Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mankato Massacre

Over the weekend, BU was swept at home by Minnesota State in back to back nights at Agganis Arena. It was the first time in the arena’s 12 year history that BU was swept by an out of conference opponent on back to back nights.

The Terriers were, however, swept by Maine on January 27th and 28th in 2012 and again by Vermont in November 2008.

Ty Amonte barrels over Mankato goalie Jason Pawloski on
Saturday night.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Mankato’s experience and BU’s youth showed in this series. There were plenty of examples when the older Mavericks outworked and far outplayed the young Terriers.

“They played men's hockey and we played boy’s hockey,” said Head Coach Dave Quinn after Friday night’s 6-3 loss. “We just weren’t physical at all. Overtime they shot a puck and  we would turn and watch for it. We didn’t defend with our feet in the D-zone. It looked like we had never played D-zone coverage before.”

A constant issue for BU over the weekend was passing and decision-making with the puck. The best example of this was on a power play late in the third period of game two. Chad Krys was able to toe-drag around one defender at the top of the circle, but rather than let go a shot from a quality angle, he dished to the middle and the pass was broken up.

“Instead of five foot passes, we were trying to make 50 foot passes,” added Quinn. “we slowed the game down and started giving up odd man rushes and making bad decisions.”

“We have to shoot the puck when we have chances,” mentioned senior captain Brandon Hickey. “There were a couple times that guys had it in the slot and they looked off the shot to make a pass backdoor when the right play would have been to throw it at the goalie.”  

Between the Pipes
Despite being swept and outscored 9-3, Jake Oettinger still had a strong weekend. Friday night, the sophomore netminder sticked aside 39 shots, including 19 in the third period.  Saturday, he allowed two goals, neither of which was his fault, on 25 shots.

“We gave up 45 shots at home, six goals and our goalie played well. You can’t say that a lot,” said Quinn after game one.

Red Light District
Shane Bowers started the scoring just 2:03 into game one on Friday on the power play, he would later score again in the third period on rebound… Jordan Greenway notched his first of the year on a slick play to bat the puck out of mid-air midway through the first period, Friday on the power play.

At the Polls
The Terriers dropped from second to seventh in the USCHO poll. Denver was again Top Dog, receiving all but one first-place votes. Harvard, who has still yet to play a game, continues to move up and are now slated second. St Cloud picked up the one other first-place vote and come in ranked third, with North Dakota and Notre Dame rounding out the top five.

Hockey East Scoreboard
Wisconsin 5, at Boston College 2
UMass 5, at Union 4
Colgate 0, at New Hampshire 5
UConn 6, at American International 4
Nebraska Omaha 6, at Lowell 3
Mankato State 6, Boston University 3

Vermont 2, at Quinnipiac 3 (OT)
Wisconsin 4, at Merrimack 1
America International 1, at UMass 3
Nebraska Omaha 2, at Lowell 5
Colgate 3, at New Hampshire 5
Northeastern 3, at RIT 3 (OT)
UConn 1, at Sacred Heart 3
Mankato State 3, Boston University 0

Boston College 4, at Providence 3 (OT)
Vermont 3, at Union 2

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mankato Completes The Sweep -Photos-

It was another tough night for the Terriers, as they fell 3-0 to Minnesota State.

After a scoreless first period,  Mankato's Nicolas Rivera scored at 7:15 to get the Mavericks on the board on the power play. CJ Suess doubled the lead at 13:56 of the second and Marc Michaelis added an empty-netter to wrap up the scoring.

Men's Hockey vs Minnesota State (10/14/17)

Jake Oettinger made 25 saves, while MSU netminder Jason Pawloski turned aside 26 shots for the shutout.

The Terriers went 0-4 on the power play, including three man advantages in the first period

"Tonight it was more disappointing because we lost. I thought that we did a lot of things that we didn't do last night. I thought we competed. I thought we were physical. I thought we had a good first period, couldn't get a power-play goal. Second period they started coming at us a bit more. We get a too many men on the ice penalty and they capitalize on it on the power play and make it 1-0. One thing we are right now, when we face adversity in the middle of the game, we tend to feel sorry for ourselves. That's kinda what was going on tonight," said Coach Quinn.

Next up, BU has a home and home with UConn.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mankato Game 1 Slide Show

Mens Hockey vs Minnesota State 10/13/17

Weekend With Mankato

- Article originally published on WTBU Sports -

After a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win Sunday afternoon at Quinnipiac, BU is back in action this weekend with a pair of games at Agganis Arena against Minnesota State – Mankato, a school the Terriers have never played in their 96-year history.
From The Vault
Former Terrier Connor LaCouvee makes his return to BU
this weekend as a member of the Mavericks.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The two teams enter this weekend going in opposite directions. BU is a perfect 2-0-0 on the year, while the Mavericks lost their season opener a week ago, 4-0, at St. Cloud State.

Mankato is projected to have a strong season, as they were selected first in the WCHA preseason coaches’ poll. They return five of their top six scorers from a season ago when they finished third in the WCHA.

With Mankato being a team BU has never faced, Head Coach David Quinn wanted to focus more on improving his own team in practice rather than game-planning for the Mavericks.

“I think at this point in the season everyone is just working their own thing,” Quinn said. “There’s not a lot of pre-scouting and tailoring your practices, you just want to be good at what you’re good at. You’re trying to implement what you’re trying to do and do it well.”

Playing at an up-tempo pace has been a huge emphasis for Quinn so far. For a player like Patrick Harper, who has been on fire to start the year, posting four goals and two assists, this is exactly the type of system that best fits his game.

“I think with the forward group and D we have, we all want to play a fast, skillful and effective game,” Harper mentioned. “We want to control the pace out there, and dictate the offense and play a fast transition game. The plan doesn’t really change week to week. We are approaching Minnesota-Mankato the same way we have the last two games.”

The players may be approaching the games similarly, but the lineup will look a bit different this weekend.

Coach Quinn declared that junior goalie Max Prawdzik will be in the lineup on Friday, saying simply, “you’ll see him tomorrow night.” Whether that means he will play the entire game remains unclear. Prawdzik allowed five goals on 27 shots to PEI in BU’s exhibition contest two weeks ago.

Scouting The Mavericks
Through one game this year, no one has scored for Mankato after they were shutout by St. Cloud. That being said, the Mavericks do have some firepower. Brad McClure, Marc Michaelis and CJ Suess combined to score 40 points as a line last year. As a freshman, Michaelis lead the team in scoring with 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points. Suess was right behind Michaelis with 31 points by way of 12 goals and 19 assists. The team also returns their leading goal-scorer from a year ago in Zeb Knutson, who found the back of the net 15 times in 2017.

In goal, Jason Pawloski allowed three goals on 25 shots to St. Cloud last weekend. A year ago, he split time with Cole Huggins, who has since graduated.

Another Familiar Face
For the second consecutive weekend, another former Terrier will do battle against his old team. Last week, it was Kevin Duane and Brandon Fortunato, this week Connor LaCouvee makes his return to Agganis Arena. The graduate transfer finished up school at BU last spring in just three years, and now, as a Maverick, he could very well see time in goal this weekend.

In three season with the Terriers, LaCouvee saw time in 32 games, posting an 11-5-4 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average.

Close Encounter
While BU and Minnesota State haven’t actually faced off against one another, the two schools did both participate in the 2011 Shillelagh Tournament hosted by Notre Dame. BU lost to Brown in the first round and Mankato beat Notre Dame to advance to the championship game, where the Mavericks cruised to a 7-3 victory to win the holiday tournament over Brown.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Harper Continues Hot Start

(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU won their lone game of the weekend in dramatic fashion, dropping Quinnipiac 3-2 in overtime Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, I could not make the trip because I was playing hockey at another Connecticut based college, but did listen to some of the game.

Patrick Harper continued his torrid pace to the start of the season, notching two goals and an assist. Freshman Shane Bowers scored the game-winner with less than a minute left off a shot from Harper in the slot.

Coach Quinn put it simply, saying, “I’m glad he was on our team tonight, I'll tell you that.”

Harper now has four of the team’s eight total goals, and currently leads the nation in scoring with four goals and two assists.

A season ago, Harper started off on a tear, too. He posted two goals on opening night at Colgate and then two assists in game two at Denver. In fact, the New Canaan, Connecticut native found the scoresheet in his first seven games as a Terrier and wasn’t held pointless in back to back games until the first weekend of December.

“I think he’s playing at a better pace,” mentioned coach Quinn. “We’ve talked a lot about playing with a pace without the puck. He’s really good with it and plays quick with it, but when the other team gets it there’s a little bit of a lull. So far, I think he’s elevated the pace of play without the puck.”

Next weekend, BU squares off against an unfamiliar foe in Minnesota State (Mankato). The two games at Agganis will be the first time the Terriers battle the Mavericks. Mankato elevated their program from Division III to DII in 1994, before climbing to the Division I ranks in 1997.

There will be one familiar face on the ice, though. Former Terrier goalie and graduate transfer Connor LaCouvee is now a Maverick and will more than likely see time in one of the two games. The complete weekend preview will be up Thursday.

At the Polls
BU stayed put at number two, picking up five first-place votes in the process. Denver was again number one, despite not playing a game yet. Harvard, who also have not kicked their season off yet, moved up from fourth to third, while Notre Dame and Minnesota Duluth rounded out the top five.

Hockey East Scoreboard

New Hampshire 4, at Lowell 3
UConn 3, at Maine 4 (OT)
Quinnipiac 1, at Boston College 1 (OT)
Sacred Heart 3, at Northeastern 7
UMass 3, at Arizona State 5
Colorado College 0, at Vermont 3
Merrimack 1, at Colgate 2
Providence 3, at Miami 1

UConn 5, at Maine 1
Lowell 1, New Hampshire 3
Sacred Heart 0, at Northeastern 7
UMass 4, at Arizona State 2
Colorado College 4, at Vermont 3
Merrimack 2, at Colgate 2 (OT)
Providence 3, at Miami 2

BU 3, at Quinnipiac 2 (OT)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Battle With The Bobcats

Ex-Terrier Kevin Duane will skate
against his former team for the first time
tonight as a member of the Bobcats.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Article first published on WTBU 

In a rare Sunday matinée, BU travels to Hamden, Connecticut to take on Quinnipiac in the Bobcats home opener at High Point Solutions Arena.

This last week, BU finally had some real practice time to prepare for this weekend’s game. Last week’s win against Union was the earliest scheduled game in the 96-year history of the Terrier hockey program.

“This is the first week we had enough time to work on the things we want to work on,” mentioned sophomore defenseman Chad Krys. “Five-on-five, PK, PP, pretty much all aspects of the game is what we’ve been doing this week.”

A net-front presence was a key to BU’s success last weekend, most notably from Jordan Greenway and Brady Tkachuk, who found themselves in the thick a number of scrums in front of the net. Patrick Harper’s power-play goal was also a direct result of a battle being won at the net.

“We got guys who will go there [the front of the net] and need to go there,” added Coach Quinn. “I love when there’s big scrums in front of the opposing team’s net. That means we’re pissing people off, and that’s what we need to do.”

Friday night, Quinnipiac opened their season at Boston College. The two teams skated to a 1-1 draw at Conte Forum as BC tied things up late in the third period on the power play.

A year ago, BU blanked the Bobcats, 3-0, at home. Jordan Greenway, Bobo Carpenter and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson registered the goals, while Jake Oettinger turned aside 22 shots for the shutout.

In December 2015, BU toppled the then-unbeaten Bobcats, 4-1, in Hamden, handing QU their first loss of the season.

“Every year is different,” said Quinn. “Every team’s different, but their identity will be the same. They have good skill, they are big and strong, well coached and they’ll have a good goalie. It certainly will be a challenge, especially going into our first road game. It will be interesting to see how we react in a hostile environment.”

Scouting the Bobcats
Quinnipiac lost a lot of firepower off of last year’s roster with the departure of Sam Anas, Devon Towes, and brothers Tim and Connor Clifton. The Bobcats do return their top three scorers from last year in Landon Smith, Craig Martin and Chase Priskie.

Smith notched 11 goals and 18 assists in 40 games played to lead QU with 29 points. Bo Pieper is the top returning goal scorer for Quinnipiac. The senior forward amassed 13 goals a season ago and also added 12 assists.

In goal, Andrew Shortridge made 25 saves against Boston College last night. A season ago, the sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska saw time in 26 games and recorded a .920 save percentage to go along with a 2.08 goals against average. The Terriers faced Shortbridge last season, scoring twice on the then-freshman netminder, who was making just his second collegiate start.

BU will also face two familiar faces this weekend. Although the two never played together at BU, Kevin Duane and Brandon Fortunato both transferred from Comm. Ave. to Quinnipiac.

Duane has been at QU since the Fall of 2015, but due to transfer rules, could not play until the Fall of 2016. Last year he played in 29 games, scoring 4 goals and adding 9 assists.

Fortunato, on the other hand, sat out all of last year. The now senior defenseman departed BU after the 2016 season and played in his first game as a Bobcat Friday night against BC.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Power Surge

Patrick Harper and Dante Fabbro celebrate
after Harper's first period power play tally.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
If there was anything to take away from this weekend, it was the power play. A season ago, despite having a wealth of talent on the man advantage, BU struggled to find the net. The Terriers had the fourth-ranked power play in Hockey East at just a 16.9% conversation rate. By contrast, Northeastern scored 30.1% of the time.

In two games this weekend (yes, one was an exhibition game), BU went 6 for 15 (40%) on the man advantage. That included both non-empty net goals on Saturday against Union and four against PEI on Sunday.

This early in the season those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. Usually, the power play is ahead of the penalty kill early in the year. It takes time for defensive units to gel and for players to learn their defensive role.

“I thought we did a better job in the offensive zone, using the points, using the back of the net,” said Coach Quinn about his team’s power play on Saturday night. “We didn’t do that early on. The fact that they seem coachable and are actually listening is an encouraging sign. And again… it's September 30th.”

Dante Fabbro and Patrick Harper were two key components of the man advantage on Saturday. Early on, both Harper and Fabbro were on their forehand side, essentially taking away the one-time option.

“We had a little powwow between the second and third periods about getting on their offsides,” mentioned Quinn. “Those two guys are so good at making passes and shooting the puck. It creates much more of a scoring threat [when they are on their offsides].”

The powwow paid off immensely as Harper made a cross-ice pass through a tight seam to Fabbro at the near side dot, where the sophomore d-man one-timed home the eventual game-winner.

“I know last year we struggled [on the power play] a lot because we held on to the puck too long,” added Fabbro. “I think our mentality this year is to shoot the puck, find those seams and attack the rebounds. I think so far so good.”  

Attacking a loose rebound is exactly what Harper did to score his first of two on Saturday. From the side of the net with Union goalie Jake Kupski down and out, Harper chipped in the loose change to tie the game 1-1 in the first period.

Red Light District (Goals scored on the weekend)
Two goals:
    Pat Harper
    Brady Tkachuk
One goal
    Dante Fabbro
    Shane Bowers
    Patrick Curry
    Chad Krys
    Brandon Hickey
Totals: 10 goals for, 7 goals against. 

At the Polls 
There was no USCHO poll this week. BU is still ranked second in the nation behind Denver. Minnesota is third, Harvard is slotted fourth and Lowell rounds out the top five. Currently, there are five Hockey East schools in the top 20.

Hockey East Scoreboard 
Saturday (all exhibition games except BU)
St. Francis Xavier 1, at UConn 2
New Brunswick 2, at Boston College 4
Acadia 2, at Lowell 4
PEI 1, at Northeastern 9
Queen’s 0, at Umass 1
Union 1, at BU 4

Acadia 1, at Maine 3
St. Francis Xavier 3 at New Hampshire 3 (OT)
Waterloo 1, at Vermont 6
PEI 5, at BU 5 (OT)