Last year Terriers: Where are they now?

The first round of the annual Beanpot tournament is over, which means that there are only a few weeks left of the Boston University men’s hockey regular season. Looking forward, BU will take on No. 11 Northeastern University Monday night in the Beanpot Championship. After, the Terriers will only have conference matchups during the regular season.

As this blog has done in the past, Liam and Matt thought it would be a good idea to update the Boston Hockey Blog faithful on what the members of last year’s team, who do not wear the scarlet and white, are up to.

Oskar Andrén – Ferris State University
Andrén transferred to Ferris State University and has not appeared in a game for the team this season.

Kieffer Bellows – Portland Winterhawks

The former first round pick left BU to play junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. His 52 points (26g and 26a) have him third on the Winterhawks this season.

Bellows is known for his shot and it was on full display at the World Junior Championship, where he had nine goals over the seven games. He also secured a spot on the IIHF All-Star Team.

He signed an entry-level contract with the New York Islanders back in September.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Providence Bruins

The Terriers’ former assistant captain is currently skating for the Providence Bruins. He is currently tied for second with 13 goals and his 28 points are good for fourth.

Tommy Kelley – Worcester Railers

Kelley has split time this year with the Manchester Monarchs, Cincinnati Cyclones, Atlanta Gladiators and Worcester Railers.

In 13 games this year, he has two goals and two assists.

Clayton Keller – Arizona Coyotes

The former No. 7 draft pick is currently is lighting up the score sheets in the NHL. The 19-year-old rookie currently leads his team in points and is fourth among rookies with 36. He also leads the Coyotes with 14 points and 22 assists.

He is considered among the front runners for the Calder Trophy.

Connor LaCouvee – Minnesota State University

After backing up then freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger last season, LaCouvee transferred to Minnesota State University and is now their starting goaltender.

LaCouvee has appeared in 19 games this season, and has a 1.92 goals against average and .913 goal save percentage this season.

He returned to Agganis Arena in October and helped guide Mankato to a sweep of the Terriers. In his one appearance in the series, he saved 32 shots in the 6-3 victory.

Charlie McAvoy – Boston Bruins

The first year blueliner often skates among the first defensive pairing with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. McAvoy recently returned to the lineup after missing sometime due to a heart procedure.

On the season, McAvoy has 25 points thanks to five goals and 20 assists. He is also a strong candidate for the Calder Trophy.

Johnny McDermott – Providence College

McDermott announced he will continue his NCAA career with Hockey East foe No. 9 Providence College.

Nick Roberto – South Carolina Stingrays
The Wakefield native signed to play with the South Carolina Stingrays over the summer. In 33 games, he has 11 points.

Doyle Somerby – Cleveland Monsters

Last season’s captain, Doyle Somerby, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in August 2017 after not signing his entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.

He is currently skating for their AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, and has six assists so far on the season.

From the FreeP: Minnesota State Series Roundup

The No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team was swept by the Minnesota State University this weekend at Agganis Arena. The Terriers’ former goaltender Connor LaCouvee, who played with BU for three seasons, returned to Boston, but in the opposing team’s net.

While LaCouvee only allowed three goals in the Mavericks’ 6-3 victory, BU’s defense gave up 45 shots, and sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger’s 39 saves and freshman forward Shane Bowers’ two-goal night could not mitigate the damages of the team’s poor play.

Freshman forward Shane Bowers collects two goals this weekend for a total of four goals this season. PHOTO BY CHLOE GRINBERG/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman forward Shane Bowers collects two goals on Friday night for a total of four goals this season. PHOTO BY CHLOE GRINBERG/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Saturday, the team responded better, but was unable to match Minnesota State’s physicality particularly around the puck battles and also could not convert on its four power play opportunities. The Mavericks sealed the two-game series with a 3-0 shutout.

BU’s next matchup will be its Hockey East opener against University of Connecticut in a home-and-home series beginning with a game at Agganis on Friday night at 7:30.

Also we’re sorry about all of the technical difficulties that occurred over the weekend in terms of posting the articles. The Daily Free Press’ WordPress went down right when we were going to post the articles. We’re unsure of what caused the website to crash, but apologize for any inconveniences and want to limit any issues like this in the future.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Minnesota State, 6-3, in series opener

Sider on the Terriers’ defense – “BU’s defense gives up 45 shots, former goaltender Connor LaCouvee limits Terrier offense to three goals

Sunday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey shutout 3-0 by Minnesota State, swept in series

Sider on the Terriers’ being unable to overcome the challenges posed by the Mavericks – “Men’s hockey falls to strong goaltending, aggressive play in 3-0 loss to Minnesota State

Here are some of the highlights from Friday night:

From the FreeP: Quinnipiac Roundup

The No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team beat No. 17 Quinnipiac University 3-2 during overtime in a physical and fast-paced game in Hamden, Connecticut on Sunday. Freshman forward Shane Bowers got the overtime tally while sophomore forward Patrick Harper added two more goals to this season and was subsequently named Hockey East’s Player of the Week.

We only have a recap this week, but will return this Friday and Saturday nights with a plethora of articles when the Terriers take on Minnesota State and former goaltender Connor LaCouvee will make his way back to Agganis Arena for a few days.

Also a side note: there were some technical difficulties with WordPress at Quinnipiac in terms of linking up the live blog and Nikki’s computer wasn’t cooperating. We’re sorry for any inconveniences caused and will be prepared in the future for road games, but everything is working now and please tune into the live blog this weekend!

Sunday’s Article

Quinnipiac Recap – “Men’s hockey beats Quinnipiac 3-2 with overtime goal from freshman Shane Bowers

Here’s are some Twitter posts from the weekend and Quinn’s postgame comments:

Three Thoughts: BU, with shorthanded roster, beats Union in OT

Freshman Gabriel Chabot centered BU's third line. PHOTO BY JONATHAN SIGAL/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman Gabriel Chabot centered BU’s third line. PHOTO BY JONATHAN SIGAL/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

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.

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

Terriers replace Max Prawdzik, add goaltender Nico Lynch for depth

With goalie depth a concern for Boston University heading into next week’s game against Union College, the Terriers announced in a press release the addition of freshman netminder Nico Lynch to the team.

Last season, Lynch played at Barnstable High School, where he recorded a 1.80 GAA and was named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastics Old Colony All-Star Team. In the press release, BU head coach David Quinn said that the plan all along was for Lynch to enroll for the second semester.

The addition of Lynch comes a few days after it was confirmed sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik would be leaving the Terriers to play with the Lone Star Brahmas in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Freshman goaltender and regular BU starter Jake Oettinger is with Team USA in the World Junior Championships, so it is likely he will be out for the Union game on Jan. 5.

That meant that junior netminder Connor LaCouvee may have been the only goalie available that week. With Lynch joining the team, that is no longer an issue.

The press release also included a quote from Quinn that Prawdzik plans to rejoin the Terriers next fall with sophomore eligibility.

Click here to read the full press release.

Max Prawdzik to leave the Terriers, play in the NAHL

Sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik will leave Boston University before the second semester begins, according to Jeff Cox of SB Nation.

Prawdzik, who has never appeared in a regular season game for the Terriers, is expected to play for the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League. There is a possibility he could return to BU at the start of next season.

The Andover native excelled at Brooks School, where he was named ISL Hockey League Most Valuable Player in 2015. He led Brooks School to a 2015 New England Prep Large School Championship.

Prawdzik’s departure for the NAHL means that BU head coach David Quinn and staff may have to add an emergency goaltender before their Jan. 5 game versus Union College. With freshman netminder Jake Oettinger at the World Junior Championship, junior Connor LaCouvee could be the only available goaltender if Team USA reaches the Bronze Medal game. LaCouvee has allowed four goals and made 60 saves in two starts.

Midseason Report: BU hockey, halfway through 2016-17 season, in position to thrive

2016harvard-3328-1600x1065Boy does time fly by.

It feels like yesterday that the Boston University men’s hockey team got its 2016-17 season underway, but the halfway point is here. As things stand, BU is 10-5-2, sits fourth in the Pairwise rankings and sixth in the Hockey East standings.

Of course, the state of the Terriers is not that simple, so we’re here to break down some of the subtler nuances and trends that developed in the fall of 2016. It’s also important to note context, as BU entered the year with great hype and expectations, largely the byproduct of rostering 11 NHL Draft picks. The jury is still out on whether all that talent will translate into silverware of some kind.

Before we get underway, it’s important to give these two quotes from disparate parts of the semester a read through. The first came on Sept. 27 at Hockey East’s annual media day, and is from junior assistant captain Nikolas Olsson. Meanwhile, the second is from head coach David Quinn and came after BU’s 5-2 win over Yale on Dec. 13.

Quote 1: “We want to hold ourselves to our own standard, so we don’t want to pay attention to what everyone else expects us to do. We tune everything out and when we’re all in the locker room, we have a saying of, ‘Close that up and everything that’s in here matters – this is what matters, whatever is outside doesn’t.’ If we can figure out our affairs in here, then we can do great things.” – Olsson

Quote 2: “It’s been a really good first half for us. We feel our best hockey is ahead of us. It’s a great group. I love coming to the rink every day with them. They work hard, they care for each other, they’re forming some of those characteristics you need to have as a group to win important games in late March and April. We feel really good about where we’re at.” – Quinn


  • harper-vs-upeiPatrick Harper – Who would have thought that freshman Patrick Harper would lead the team in points by the end of 2016? Heading into this season, the hype centered around Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows, but it’s been the 5-foot-9, 160-pound playmaker from New Canaan, Connecticut who has led the way early on. With seven goals and 13 assists, Harper ranks fifth in scoring among Division I freshmen. He will head into the next half of the season with a three-game point streak, and it’s safe to assume that the Nashville Predators draft pick will look to extend that run of form on the first line. – Nick
  • Kieffer Bellows – Yes, Kieffer Bellows has disappointed in his freshman campaign, but there’s a very good chance he turns it around. Just look at sophomore Jordan Greenway, who totaled one goal and seven assists in the first half of the 2015-16 season. After the holiday break, Greenway scored four goals and notched 14 helpers to finish the season top-5 on the team in points (26). Of course, Greenway didn’t have a plus/minus rating of -8 halfway through his freshman year, but you get the point. Sometimes, freshmen need some extra time to adjust before they flourish, and that very well could be the case with Bellows. His penalty problem can be easily fixed, and he’s flashed his trademark scoring ability at points. Let’s hope playing with Team USA in the World Junior Championships will energize Bellows so he can begin the 2017 on a high note. – Nick
  • pvd_at_bu-1-1600x1067Third line – Oft-overlooked, especially on a team with five forwards drafted by NHL teams, BU’s third line deserves ample credit for wins against powerhouse and mid-level teams alike. The contingent typically features senior Nick Roberto and junior Nikolas Olsson as wingers, with freshman Patrick Curry at center. They all have subtly good hands, play heavy on the forecheck and consistently skate with the pace and intensity Quinn so ardently desires. They’re chipping in on the scoreboard, too, as they’ve combined for 19 points from eight goals and 11 assists. What’s perhaps most significant about the third line, though, is that it affords BU’s top two lines the chance to catch a breather, all the while maintaining the level those elite forwards (Keller, Greenway, etc.) demand. Lastly, any team looking to make a deep postseason run with only two lines is in deep trouble. Luckily for Quinn, this Roberto-Olsson-Curry group won’t cause that worry to arise. – Jonathan
  • JFK – It’s natural to watch BU’s top-end players and make NHL comparisons. When it comes to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, a sophomore and assistant captain, one of the highest honor surfaces: Patrice Bergeron. Both are centers, both were picked 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in their respective drafts and both offer forth the same skill set. Bergeron, now a two-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game, has smooth hands, makes smart hockey plays like clockwork and has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times, which is annually given to the NHL’s top defensive forward. As for Forsbacka Karlsson, the scorer of 45 points in 56 career games for the Terriers, he’s an expert at using his body to protect the puck, plays a 200-foot game in every sense of the phrase and does so many of the little things right. Who knows if “JFK” will ever reach Bergeron’s notoriety or respect throughout the professional ranks, but it’s still a joy to watch the 20-year-old Swede lead BU night in and night out. And for those who feel JFK isn’t chipping in on the scoreboard, he boasts three goals and 12 assists. That puts him a tie with Keller for the third-most points on the Terriers. – Jonathan


  • pvd_at_bu-10-1600x1067Sixth Man – There’s really not much to complain about in this department, as BU ranks fourth in the nation in goals allowed (2.06). The core four of Charlie McAvoy, Chad Krys, Dante Fabbro and Brandon Hickey have been excellent, but perhaps the most important piece of the defense has been the sixth man, usually paired with captain Doyle Somerby. For the most part, that has been John MacLeod, who has four assists in 13 games but has also been dealing with injuries. When he’s unavailable, Brien Diffley and Shane Switzer stepped into his spot on the blue line, making smart choices with the puck and seamlessly slotting into the defensive zone. Expect the D-unit to continue to shut down top offenses in 2017. – Nick
  • LaCouvee – Jake Oettinger has been terrific in net, but a shoutout has to go to his backup, Connor LaCouvee. He’s only started twice, but knowing that there’s a solid netminder behind Oettinger is comforting for Terrier fans. He earned victories in both of his starts, and has a save percentage of .938. Sure, a small sample size, but so what? He’s been awesome in limited play. Should the 18-year-old Oettinger fall in a slump or require some rest, LaCouvee can slide right into the starting lineup and keep the Terriers in it. – Nick
  • m46a0201Oettinger – Speaking of Oettinger, it’s hard to ask for more from the freshman. It’s commonplace in postgame press conferences for his teammates to shower the recently-turned 18-year-old with praise, and that’s because he deserves every plaudit thrown his way. In his young career, the former U.S. National Team Development goaltender has three shutouts, blanking Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Vermont. He also boasts a .932 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average, which both lead Hockey East. In terms of a grander scope, the former statistic stacks up as the eighth best in the country, while the latter is fifth best in the nation. To the credit of critics in and around Agganis Arena, Oettinger did have an incredibly rough outing at home – BU’s 4-0 loss to UConn on Nov. 11 – but he has since bounced back with aplomb. Looking ahead, the Lakeville, Minnesota native seems stout enough to lead the Terriers when playoff hockey rolls around, as he instills confidence in the squad and can stymie the nation’s best forwards. Do you know what’s scariest of all? This kid is so young he isn’t even draft eligible until the summer. – Jonathan
  • Fourth line – While BU’s defense has largely been resolute, one area in need of marked improvement arises through the fourth line. Whether it’s freshmen Johnny McDermott and Gabriel Chabot, sophomores Ryan Cloonan and Oskar Andren, junior Chase Phelps or senior Tommy Kelley, a worrisome theme has surfaced against tougher opponents: an inability to break out of the defensive zone on a consistent basis. This note is based on the eye test and isn’t easily measurable, but too often has some combination of the aforementioned group been hemmed below its own blue line. There are several reasons for this trend – being mismatched against an opponent’s top line, a changing cast of characters and general fatigue late in games – but it needs a firm resolution. On the other hand, when this is the biggest complaint about the Terriers’ defense, they’re in pretty good shape. – Jonathan

Special Teams

  • keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109Net value – Special teams have been the strongest part of the Terriers’ game in 2016. They have scored on 16.87 percent of their power plays, while going 91.2 percent on the penalty kill, second best in the nation. What’s the most impressive stat from special teams? The Terriers have allowed nine goals on the penalty kill, yet they have scored six shorthanded goals this year. That makes them a fantastic -3 on the PK, which is even more impressive when you consider the number of penalties this team has been whistled for. Stick taps to all involved. – Nick
  • Freshmen – So who have the stars of the power play been thus far? You may want to sit down for this … it’s been the freshmen. Harper, Keller and Fabbro have three power play goals each, which lead the team. In fact, the only other Terrier with multiple power play goals is … Bellows. It’s obvious that these guys are well-coached when it comes to the PP, so another shoutout to the coaching staff for a job well done. – Nick
  • QB1, QB2, QB3 – In his weekly sit-down with the media, Quinn routinely talks about the importance of learning what a professional-level power play looks like. From BU’s first 17 games of the year, it appears as though Keller, Fabbro and McAvoy have firmly grasped every coaching point. The trio often operates from the point, quarterbacking the Terriers’ man advantages and always seems willing to pull the trigger. There’s proof in the pudding, too, as Keller and Fabbro both have three tallies on the power play. McAvoy hasn’t registered a point on the power play, but his contributions surface in other ways. – Jonathan
  • img_3767-1-1600x1138The magic number – During October and November, as was the case throughout college hockey, penalties dominated the conversation. Truthfully, BU has been one of the worst culprits in this regard, as its 16.24 penalty minutes per game is the 15th-highest total in the NCAA. Given that fact, you’d never guess this, but coach Quinn considers four to be his team’s magic number. And that’s a reference to taking no more than four penalties across all three periods. When that’s been the case, meaning BU is playing 5-on-5 hockey, it’s a dominant team that makes mediocre teams look poor and great teams look OK. This was the case in the 3-0 win over Northeastern on Nov. 5, as BU took five penalties, and the same pattern repeated in the 4-0 win over Vermont on Dec. 10, when it took six penalties. The Terriers are far from perfect in this regard, but the trend is clear. – Jonathan

Defining Moments

  • Surprise, surprise – Perhaps the most fun I’ve had watching the team so far was the last game of the semester, when Shane Switzer scored twice to propel BU to a 5-2 victory over Yale. Can’t say anyone saw that coming. It was great to see the guys hype the crowd up when Switzer was named the No. 1 star after the game. – Nick
  • mhock7_justinhawk-1600x1190Breakout moment – Another shining moment came in the exhibition against Prince Edward Island, when Pat Harper scored five times. Obviously, the competition wasn’t the best. But after Harper’s third or fourth goal, it became pretty clear that this guy was going to be integral. I remember being surprised that Harper was on the first line with Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. Can’t say it was a bad move. – Nick
  • Bye bye Crimson – Outside of the result itself, pre-break games boast an extra layer of significance in that the scoreline will linger around for quite some time. So when then-No. 9 Harvard University visited Agganis Arena on Nov. 22 – just before the Thanksgiving break – an essential opportunity was before the Terriers. Its next game wasn’t for 10 days either, so a win or loss would remain fresh. In back-and-forth fashion, BU edged out a 5-3 win over the Crimson. Furthermore, coach Ted Donato’s side is now ranked fourth in the nation, making the win better than advertised at the time. – Jonathan
  • UConn at home – While adulation usually follows the Terriers at every turn, a low moment arose on Nov. 19 at Agganis Arena. The visiting UConn Huskies blanked BU, 4-0, cementing the fact that Hockey East wins won’t come easily for this squad. Quinn’s side didn’t play poorly against the likes of Tage Thompson and Max Letunov, so perhaps the result was an outlier without much of an explanation. After all, sometimes the better team goes home empty handed. – Jonathan


  • The big get: Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the commits the Terriers secured during the season. It appears the biggest one was forward Shane Bowers, a 17-year-old currently with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. He currently has nine goals and 10 assists through 26 games after totaling 33 points with the Black Hawks last season. With a few present Terriers likely to move on to the NHL next season, Bowers should contribute right away in 2017-18. – Nick
  • img_3861-1600x1126Reinforcements – On top of that, Finland defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo (at least it’s easier to spell than Grzelcyk) committed to BU and is likely to play next season. Kotkansalo, 18, measures up at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and has a reputation for hard hits on the boards. He is also currently in the USHL, totaling a plus/minus rating of +7 in 20 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede. – Nick
  • Red, white and blue – When BU scrimmaged the U.S. National Team Development Program on Oct. 6, Terrier fans got a major glimpse into the future. The coveted squad featured defenseman David Farrance and forwards Brady Tkachuk and Logan Cockerill. While none registered a point – largely the product of BU skating to a comfortable 8-2 win – it was still interesting to see what the young guns could do. Lastly, Tkachuk is second on the NTDP in points with 22, Farrance is seventh with 18 and Cockerill is ninth with 17. – Jonathan
  • Don’t forget about me – While so much attention, understandably, is given to BU’s big-name recruits, it’s important not to lose sight of those who might not boast as lofty of a pedigree. This is certainly the case with Ty Amonte, who will call Agganis Arena home in the fall of 2017 and currently skates with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. That’s the same squad that Fabbro used to play for, and Amonte currently has 28 points in 35 games for them. – Jonathan

Top Goals

1.) Patrick Harper vs. Northeastern


2.) Brandon Hickey vs. Providence


3.) Shane Switzer vs. Yale


4.) Clayton Keller vs. Northeastern


5.) Clayton Keller vs. Vermont


Pluses and Minuses: Plenty falters for BU men’s hockey as team’s quest for Hockey East title ends

LOWELL — At the Tsongas Center on Saturday, things got bad quickly, and then they got even worse. The No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team needed a win to advance in the Hockey East Tournament, after losing the first game of the best-of-three series on Friday to the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell.

It was never really a contest. Lowell took a 3-0 lead by the end of the second period, and added two more goals in the final frame for a 5-0 final result, sweeping BU and ending the Terriers’ chances at a Hockey East Tournament run.

Usually we say we have some things we like, things we didn’t like — but tonight, there really wasn’t much to like. So really, here’s a breakdown of a whole lot of things we didn’t like — and here’s another take of just how wrong things went, brought to you by Judy.


Boyle was good…but then there’s also BU’s offense
Credit to Lowell’s goaltender, Kevin Boyle, who secured a new school record for shutouts in a single season when he got his seventh of the year on Saturday.

Boyle attributed his teammates for blocking shots — BU had 70 shot attempts, but only 24 of them went on net, the lowest total for BU since a 4-2 loss to Michigan on Nov. 21. For the most part, save for “a pretty good flurry right before they made it 3-0” that BU head coach David Quinn noted, it never felt like BU was ever threatening.

Only one player had more than four shots — freshman forward Ryan Cloonan, who hasn’t had more than two shots on goal since January — and BU’s usual suspects shooting-wise, seniors Ahti Oksanen (one shot on goal Saturday), Danny O’Regan (three SOG) and Matt Lane (three SOG), were kept relatively quiet.

BU’s goaltending decision
After Lowell’s second goal, Quinn decided to pull starting goaltender Sean Maguire and replace him with sophomore Connor LaCouvee, which had all three of us sort of scratching our heads — and a lot of the BU fans near where we were sitting were scratching their heads, too.

Quinn referred to the decision as a “gut feeling.” While neither of the goals was exactly the most difficult test Maguire has had to face this year, it seemed a bit odd at the time. But it’s not like BU had any goals by the end of it, so it didn’t really matter by game’s end whether the goalies combined to give up only two goals or five goals.

And it’s not on us really to say whether Maguire would have given up the three subsequent goals that LaCouvee did once he took over, or if Maguire would have settled down after that. There’s no real reasonable way to predict that. But at the time, it was a questionable move, at least to me, that you’d pull the guy who’s been the one to overwhelmingly keep you in games all season long. 2-0 isn’t an insurmountable deficit to overcome — BU’s done it before — so it still seemed pretty premature, gut feeling or not.

The team mentality — missing?
Something the three of us have admired in our time covering college hockey is how well UMass Lowell always seems to do for having, relatively speaking, not a whole lot of “star power,” at least in the traditional sense.

And a pretty interesting point was brought up Saturday, so I think it’s worth discussing in terms of comparing BU to Lowell. Quinn noted that the River Hawks “may not have stars other than their goalie, but a lot of good players.” Which, if you’re looking at awards, recognition, et cetera, is true — just one of Lowell’s players is drafted, and he, Evan Campbell, a fifth-round draft pick by the Edmonton Oilers, hasn’t played since Feb. 12.

Otherwise, you’re looking at a team that has made the NCAA Tournament three times in the last four years — just barely missing out last season after losing the Hockey East Championship in 2015 — and Norm Bazin has a career 122-55-18 record through now his fifth season with the River Hawks.

Bazin seems to have it figured out. His teams play hard and earn every bit of success they’ve attained. They’ve built success over the years, without that “one guy” — save for goaltender Connor Hellebuyck a few years back and Boyle this year — leading the charge.

BU has good players, but they haven’t gotten the consistent, top-to-bottom effort that they need in order to succeed. O’Regan, Oksanen, Grzelcyk — all good players, obviously, but they’re not going to change the game for BU that a guy like Jack Eichel did.

And that’s what successful teams do — when they don’t have that star, they compensate for it with well-rounded, motivated, solid production from all four lines. While early in the year it seemed like the scoring might be spread out a bit for BU, that hasn’t been the case as of late. There are a few pretty good guys leading the way, but none that break through, and significantly more guys lower on the lines that have yet to step up.

You can have all the good players you can recruit — all the draft picks or projected picks, all the former national team players — but if that doesn’t translate to a full-team mentality, then it’s just meaningless talk. No one’s stepped up as a star to carry this team, and they haven’t played as enough of a team to compensate for that.

Another trophy out of reach
BU is, essentially, mathematically in the NCAA Tournament, per College Hockey News’s Pairwise Probability Matrix. So it’s not as if the loss Saturday was season-ending, but it’s certainly a gut punch to the extent that the Terriers don’t have a shot at some form of hardware, beyond an improbable run to the national title game.

Though, as Quinn pointed out in his presser, Providence got knocked out in the quarterfinals of last year’s Hockey East Tournament, and…well, we all know how that turned out. So theoretically, it’s not impossible for BU to pull off some sort of deep championship run.

But this entire weekend, nothing felt within BU’s reach. If you want to look back to the University of Massachusetts  Amherst series, too, that wasn’t exactly pretty, either. This team, frankly, has done very little in recent weeks to instill much confidence going forward.


We’re lucky to have a great photographer
Our go-to photographer, Maddie Malhotra, got some really awesome pictures from tonight, which you can check out in the gallery here.

Otherwise, it’s quite difficult to take any positives from this game. That was really, really, really ugly.

Pluses and Minuses: No. 9 Terriers blow late lead, settle for tie at UNH

DURHAM, New Hampshire — For a few seconds in the third period, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team had what it wanted, and standings-wise, arguably needed.

There was some not-so-pretty play throughout its game at the University of New Hampshire, but BU gained a late lead on senior assistant captain Danny O’Regan‘s goal with 2:32 left in the third period.

In terms of the playoff picture, holding onto the lead would have kept BU within one point of No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell for fourth place in Hockey East.

But just as quickly as BU (17-9-5, 10-5-4 Hockey East) scored, it gave the lead right back.

Thirty-five seconds after O’Regan’s tally, UNH forward Maxim Gaudreault tied the game at 3-3. That’s where things would stay for the final 1:57 of the third and the five minutes of overtime, so the Terriers ended with a draw against the Wildcats (10-15-6, 4-9-6 Hockey East) at the Whittemore Center.

There was some good, some not as good and other stuff in between in this one, so we’ll break it down in this Pluses and Minuses.


O’Regan hat trick, first line clicks 

Different wingers, good defenses, anyway you slice it, BU’s first line during its previous three games struggled to get anything going.

O’Regan, in particular, had gone three consecutive games without a point, matching a career-long scoreless streak that only happened one other time in his career, late in Feb. 2014.

That streak would not last into a fourth game, however, with O’Regan striking for three goals, the second collegiate hat trick of his career.

He came through with the first goal 12 seconds into the second, off a nice cross-ice feed from freshman winger Jordan Greenway. A little over six minutes after, while BU was in the midst of a power play, O’Regan one-timed a shot that trickled off goaltender Danny Tirone’s pads and past the the goal line.

The latter of the three saw O’Regan get to the netfront and wrist the puck high over Tirone.

O’Regan’s line has already changed a number of times this year, and it looked a little bit different with Greenway alongside freshman center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. At least for the night, the changes paid off, as the freshmen added two points apiece.

Greenway, who was on BU’s top line to start the year, has gotten back to where he started, in large part because of his ability to use his physicality to his advantage. Two points through the first 13 games, Greenway now has 21 total — fifth on the team.

“Pretty good, they got three goals so I like that,” said BU head coach David Quinn on the first line’s play. “… I just thought that the way [Greenway] was playing and Danny and JFK I just thought that’d be a real good line.”

Shots on the rise, limited UNH chances 

You could argue that this could be a minus because BU only scored three times. In the same breath, though, it was not as if BU didn’t get the puck to the net or close to it. In total, the Terriers accumulated 70 shot attempts as compared to UNH’s 30.

Especially in the first and third periods, BU’s shot attempts came from in close range in the slot or near the crease area.

“There was a lot I liked about our game tonight but obviously the result isn’t what we wanted,” Quinn said. “Obviously i thought we possessed the puck well, got pucks to the net, just weren’t able to capitalize and our goals we had to earn.”

BU’s defense, despite giving up three goals, for the most part held it together and limited the chances that sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee saw. It was momentary lapses that really came back to bite BU, which we’ll get to in a titch…


Two quick responses 

If momentum does indeed exist, it did not last long for BU on Friday night, and that became more pronounced in the final minutes of the third period.

Off a BU turnover, UNH possessed the puck in the Terriers’ zone and also controlled the area in front of the crease. That’s where Gaudreault was when he rebounded in the tying goal, not even 40 seconds after O’Regan gave BU the lead.

Yet that wasn’t the first time the Terriers allowed a goal shortly after scoring one of their own. After BU’s second score, winger Jamie Hill snuck behind BU’s third defensive pair, junior Doyle Somerby and sophomore Brien Diffley, walking in alone from the offensive blue line to the net, where he slipped the puck under LaCouvee.

Quinn expressed his frustration with his team’s missed assignments on UNH’s final goal.

“Yeah, we turned it over, had possession entering their zone, we turned it over then our transition defense,” Quinn said, “we just blew coverage I mean first forward back did his job, the next two forwards got a little too deep and they get the puck to the point and we don’t block the shot and we don’t pick our stick up at the net front I mean just basic hockey and it’s disappointing.”

Failed five-minute major 

Quinn said after the game that he was more pleased with the way his power-play unit played this time out. But there was one disappointing aspect. BU could not break through when given the chance on a five-minute major.

In fairness, the extended man advantage did carry over from the second period to the third, but the Terriers did not get a lot of great looks on net and also were not as quick on the puck as they probably would’ve liked.

The process is getting better for the power play, but Quinn said he would like to see the rubber hit the twine more during such opportunities.

“The five-minute major we didn’t do much with, disappointing it’s kind of disjointed when the period ends and you’ve got 1:40 on one side of it and 3:20 the next,” Quinn said, “so that being said, the power play was better but we’ve just got to do a better job on it.”