Men’s hockey sweeps Arizona State

Last weekend, the Boston University men’s hockey team swept Merrimack College in its first sweep of the season. This weekend, the Terriers continued their momentum as they traveled to Arizona and swept Arizona State University.

Friday night, the Terriers and the Sun Devils played each other in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

BU opened its scoring 7:20 seconds into the first period.

Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter connected on a pass from senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey by way of sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro and scored on a power play.

Almost ten minutes later, the Terriers found the back of the net again.

Freshman forward Hank Crone scored off a rebound from freshman forward Ty Amonte and recorded his second goal of the season. Freshman defenseman Cam Crotty also picked up an assist.

BU would add two more goals in the first stanza as freshman forwards Brady Tkachuk and Shane Bowers scored just 20 seconds apart

Junior forward and assistant captain Jordan Greenway and Crotty assisted on Tkachuk’s goal and freshman forward Logan Cockerill recorded a helper on Bowers’ goal.

Carpenter added to the lead 5:35 in the middle period off a feed from senior defenseman John MacLeod. Just over 12 minutes later, senior forward Chase Phelps scored his first goal of the season to put BU up 6-0.

Sophomore forward Gabriel Chabot and freshman forward Jake Witkowski added assists on Phelps’ goal.

With under a minute to play in the second, Tkachuk scored his second goal of the night. On a power play, Tkachuk beat Sun Devils’ sophomore goaltender Joey Daccord to give BU a 7-0 lead.

BU scored one more time in the final stanza for an 8-0 shutout victory. Seven minutes into the third, Carpenter chipped in a pass from Chabot and recorded his second hat-trick of the season.

Carpenter is now tied for seventh in the country with 16 goals on the season and sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger recorded his third shutout of the season.

Saturday night, BU once again opened the scoring.

Hickey scored a power-play goal just under eight minutes into the first period. Less than four minutes later, Fabbro doubled the Terriers’ lead. Graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson and Tkachuk added the helpers on Fabbro’s goal.

Under a minute into the second period, Arizona State scored its first goal of the weekend. With a 5-on-3 advantage, freshman forward Johnny Walker recorded his team leading seventh goal. Sophomores forward Brett Gruber and defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk tallied the assists.

The Sun Devils knotted the game at two just over seven minutes into the second period after freshman defenseman Jacob Wilson recorded a short-handed goal.

BU regained the lead 19 seconds later as senior defenseman Brien Diffley recorded his first goal of the season on the power play. Senior forward and assistant captain Nikolas Olsson and Fabbro added assists.

In the third period, Bowers banged in a rebound from Fabbro by way of Cockerill just over 11 minutes in the third period. The goal was originally ruled a no-goal, but was overturned after review.

Arizona State scored once more in the third on a power play. Redshirt senior forward David Norris beat Oettinger with just over five minutes to play. Although, it would not be enough as BU held on and beat the Sun Devils 4-3.

The Terriers will resume Hockey East play against the University of Massachusetts Amherst Friday night on the road and will look to extend their win streak to five games.

Weekend Roundup: Lowell series, end of semester thoughts

The Boston University men’s hockey team finished 2017 with two matchups against the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This was the first time the two teams had faced each other unranked since Dec. 7, 2007.

Jordan Greenway recorded three goals and one assist on Saturday. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jordan Greenway recorded three goals and one assist on Saturday. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Friday night at Tsongas Center, the Terriers had a 2-1 lead going into the final period of the game after freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson struck less than a minute into the first and second period respectively.

However, BU couldn’t maintain the lead as the River Hawks found the back of the net twice in the third and the Terriers couldn’t get the puck past Lowell junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg.

Saturday ensued much differently. BU notched three goals in each period for a 9-3 win to end the semester. Junior forward Jordan Greenway tallied a hat-trick, which included a short-handed goal.

Sophomore forward Patrick Harper scored twice on the power play, freshman defenseman Cam Crotty got his first collegiate goal and sophomore defenseman Chad Krys notched a goal the following shift after being hit hard in the leg by a shot from River Hawks senior defenseman Chris Forney.

Chad Krys was helped off the ice, but returned back to the BU bench quickly. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Chad Krys was helped off the ice, but returned back to the BU bench quickly. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

While the Terriers will go into the winter break on a high note and the team appears optimistic about the next half of their season, the Lowell series continued to highlight an ever so familiar sequence of events.

Over BU’s past three Hockey East series, the squad has been limited to two goals or less on one night then puts up seven or more goals the next. This was seen specifically in the Terriers’ splits with the University of Maine, then-No. 15 Boston College and this past weekend.

BU is currently tied for No. 3 in the conference with No. 9 Providence College and in the upcoming half of the season, it will face many opponents again and play Hockey East series against Merrimack College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Vermont.

This latter portion of the season will certainly provide a challenge to the Terriers who have proven they can play against a top team like BC, but they have yet to see a full sweep and take home four points.

BU’s next game will be an exhibition game against the United States National Team Development Program on Jan. 5 where many of the Terriers will see their former teammates. Following that game will be another matchup against Maine at Agganis Arena.

Another note before the articles and media below: I (Nikki) will be assuming the role of the sports editor of The Daily Free Press during the spring semester so Liam O’Brien and Matt Martin will be the main writers for men’s hockey and the Boston Hockey Blog. I may come back to cover a couple games, but I’d like to thank everyone for a great semester, hanging in with us through the technical difficulties and keeping along with the blog.

What are you thoughts on the Lowell series and the first half of the 2017-18 season?

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey unable to sustain lead in 3-2 loss to UMass Lowell

Sider on Melanson – “Drew Melanson finds success on men’s hockey top line

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey trumps UMass-Lowell, 9-3, behind hat trick from Jordan Greenway

Sider on players that benefitted BU’s lineup – “Addition of Fabbro, Chabot and Curry help men’s hockey beat UMass Lowell 9-3

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

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: Providence and Northeastern

The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two.

After going point-less for three games, freshman forward Shane Bowers collects an assist on Greenway’s goal against Northeastern. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
After going point-less for three games, freshman forward Shane Bowers collects an assist on Greenway’s goal against Northeastern. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday night, the Terriers looked to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to No. 8 Providence College. After a scoreless two periods, sophomore defenseman Chad Krys broke through the Friars’ defense and scored his first two goals of the season within 1:37 of the other. Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger’s 31-save night also contributed to the 2-0 win and marked his fifth collegiate shutout.

However, BU was unable to carry this momentum into the following night as it hosted No. 13 Northeastern University. Forwards Bobby Hampton and Nolan Stevens got the Huskies on the board twice during the opening frame in what appeared to mimic last season’s Hockey East quarterfinals to a tee.

Unlike like the quarterfinals, the Terriers were unable to come back despite junior forward Jordan Greenway’s second goal of the season. Stevens went on to score twice more in the second period to bring Northeastern home a 4-1 win while BU accumulated two game misconducts in the final period.

While the Terriers were unable to match the Huskies’ offense, they will have another chance next Friday night at Matthews arena. Then the following night BU will host the University of No. 9 New Hampshire at Agganis Arena.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey beats Providence 2-0, Oettinger gets fifth career shutout

Sider on Krys’ two-goal night – “Chad Krys scores twice to lead men’s hockey to 2-0 win over Providence

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Northeastern 4-1 behind Stevens’ hat-trick

Sider on the Terriers’ poor defensive showing – “Men’s hockey unable to come back from Northeastern’s first period goals in 4-1 loss

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

Jordan Greenway to return for junior season

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PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

One of Boston University’s go-to forwards will return for the 2017-18 season.

Jordan Greenway, amidst speculation that he would turn pro with the Minnesota Wild, has confirmed to The Boston Hockey Blog that he’ll be back for his junior season.

The announcement comes as a boon to Terrier hockey fans, as forwards Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Clayton Keller and defenseman Charlie McAvoy have all signed early with NHL teams.

With Greenway back, BU now retains three of its top six forwards from the 2016-17 campaign, including rising sophomore Patrick Harper and rising junior Bobo Carpenter. Across his first two seasons at Agganis Arena, the 20-year-old amassed 57 points (15 goals, 42 assists) in 76 games.

During his sophomore season, Greenway helped Team USA win a gold medal at the World Junior Championships. Clocking in at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Greenway was drafted in the second round in 2015 by Minnesota.

 

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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Seven Terriers make U.S. National Junior team; Fabbro joins Canadian squad

Chad Krys joined BU's cohort of draftees on Saturday morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF: USA Hockey
Chad Krys has been named to the USNJT preliminary roster for the second consecutive year. (PHOTO COURTESY OF: USA Hockey)

As if we needed anymore evidence that the young guys on the No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team are crazy talented.

On Monday, USA Hockey announced the preliminary roster for the 2017 United States National Junior Team. Seven of the 27 athletes are current Terriers. Freshman defenseman Chad Krys and sophomore blue-liner Charlie McAvoy got the invite after leading last year’s U.S. NJT squad to a bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

Along with Krys and McAvoy, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway, and freshman forwards Pat Harper, Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows made the first cut.

Four of the 27 players will be cut before this year’s IIHF WJC starts Dec. 26 in Canada. The final roster cuts are expected to be made Dec. 24.

Playing for the U.S. National Team is nothing new for most of the Terriers named to the preliminary roster. McAvoy, Oettinger, Keller, and Krys won gold with Team USA at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, while Bellows joined Oettinger, Keller, and Krys to snatch bronze in the same tournament last year.

Training camp will be from Dec. 16-20 at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, then Dec. 20-24 in Ontario. There will also be two pre-tournament games on the 21st and 23rd.

Not to be outdone, freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro was named to the Canadian WJC selection camp. He joins North Dakota’s Tyler Jost as the only NCAA athletes to make the cut. Camp will be held from Dec. 10th to the 14th.

As a reminder, the Terriers host Yale University on Dec. 13th, then take on Union College Jan. 5th.

For the complete schedule for this year’s tournament, click here.