Although the Boston University men’s hockey team will not return to action until the first weekend of the new year, some Terriers will be wearing the jersey of their respective country over the break.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, sophomores goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper will represent Team USA in the World Junior Championship which begins play Tuesday, Dec. 26.
Harper leads BU with 21 points, tied for first in assists with 13 and tied for second in goals with 8. Tkachuk leads Terrier freshmen in points and assists with 14 and 10 respectively Oettinger has started 17 games for BU and has a .902 save percentage.
Both Harper and Oettinger skated on the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. National Junior Team that bested Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
Skating for Team Canada is sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro. Fabbro leads the Terriers with 40 blocked shots and he has 12 points. Fabbro represented Canada in last year’s tournament–in which he took home a silver medal.
Playing for Finland is freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo. Kotkansalo has two goals and three assists on the season.
These will not be the only Terriers playing in international tournaments over their break. Senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey was selected to represent team Canada in the Spengler Cup.
Hickey has three goals and two assists for the Terriers.
The No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team split its first Hockey East home-and-home series against the University of Connecticut. On both nights, junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter, who came into the series with no goals, scored for the Terriers first.
On Friday, Carpenter found the back of the net twice during the second period, both on a pair of BU penalty kills. However, the stellar performance was not enough and UConn’s two power-play goals kept the contest at a 2-2 draw after 65 minutes.
On Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford, Carpenter continued his success with a hat-trick while sophomore forward Patrick Curry, and senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey each got their first goals of the season.
The Terriers’ next matchup will be against the No. 1 University of Denver on Friday night at Agganis Arena and then they will travel to play No. 11 Providence College on Saturday night.
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With the Boston University men’s hockey season right around the corner, this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to be precise, we have an entire edition of The Daily Free Press full of photos, content and all things regarding BU hockey.
Click here for the entire edition, but if you are around BU please pick up a copy today! We are also going to try to put some near the doors of Agganis Arena before BU’s first game of the season against Union College.
We dive deep into the No. 2 (in the USCHO.com preseason poll) Terriers as they attempt to make a run to the Frozen Four in Minnesota. Learn all about returning stars and the new freshman that plan on paving the way forBU to make it all the way to this April.
Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger was the 26th pick by the Dallas Stars in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft this summer, but returns to BU with many goals for the upcoming season.
One of the best goaltenders in Hockey East, Oettinger will look to be a brick wall in net throughout the year. Although the question remains: what goes on Oettinger’s mind to produce such a calm and stable presence between the pipes?
Freshman forwards Brady Tkachuk and Ty Amonte have received the baton from their five-time NHL all-star fathers, both of whom played for BU on the same 1990-91 team during their own college hockey days.
Amonte looks to serve a prominent role on the squad’s offensive attack, following in the footsteps of his father Tony, who played in the NHL for 18 seasons with teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers.
Tkachuk, a forward in his own right and one of the top prospects for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, will look to light the lamp in the shadow of his father Keith who enjoyed 20 seasons in the NHL.
Despite their father’s legacies, the two players hope to create their own at BU.
Get to know Max Prawdzik, a redshirt sophomore goalie who spent his spring with the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL. Prawdzik discussed what it was like leaving BU for a semester, which he’d bring on a desert island and much more.
The Boston University men’s hockey team announced its incoming players for the 2017-18 season earlier today. Among the seven incoming forwards and three defenseman that make up the Terriers’ 27-man roster, five members of the freshman class were selected in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to the nine-member freshman class, the Terriers have added graduate transfer Drew Melanson who spent his last three years with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before playing in the NCAA, Melanson played in the USHL for three years and notched 73 points (30g, 43a) over 120 games, according to Elite Prospects.
“One thing I really love about this class is the balance,” Quinn said in a GoTerriers.com press release today. “We’ve got maturity, we’ve got skill, we’ve got physicality, and to top it all off, I really love the character of all these guys. They have a great work ethic and they are definitely going [to] make BU better both on and off the ice.”
Senior defenseman Brandon Hickey will lead the incoming players and rest of the Terriers this season as captain alongside senior forwards Bobo Carpenter and Nik Olsson, and junior forward Jordan Greenway who will serve as assistant captains.
Below is a full list of the incoming players to look for on the ice during the upcoming season:
Ty Amonte (forward) – Penticton Vees, BCHL
Shane Bowers (forward) – Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL
Logan Cokerill (forward) – U.S. National Under-18 Team
With so much attention falling on BU’s talented forwards, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of how special the D-corps is.
After all, the group allows 2.08 goals per game, tied for the fourth fewest in the nation. The penalty kill enjoys an 87.1 success rate, the NCAA’s fourth best total. And lastly, it has pitched five shutouts through 26 games, more than the last three seasons combined.
Perhaps most notably, the starting sextet – senior Doyle Somerby, juniors Brandon Hickey and John MacLeod, sophomore Charlie McAvoy and freshmen Chad Krys and Dante Fabbro – are all drafted by NHL teams.
Mindful of all that, Jonathan wrote a longform feature about the contingent and explored what makes the pairings so successful.
Here’s a brief snippet:
“It goes back to us playing for that year together in high school and just getting familiar with tendencies,” MacLeod said. “Now when a certain play goes on I’ll know where he’s going to be and vice versa. It helps a lot because we’re roommates, good friends off the ice and we can always talk about what worked, what didn’t work.”
In case you missed it, Thursday night was a special one at Agganis Arena.
With seven Terriers off competing in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championships, the No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team hosted No. 10 Union in a high-stakes clash. The game would have massive implications on the Pairwise Rankings, and it was hard not to wonder if BU truly stood a chance without so many of it’s top players – Clayton Keller, Jordan Greenway, Charlie McAvoy, Dante Fabbro, Jake Oettinger, Patrick Harper and Kieffer Bellows.
However, doubters were proved wrong, as BU stormed back from two different deficits to win, 5-4, in overtime. Now that the dust has settled, we offer several thoughts on the crucial victory.
1.) History – It’s hard to think of a more satisfying regular season win in the last two years that this one for head coach David Quinn’s side. The 2016-17 season has brought about some great ones, including ones on Nov. 22 over now-No. 4 Harvard University and on Oct. 22 over now-No. 15 Quinnipiac University. Stretch back to the 2015-16 campaign, and the only ones that come to mind are an overtime win over Denver and an away stomping of Quinnipiac that snapped its unbeaten run. Sure, the debate can rage on either side here, but every player and coach had an ear-to-ear grin after this one vs. Union. Quinn even went as far as to say it felt like a playoff game, and that speaks volumes to the collective belief in the locker room.
“It feels like a playoff win in a lot of ways. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. They believed, all week in practice you could kind of feel it, it was an excitement to play. I don’t want to say [we] shocked the world, but it was more, not only the coaches but I’m sure the players were being asked, ‘How are you going to play a game with all these guys gone?’ I think they felt a little bit slighted, and it was a great win. A great, great win for us.” – Quinn
2.) JFK – Wow. What a night it was from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, BU’s first-line center and sophomore assistant captain. He figuratively carried the Terriers on his back throughout the contest, doing so many of the little things right. It’s sometimes jaw-dropping how fast he crosses the blueline, using his body to protect the puck and create space for himself to operate. He even won 17 of his 27 draws and logged crucial minutes on the penalty kill. Oh yeah, the Swede netted a hat trick, too, with one tally in the first period, another to tie it up late in the third and then an overtime game-winner. It was a performance for the ages.
His first goal:
His second goal:
His third goal:
3.) LaCouvee – It got lost in the shuffle a bit last night, but Connor LaCouvee had another solid outing in what marked his third start of the 2016-17 season. He of course let up four goals, but that was with a depleted defensive corps in front of him, with two strikes coming on broken plays and two more on power plays for Union. By the night’s end, he stopped 35 of the Dutchmen’s 39 shots, and did his part in largely quieting Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo, the nation’s top two scorers.
The Small Five
a.) Switzer – Shane Switzer, BU’s sophomore defenseman who’s honestly been lost in the thicket of immense talent on the blueline, had himself another positive outing. He scored BU’s opener on the power play, giving him three goals in his last two games. Then he spent the better part of the game in the locker room, with Quinn saying he suffered a concussion. He’ll likely be out for a couple weeks.
Quinn said Shane Switzer got a concussion in tonight’s win. Will be out for a while.
b.) Hickey – Another game, another outing in which Brandon Hickey keeps doing so much right for BU. The junior defenseman snagged an assist on JFK’s second goal of the night, but he was everywhere from start to finish. Due to Switzer’s concussion, the Terriers spent most of the game with five blueliners, and Hickey filled the gap and then some.
c.) PK – For long stretches of the 2016-17 season, BU has thrived itself on its penalty kill. Union seemed to finally crack the code so to speak, as it beat LaCouvee on two of its four extra-man opportunities. Quinn said in his post-game press conference that the problem will be remedied, but it goes to show that even one of the nation’s best units isn’t always perfect.
d.) JFK part 2 – When JFK walked in for his post-game interview, he was wearing a walking boot and linemate Bobo Carpenter helped him along at some points. JFK gave us the thumbs up and said he’ll be OK, so I wouldn’t take too much stock into it for the time being. After all, he played the whole game, so it’s likely a precautionary measure.
e.)Role players – Guys like a Gabriel Chabot or a Brien Diffley logged far more ice time than they normally would, as the aforementioned seven missing players normally eat up minutes for BU. In other words, role players stepped up and the Terriers are showing they’re a selfless bunch. These quotes from my 1-on-1 interview last with Doyle Somerby speak volumes to that phenomenon.
“There was some guys that weren’t used to playing in roles that they were about to play in, so you never know how someone is going to step up. We kind of did something like this my freshman year when guys had to sit, and we battled. That’s something you can come together with and use it as a positive.” – Somerby
“I think everyone has accepted their roles at this point. Everyone wants to be scoring goals and do big things, but it shows a lot of maturity and a lot of positives that guys are willing to sacrifice their own benefit for the better success of the team.” – Somerby
The Terriers secured a statement win over Quinnipiac on Saturday night. The final score was 3-0, with Jordan Greenway, Bobo Carpenter and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson all scoring. Freshman goalie Jake Oettinger also posted his second straight shutout.
Without further ado, here’s what coaches and players had to say in the game’s aftermath.
This past weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York was undoubtedly historic for the Boston University men’s hockey team. A whopping six Terriers heard their name called at First Niagara Center, speaking volumes to the youthful talent that will soon grace Agganis Arena for the 2016-17 season.
It’s important to take a step back, though, and ponder this: Just how many NHL selections does head coach David Quinn have at his disposal? As it turns out, quite a lot.
On any given weekend in Hockey East or out-of-conference play, it’s likely 11 skaters will have been drafted. The numbers break down to five forwards and six defensemen, altogether coalescing into what is – on paper – one of the NCAA’s most talented rosters.
Forwards: The Terriers have nearly two lines NHL scouts have tabbed as ready for the next step. It’s impossible to predict who will pan out as hoped, but potential is abound.
Kieffer Bellows – Freshman – New York Islanders – First round, 19th overall in 2016
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Sophomore – Boston Bruins – Second round, 45th overall in 2015
Jordan Greenway – Sophomore – Minnesota Wild – Second round, 50th overall in 2015
Patrick Harper – Freshman – Nashville Predators – Fifth round, 138th overall in 2016
Clayton Keller – Freshman – Arizona Coyotes – First round, 7th overall in 2016
Defenseman: Lineup decisions and injuries notwithstanding, Quinn could field an entire defensive unit of NHL draft picks. Somerby, the team’s captain, leads the contingent.
Dante Fabbro – Freshman – Nashville Predators – First round, 17th overall in 2016
Brandon Hickey – Junior – Calgary Flames – Third round, 64th overall in 2014
Chad Krys – Freshman – Chicago Blackhawks – Second round, 45th overall in 2016
John MacLeod – Junior – Tampa Bay Lightning – Second round, 57th overall in 2014
Charlie McAvoy – Sophomore – Boston Bruins – First round, 14th overall in 2016
Doyle Somerby – Senior – New York Islanders – Fifth round, 125th overall in 2012
Here are some remarks from Quinn following the 2016 Draft about the NHL picks that’ll be wearing scarlet and white.
Also, be sure to read this article by Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated. He was on location in Buffalo last weekend, and has some interesting tidbits from McAvoy, Quinn and Jack Eichel.
Here’s a brief preview:
“Just talking about it and thinking about it,” said Charlie McAvoy, the only one of the quartet who skated for the Terriers last season. Not the upcoming first round of the draft, mind you, but the prospect of playing together in the fall. “It’s surreal, the class that we’re coming in with. It’s going to be special.”
The University of Massachusetts Amherst struck first on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena, but the Boston University men’s hockey team quickly righted the ship en route to a 7-2 win.
Senior defenseman Matt Grzelcyk stole the show and the World Juniors contingent impressed, serving as the highlights on a nearly seamless evening. Below are several positives and negatives from two crucial Hockey East points.
The Charlestown native scored a natural hat trick, showing how big of an impact he can have on this team. Read more about his influence in Judy’s sider.
After rattling off successive wins against Quinnipiac University and Harvard University, the Minutemen admittedly were going to pose a lesser threat in Maguire’s third straight start.
Nonetheless, UMass still peppered the senior goaltender to the tune of 27 shots, and it took opportunistic finishes from Shane Walsh and Steven Iacobellis to light the lamp. There is no denying that Maguire is getting into a groove, and that bodes extremely well for the Terriers with Boston College on the horizon next weekend.
Just ask Grzelcyk, who has embarked on a collegiate journey with Maguire and rests easy knowing his classmate is between the pipes.
“Any time you get a goaltender who’s kind of hot right there, it kind of allows you to play more aggressively just knowing you have that confidence back there and he’s looked incredible in net, so we’re definitely happy to have him back,” he said.
Head coach David Quinn didn’t shy away from praise either, highlighting the rejuvenated goaltender’s gradual journey back to confidence and composure.
“He’s a guy, he can win big games,” Quinn said. “He’s proven that. We have the utmost confidence in him, and he proved that again tonight. I was so happy for him, he’s come a long way after going through a tough year last year with a concussion”
World Junior Foursome
Less than a week removed from the World Junior Championships in Finland, it’s already clear that Brandon Fortunato, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Hickey and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson have benefited from their international experience.
JFK ignited the scoring onslaught with a heads-up play behind the net, Fortunato grabbed an assist on Grzelcyk’s second tally, McAvoy nabbed two helpers of his own and Hickey maintained a solid defensive gap throughout the contest.
That’s just what stands out about their respective nights, though. As anybody close to BU hockey will echo, all four play beyond their years and their importance becomes more tangible as the Terriers round into form.
“Those are four very good players,” Quinn said. “They wouldn’t be playing in that tournament if they weren’t, so they’re gonna get some well-needed rest in the next three or four days. That tournament is a grind, and without them here, we don’t win these games without question”
“We’re talking about three of our defensemen, and our number one centerman,” Quinn said. “They were immense over the last two games.”
When a team wins by five goals, it’s easy to overlook the small details that add up over the course of a hockey game. That’s exactly what can happen with a team’s penalty kill, and the Terriers took care of business in that department on Saturday night.
UMass, which capitalizes on just 17.1 percent of its power plays, was kept off the board when it had a man advantage. To be exact, the Minutemen went 0-for-4 and were limited to only two shots on target across all eight minutes.
Another Slow Start
As mentioned above, BU fell into yet another early hole, letting their opponent grab an early lead that could’ve gotten out of hand if not for some shrewd plays in the offensive zone.
That’s a trend that becomes even more perilous when a top-ranked opponent comes to town or everything is on the line in a playoff scenario. Still, Quinn was pleased with how his team responded in adversity and grabbed ahold of the proceedings when the odds were stacked against them.
“You might get down 1-0,” Quinn said. “But how are you going to respond? You might get down 2-0 and unfortunately that’s happened a lot to us — how are you going to respond? And I like the fact that we do respond that after they did make it 2-2, we made it 3-2 relatively quickly. That’s a good sign for us.”
It took a bit of a wake-up call from head coach David Quinn, but the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team managed to salvage the second half of a home series against the University of Vermont.
After falling behind 2-0 early, and then again facing a 3-2 deficit late in the third period, goals from senior assistant captain Matt Lane and sophomore defenseman Brandon Hickey, plus a last-second empty-netter from sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato, secured the 5-3 victory for the Terriers.
Initially in this game, it looked like we might have to be a bit grumpy in our pluses and minuses. But BU managed to turn it around, so we get to be cheerful first today:
We were admittedly skeptical at first about Quinn’s changes to the lines, but they worked well — at the very least, the changes helped “to wake up the whole team,” in the words of senior forward Ahti Oksanen.
Oksanen, after playing on the first line for most of the season, was bumped down to the left wing on the second line, alongside Lane and freshman forward Jordan Greenway.
“It’s nice having two big wingers like that, those guys protect the puck well, and they get me the puck,” Lane said. “Then Ahti being a shooter, it’s easy to find him, he’s gonna let it rip. He played well, and I’m happy to see him score.”
Sophomore forward A.J. Greer moved up to the first line, alongside freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and senior right wing Danny O’Regan. He recorded a secondary assist on O’Regan’s early goal.
BU recorded a season-high 51 shots on goal, behind six players who recorded four or more shots. Oksanen led the way (shocker) with eight shots, while Hickey and freshman center Bobo Carpenter had seven shots on goal apiece.
Improved power play
After going 1-for-13 on the power play in its past four games entering Saturday — and a night after Quinn called the PP unit “lazy” — BU had a much more impressive showing on the power-play unit.
“There was more urgency, we were shooting it, we looked like a power play,” Quinn said. “There was a heightened awareness…We, too often, go into power-play mode and think it’s going to be a beauty contest.
“The bottom line is you’ve got to get pucks to the net, you got to pass it quickly, you got to pay attention and you got to crash the net. There’s really no other way to go about it, so I thought we had a lot more simplicity to our power play tonight.
Just to clarify: there was a bit of confusion as to exactly how many power-play opportunities BU technically had. Because Vermont winger Brady Shaw was sent off with a game misconduct, after Hickey scored a power-play goal, the Terriers remained on the man advantage — thus, technically, giving BU a fifth power-play opportunity after that.
Then Fortunato scored the empty-netter on BU’s next man advantage. After Fortunato’s empty-netter, there was no faceoff, since the teams were already retreating to the locker room, but those remaining 0.3 seconds apparently technically counted as a new power play for BU, even though nobody touched the puck after Fortunato’s goal.
I just used “technically” a lot in that description, but…you get the idea. “2-for-6” is a bit deceiving. Regardless, it was a much improved showing from the Terriers.
Carpenter won praise from Greer against Cornell University on Nov. 28, simply for the fact that “he wins draws.”
Well, we couldn’t help but give Carpenter a shoutout for that very fact. Today, he went 6-for-6 on faceoffs, but he currently leads the conference in faceoff percentage, with a .679 mark.
Forsbacka Karlsson went 14-5 on his draws, while Lane went 12-8. As a whole, BU won 38 of 60 faceoffs.
Strong finish to first half?
In the final home game of 2015, the Terriers were able to escape with a win. It’s the final time they’ll play at Agganis until Jan. 9.
After the game, Lane stressed the importance of BU concluding the first half of Hockey East play with a win.
“We definitely could not afford to drop two,” Lane said. “Unfortunately we got a split, and obviously you’d like to win both, but it’s nice to see our resiliency especially after losing a full game and being down the whole game to come back and get a win. So obviously for Hockey East standings and just finishing out the weekend, it’s nice to end on a win.”
Quinn stressed the importance of the seniors’ leadership in this game. You can read more about that in Andrew’s sider.
That part I mentioned earlier about thinking early on that we’d have to be grumpy in these pluses and minuses? Yeah, we’re at the grumpy point now.
Two goals today came for Vermont off of bad, bad, bad turnovers on BU’s part. The first was on the goal that allowed the Catamounts to take a 2-0 lead in the opening period, when sophomore defenseman John MacLeod gave up the puck to Vermont forward Mario Puskarich behind the net and Puskarich was able to convert.
Later in the third period, with the game tied 2-2, freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy mishandled a pass from Hickey right in front of BU’s net. He left the puck up for grabs directly in front of sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee, and Catamount forward Anthony Petruzzelli took full advantage of it.
Oksanen, a former defenseman himself, noted the slip-ups in the defensive zone.
“Our D-zone coverage has to be better,” Oksanen said. “Those goals scored today were kind of easy bounces we shouldn’t give up.”
Yet again, BU fell to a 2-0 deficit early before having to put together the comeback it did. While the Terriers have been able to more or less come away with wins and ties this season, it’s certainly not a habit they want to keep falling into, as Lane noted.
“Yeah, we definitely would rather score the first goal of the game, obviously,” Lane said. “But definitely, we’ve got to start scoring the first goal, we’ve got to win first periods. That’ll help us in the long run, because parity in this league, and the difference in one-goal games is so small.”
After Lane scored the game-tying goal, it was announced that the goal counted for his 100th career point.
Agganis Arena erupted into an ovation, but soon thereafter, a correction was issued. It was actually Lane’s 50th career point.
“Yeah, I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it wasn’t 100,” Lane said. “I wish.”