Live Blog: BU vs. Providence

The Boston University men’s hockey team secured its first win of 2018 last night against the University of New Hampshire. In an early 5 p.m. start tonight at Agganis Arena, the Terriers will look to continue their success against No. 11 Providence College in the two teams’ third meeting of the 2017-18 season. Read this week’s preview here and follow along on tonight’s live blog.

Live Blog Live Blog: BU vs. Providence

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:

Live Blog: BU vs. UNH

The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team will play the No. 9 University of New Hampshire at Agganis Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. After a 6-1 loss to No. 13 Northeastern University last night, the Terriers will look for a win and two points against the Wildcats. Read our preview here to see what to look out for in tonight’s matchup and follow along on our live blog.

Live Blog Boston University vs. New Hampshire

Pluses and Minuses: O’Connor’s strong play in net helps Terriers advance to Hockey East title game

Matt O'Connor. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Matt O’Connor. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

For the second time in three seasons, the Boston University men’s hockey team will play for the Hockey East championship.

Facing off against a red-hot University of New Hampshire squad that had won nine of its last 10 contests, the Terriers (24-7-5) ricocheted from yet another slow start to best the Wildcats (19-19-2), 4-1, Friday night at TD Garden.

The Terriers will have little time to rest following their victory, as they will face off against two-time defending conference champion University of Massachusetts Lowell Saturday night.

As with every hockey game, there were a good amount of positive and negative takeaways Friday night. Here they are.

Pluses:

O’Connor stabilizes Terriers in uneven first period

Fresh off of earning Hockey East Second Team All-Star honors Thursday night, junior goaltender Matt O’Connor lived up to newly awarded accolade against the Wildcats, standing tall in the Terrier crease to the tune of 32 saves — his highest save total since stopped 32 shots against the University of Vermont on Jan. 23.

The Toronto native especially came up big over the first 20 minutes of play, negating a multitude of sloppy plays from the blueliners in front of him by holding an opportunistic and aggressive Wildcat offense to just one goal.

A pivotal moment came in the closing minutes of the stanza, with UNH holding onto a 1-0 advantage. As the Wildcats vied for yet another tally, forward Andrew Poturalski fired a puck on net that a sprawling O’Connor deflected at the last second with his pads, keeping it a one-goal game. Less than 20 seconds later, the Terriers capitalized, with senior assistant captain Cason Hohmann lighting the lamp at 17:38 to knot the score at one goal apiece.

O’Connor is now 21-3-4 on the year with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

MacLeod impresses in return

Despite sitting out the past three games due to an upper-body injury, freshman defenseman John MacLeod failed to show any rust in his return to action Friday night.

The blueliner was steady out on the ice, tying defensive partner Matt Grzelcyk with a game-high plus-four rating on the night while also earning his seventh assist of the season on Hohmann’s first-period score.

The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect also paid dividends on defense, stopping a potential Wildcat goal in the third period. With the Terriers clinging to a 2-1 lead, sophomore defenseman Doyle Somerby sent a shot from the blue line that was blocked by a UNH skater, generating a breakaway opportunity for New Hampshire.

As the UNH skater coasted into the Terriers’ zone, MacLeod hustled back and swooped into the skater’s lane, disrupting his easy look on net.

Good timing from Chase Phelps

Freshman forward Chase Phelps picked an awful good time to score his second goal of the season.

With Friday’s match locked in a 1-1 draw, the Terriers’ fourth line buzzed around the UNH net, attempting to generate some semblance of an opportunity against New Hampshire goaltender Danny Tirone.

Junior forward Mike Moran coasted the puck along the end boards to sophomore forward Nick Roberto, who motioned from behind the UNH cage and put the puck on net. As the puck settled near the crease, Phelps quickly flipped it over Tirone, handing BU its first lead of the night.

It was the Shattuck St. Mary’s product’s first goal since Nov. 29 against Colgate University.

Eichel keeps doing Eichel things

While BU’s formidable first line was mostly held in check over the first 40 minutes of play, freshman center Jack Eichel could not be muted for long.

The young forward capped the Terriers’ scoring on the night with two goals in the final 10 minutes of play, both off of rebound offerings off the stick of senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues.

With his two strikes, Eichel has extended his point streak to 11 games, notching 23 points during that stretch. Now standing at 63 points on the season, Eichel needs just one more to stand as the second-highest scoring freshman in NCAA history.

Minuses:

New day at the garden, same slow start

For the third time this season, the Terriers dropped the puck at TD Garden. And for the third time in this arena, the Terriers underwhelmed with their performance in the first period.

BU appeared sluggish and indecisive both in terms of defense and offense over the first 20 minutes, with the Wildcats outshooting the Terriers by an 11-8 margin.

While it appeared that the Wildcats consistently outplayed their opponent throughout the period, O’Connor’s strong play and Hohmann’s goal were able to help the Terriers escape the stanza still locked in a 1-1 tie.

“After the first period we all knew we didn’t play well. I’m careful to say that, because I think a big part of that had to do with the way UNH was playing,” said BU coach David Quinn. “For us to come out of that period 1-1 I thought it bode well for us moving forward because I knew we couldn’t play much worse than that. Hopefully we get off to a better start tomorrow night because I don’t think we’re going to be able to get away with it with Lowell.”

Freshman blueliners struggle in opening frame

Throughout the first period of play Friday night, BU’s four freshman defensemen sure looked like … Well, freshmen.

A key factor in the team’s lackluster performance in opening frame can be attributed to a few choice plays from its rookie defensemen. In particular, Brandon Fortunato and Brandon Hickey coughed up a costly turnover in BU’s own zone, directly leading to a goal from UNH forward Tyler Kelleher at 14:34.

For more on the Terriers’ sluggish defensive play (and subsequent redemption), check out Andrew’s sider.