INFOGRAPHIC: extended

After last Saturday’s win against the No. 11 University of New Hampshire, the No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team has officially made it through the first third of its 36 regular-game season.

The Boston Hockey Blog decided to compile an infographic on the team’s progress so far. We’ve also elaborated on some of the information in the graphic below and added things that couldn’t fit.

Senior forward Chase Phelps in front of the net against Northeastern University. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Chase Phelps in front of the net against Northeastern University. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Rankings: No. 2 (preseason), No. 2, No. 7, No. 6, No. 12, No. 15, No. 18

As per USCHO.com

BU was slated as No. 2 behind University of Denver in the preseason poll, and kept this standing as it beat Union 4-1 during its home-opener and Quinnipiac University 4-3 in overtime. However, a sweep by Minnesota State University caused the Terriers to drop to No. 7. The following weekend, BU split its series against UConn and moved up a spot. 

After losing to both the Denver and Providence College, the Terriers went to No. 12. The following weekend, BU split its Hockey East matchups after a win against Providence, but a loss to Northeastern, causing it to drop to No. 15. Finally, despite beating UNH, the Terriers were swept by Northeastern giving them a No. 18 spot in the polls. 

Record: 5-6-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East during the Terriers’ first 12 games

Power Play: 20.4 percent

  • Junior forward Bobo Carpenter has scored four of his seven goals while BU was on a power play.

Penalty Kill: 70.6 percent

  • Carpenter scored two short-handed goals against UConn on Oct. 20.

Faceoff Wins: 50.9 percent

Goals per Game: 2.4

Shots per Game: 32.5

Other Leading Scorers:

  • Freshman forward Shane Bowers (4g, 2a) – 6 points
  • Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro (3g, 3a) – 6 points
  • Sophomore forward Patrick Curry (2g, 1a) – 3 points
  • Senior defenseman Brandon Hickey (1g, 2a) – 3 points

Terriers with Two Points: freshman forward Ty Amonte, graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson, freshman defenseman David Farrance

Freshman forward Shane Bowers with the puck in BU's 2-0 win against Providence College. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman forward Shane Bowers with the puck in BU’s 2-0 win against Providence College. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Goaltending:

  • Jake Oettinger sits on a .904 goal save percentage and 2.91 goals against average over 658:41 minutes
  • Max Prawdzik owns a .968 goal save percentage and .91 goals against average over 66:03 minutes

Other Things to Note:

  • Fabbro leads the team in blocked shots with 32
  • Krys leads in shots with 45
  • Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk leads BU with a plus-minus rating of +7
  • The Terriers have been outscored 15-8 in the second period
  • BU has allowed its opponent to score first in seven games with a 2-5 record in those contests

Other Notable Quotes:

  • “For the next 50 minutes they played men’s hockey and we played boy’s hockey, and that was the difference.” — Coach Quinn after 3-6 loss to Minnesota State University
  • “At the end of the day, this is a game about scoring goals. We can talk about forechecking, d-zone coverage, we can talk about power plays and penalty kills, but you got to score goals.” — Coach Quinn after 1-6 loss to then-No. 13 Northeastern University

Upcoming Games:

After this weekend’s series against the University of Maine, the Terriers will only have five more games left before the end of the semester.

  • Cornell University at Madison Square Garden for Red Hot Hockey, 8 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 25
  • Boston College at Conte Forum, 7 p.m. on Friday Dec. 1
  • Boston College at Agganis Arena, 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 2
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell at  Tsongas Center, 7:15 p.m. on Friday Dec. 8
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell at Agganis Arena, 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 9
Senior forward Nik Olsson looking for a pass against Providence. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Nik Olsson looking for a pass against Providence. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Weekend Roundup: Northeastern and UNH

Once again, the No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two. However, over the past two weekends, the Terriers’ performance has been solid on Friday and poor on Saturday.

The opposite occurred this weekend as BU fell 6-1 to No. 13 Northeastern University at Matthews Arena and shutout the No. 9 University of New Hampshire at home the next night.

Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the second goal of the contest from blue line. PHOTO BY VIGUNTHAAN THARMARAJAH/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the second goal of the contest against UNH from blue line. PHOTO BY VIGUNTHAAN THARMARAJAH/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday night, the student section of Matthews was sold out and served as an energizer for the Huskies to get two early tallies within three minutes of each other. Sophomore forward Patrick Harper notched the Terriers lone goal of the night 42 seconds into the second period. Afterward, Northeastern scored four unanswered goals, three of which were on a power play.

Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger was switched in for redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik for the first time all season after forward Lincoln Griffin scored his second goal of the night. Prawdzik played for the remainder of the game, clocking in six minutes and five seconds, and played well until freshman forward Bobby Hampton slipped a goal past him.

Despite the goal being let through, Prawdzik saw his first collegiate start the following night against UNH. Four separate BU players – freshman forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro, junior forward Jordan Greenway and junior forward Bobo Carpenter – scored over the three periods and Prawdzik made 29 saves for the Terriers to secure a 4-0 shutout.

BU will go on its first road series next weekend against the University of Maine. The first game will take place in Orono at the Alfond Arena on Friday while the second will be held in Portland at the Cross Insurance Arena the following night.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Northeastern 6-1, swept in series

Sider on BU’s defensive downfalls – “Men’s hockey defense falters as Northeastern scores six goals

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey emerges with 4-0 win over No. 9 UNH

Sider on Max Prawdzik’s first start in net – “Prawdzik has first career start for men’s hockey, shuts out UNH 4-0

Here are some Twitter posts from the weekend, highlights and the post-game press conferences:

Weekend Roundup: Denver and Providence Games

The No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team fell to both of its opponents, the No. 1 University of Denver and No. 11 Providence College, over the weekend.

Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter went 36-for-52 at the face-off circles this weekend. PHOTO BY SYDNEY MAES/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter went 36-for-52 at the face-off circles this weekend. PHOTO BY SYDNEY MAES/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday at Agganis Arena, Denver proved its dominance early with two tallies in the first four minutes of the game. Freshman forward Ty Amonte’s first goal of the season and another power-play goal from junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter in the same period tied the score.

However, another strike late in the 1st period from Pioneers forward Colin Staub gave them a 3-2 lead Denver would keep until sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro evened the score more than halfway through the final period. As the game appeared like it would go into overtime, Pioneers forward Troy Terry squashed those quells by finding the back of the net with 16.1 seconds remaining.

The following night, the Terriers were unable to match Providence’s pace and physicality for the 60-minute matchup, but kept the Friars off the board in the first frame and neither players from each team were sent to the penalty box. Much of this changed in the second period, as Providence got on the board three times and BU’s performance began to decrease as they searched for a goal.

Quinn said, in the post-game press conference after the Terriers’ loss to the Friars, that his young team was likely still feeling the previous night’s defeat and carried it into the following matchup. Although, BU has a chance to redeem itself as it hosts Providence again next Friday at Agganis and will see its crosstown competitor No. 20 Northeastern University there the following night.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Denver on game-winner with 16.1 seconds remaining

Side on Jake Oettinger’s performance in the net – “Despite 4-3 loss to Denver, men’s hockey sees encouraging signs from Oettinger

Saturday’s Article

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls  to Providence College 3-0 on the road

Here are Quinn and the players’ thoughts in the post-game press conferences and some Twitter posts from over the weekend:

From the FreeP: Opening Weekend Roundup

This weekend the Boston University men’s hockey team held its first ever season opener in the month of September. The Terriers beat Union College 4-1 on Saturday night after a three-point (2g, 1a) performance from sophomore forward Patrick Harper and game-winning goal notched by sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro.

On Sunday night, BU didn’t have the same luck against the University of Prince Edward Island during its exhibition game. After five minutes of overtime, the game ended in a 5-5 draw. However, the Terriers continued to have a productive power play with four power-play goals after scoring two during opening night, and freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and sophomore defenseman Chad Krys each tallied three points.

BU’s next matchup will be against Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 8). Tune in to the live blog for updates.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Saturday’s Articles

Union Recap – “Men’s hockey beats Union in season opener, 4-1

Union Sider on the Terriers’ special teams – “Two power play goals lead men’s hockey to a win against Union

Sunday’s Articles

Prince Edward Island Recap – “Men’s hockey ties University of Prince Edward Island in exhibition game

Prince Edward Island Sider on Brady Tkachuk’s performance – “Three-point night for Tkachuk in men’s hockey exhibition

Here are some Twitter posts from the weekend and highlights from Saturday’s game:

 

The Look Back: BU slides past UMass ahead of Beanpot Tournament

mihvsumass_February_03_2017_malhotra_9011-1600x1065A three-point night from freshman forward Clayton Keller was the difference on Friday, as the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team skated past the University of Massachusetts at home.

The final scoreline was 3-1 in favor of the Terriers, with the Arizona Coyotes first rounder snagging a goal and two assists. Dante Fabbro, a freshman defenseman, had himself a game, too, pitching in a goal and an assist.

Bobo Carpenter, who now has 10 goals on the year, potted the third tally midway through the third period. The sophomore winger was a continual threat all night long, tying Keller’s team-high seven shots on goal.

For a full account of the game’s events, check out Jonathan’s recap over on The Daily Free Press.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the win assured BU heads into the Beanpot Tournament on a high, having won 10 of its last 12 games. The annual Boston showdown will get underway Monday at 8 p.m. against No. 8 Boston College.

Yep, the squad BU already beat twice this year.

Highlights

Press Conferences

Feature: BU defense bedrock of what could be a special season

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.”

For a full version of the story, click here.

Fabbro, McAvoy shine for Canada, USA in second games of World Juniors

17action_online_maddiemalhotra-1-400x271With two games of Group B play wrapped up, representatives of the Boston University men’s hockey team have continued to shine at the 2017 World Junior Championships.

On Tuesday night, freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro helped Canada to a 5-0 win over Slovakia. He didn’t register a goal or assist, but was a steadying presence along the blueline during 18:07 of time on ice, the second highest total for the Canadians.

The Americans, fresh off a convincing win over Latvia, then played the same Slovakian side on Wednesday evening, beating them 5-2. And, as was the case against the Latvians, Terriers stole the show at time, chipping in on three of the red, white and blue’s five goals.

Freshman forward Clayton Keller turned generous on USA’s second tally, flipping a saucer pass to Colin White, a Boston College forward, for a backdoor finish. Then, to make it a 3-1 game, freshman forward Kieffer Bellows found Tage Thompson of UConn on the doorstep, who deposited with grace atop the crease.

The grandest moment of the game, from a BU perspective, came midway through the second period when sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy fired a howitzer of a one-timer. McAvoy, who is serving as an assistant captain for the Americans, beat netminder Matej Tomek, normally of North Dakota.

Skating as USA’s 13th forward, Patrick Harper registered two shots in 10:06 of ice time, the side’s lowest total. Meanwhile, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger was the sole healthy scratch, with Joseph Woll of Boston College receiving the start between the pipes. Lastly, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway was stymied on his three shots on goal.

Looking ahead, Fabbro and the Canadians next take on Latvia at 8 p.m. on Thursday. On the same day, the Americans will look to beat Russia when it faces the nation at 3:30 p.m.

Highlights

1.) Canada beats Slovakia

2.) USA beats Slovakia

Tweets

BU’s Keller, Greenway shine on first day of World Junior Championships

keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109
Freshman forward Clayton Keller.

Great hype and anticipation has manifested about the imprint the Boston University men’s hockey team could leave on the 2017 World Junior Championships, and its contingent certainly did not disappoint in Monday’s opening clashes.

Team Canada, which boasts freshman Dante Fabbro along the blueline, swept aside Team Russia, 5-3. The Nashville Predators first rounder in the 2016 NHL Draft did not register a point, but largely held his own against a heavy-skating Russian side.

 

While the Canadians impressed inside the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the same building treated Team USA well. More specifically, its members of the Terriers stole the show, accounting for two thirds of the scoring in a 6-1 win over Team Latvia.

Skating as the 13th forward, freshman Patrick Harper opened up the proceedings with a quick wrister in the first period that flew past Mareks Mitens, the Latvian netminder. With just 75 ticks remaining in the second frame, freshman Clayton Keller gave the Americans a 3-1 advantage, potting a loose puck in front of goal.

Keller didn’t stopped there, though, as he made it a 4-1 game for Team USA when he flung a wrist shot past Mitens midway through the third period. Cushioning the red, white and blue’s lead even further, sophomore Jordan Greenway cleaned up a rebound with 40 seconds remaining to seal the 6-1 scoreline.

As for BU’s other players on Team USA, freshman forward Kieffer Bellows skated on the fourth line alongside Tanner Laczynski of Ohio State and Joey Anderson of Minnesota Duluth. Next, sophomore Charlie McAvoy, who is serving as an assistant captain, anchored the defensive unit. Lastly, Jake Oettinger, one of the three American goalies, was the team’s sole scratch.

The Terrier faithful hardly have to wait to see their young stars in action yet again, as Team Canada takes on Team Slovakia on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Team USA’s next faces off on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., also against the Slovaks. Both games will be streamed on the NHL Network.

7 BU hockey players make World Junior Championships

Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The 2017 World Junior Championships will feature talent aplenty of the Boston University variety.

Seven members of the Terriers’ men’s hockey team will play in late December and early January’s collection of the world’s best junior hockey talent, which will take place in Montreal and Toronto. Team Canada will feature freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro, while Team USA boasts freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway and freshmen forwards Patrick Harper, Kieffer Bellows and Clayton Keller.

Freshman defenseman Chad Krys, who played in 2016’s World Junior tournament, was the last cut for Team USA. McAvoy also made last year’s competition, which was held in Finland, and will serve as an alternate captain for the 2017 group.

These seven members of head coach David Quinn’s squad have long featured for their respective national teams, with Keller arguably being the most notable. The former member of the U.S. National Team Development Program broke the career record for points with 189 on 71 goals and 118 assists. In a similar vein, Bellows’ 50 goals led the U.S. National Under-18 Team in 2015-16.

Oettinger, in also playing for the NTDP last year, posted a 2.38 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. As for the sophomore contingent, McAvoy and Greenway both claimed a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Harper has the least national team experience, as he had a brief stint with the U.S. National Under-17 Team in 2014-15. Lastly, Fabbro starred for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship.

All that talent will first be on display when the tournament opens on Dec. 26. It will wrap up on Jan. 5 with medal games.


Here is Team USA’s schedule for the tournament’s group stage:

  1. Dec. 26 vs. Latvia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  2. Dec. 28 vs. Slovakia; 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  3. Dec. 29 vs. Russia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  4. Dec. 31 vs. Canada; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre

Here is Team Canada’s schedule for the tournament’s group stage:

  1. Dec. 26 vs. Russia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  2. Dec. 28 vs. Latvia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  3. Dec. 29 vs. Slovakia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  4. Dec. 31 vs. USA; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre

Click here for Team USA’s full roster, and here for Team Canada’s full roster.

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


Forwards

  • 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

Defense/Goaltending

  • 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

Recruits

  • 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

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2.) Brandon Hickey vs. Providence

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3.) Shane Switzer vs. Yale

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4.) Clayton Keller vs. Northeastern

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5.) Clayton Keller vs. Vermont

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