Three Thoughts: BU’s weekend series with Providence

BU celebrates its second goal in Saturday's 2-2 overtime draw with Providence College. PHOTO BY JOHN KAVOURIS/DAILY FREE PRESS
BU celebrates its second goal in Saturday’s 2-2 overtime draw with Providence College. PHOTO BY JOHN KAVOURIS/DAILY FREE PRESS

The Boston University men’s hockey team snagged three of a possible four points against Providence College this past weekend. Friday night’s clash was a 2-1 win at Schneider Arena, while Saturday’s game unfolded as a 2-2 overtime tie.

From the good, the bad and the ugly, we offer several takes on what unfolded. As a bit of foreshadowing, it wasn’t the prettiest weekend of Terrier hockey, even if the results were largely favorable.

1.) Bellows struggles – As much as we don’t want to admit it, it may be time for Kieffer Bellows to sit a game or so. After getting two penalties in the first period on Saturday, including one in the offensive zone, Bellows now leads all Terriers in total penalties with 16. For comparison, Jordan Greenway is second in penalties with 10. Quinn made the decision to bench Bellows for pretty much the rest of Saturday’s contest, and he can’t be blamed. It’s been a tough stretch for the freshman, as he has just one point in his last seven contests. With BU not as deep as it would like to be, hopefully he can get more comfortable in the college game soon. – Nick

2.) Penalties – If you thought the Terriers’ penalty problem had subsided, last weekend seemed to prove you wrong. After averaging 9.6 penalty minutes in their previous six contests, Quinn’s squad logged 47 minutes in the box in the two games versus the Friars. BU still secured three points despite having to kill the power play so much, but it’s obvious that Quinn will be stressing cutting down penalties in practice this week. – Nick

3.) Who’s out – It will be interesting to see which forward gets bumped out of the lineup once Clayton Keller returns from injury (which could be before the winter break, FYI). Pat Curry has stepped up to replace Keller on the second line, and he’s performed well the last few games. Does he stay somewhere on that second line, especially with Bellows’ recent struggles? And where does Ryan Cloonan fit in when Keller and Tommy Kelley are back on the ice? Who on the fourth line gets the boot? If BU can get all of their playmakers back to full health, keep an eye out for what Quinn does with the bottom three lines. – Nick

The Small Five

a.) Oettinger – For anyone claiming that Jake Oettinger can’t handle the starting spot for these Terriers, it’s time to hold your horses. The kid is just fine. Actually scratch that – he’s more than fine. He made a combined 68 saves across both games with the Friars, including 38 on Friday night. The 17-year-old also now has a 1.92 goals against average and .930 save percentage. – Jonathan

b.) D pairings – Coach Quinn tossed a small curveball this past weekend when he switched up the top two defensive pairings. He partnered Charlie McAvoy with Brandon Hickey, and also put Chad Krys with Dante Fabbro. Normally it’d be McAvoy-Krys and Hickey-Fabbro, so perhaps a small point. Meanwhile, John MacLeod and Doyle Somerby stayed together on the third pairing. – Jonathan

c.) McAvoy – Speaking of McAvoy, we’re starting to see some serious offensive production from this past summer’s first-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins. He has one goal and 11 assists, including a helper in each of his last three games. That should come as no surprise, though, as he had three goals and 22 assists in his freshman season. Either way, it’s nice to see McAvoy contributing on the offensive end consistently. – Jonathan

d.) Harper – Is it possible that Patrick Harper is regressing to the mean? He still leads BU with 17 points, but he was kept off the scoreboard in both tilts with the Friars. Many of the team’s top forwards were as well, so it’s hardly a slight. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Harper returns to his scoring ways or balances out some. – Jonathan

e.) Power play – The Terriers’ power play isn’t up to snuff right now, of that there is no doubt. BU has the 43rd-best success rate in the country, as it scores on 14.29 percent of its man advantages. With copious talent – Keller, Harper, Bellows, Fabbro, McAvoy and Greenway, to name a few – something has to click soon, right? On the contrary, BU’s penalty-kill unit is the nation’s third best, as it clocks in at a 91.1 percent success rate. – Jonathan

From The FreeP: BU snags three points from Providence weekend

David Quinn and Nate Leaman, the head coaches of Boston University and Providence College, respectively, both described clashes between their squads as a rivalry. After this past weekend’s series, it’s easy to understand why.

Inside the hostile confines of Schneider Arena on Friday night, the Terriers snagged a 2-1 win, even if it was against the odds. Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger put up nearly 40 saves, while the penalty kill was immense, especially in the first period.

Another key storyline from Friday’s encounter was that BU’s depth was on full display. For various reasons, Nick Roberto, Jordan Greenway, Clayton Keller and Tommy Kelley were out, causing Quinn’s side to dig deep into the roster.

  1. For more on Nick’s recap, click here.
  2. For Jonathan’s sider, click here.

The sides were right back at it again on Saturday night, this time at Agganis Arena. Despite being largely outplayed for the whole contest, BU snagged a 2-2 draw that carried through overtime. Such a close state of affairs wasn’t indicative of ineptness on BU’s part, though.

The Terriers took 20 minutes of penalties, only for goals from Brandon Hickey and Nik Olsson to save their bacon. It wasn’t the prettiest game by any means, but three out a four possible points in Hockey East play is largely a success.

  1. For Jonathan’s recap, click here.
  2. For Nick’s sider on Olsson, click here.

From The FreeP: Previewing the Providence weekend

The Boston University men’s hockey team returns to action this weekend against Providence College. The first tilt is set for Friday night in Rhode Island’s capital city, while the Friars and Terriers return to Agganis Arena on Saturday night.

We sat down with head coach David Quinn ahead of the series to preview all that’s in store. For updates on injuries, how BU spent its Thanksgiving break and more, click here.

Hint: Quinn views this as a vital weekend set.

From The FreeP: BU splits with UConn

It was an up-and-down weekend for the Boston University men’s hockey team, as it split its weekend series with the University of Connecticut.

Matters get underway on Friday evening in Hartford, Connecticut, with the Terriers emerging as 2-1 victors. Then traveling back home to Agganis Arena, BU was blanked for the first time since 2013, falling 4-0 to the Huskies.

In case you missed it, here’s our coverage of both weekend games:

  1. Friday’s recap, with a particular focus on Gabe Chabot snagging the game-winning goal.
  2. Friday’s sider that focuses on the breakout performance of Connor LaCouvee in net.
  3. Saturday’s recap, which features some surprisingly upbeat quotes from head coach David Quinn.
  4. Saturday’s reap, which focuses on BU’s injuries stacking up.


Press Conferences

Five Thoughts on BU’s weekend series with Northeastern

Now that the dust has settled, let’s reflect back on the Boston University men’s hockey team’s weekend series against Northeastern University.

On Friday night at Matthews Arena, the Terriers let up a late equalizer and struggled to tune out the Matthews Arena crowd. Simply, the 4-4 tie in overtime left BU with a bitter taste in its mouth.

In the return affair on Saturday evening at Agganis Arena, the Terriers bounced back in a major way, earning a 3-0 win. Freshmen Patrick Harper, Jake Oettinger and Kieffer Bellows led the way, while BU finally stayed out of the box for an extended period of time.

Now, here are our five thoughts:

1.) Second line – It’s interesting to note that the second line had much more success than the first line this weekend. That second line of Patrick Harper, Clayton Keller and Jordan Greenway scored five of BU’s seven total goals in its two games against Northeastern, while the first line of Kieffer Bellows, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter totaled just one. In Saturday’s game, both of Harper’s goals featured assists from Keller and Greenway, indicating that those three have really gelled together quickly.

While Bellows scored in Saturday’s win, it was a quiet weekend for both Forsbacka Karlsson and Carpenter, who combined for just two assists in the two games. Of course, to refer to their efforts as quiet is more of a testament to that stacked BU offense. Regardless, the Harper-Keller-Greenway line looked fantastic all weekend, while the Bellows-JFK-Carpenter line was cast in the shadows. – Nick

2.) Jordan Greenway – After Greenway picked up a 10-minute misconduct penalty that proved crucial in the tie with Northeastern on Friday, Coach David Quinn responded by sitting Greenway for the entire first period Saturday. In his press conference on Friday, Quinn made it clear he wasn’t going to let those type of penalties slide, and he backed it up by sitting Greenway.

Once he got out on the ice, Greenway was back to his old, physical self. He had a few bad moments, like when he completely whiffed on a one-timer early in the second period, but he still contributed with two assists in the win. Once or twice after the whistle, a NU player would get in Greenway’s face to try and incite him, but Greenway kept his arms down and stayed out of trouble. He was called for no penalties after spending 14 minutes in the penalty box on Friday, so we assume Quinn is pleased with Greenway’s turnaround. – Nick

3.) Clayton Keller – Man, Keller is so fun to watch. Every time the opposing goalie passes out to a defenseman, Keller is there to try and disrupt it. That’s what led to his shorthanded goal on Friday. We’ll update you as soon as we learn more about the severity of his injury. – Nick

4.) Oskar Andrén – With injuries stacking up – Nik Olsson, Ryan Cloonan and Keller could all be out for a while – the return of the Swedish winger was a welcomed sight. The sophomore slotted onto the fourth line in Saturday’s game and brought energy throughout. It was his first game of the 2016-17 season. He didn’t register a shot or make any jaw-dropping plays, but he doesn’t need to right now. He just needs to fill a role. – Jonathan

5.) Tommy Kelley – When BU hockey fans picture Tommy Kelley, odds are they envision a fourth line player who is on the periphery. Now a senior, it’s clear that coach Quinn wants “TK” to take on a far more expansive role for the Terriers.

He’ll never be an offensive powerhouse and likely isn’t a top-six forward, but his contributions are undoubtedly important. He kills penalties, makes smart hockey plays and is gradually growing into a leadership role. He also logs an incredible amount of ice time, far more than most fourth-line players ever would. – Jonathan


Friday’s game:

Saturday’s game:

Top prospect Shane Bowers commits to BU

The star-studded prospects just keep on coming for BU head coach David Quinn and the Boston University men’s hockey team.

After receiving a commitment from Dylan Peterson yesterday, USHL center and top 2017 NHL draft prospect Shane Bowers tweeted out his commitment to BU today. Bowers, 17, is one of seven Terrier commits eligible to play next season.

The Canadian-born Bowers is currently in the midst of his second year with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. He has five goals and four assists through nine games played. The 6-foot, 170 pound center also played for the Canada Under-18 squad in the Hlinka Memorial Cup this year, scoring once in four games.

Bowers is known for his limitless potential and playmaking on the offensive end. With the current Terriers’ squad stacked on offense, it looks like Bowers should have no problem fitting right in on Commonwealth Avenue next season. Here are some more reactions on Bowers’ decision.

VIDEO: Coaches, players react to BU’s win over Quinnipiac

The Terriers secured a statement win over Quinnipiac on Saturday night. The final score was 3-0, with Jordan Greenway, Bobo Carpenter and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson all scoring. Freshman goalie Jake Oettinger also posted his second straight shutout.

Without further ado, here’s what coaches and players had to say in the game’s aftermath.

Coach Quinn:

Jordan Greenway and Brandon Hickey:

Rand Pecknold, Quinnipiac’s coach:

Live Blog: BU vs. Quinnipiac

It’s gonna be a good one, folks. The Terriers will look to get their first win against a ranked opponent when they take on No. 4 Quinnipiac University. Be sure to keep up with our live blog:

Live Blog BU vs. Quinnipiac

BU lines:

Bellows – Forsbacka Karlsson – Carpenter

Harper – Keller – Greenway

Olsson – Cloonan – Roberto

Kelley – Curry – Chabot


Hickey – Fabbro

Krys- McAvoy

Somerby – MacLeod






Quinnipiac lines:

Martin – Clifton – Davidson

Taverner – MacMaster – Smith

Whelan – Mick – Aldworth

Pieper – Schutt – Tiefenwerth


Shiplo – McKernan

Rafferty – Clifton

Smith – Cukste




Live Blog: BU vs. Sacred Heart

BU will look to get back in the win column tonight as they host Sacred Heart. Follow along our live blog for updates!

Live Blog BU vs. Sacred Heart (10-21-16)

BU lines:

Bellows – Forsbacka Karlsson – Carpenter

Harper – Keller – Greenway

Olsson – Curry – Cloonan

Kelley – McDermott – Roberto


Hickey – Fabbro

Krys – McAvoy

Somerby – MacLeod






Sacred Heart lines:

Jasper – Danforth – Minello

Carroll – Kennedy – Fargey

Butcher – Tsekos – Bavaro

Barliant – Lotito – Hansen


Nylen – Clare

Rakhmatov – Doerksen

Lloyd – Crocock




From the FreeP: BU falls to Denver in first of two weekend games

It wasn’t the best start for the Terriers last night, as they were unable to overcome a 4-1 deficit and lost 4-3 to Denver. BU will get it’s chance for revenge when they play the Pioneers again tonight at 9:00 pm.

For now, you can read up on the game recap here. We weren’t able to make it to Denver and don’t have the postgame video, but has been posting Quinn’s interviews the morning after the game, so feel free to check there for the videos.

Be sure to join Jon on the live blog tonight!