did a really good job of closing on them down low, we were really conscious of our body positioning, keeping our body between the net and offensive player,” he said. “We were quick, our second defender did a good job getting to their second guy, supporting the play, and I thought we were consistent with that.

“There weren’t a lot of times we didn’t do that and against that team we’d better to that because they’ve got a lot of big, strong forwards,” Quinn continued. “They’re elusive down low, and I thought we did a really good job defending.”

Sean Maguire

It seems like putting senior netminder Sean Maguire in the pluses category has become an almost weekly occurrence, but he came up big for the team again on Friday. Maguire recorded 33 saves on 35 shots and was named first star of the game, bumping his season save percentage up a couple points from .925 to .927.

“He made some big saves …” Quinn said. “He missed an awful lot of hockey last year, and he didn’t play at all and got off to a bit of a slow start, but he’s been a rock back there since early December. And if you’re going to have a chance in our sport you’d better have a goalie, and we have a goalie.”

At 5-on-5, Maguire was perfect, as the two goals he allowed during the evening came at 5-on-4 and 6-on-5. And even with Notre Dame’s extra skater on the ice, the goaltender recorded five saves on six Irish power-play shots and fended off all but one chance during the 2:28 goalie Cal Petersen was pulled at the end of the game.

That shot, however, was put in the back of the net a bit at the fault of Maguire, who had flung the puck down the ice at the empty net for what we assume was an attempt at a goalie goal (which would have been awesome), but it missed and wound up being an icing. The faceoff came back to BU’s end, and the Irish benefited from a rebound and bodies in front to pull within one.

From there, though, and aside from the other goal Notre Dame scored, Maguire’s positioning and play  acted as a brick wall for BU.

Playoff positioning

With the Terriers’ win on Friday, things have obviously become more clear when it comes to the conference playoff picture. BU is capable of clinching a top-four seed in the Hockey East tournament and a first round bye in the following ways (also thank you Hockey East for providing this):

1. BU gets the No. 3 seed with a win on Saturday
2. BU gets the No. 4 seed with a tie on Saturday
3. BU gets the No. 4 seed with a loss AND the University of Massachusetts Lowell loss or tie to Boston College on Saturday
4. BU gets the No. 5 seed with a loss AND a UMass Lowell win over BC on Saturday


Senior forward Ahti Oksanen and Moran both notched goals in the win Friday, and senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan also registered a pair of assists for four of nine BU points in the game coming from the senior class.

Updated point total for the Terriers: 113-193—306
Updated point total for the seniors: 56-70—126

Enough said.

First win at Compton Family Ice Arena

Just a quick fun fact, but Friday’s win marked the Terriers’ first against the Irish since Oct. 10, 2010, and, subsequently, their first victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena, which opened in Oct. 2011.

Danny O’Regan

Another little tidbit for ya is that with his two assists on Friday night, O’Regan now has 148 career points in 148 career games. Aside from that making him a career point per game player, it also means he has the most career points since Chris Drury had 214 from 1994-98.


Late-period penalties

BU ended both the first and second periods on the penalty kill Friday night, which is less than ideal for sure, especially since the Terriers gave up a goal at the end of the first. This hasn’t really been an issue during the rest of the season, so I’m being a little nitpicky since it’s not a trend, but naturally it’s something BU doesn’t want to and probably won’t continue.

Power play

I know, I know, it got a goal, but the power play did not look great in its one chance on the ice Friday. BU had trouble with its breakout and could not enter the zone cleanly while operating with the man advantage. It really took until Oksanen’s tally for the unit to generate much of anything at all. Still, a goal’s a goal, and the Terriers now have four markers on their last 11 power plays.

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers notch 3rd consecutive win


No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey head coach David Quinn praised his team last weekend for giving full, 60-minute efforts in two wins over the University of Maine.

Those are the kind of games, he said, that are needed down the stretch drive as points become even more valuable. Even against a team like Merrimack College, one that had lost nine in a row coming into Friday, the Terriers would need another complete performance.

In another wire-to-wire effort, the Terriers (14-7-4, 8-4-3 Hockey East) shut out Merrimack, 4-0, with the combined efforts of two netminders, senior Sean Maguire and sophomore Connor LaCouvee.

Four different Terriers scored en route to BU’s third consecutive win and fourth game in a row which the team has earned at least a point.

“I thought we played smart hockey, we possessed it, we didnt turn the puck over,” Quinn said, “a lot of good things and a tough game to play, tough game to play.”

We’ll take a look at the good, the bad and the straight up weird in this Pluses and Minuses.


Lane at the top

We’re going to go out on a limb and assume not many people had Matt Lane as their preseason pick to be the team leader in goals.

But as of the end of this game, that’s where Lane finds himself, though he is technically tied with his classmate, winger Ahti Oksanen.

A week after Maine head coach Red Gendron said his team had “no answer” for Lane and his linemates, Lane scored his 14th goal of the season about halfway through the third period of this one, getting his own rebound and tapping the puck past Merrimack (7-14-5, 2-8-5 Hockey East) goaltender Collin Delia.

The goal was one portion of his three-point night, the second straight game that Lane has recorded three points. In his last four outings, Lane is averaging two points per game.

A lot of what Lane has done to get better in the goal department, according to Quinn, is the fact that he is adding more practice time to his shooting.

“Well, number one, he skates so well,” Quinn said. “Two, he’s really worked on his shot, he’s scored some goal-scorer’s goals. He can really snap it, he gets it off quick, he understands you gotta get inside the hash marks to create some offense and it’s great to see him get rewarded.

“I mean, 14 goals for him is a heck of a senior year.”

Oksanen’s milestone 

Speaking of the other skater with 14 goals, Oksanen added his latest tally at the 18:42 mark of the third period, BU’s fourth and final goal.

But the goal, in the grand scheme of the game, was irrelevant. However, for Oksanen, it was more than just stat-padder.

The empty-netter was Oksanen’s 50th-career goal in the BU uniform, a pretty impressive feat considering the fact that he was a full-time defenseman at this time two years ago. He also joins senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan as the second Terrier to reach the half-century mark in career goals this season.

For as much as he shoots the puck — both during games and practice — Oksanen makes it work and continues to be a force any time he touches the puck in the offensive zone.

Seniors stand out 

If it hasn’t been apparent already, the big takeaway from this game was the fact that the seniors played well.

Four elder statesmen (Lane, Oksanen, O’Regan and captain Matt Grzelcyk) combined for six points in the win. O’Regan’s lone point of the night came on a shorthanded attempt in the second period where he took the puck from center ice and broke all alone on goal, beating Delia up high.

“Danny played great tonight, had a lot of energy in the third period,” Quinn said, “him and Matt Lane I thought had really good third periods and, again, your seniors, your seniors have to deliver and three of them get goals tonight so good night for them.”

In the crease, Maguire made all the stops he needed to (27 total), including 10 on Merrimack power-play chances. But that’s only a smidgen of what happened with Maguire tonight. More on that in the minuses…


Bad break for Maguire

Early in the first period during a Merrimack rush, Maguire didn’t quite look himself. It wasn’t the fact that he wasn’t stopping the puck, but he couldn’t move from post-to-post with the quickness that he normally has.

But it was no fault of his own. In an unfortunate incident, his skate blade somehow popped off, and he was forced to come out of the game for a 5:49 stretch to get it fixed.

In that brief span, Maguire not only lost his bid for a shutout (he would have had to have played the full game), but he also lost his chance for a win. Junior forward Robbie Baillargeon scored what turned out to be the decisive goal, which gave LaCouvee the victory.

Sarah has more about this “peculiar” situation in her sidebar.

Penalties add up, power play fails to convert 

It wasn’t as if the BU penalty kill wasn’t good, as it went a perfect 6-for-6 for the evening.

But the fact that the Terriers took six penalties in one game is definitely on the negative side. The second period could have gotten out of hand, with the Warriors garnering seven shots on net.

BU’s power play had ample opportunity to get an extra-man goal, but went 0-for-4. Going back to the Terriers’ 1-1 tie with No. 5 Boston College, BU is 1-for-18 on the power play.

Quinn held no secrets about his feelings toward the power-play unit on Friday.

“Didn’t like it,” Quinn said. “Not surprised we didn’t have success. Just, we’re too slow. We’re too methodical, we’re too slow, there’s no pace to our power play right now, which is kind of funny because it was clicking at a great pace when we came back from Christmas but we’re just, we don’t have a shooter’s mentality, we don’t pass it quick enough.

“Other than that, it’s unbelievable.”

Pluses and Minuses: BU struggles in transition, hampered by penalties in loss to BC

(Judy Cohen also helped write this.)

CHESTNUT HILL — After a back-and-forth matchup (My recap of the game is here), the Boston University men’s hockey team eventually fell to Boston College by a score of 5-3.

We anticipated it would be, as always, an entertaining game — and we certainly got that. There were a whole lot of takeaways from that game, too, and we’ve spelled out just some of the things we liked and didn’t like below.


Neutral zone
While the game was relatively even for the most part when the sides weren’t utilizing their special teams units, there were elements to BU’s game that did give BC an advantage. For one thing, the Eagles had a pretty easy time in transition, skating through the neutral zone with relative ease and, at times, on odd-man rushes.

The defense was tight in the first period, said senior assistant captain Matt Lane, when things like that weren’t occurring. But as the game progressed, the Terriers got “sloppy.”

“We didn’t close the gap, we gave them too much space,” Lane added. “Offensively and defensively, there was just too much space in between our forecheck and our two defenders and they were just kinda airmailing pucks there and getting some odd-man rushes.”

Quinn said that the Eagles’ success in that area during the game came from the Terriers’ “poor puck management, puck-watching and being lazy.”

Lane said BU would take measures to eliminate that from its game heading into Saturday’s contest, beginning with skating more.

“When you skate, it usually takes care of all of those things, so if our D and our forwards are skating, we’ll have better gaps,” he continued. “We’ll come up and down the ice five as a unit, and we’ll eliminate those odd-man rushes.”

One step closer to 1,000
A couple months ago, the three of us here at the Boston Hockey Blog joked about Jerry York getting his 1,000th career win against BU. How fitting would that be?

At the time, we assumed he’d have passed 1,000 wins by the time this rivalry series rolled around, but after a 1-3-1 record in December, it became pretty clear that York would have a pretty good shot at 1,000 against the Terriers.

And he got just that much closer with his 999th win on Friday. If BC wins Saturday at Agganis Arena, then that’ll do it.

York insisted after Friday’s game that the win total was just a number and that he wasn’t paying particular attention to the accolade, but it’s not like it’s an insignificant accomplishment. It makes the stakes in Saturday’s game just that much higher, and while a sweep would be bad for BU anyway, this adds that much more pressure.

While it proved to be pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of the game, sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato did something Friday he hadn’t done in a college game before: He took a penalty.

Yep, after going an entire season last year, and 20 games this year, without recording a penalty, he ended that streak with a tripping call 9:50 into the first period. All good things must come to an end, I guess.

Penalties and special teams in general, sort of
BU was able to capitalize on three different power plays for goals, and special teams were basically the story of the evening. Judy has more about that in her sidebar.


Ahti’s 100th
Though there were a bunch of things to dislike about the loss, one of the brighter spots was senior forward Ahti Oksanen getting his 100th collegiate point. The winger had 98 points coming into Friday night on 46 goals and 52 assists through 131 games.

In his 132nd, Oksanen recorded an assist on freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson’s first-period power-play goal for his 99th point and then got a power-play tally of his own in the second for his 100th.

“He’s a goal-scorer, always has been, always will be,” Lane said. “He shoots the puck, some guys like to say a little too much, but that’s his job. And I always tell him to keep shooting, and he knows he’s going to keep shooting, and that’s why he scores goals, and that’s why he’s got 100 points.”

As has become typical this season, Forsbacka Karlsson impressed during Friday night’s game. The freshman was one of three Terriers with multi-point efforts (the others being Oksanen and senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan), registering a goal in the first period and an assist in the second.

He also blocked a pair of shots and was, as usual, a large part of BU’s penalty kill. But his traits that don’t necessarily appear on the scoresheet were in full view as well, like his neutral-zone stick-lifts and overall play-making abilities.

He accounted for six of BU’s 49 total shot attempts and drew a penalty as well.

The BC and Conte Forum Experience
As some of our readers know already, we like to give props where props are due, especially when it comes to off-ice entertainment and accomplishments. And BC’s crew goes all out with its graphics and marketing. You can check out a lot of their .gifs and other graphics on their Twitter account. We especially liked this .gif with the team’s lineup.

BC’s intro video was as good as we’ve seen all year, and the mid-game hype videos were on point (anytime “Hotline Bling” is involved, we’re happy). On top of that, TD Garden organist Ron Poster was on hand at Conte for some live music to add to the experience. Overall, regardless of rooting interests, you can’t say that BC doesn’t know how to provide some great entertainment.

Pluses and Minuses: Late goal sinks No. 12 BU at No. 15 Yale to start Connecticut weekend


NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — Late in the third period of Friday night’s game against No. 15 Yale University, there was some confusion among the skaters on the ice for the No. 12 Boston University men’s hockey team.

The Terriers had already pulled sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee for an extra skater, but there was a slight issue.

BU had seven skaters on the ice when there should’ve been six.

After some discussing and finger pointing, the problem was sorted out and the Terriers (8-6-3, 4-3-2 Hockey East) had the correct number of skaters to finish the game, although they probably wished they could’ve gotten away with sneaking in an extra, extra forward.

They made it close in the end, but the Terriers fell to Yale, 3-2. Bulldogs (6-4-2) forward John Hayden scored twice, including the game-winner in the third period to propel Yale.

It wasn’t BU’s best effort by any stretch, so here’s a breakdown of the loss at Ingalls Rink.


Slow Start

Honestly, we could have just copied and pasted this section from a bunch of other stories we’ve written, but it really held true again.

It wasn’t like the Terriers got severely outplayed from the outset, and they even got on the board first with senior forward Ahti Oksanen’s ninth goal of the season, but there just seemed to be a flow missing. Part of that could be attributed to Yale’s strong defense and goaltending from Alex Lyon, who had a 1.78 goals-against average coming into the game.

Any way you slice it, BU was outshot 28-19 after two periods, and trailed by a goal after those 40 minutes.

It was the eighth time since Nov. 13 at Providence College that BU has entered a third period either trailing or tied.

“Too little, too late,” said head coach David Quinn. “You can’t beat yourselves, and we just beat ourselves tonight.” 

Major penalty

Yale was already crawling back into the game, and freshman forward Ryan Cloonan did his team no favors by taking a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty on a hit he threw in the neutral zone at 19:03 of the second period.

Thirty-seven seconds into that major penalty, Hayden scored the first of his two goals on a perfect passing play set up by the Bulldogs that started down low from the right-wing boards and eventually to Hayden in the slot.

It would be the only goal the Bulldogs would get on this man advantage, but having Cloonan out of the picture meant an already shorthanded BU group was forced to play down a man for the entire third period.

Missed coverage

Without senior captain Matt Grzelcyk and sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey, it was going to be a challenge for the remaining BU defensemen to step up to contain Yale. But, much to their credit, the blue liners played well for most of the game.

Although they made smart plays a majority of the time, when they did mess up, it directly cost the Terriers.

The goals, most notably the first one, all appeared to involve a missed assignment or failed coverage.

BU had just called a timeout after it iced the puck in the middle of the second period, and off the ensuing faceoff, forward Ryan Hitchcock somehow snuck open near the net and beat LaCouvee on a rebound to tie the game at one with 1:47 left in the second period.

“Coach reiterated all week that they’re not going to beat themselves and unfortunately their first goal and that power-play goal wasn’t great plays on our part, you can’t let them get a lead like that because it’s tough to score goals against them,” said junior defenseman Doyle Somerby.

“Unfortunately it came back to bite us.”


Greenway continues improvement 

Like other highly touted recruits from the U.S. National Team Development Program, freshman forward Jordan Greenway had his fair share of hype coming into his first year on Commonwealth Avenue.

But the first month-plus of his season was relatively quiet, at least points-wise. Quinn reiterated that he liked the potential he saw from Greenway, but there a lack of “killer instinct.”

The faith in Greenway seems to finally be paying dividends. Greenway has five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four games, upping his point total to seven on the year.

On Friday, he had the primary assist on Oksanen’s second-period strike on a pass set up from behind the goal line and to the slot.

“Well he’s getting older, he’s getting more mature, he’s starting to understand how to play the game at this level,” Quinn said after the game Friday. “And I thought that line was really good tonight, that line really possessed the puck and had some great chances. And I really liked the way Jordan played tonight.”

End of penalty kill

Playing down a skater is never easy, but when it’s even more difficult when it’s for five minutes.

But BU, despite giving up one power-play goal on the major penalty, clamped down for the final 4:23 of the penalty, and didn’t allow Yale to again find the back of the net while on the man advantage.

Judy has you covered on this part of the game in her sidebar.

Pluses and Minuses: Forsbacka Karlsson pushes Terriers to draw with Providence

Both nights, it could have ended poorly, but both nights, the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team managed to erase deficits and eke out a tie.


Saturday afternoon’s matchup with No. 1 Providence College at Agganis Arena was a little more intense offensively than Friday’s 1-1 tie in Providence, Rhode Island. After eliminating BU’s 2-0 deficit and jumping ahead 3-2 thanks to the heroics of freshman forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, BU (5-3-2, 3-2-2 Hockey East) eventually skated away with a 3-3 tie and two points on the weekend.

After a battle of a series, as always, it’s time to sit back, relax and pick apart what we liked and didn’t like. Here are our pluses and minuses from Saturday’s game:


Keeping up with the best

The narrative was there all weekend — the rematch between last year’s national championship game foes, BU looking for “redemption” against the No. 1 team in the nation.

At the end of the day, BU came away with a pair of ties and two crucial Hockey East points — and impressive resilience to earn comeback ties against one of the nation’s top teams.

“We can compete with the best of ‘em,” said BU head coach David Quinn following the game. “That’s a big, strong, well-balanced team. We showed a lot of resiliency, we showed some mental toughness.”

Of course, the ties can be a tad bittersweet, but it’s hard to complain about getting points.

“It’s a little weird with ties, you don’t really know how to feel about it,” Forsbacka Karlsson said. “But obviously two points this weekend is not too bad.”

JFK for President

First of all, props to the fans at Agganis Arena with a sign that said “JFK for President 2016.” Good execution on that.

Forsbacka Karlsson certainly made a surge in his freshman campaign with his performance against the Friars (6-0-2, 0-0-2 Hockey East). His first goal, which at the time tied the game 2-2, came on an attempt to chip in the puck to his linemate, senior forward Ahti Oksanen. Forsbacka Karlsson admitted he “wasn’t really sure if” Oksanen touched the puck or not, but it took a good enough curve that it made its way in.

Less than three minutes later, Forsbacka Karlsson gave BU the lead on a high shot from the slot.

“It was a good feeling,” he said. “… It’s always fun to kind of get energy from the crowd and play off that. I think that helps us a lot.”

Third period

Forsbacka Karlsson’s goals were just part of a huge third frame from BU. Andrew talks more about the team’s third-period surge in his sidebar.



It was undeniably a whistle-heavy contest, with a total of 16 penalties throughout the game. Both Quinn and Providence head coach Nate Leaman could be seen yelling at the officials at several points throughout the game. The game got a bit testy at times, with Oksanen and Friar defenseman Tom Parisi both getting penalized for hitting after the whistle at 9:14 of the second period.

“I think, especially last night, and this night, it was a lot of physical play,” Forsbacka Karlsson said. “And I think that’s part of the game, that’s how it’s supposed to be. We’ve got to stay out of the penalty box a little bit more than we did these two games, but aside from that, it’s just part of hockey.”

Eventually, the penalty-laden contest hit its worst point for the Terriers about 11 minutes into the second period when sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey and junior defenseman Doyle Somerby — two of the biggest bodies on the team — went to the box and BU was forced to stave off a 5-on-3 without those players dispensable.

Despite success on the penalty kill a night ago, it didn’t work out on Saturday, and defenseman Jake Walman gave Providence a 2-0 lead just over halfway through the game.

And shortly after that goal, BU earned a bench minor.

The crowd wasn’t too pleased with the excess of calls, either. When the referees came on the ice before the third period, they heard a chorus of boos from the BU fans.

Sluggish start

BU was outshot 15-8 in the first frame, and again outshot in the second period, 10-7.

Quinn fully acknowledged the dull start after the game.

“They [Providence] came out and continued what they did last night, while I thought our intensity level fell a little bit, our physicality fell a little bit and it took us a little while to pick up where we left off last night,” Quinn said. “And obviously penalties certainly didn’t help us again.”

But true to the form of last season, BU refocused and surged in the third period.

“I think we always have the same message,” said senior captain Matt Grzelcyk of the locker room mentality between the second and third periods. “We were down a lot last year, and I think we kind of learned from that. And I think we tried not to get frustrated as best as possible.”

Pluses and Minuses: Late goal, penalty kill help Terriers skate to tie with Providence


PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — It doesn’t always work, but 36 seconds with an empty net and an extra skater proved enough for the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team to get what it could out of Friday night.

Down 1-0 to No. 1 Providence College going into the third period, the Terriers (5-3-1, 3-2-1 Hockey East) fended off final frame Friar power-play chances and kept things close. They allowed themselves a chance to score when it mattered, which was tough considering goaltender Nick Ellis denied all but one of BU’s 40 shots on net.

But BU did score. With 18:31 gone in the third period, the Terriers found the back of the net and eventually skated to a 1-1 tie with the Friars (6-0-2, 0-0-1 Hockey East) by the time the overtime buzzer sounded.

“Just an unbelievable hockey game,” said BU coach David Quinn. “That’s as hard fought a game as you’ll see in any month, let alone November.

“We’re not going to play a team that plays harder than that, that’s for sure,” he added. “And to be able to match that and to will a point tonight, I don’t know if I’ve ever been prouder of a team, that was, excuse my language, that was a nutsy point.”

There was a lot to like about the Terriers’ draw with PC on Friday, so here’s what we thought went right and wrong in this edition of Pluses and Minuses.


Penalty kill

BU’s penalty kill was put to the test in the third period of the game. The Terriers managed to emerge from a two-minute 5-on-3 shorthanded situation pristine and garnered the same clean result from a five-minute major. They even generated a couple of chances at the other end of the ice while down men as well.

For more on how the penalty kill shaped the game and how it gave BU back some momentum, read Sarah’s sider.

Connor LaCouvee

Playing in his sixth consecutive game and starting in his fourth straight, sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee put together another impressive night in net. He stopped 32 of 33 shots that came his way and continued to feed off his performances in games past.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Quinn said. “I thought he built on what he did during the Northeastern [University] weekend, and he made some big saves.”

The lone blemish on the netminder’s evening was a power-play goal in the second period of play. Senior Mark Jankowski had the puck at the right point and passed down low to senior Nick Saracino. Jankowski skated closer to the right faceoff dot and Saracino handed it right back before the forward wristed one into the top right corner of the cage over LaCouvee’s shoulder. Other than that, he was perfect.

The second-year goaltender has now recorded back-to-back starts in which he’s allowed one goal and has effectively bumped his save percentage up to .920. In his last four starts, he’s posted a .931 save percentage.

Ahti Oksanen

It was a struggle to get the puck to cross the goal line in the early goings of the season, but it seems senior winger Ahti Oksanen has regained his scoring touch. The forward recorded the game-tying goal with just 1:29 left to play in regulation.

His linemate, freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, was strong on the faceoff and allowed Oksanen to pick up the puck in the circle. He held onto it and fired at the left corner of the net, where it pinged off the post and rung around the metal frame before settling in the back of the twine.

“Great job off the faceoff,” Quinn said. “It was like a mauling match on the line of scrimmage in football the way that thing developed. And those guys just stuck with it, and Ahti picked up a puck in a dangerous area, and no one shoots pucks like him, and he buried it.”

“I had a clear lane to shoot the puck, and when it hit the post, I was sure it was coming back out, but thank god it went in,” Oksanen added.

With goals in each of his last four games, Oksanen is second on the team in points with nine on five tallies and four assists. His confidence, he said, is good right now.

“I really didn’t get any bounces in the beginning of the season, but now they’re starting to come and I just, I feel really good right now,” he said. “My confidence is high, like the whole rest of the team too.”



The one big thing BU had trouble with on Friday was its penalties. The Terriers took seven total and gave the Friars 9:15 of time with at least one extra man on the ice, allowing them to convert once as well.

Things were tense between both teams as neither gave the other much breathing room and both sides stayed physical throughout.

“We knew they like to hold and hook and do all that kind of stuff, and we had a clear plan going into the game,” Oksanen said. “We can’t complain to the referee, we just have to focus on our own game.”

BU picked up five minor penalties as well as one major and one 10-minute game misconduct. Four of those belonged to freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy. The rookie was responsible for an elbowing minor in the second, a boarding minor in the third and then the five-minute major as well as the game misconduct in the third, too.

The Terriers kept Providence off the board for all but one of their five power plays, however.