Friday, January 19, 2018

Fabbro Hat-Trick Goal The Difference At Merrimack

First published on WTBU

NORTH ANDOVER - With just under five minutes to play, Dante Fabbro picked the perfect time to register the first hat-trick by a BU defenseman since January 2016, scoring the eventual game-winning goal to push BU past Merrimack 4-3 at Lawler Rink.

Chad Kys and Dante Fabbro celebrate after Fabbro's first
period power play goal. - Full photo album -
(Photos by Matt Dresens)
Fabbro pumped home his third goal of the night from the top of the right circle with 4:27 left, beating Merrimack goalie Craig Pantano, who made 25 saves on the night. The last BU hat-trick by a defenseman came in a 7-2 drubbing of UMass at Agganis by Matt Grzelcyk. Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to November 2003, when both Ryan Whitney and Kevin Schaeffer scored three times each from the blue line in a 7-2 win against Yale.

“The third one was a little more difficult,” mentioned Fabbro. “The guy kinda had the shooting lane blocked and I just tried to get it towards the net. It was honestly pretty lucky. Lucky that I shot it on the ice and it went five-hole.”

For BU, this was not a dominating win. It was a millstone grinder that saw a two-goal lead at the end of the first period dry up early in the third frame before the late Fabbro heroics.

All in all, coach Quinn was happy with his team’s performance, saying “Its a big two points on the road in a place we haven’t won in a long time. We didn’t do it the easy way, that’s for sure.”

Merrimack opened the scoring 4:39 into the game, as Brett Seney recorded his first of two on the night, beating Jake Oettinger on a sharp angle to the glove side.

After what Quinn described as a sluggish start, BU woke up big time late in the period, scoring three goals in 70 seconds. First, Fabbro put home goal number one from the far side off a slick feed from Jordan Greenway down low to tie the game on the power play. 47 seconds later, Shane Bowers poked home a rebound to give BU a 2-1 lead. Then, 23 seconds after that, Fabbro was at it again, ripping home a shot from up top off a centering carom.

“The first one was a power-play goal,” recalled Fabbro. “Greener gave me a pretty sweet pass backdoor and the second one was a lot like the third. It just trickled out and I was able to get a couple shots on net. Luckily they went in.”

The three-goal outburst was BU's fastest three goals since the 2009 Hockey East Semifinal, when Zach Cohen, Brian Strait, and Colin Willson accomplished the feat in just 43 seconds.

Despite having Merrimack’s Marc Biega register the only goal of the second period, Quinn saw the frame as a much stronger period for the Terriers. “I liked how we battled back after the first period. Even though we were winning 3-1, I thought we played a lot better in the second. We sustained a lot of pressure and had some chances that just bounced out on us. I don’t know how we missed them.”

4:48 into the third, the game was tied. Brett Seney deposited his second of the game on the man advantage, leveling things at 3-3. Following the goal, both teams traded chances. Cole McBride was denied on a partial breakaway by Oettinger, and Bobo Carpenter just missed a rebound bid.

All of that set the stage for Fabbro’s game-winning, hat-trick goal. On the ensuing shift, Oettinger made a crucial glove save to stymie a Merrimack counter and preserve the win. In total, Oettinger turned aside 28 shots.

BU now has registered at least a point in each of their last three games, their longest such streak of the year. The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night on Comm Ave starting at 7 pm.

Weekend With The Warriors

BU looks to continue its momentum after a three-point weekend against UNH and Providence with a two-game home and home set against the Merrimack Warriors. Friday, BU will treck to North Andover and Saturday the Warriors will visit the Greek.
From the Vault
Former Terrier Nick Roberto hunts the puck on a PK in the
 second period against Merrimack in last year's 4-1 loss.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Merrimack currently sits in eighth place in the league standings with ten points and trails the Terriers by six points for the fifth and final first-round bye. MC does have three games in hand on the Terriers, playing only 13 league games thus far.

All in all, Merrimack comes into this weekend series with a 7-11-4 (4-7-2 HE) record and are 3-2-0 since the break. One of those wins includes a 3-2 debunking of the defending national champion Denver Pioneers in the Mile High City on December 30th.

A year ago, Merrimack stunningly swept BU in an extended two-game series while the Terriers were ranked number one in the country. The Warriors gutted out a 3-1 win at Lawler rink on Tuesday, January 24th, and then rolled 4-1 the following Friday at Agganis.

Scouting the Warriors
A pair of seniors lead the scoring pace, as Jace Hennig and Brett Seney have amassed 20 points in 22 games played. Hennig has notched eight goals and 12 assists, while Seney has put home six goals and added 14 helpers. Other players to watch include Jared Kolquist, Derek Petti, and Sami Tavernier.

In goal, Craig Pentane holds a .918 save percentage and a 2.26 goals against average with 7-6-2 record in 16 appearances.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Terriers Wrap Past Wildcats

Despite having not one, but two goals were taken off the board due to review, BU still walked out of the Whittemore Center with a 3-2 win over the University of New Hampshire behind goals from Shane Bowers, Ty Amonte, and Jordan Greenway, as the Terrier completed the season sweep of the Wildcats.

Men's Hockey at UNH (1/12/18)
Photos by Matt Dresens 

After Bowers scored 4:26 into the first on a play that was actually last touched by a UNH skater to give BU a 1-0 lead, the Terriers looked to have doubled their lead as Bobo Carpenter poked home a rebound. Upon further review, Carpenter kicked home the loose puck with his back skate, nullifying the goal.

Not long after, it happened again. This time, Jordan Greenway was the one who booted it in the back of the net and again it didn’t stand.

Simply put, they were the right call and coach Quinn agreed.

After a dominating stretch that saw BU “score” twice, UNH responded. Eric MacAdams snuck a shot past Jake Oettinger on the near side post with just over five minutes to play in the stanza.

“It was such a tricky bounce off the back wall,” mentioned Quinn. “Our D goes to the wrong side and… it's in. They didn’t have a chance up until that point. For the people that watch us a lot this year, they know we get zone time, we’re buzz’n and boom we give up a goal like that. I really liked our resolve and our resiliency after that.”

The resolve really came after UNH took the lead on a two on one early in the second. MacAdams made a pass to Jason Salvaggio that left the senior forward nothing but a vacant net to shoot at and he didn’t miss, putting UNH up 2-1 just 1:18 into the second frame.

Not long after though, Ty Amonte hammered home his third of the year, tying things at 2-2. The whole play was set up magnificently by Hank Crone from below the goal line. Crone used the back of the cage to his advantage, passing the puck to himself to get around a UNH defender and created just enough time and space to slip a pass through to Amonte in the slot. From there, the freshman wasted no time and blasted a low shot past UNH goalie Adam Clark blocker side.

“I thought that line was very good,” said Quinn. “I thought all our lines were good. It was so hot out there, I mean I was dying on the bench and we had a lot of guys cramping and I’m sure they did too. We needed everybody, you always need everybody and we had everybody on board tonight.”

In the closing minutes of the frame, Jordan Greenway scooped up a loose puck behind the net and wrapped it past Clark on the near side post for the eventual game-winner. It was Greenway’s eighth goal of the year, from Brady Tkachuk and Drew Melanson with less than two minutes to go in the period.

The third period saw no scoring, but the BU penalty kill was called upon twice in the final twelve minutes and was able to stymie the UNH man advantage.

Jake Oettinger finished with 27 saves, none bigger than a post to post effort late in the third to preserve a one-goal lead for BU.

Quinn added, “We needed a win for a lot of reasons, I just loved the way we competed. We had a lot of jump in our step and we were way better than we were last Saturday night for sure.”

The flu has been ripping through the team, enough to keep Patrick Harper out of tonight’s line up. The bug even forced Quinn to cancel practice on Tuesday. Harper will be out pf tomorrow lineup, as BU hosts Providence at 5:00.

Cats and Dogs

From The Vault
BU's Jordan Greenway and New
 Hampshire's Cameron Marks battle for an
airborne puck in BU's 8-4 win in Durham
last February.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
After getting blanked by Maine last weekend in their first game back of the second semester, BU will head north to Durham to face the UNH Wildcats at the Whitt Friday night.

After a torrid start to the year that saw UNH goes 6-1-1 out of the gate, the Wildcats are winless in their last five, going 0-4-1. Since losing to BU back on November 11th, UNH has just three wins in ten games and currently sit in sole position of eighth place in Hockey East with nine points.

In that November 11th meeting, BU blanked UNH 4-0 at Agganis behind a 29 save shutout from Max Prawdzik and goals by Ty Amonte, Dante Fabbro, Jordan Greenway and Bobo Carpenter.

Scouting the Wildcats
Senior Michael McNicholas leads the UNH attack with 19 points by way of five goals and 14 assists in 20 games played. Max Gildon and Liam Blackburn both have registered 15 points. Golden has paced the goal scoring race thus far with a team-high seven and has added eight assists. Blackburn, on the other hand, has six goals and nine assists.

Other players to watch include Ara Nazarian, Jason Salvaggio, and Brandon van Riemsdyk.

Between the pipes, Danny Tirone has been solid thus far, pointing a 2.62 goals against average and a .916 save percentage to go along with a 9-9-2 record.  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Back At It With The Black Bears

*First published on WTBU*

The Terriers return to the ice tomorrow night for their first game of the second semester, as they welcome Maine to Agganis Arena in the third and final regular-season meeting between the two schools.

From the Vault
Earlier this year, Kasper Kotkansalo scored his first
collegiate goal against Maine in a 5-2 loss in Orono.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

Prior to the break, Maine was on a roll, going 6-0-1 to close out 2017 with three wins over RPI and a pair over both Vermont and Quinnipiac. Saturday’s game will be both team’s first game of the new year after the NTDP couldn’t get a flight to Boston for an exhibition tilt against BU Friday night.

The two teams have already met twice this season in a mid-November series in the 207. Friday night saw an opportunistic Maine team walk away with a 5-2 win in Orono. The Black Bears stymied the Terrier power play, blanking BU (0-6) on the man advantage and that played into the overall Terrier struggle to find the back of the net. At 3-2, BU had a chance to tie the game on a Kasper Kotkansalo shot that rang the post. Maine broke it out and eventually set Patrick Holway up with a point shot that found twine making it 4-2 in the third.

“I thought we had so many chances to make it 3-3,” BU Coach David Quinn said. “They come down and their first chance is in the back of the net.”

The next night, the two teams headed down I-95 and played at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The result was much different. BU throttled the Black Bears 7-0 behind a pair of goals from Shane Bowers, and Brady Tkachuk and Hank Crone’s first collegiate tallies.

“I thought we played pretty well the first night,” Quinn said. “We ran into a very hot goalie and made some costly mistakes and they ended up in the back of our net. We have to avoid those back-breaking mistakes that have hurt us through the first semester.

Scouting the Black Bears
Sophomores Tim Doherty and Mitchell Fossier both lead the team in scoring with 15 points in 17 games played. Doherty has notched a team-high seven goals and added eight assists, while Fossier has registered six goals and nine helpers. Along with Doherty, Eduards Tralmaks has also amassed seven goals. Other players to watch include Nolan Vesey, Patrick Holway, and Canon Pieper, who had a two-point night against the Terriers earlier this season.

In goal, BU will most likely see Rob McGovern. The Weymouth native is 3-4-0 and has a .894 save percentage to go along with a 4.23 goals against average. McGovern was in net for BU’s 7-0 beatdown back in November but is 2-0-0 in his last two starts.

“To me, its a contrast in styles,” added Quinn. “They are a bigger, stronger team. We are a faster team. Whichever team plays their game more consistently is going to have a chance to win.”

In or out?
It will be interesting to see whether BU’s Patrick Harper, Brady Tkachuk, and Jake Oettinger, along with Maine’s Jeremy Swayman will be in action Saturday night. All four players competed in the Bronze Medal Game against the Czech Republic at the World Juniors in Buffalo on Friday night.

In theory, they could be back in time but historically those in the WJC don’t rush back. Using Jack Eichel as the comparison, he sat out in BU’s January 3rd, 2015 contest against Union, despite the US being eliminated in the Quarterfinals in Montreal days before.

Dante Fabbro, a member of Team Canada playing in the Gold Medal game against Sweden is almost a lock to miss the game. Kasper Kotkansalo is the one WJC player who could make an appearance. Finland was eliminated by the Czechs in a shootout Tuesday night.

The most glaring hole for BU will be in net. Max Prawdzik will more than likely step between the pipe, having already faced Maine this year. In that game, Prawdzik allowed four goals on 27 shots, one being a power-play goal and the other by way of the breakaway.