Friday, February 23, 2018

Oettinger Stops All 33, BU Gets a Bye

Behind a 33 save shutout by Jake Oettinger, BU blanked Vermont 2-0 in front of 3,654 at Agganis and in the process, locked up a first-round bye in the Hockey East tournament.

Men's Hockey vs Vermont (2/23/18)
Photos by Matt Dresens

Maine lost 6-3 to Boston College at the Heights tonight and that, paired with the BU win, means the Terriers clinch fourth place and a first-round bye to the quarterfinals. BU can host either UConn or Maine.

Drew Melanson redirected a Jordan Greenway pass into the net on the power play 5:37 into the game to open the scoring. Late in the second, David Farrance potted his first collegiate goal to double the Terrier lead.

BU was perfect on the PK tonight, killing all four UVM man advantages.

The two teams will go back at it tomorrow night on senior night. Oettinger will be back in net per coach Quinn. Logan Cockerill missed tonight’s contest with the flu and Patrick Harper will still be out, but Quinn promised more news on that front tomorrow night.

One Last Weekend

First published on WTBU Sports

The regular season comes to a close this weekend at Agganis Arena with Boston University looking to lock down home ice in the Hockey East Quarterfinals in a two-game set against the Vermont Catamounts.
From the Vault
Former Terrier Nick Roberto scores against the Catamounts in
the third period of a 4-0 win on December 10th 2016. BU
took just three shots in the third period night and all
three found the back of the net.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The Terriers bounced back nicely last Saturday night in North Andover with a 3-1 win against Merrimack after a devastating 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut the night before. The story of the UConn game was BU’s penalty kill, as the Huskies scored twice on the man-advantage in the third period to overcome Terrier leads of 3-1 and 4-2.

Saturday at Merrimack was a different story. BU blanked the Warriors on the power play and that included a five minute major to Brandon Hickey.

“The thing I liked about the Merrimack kills was the time of it and the way we killed it,” BU Head Coach David Quinn said. “Not only were we successful killing it, I thought we gained momentum from it and I think we might have demoralized them a bit.”

Quinn said he expects Jordan Greenway to be back in the lineup Friday night but said Patrick Harper is still out for this weekend.

Scouting the Catamounts 
Much like BU, Vermont went on a serious hot streak through late January and into February, going 5-0-2 from January 20th to February 16th. In that time span, the Catamounts dug themselves out of the bottom of the league standings and are now in a position to host a first-round series in the Hockey East playoffs. Vermont currently sits in 8th place.

Last weekend, UVM was quickly cooled off at the hands of Northeastern. The Huskies swept the weekend series in Burlington, winning 4-3 in overtime Friday night before rolling to a 4-1 victory the following night.

“They are obviously playing their best hockey of the year,” Quinn said. “They were on that seven-game unbeaten streak before Northeastern and we’ve seen that movie before. This team is fighting for home ice. This team is fighting for playoff seeing just like we are. They have given everyone tough games.”

Sophomore Ross Colton has carried the torch offensively for Vermont. In 31 games, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has notched 15 goals and added six assists for 21 points. Freshman Alex Esposito is not far behind in the points race, amassing 19 by way of nine goals and 10 assists. Other players to watch include Matt O’Donnell and two former BU commits in Liam Coughlin and Jarrid Privitera.

In the crease, Stefanos Lekkas has had a strong sophomore campaign. In 30 appearances, he has registered a 2.88 goals against average a .912 save percentage.

BU Hockey East Seeding Scenarios
UConn’s loss to Massachusetts on Thursday night clinched the Terriers a first-round bye in the Hockey East tournament. BU can either be the fourth seed or the fifth seed and depending on this weekend’s results could host UConn, Maine or UMass-Lowell or travel to Maine for the quarterfinal round.

How BU gets the four seed:
– BU gets at least three points vs Vermont
– A BU win or two ties, coupled with one Maine loss to Boston College
– BC sweeps Maine, or Maine only gets one point

How BU gets the five seed:
– Maine earns two more points vs. BC than BU does vs. Vermont (for example, Maine sweeps BC and BU gets two points or less, or Maine gets three points while BU gets one), as Maine owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with a 2-1 record during the regular season.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Farrance Feeling More Comfortable at Forward

With several players missing time for various reasons this semester, Head Coach David Quinn has made numerous changes, tweaks and switches to his lineup card. The most obvious is plugging freshman defenseman David Farrance in at forward on the third line. 

David Farrance hounds the puck against Merrimack's Ryan Cook
last Saturday at Lawler Rink in North Andover.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Since Patrick Harper has been out sick for the majority of the semester and Jordan Greenway's temporary departure for the Olympics, the move has been a regular occurrence since BU’s 4-3 win at Merrimack on January 19th. Since that day, Farrance has started in five games, four of which have been at left wing. 

“It's been an adjustment,” mentioned Farrance. “It's still hockey. It's still the same game, you just have the puck on your stick a little bit less and you gotta forecheck and maybe hit a little bit more than on defense. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but its still hockey.”  

“We’re deep on the back end,” added Quinn. With the situation we are in with Greenway and Harper, I just want to dress our 18 best players and he’s one of them. He’s a  hockey player and he’s one of the guys who can go up front and do well. He’s creating offense, working hard and being physical."

Friday night, everything came full circle for Farrance back at Merrimack. He led a rush up ice along the far side wall and used his body to shield the puck like a veteran forward. From just below the dot, Farrance threaded a pass between two defenders and found the tape of Gabe Chabot at the edge of the crease for a redirection goal.

“It was a heck of a play he made and to me, that’s why he’s up front,”  added Quinn. 

In total, Farrance has two points, both assists in his four games up front, but they have come in his last two games. 

Farrance said the last time he played forward
was his freshman year of high school at
Victor High just outside of Rochester, NY.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“I don’t mind it, I guess I prefer defense a little bit more,” said Farrance. “That’s what I’m more comfortable with and I feel more effective at defense, but I certainly don’t mind playing forward.”  

Last summer, he was drafted 92nd overall by Nashville in the NHL entry draft as a defenseman. As for the Predators, Farrance mentioned they were not too concerned with the move. 

“They don’t have too big of a problem with it. They think that it will help develop offensive skills and seeing the ice at a different viewpoint. I think they know I’ll be back on defense eventually,” said Farrance. 

While the move doesn’t seem to be permanent, Farrance would prefer to move back to the blue line. For now though, he seems to be staying in place at least until Greenway returns from the Olympics.  

As Quinn mentioned, there is an abundance of talent on the blue line. Skating Farrance as a forward has opened the door for Brian Diffley, who only dressed in 12 games last season. Already, Diffley has passed that number this year, appearing in 14. He has also notched two goals in his last five games, including a two on one strike at UConn last Friday. 

“Diff’s problem is that he doesn’t think he’s as good as I think he is,” said Quinn. “He fights self-confidence. When he plays with confidence, he’s a very good player at this level. He’s playing with more confidence and his decision making is better. He’s playing with conviction and when he does that, he’s a really good player.” 

For Quinn, shifting defenseman to forward is not a new idea. In 2015, Ahti Oksanen made the switch with resounding success. The former Finnish defenseman was slotted in on the top line with Danny O’Regan and Jack Eichel. Oksanan finished the year with 25 goals, just one behind the Hobey Baker winning Eichel. Just last season, stay at home defenseman Doyle Somerby even got a look on left wing. 

Prior to Quinn taking over the head coaching position, Jack Parker slid the ever-offensive David Warsofsky in at forward for a handful of games. In addition, switches have gone the other way. Current Olympian Matt Gilroy walked on to BU as a forward in 2006. In 2009, he won the Hobey as a defenseman. 

There is certainly a long line of success stories and Farrance seems to be on the right path. Whether he stays up front or not, he has certainly been serviceable as a forward thus far.  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Women's Hockey Photo Album

Today was senior day at Walter Brown Arena for the BU women's hockey team. BU topped UNH 2-0 on the afternoon behind goals from Kristina Schuler and Victoria Bach. Senior netminder Erin O'Neil turned aside all 33 shots she faced for her first win of the season.

Here's a look at this afternoon's photos:

Women's Hockey vs New Hampshire (2/18/18)
Photos by Matt Dresens

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Back On Track

After a divesting 5-4 overtime loss at UConn last night, BU used three goals from three different skaters to get back on the win train at Merrimack in front of 2,549 at Lawer Rink in North Andover.

Men's Hockey at Merrimack (2/17/18)
Photos by Matt Dresens

Following an eventless first period that saw just 14 total shots, Dante Fabbro pumped home his fourth goal of the year at Lawler Rink to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead with 5:38 left in the second.

Less than three minutes later, Gabe Chabot potted his first of the season off a spectacular centering feed from David Farrance out of the near corner.

MC’s Simon Loof cut the BU lead in half just 2:22 into the third. It was his first collegiate goal.

Logan Cockerill continued his hot streak, netting the putaway goal midway through the third. Drew Melanson won a footrace into the far corner to negate an icing then found Brandon Hickey in the high slot. From there, Hickey dished to Cockerill, who fired a shot high over MC goalie Craig Pentane’s blocker for his sixth goal of the season.

Back in the first, BU showed a lot of poise killing off a Brandon Hickey five minute major for boarding. BU actually outshot MC 2-1 in the five-minute stretch.

BU is back in action to warp up the regular season with a pair of games against Vermont at Agganis.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Familiar Foes

*Originally posted on WTBU Sports*

With just four games left in the regular season, this weekend BU will be on the road for a pair of games against Hockey East schools. First up, a trip back down to Hartford to face the University of Connecticut Huskies, before a Saturday night tilt at Merrimack College.
BU's Drew Melanson cuts across the blue line against UConn
in their October 21st meeting at the XL Center.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
BU has fared well against both opponents thus far. Back in November, the Terriers took three of four points in a weekend series with UConn. Patrick Curry and Bobo Carpenter combined for seven goals in two games, as the two team teams tied in game one and BU rolled to a 6-3 win the following night.

As for Merrimack, BU swept the Warriors in a home and home series back in January. Dante Fabbro notched a hat trick at Lawler Rink the first night, propelling the Terriers to a 4-3 victory. The next night, BU won 3-1 on home ice.

“There’s a familiarity,” said BU Head Coach David Quinn. “In preparation, you are almost reiterating the things you did in first two games that allowed us to have success.”

Despite the loss Monday night in the Beanpot final, a disappointing tie against UMass last Friday, and the temporary departure of Jordan Greenway, the team is still in good spirits.

“[The] guys feel optimistic,” said Quinn. “There’s a lot of good to take out of those two games. I think there was some uncertainty on how we were going to be without Greenway and [Patrick] Harper and I think we have proven we can play well without them. Now we just have to win without them.”  

Speaking of Harper, he is still out with an illness that has sidelined him since before the UNH game on January 12th. Quinn again said there will more information to come next week on his status.

Scouting the Huskies
This semester has been a tale of two streaks for UConn. They are currently riding a six-game winning streak entering the weekend. Prior to the hot spell, UConn had lost five consecutive games dating back to December 30th. Overall, the Huskies are 14-16-2 and 10-11-1 in Hockey East on the year.

Last weekend they managed to do what BU could not against Northeastern: slow down the NU power play. UConn shutout their fellow Husky foe on the man advantage, forcing NU to go 0-4. UConn won the game 4-2 at home.

Offensively, UConn is lead by former BU commit Max Letunov. The Moscow, Russia native has posted 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists in 32 games. Despite missing almost all of November and only appearing in 23 games, Alexander Payusov leads the team in goals scored with 11. He has also added seven assists to put him at 19 points on the year, good for third on the roster. Sandwiched between Letunov and Payusov in the scoring race is Spencer Nass. Nass has 19 points by way of nine goals and 10 assists. Other players to watch include Benjamin Freeman, Karl El-Mir, and Kasperi Ojantakanen.

Since January 18th when Adam Huska went down with a wrist injury, senior Tanner Creel has stepped into the cage and performed admirably. Creel is 6-2-0 in 11 appearances and is the owner of a .896 save percentage to go along with a 3.14 goals against average.

Scouting the Warriors
Moving on to Merrimack. BU’s 4-3 win at Lawler rink was their first win in North Andover since January of 2013, a 4-1 decision that saw four different Terriers find the back of the net.

Merrimack comes into the weekend winner of just two of their last nine games dating back to January 6th. That includes being swept at the hands of both BU and Vermont in back-to-back weekends. The Warriors last played on Tuesday, February 6th, losing 5-2 at UMass. MC currently sits three points behind New Hampshire for last place in Hockey East.

Leading the charge in the scoring department is Brett Seney. The senior from London, Ontario potted a pair of goals against the Terriers in their first meeting of the year. In total, Seney has 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points. Ludvig Larsson has also recorded 11 goals thus far and added eight assists for 19 points. Other players to watch: Jace Hennig, Jared Kolquist and Derek Petti.

In goal, Craig Pantano has seen the majority of the action, going 7-10-2 in 20 appearances. In that time, Pantano has racked up a .914 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Gaudette's Hat-trick Powers NU to First Beanpot Title Since 1988

Propelled by three power-play goals, including two from tournament MVP Adam Gaudette, who notched a hat-trick on the evening, Northeastern claimed the Beanpot title for the first time in 30 years with a 5-2 win over BU at TD Garden Monday night.
Northeastern spills over their bench to celebrate after the final
buzzer. FULL ALBUM
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Gaudette, a Braintree, Mass native scored two monumental goals at critical times for the Huskies. First, with the game tied 1-1 late in the opening period, he ripped home his 22nd goal of the year from the left-wing circle. Dylan Sikura set the play up with a shot from the far side that caromed off of BU goalie Jake Oettinger right to Gaudette's stick. From there, Gaudette made no mistake.

That put the Huskies up 2-1 after one. The most devastating goal came with just 4.5 seconds remaining in the second stanza. While on the power play, Gaudette finished off a slick passing sequence that started with Jeremy Davies, who worked it down to Sikura in the circle. Sikura wasted little time rifling a pass through the slot, backdoor to Gaudette. He banked it off Oettinger's right skate and in from below the goal line to give NU a commanding 4-1 lead heading to the final stanza.

"The backbreaker was the fourth goal," said BU coach David Quinn. "It’s towards the end of the period. I don't know if we thought the period was going to end and that really sucked the life out of us, really."

"We've had that power play for three years now and it's just clicked," mentioned Gaudette. "We are so confident and so comfortable out there we just know where each other's going to be. We are in the right spots and we are rewarded for that. It was just all five guys out there working as a unit."

Coming into this game, the whole contest was dependent on special teams. BU's penalty kill, that is now 54th in the nation, had to find some way to slow down the potent NU power play. They flat out did not do that. NU went 3 for 3 on the man advantage, while BU went 0 for 2 on their pair of power-play opportunities.

"It’s disappointing from our end," said Quinn. "Two offensive zone penalties, which we just can't have against that team. You can't take penalties like that. You can take a penalty to prevent a goal, that's one thing, but you can't take penalties of that nature and expect to give yourself a great chance."  

BU opened the scoring back in the first period and got on the board first on Logan Cockerill’s fifth goal of the year from Hank Crone and Chad Krys midway through the frame.

NU would score the game’s next four goals. First, Nolan Stevens struck on the power play before Gaudette scored his first of the night to give the Huskies  2-1 lead after one.

The Terriers controlled a lot of the play in the second frame, outshooting NU 14-6, but the Huskies scored the only two goals of the stanza. First, Trevor Owens beat Oettinger high blocker side on a shot that clamored off the crossbar and in. Then, Gaudette scored with 4.5 seconds left in the period.

Shane Bowers scored for BU with less than three minutes to play in the third with Oettinger pulled for the extra attacker. It momentarily cut the deficit to 4-2 before Gaudette potted an empty-netter to register a hat trick and round out the scoring.

For Northeastern Head Coach Jim Madigan and the rest of the NU hockey community, this win was a long time coming.

"When you haven't won a tournament in 30 years and they keep asking you ‘yo, it's your turn’ and ‘how about the Beanpot?’" mentioned Madigan. "It starts playing on you mentally. These young men just stayed focused on the task at hand and blocked out the noise as much as you can and were just so driven to make sure that this came back to our university."

The NU win ends the longest drought in Beanpot history and now BU has the longest active stretch without a tournament victory. The Terriers last title was in 2015 and since then Boston College, Harvard and now Northeastern have all won the tournament in successive years.

This makes the first time since 1981-1984 that has happened. Also, Harvard beat Boston College 4-3 in overtime of the consolation game. This is the first time since 1974 and 1975 BC has finished last in consecutive Beanpots. BC has still yet to win a non conference game since November of 2016.

Up next for BU, the Terriers with travel to UConn on Friday night, before heading to Merrimack on Saturday.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Beanpot Championship -- Northeastern

By now you know the story. Tomorrow night, BU and Northeastern go head to head in the Beanpot championship game in their third meeting of the season.

Back in November, the Huskies routed BU in a two-game home and home series. First, NU dumped BU 4-1 at Agganis, before torching the Terriers 6-1 at Matthews area the following night.

Patrick Curry celebrates after scoring against NU in
November of 2016.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“I think we have grown up a lot,” said Quinn on how the two teams have changed since their last meeting. “I think our freshman have played a lot more hockey and we are in a different mindset. I think our goalie is playing his best hockey of the season, our special teams are better. There’s a lot of things we are doing differently and thank God because if we weren’t, we would be in a lot of trouble.”  

All in all, NU is 16-8-5 on the year, but the Huskies are 2-3-2 in their last seven. That does include their 3-0 win against Boston College to advance to the Beanpot final for the first time since 2015 when they lost to BU 4-3 in overtime.

At one point this year, NU was statistically the best team in Hockey East. They allowed the least amount of goals as a team and scored the most. That’s not to say they have fallen apart. The offense that was once working at an absurd four-something goals per game clip is now at 2.95 (in conference). BU is actually the best scoring team offense now at 3.10 goals per game.

NU’s defense has been strong all year and since Cayden Primeau has taken over the net, the Huskies have really solidified their netminding situation. NU is only allowing 2.25 goals per game in Hockey East play.

Both teams failed to get a win in the always dangerous weekend game between the semis and championship game of the Beanpot. BU was up 3-1 on UMass in the third period but saw UMass score twice in the final frame to salvage a tie. NU, on the other hand, fell 4-2 at home against UConn.

A major focus for BU will be staying out of the box. NU has the sixth best power play in the country at a 25% conversion rate. The BU penalty kill ranks 44th nationally, working at 78.99%.

“Obviously they have one of the top power plays in the country,” said Quinn. "We are always trying to stay out of the box.”

Scouting the Huskies:
The potent Husky offense is lead by the top scorer in the nation in Adam Gaudette. In 29 games played, Gaudette has amassed 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. His linemate Dylan Sikura isn’t far behind. Sikura, who at one point seemed like a lock to make the Canadian Olympic roster, is still with the Huskies, despite notching 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points. Nolan Stevens rounds out the ever explosive top line for NU, posting 19 goals and 12 assists. Other players to watch include Matt Filipe, Jeremy Davis, and Ryan Shea.

“They are special players,” said Quinn. “They have a little bit of everything on that line. They all do a little bit something different, but they are all special. Sikura has the great vision, Gaudette has the great speed and skill, Stevens has great skill and size. They all have skill, but they all bring a different element to the table. That’s what makes them so special.”

Between the pipes, Cayden Primeau has taken over the Northeastern net, recording excellent numbers thus far. He 12-6-5 on the year and holds a .925 save percentage and a 1.97 goals against average.

Friday, February 9, 2018

BU, UMass Efforts Go For Knot

After momentarily falling behind 1-0 on a goal by UMass’ Griff Jeszka 7:45 into the first, BU scored three straight goals before UMass struck twice in the third to level the game and end matters in a draw in front of 4,094 at Agganis Arena

Mitchell Chaffee Scores to tie the game late in the third
period for UMass. Full Album
(Photos by Matt Dresens)
Sandwiched between the two Bowers goals, Bobo Carpenter scored on a breakaway with just 4.5 seconds left in the first period.

Jack Suter and Mitchell Chaffee scored third period goals to dig UMass out of a two-goal hole. First, Suter scored on a tip-in 2:17 into the frame. Then, Chaffee tied things up with just 7:22 left on a rebound.

Jake Oettinger finished with 20 saves. UMass’ Matt Murray turned aside 38 BU shots.

Despite the tie, BU's unbeaten streak is now up to nine games entering Monday’s Beanpot Final with Northeastern.

UMass Round Two

Before Monday night’s Beanpot championship game with Northeastern, BU still has work to do tonight, as two important league points are on the line with UMass coming to town.

Last Friday, BU one-upped the Minutemen in Amherst 3-2 behind goals from Brandon Hickey, Jordan Greenway, and Shane Bowers. Jake Oettinger made 20 saves in his 13th win of the season.

From The Vault
Shane Bowers scores the eventual game-winning goal last
Friday night in Amherst on a two on one.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“We knew that had a lineup full of speed,” mentioned coach Quinn. “That game could have gone either way. I thought we got better and better as the night wore on, which our best period was the third period and you knew it was going to be a one-goal game with the goalie pulled, like most Hockey East games are and we expect the same thing Friday.”

A few things have changed since these team played just a week ago. For one, Jordan Greenway has departed for Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2018 Winter Olympics. Patrick Harper is still listed as “day to day,” but seems unlikely to play tonight.

“It's tough to make up for a 6-5, 230-pound first-line center,” said coach Quinn. “We have to make sure everyone picks up the slack and that’s what’s happened over the last month with Harper. Everyone has assumed a little more responsibility and that’s what's going to have to happen the rest of the way. We feel like we’ve got the guys to do it.”

Senior Captain Brandon Hickey echoed some of the same comments, saying, “Everyone is waiting for the opportunity to show the team what they can do. It’s a ‘next man up’ mentality where, he’s gone, but we have a bunch of other great players that can play together and pick up the slack for what we are missing with him.”

Outside of Harper, Quinn mentioned that the remaining injury report should be clean. Chad Krys has missed two games since the Arizona State weekend and Bobo Carpenter was injured late Monday night in the Beanpot but did finish the game. Both Krys and Carpenter reportedly practiced yesterday.

Scouting the Minutemen
Since playing BU, UMass is 1-1-0 with a loss at New Hampshire on February 3rd and a win against Merrimack last weekend.

Five freshmen continue to pace the Minutemen offensive attack, with Oliver Chau, Mitchell Chaffee, and John Leonard all above 20 points on the year. Chau leads the team with 21 points by way of eight goals and 13 assists, while Chaffee has a team-high 11 goals on the year.

Defenseman Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro, two of UMass three draft picks are among the best defenseman in the league. Maker was a member of Team Canada at World Juniors this year, and Ferraro was among the finals cuts for the Canadians.

“They have two of the better D in the league,” said Quinn. “They have another good D back there as well. We are going to have to be ready to go. Our guys are smart enough to know we can’t look past them.”

In goal, BU saw Matt Murray last Friday night. Murray on the year is 5-10-1 and holds a .903 save percentage and a 3.02 goals against average. His netminding partner Ryan Wischow has a slightly better record at 7-6-0, but a slightly worse save percentage at .895 and a 3.04 goals against.

Trap game?
Not exactly. Since 2000, in years that BU has advanced to the championship game, they are 10-4-0 in the game between Beanpot matches, but BU did lose 3-2 to Lowell in this spot last year. This does not count the five games that were played between Beanpot games in 2015 while Boston was getting slammed with snow, delaying the Beanpot final until February 23rd.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Amonte's Double OT Goal Pushes BU Past Harvard and into Beanpot Final

*First published on WTBU*

BOSTON GARDEN - This game was not for the faint of heart and quite frankly, if you didn’t enjoy this game, you just don’t like sports. 1:55 into the second overtime period, Ty Amonte ended this marathon game between Harvard and BU off a bad angle wrist shot that beat Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen high over his shoulder to propel the Terriers into their fourth straight Beanpot final.
BU Celebrates after Ty Amonte's double overtime goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
For Amonte, it was just his fourth goal of the season, but it all started with a heads-up play. From just inside the Harvard blue line, Amonte picked up a loose puck and rather than just dump it back down in the corner, he chose to take it out of the zone and regroup with speed through the neutral zone.

“I got the puck, and I was going to make a backhand saucer pass to Dante [Fabbro], but I knew coach would have cut my head off,” depicted Amonte. “So, I just turned it up ice and we have been talking a lot beating guys down to the hash marks and taking the puck wide, so I just did that. I just wanted to get the puck on net because I know we have been trying to do that and it went in. It’s a good feeling.”

In the first overtime, both teams had multiple chances to end things. For BU, a Dante Fabbro point shot was tipped on its way through and Madsen was somehow able to keep the puck from going in after it had already popped up in the air and was behind him.

Harvard, on the other hand, had a power play chance just prior to the Fabbro bid, as Amonte was called for holding. Thanks to Jake Oettinger, who was even stickless at one point during the kill, the Terriers survived. Both teams skated back an forth trading chances and there was a stretch that lasted a good seven minutes without a whistle.

After BU took a 1-0 lead way back in the first period on a Logan Cockerill power play goal from Drew Melanson and Brandon Hickey, Harvard dominated the second frame. The Crimson outshot BU 20-4 in the middle stanza but only could find twine once. That was off the stick of Ty Pelton-Byce out in front on a pass from Ryan Donato.

“The second period was about as bad a period as we have played all year,” stated coach Quinn. “We talked in between the second and third periods and we felt very fortunate that it was a 1-1 hockey game. We had to make a decision. Do you want to play at 4:00 next Monday? or do you want to play at 8:00?”

Brandon Hickey sure looked like he would rather be back for the nightcap, as he struck just 32 seconds into period number three. Jordan Greenway hit Hickey out of the corner with a pass to the left point. From there, Hickey took two strides and shoveled a backhander on Madsen that was kicked out. Luckily for Hickey, the rebound came right back to him and from the edge of the crease, the pitching defenseman made no mistake on this backhand bid.

The lead was short-lived, though. Just 1:32 later, Jack Badini roofed a rebound off a Nathan Krusko shot as the PA was still announcing the Hickey goal.

Despite the quick Harvard response, BU controlled the play for the most part in the third and outshot the Crimson 12-4.

“I thought in the third period we started playing the brand of hockey we have been over the last month,” said Quinn.

“We were doing the right things in the third period and in overtime and it led to a nice goal,” added captain Brandon Hickey. “I’m really excited to be headed back to the finals and Northeastern is a good crosstown rival so it's going be a lot of fun to go out there in that atmosphere.”

Jake Oettinger was simply fantastic. He finished the game with a season-high 47 saves, inclined 17 in the third period and overtime.

“Obviously our goalie stood tall when he had to, said Quinn. “He was huge in the second period, made some big saves on the penalty kill in overtime.”

Way back in what seems like another semester now, Northeastern dropped Boston College 3-0 in the early game. That means it will be the Huskies and Terriers in a rematch of the 2015 final next Monday. The NU shutout marks the first time Northeastern has blanked BC in the series since 1988, the year they last won the Beanpot.

With the win, BU extends their win streak that dates back to January 19th to six games and their unbeaten streak to eight games. Before the Beanpot Championship game, BU will have to finish off their extended home and home series with UMass on Friday night at Agganis.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Beanpot Round One -- Harvard

Well, that happened quickly. It seems like just the other day we were doing season preview articles and here we are at the Beanpot. Tonight, BU will look to get revenge against Harvard for last year’s 6-3 loss in the final that crowned the Crimson Beanpot champions for the first time since 1993.

From The Vault
Bobo Carpenter tips a shot over Harvard's Merrick Madsen in
last year's Beanpot Championship game.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
There was high expectation, much like the Terriers coming into this season for Harvard. A year ago, they came up one goal short to Minnesota-Duluth in the National Semifinal and were a ranked fourth in the preseason USCHO poll. Now, Harvard is 10-8-4 and sit in 23rd in the Pairwise.

BU, on the other hand, has dug themselves out of the low 30s in the PWR and enter the Beanpot at 20th. BU is currently riding a seven-game point streak.

Over the weekend, both teams won their lone respective contests. Harvard made quick work of Dartmouth, dropping the Big Green 4-1 in Hanover, while BU one-upped UMass 3-2 in Amherst.

BU Notes
As of Friday night, coach Quinn was still listing Patrick Harper and Chad Krys as “day to day,” but did mention they both have a chance to play tonight.

Jordon Greenway will be in the lineup tonight. He leaves later this week to join the rest of Team USA in South Korea for the Olympics.

Scouting the Crimson 
To no surprise at all, Ryan Donato has a comfortable lead in the Harvard scoring race. In 22 games played, the Bruins draft pick and soon to be Olympian has amassed 21 goals and nine assists for 30 points. Ten points behind him is fellow junior Lewis Zerter-Gossage, who has notched seven goals and a team-high 13 assists. Other players to watch include Jack Badini, Reilly Walsh, and Adam Fox.

In goal, Merrick Madsen holds a 7-6-3 record in 17 appearances. In that time, the Acton, New Jersey native holds a .921 save percentage and a 2.20 goals against average.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Amherst Bound

*Originally posted on WTBU Sports*

Looking to continue its current six-game unbeaten streak, BU travels to Amherst Friday night to take on the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in a one-game set at the Mullins Center.
From The Vault
Bobo Carpenter scores in a 2016 contest against UMass,
a 7-2 BU win.
(PHoto by Matt Dresens)
“I think we’ve got better goaltending, our D-core has played better and our forwards have played better,” mentioned BU Head Coach David Quinn as to why his team has been playing better as of late. “We weren’t that far away when we were 8-11-1. We played some good hockey, we just didn’t play enough winning hockey. I think there’s a little bit more of a feel to our team and we have improved just enough in certain areas to win these tight games.”

Last weekend, the Terriers powered past Arizona State in the program’s first ever trip to the desert, winning Friday night 8-0 and squeezing out a 4-3 decision on Saturday. The two wins came at a cost though. Chad Krys suffered an upper-body injury Saturday night and Patrick Harper still has yet to play since coming down with the flu prior to the UNH game back on January 12th.

Quinn noted that Krys is definitely out for the weekend while Harper will be a game-time decision.

As for UMass, the Minutemen are 2-7-1 since the semester break and dropped three games last week. First, on Tuesday, Boston College edged UMass 2-1 before Maine swept a weekend series with a pair of 3-2 wins.

A quick glance at the league standings shows BU is currently slotted in fourth place, tied with Lowell at 20 points. Boston College continues to pace the field, holding a two-point lead on second place Northeastern with 26 total points. The top five teams have all played the same amount of games.

BU is unbeaten (9-0-1) in their last ten games against UMass. That includes the 2016 Hockey East First Round series sweep by the Terriers and a pair of games last season, one of which was at Fenway Park. The last time BU lost to UMass was all the way back in February of 2013, a 5-1 UMass victory at Mullins Center.

Scouting the Minutemen
The young UMass attack is highlighted by freshman, five of whom have carried the offense thus far. First up, Oliver Chau is the overall leading scorer, posting 20 points by way of eight goals and 12 assists. Mitchell Chaffee is just two points behind and leads UMass in goals scored with 10. John Leonard and Mario Ferraro both have notched 17 points.

Then there is Cale Makar. The dynamic Canadian defenseman, who played a pivotal role in Team Canada’s success at the World Juniors this past December and January, was the fourth overall pick in the NHL draft last summer by Colorado but has missed the past three games with an injury. His status for tonight is unknown.

Between the pipes, Matt Murray and Ryan Wischow have both seen equal time. Murray in 4-9-1 with a .898 save percentage and a 3.09 goals against. Wischow, on the other hand, has a winning record at 7-5-0 and holds an identical .898 save percentage to go along with a slightly better 3.03 GAA.