Numbers to Know:
Record: 13-11-2 (9-7-2 Hockey East)
Goals For: 3.22 per game
Goals Against: 2.70 per game
Save Percentage: .905 (90.5 percent)
Power Play: 26-of-116 (22.4 percent)
Penalty Kill: 89-of-114 (78.1 percent)
It would be fair to label the Boston University men’s hockey season thus far a disappointment. Once the USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll’s No. 2 team, the Terriers enter the Beanpot having not received a single vote in the latest USA Hockey poll. Despite this, BU has been playing well of late, earning at least one point in its last six games after losing nine of their previous 14. The Terriers currently sit fourth in Hockey East, six points behind first-place Boston College. In games against Beanpot opposition this season, BU holds a record of 1-3, splitting the season series with the Eagles after dropping a pair of games to Northeastern early in Hockey East play.
Players to Watch:
1) Bobo Carpenter
A junior forward, Carpenter averages 1.0 points per game, the fourth best mark in Hockey East.
2) Jake Oettinger
The sophomore netminder for the Terriers, Oettinger hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was last season, when he ranked second in Hockey East with a save percentage of .927. Still, BC remembers just how good the Lakeville, Minn. native is. Last season, he allowed a total of two goals in three regular season matchups against the Eagles.
3) Shane Bowers
Another forward for the Terriers, Bowers leads all Hockey East freshman in goals, with a total of 12 so far this season.
In last season’s Beanpot, BU faced BC in the semifinal. Eagles fans will remember that it took BC almost 19 minutes to register a shot on goal in that game. BU never trailed and eventually won 3-1, but the Eagles were so poor for most of the game that the score could have been much worse. In the final, the Terriers took the ice against Harvard—the team they opens this season’s Beanpot against. BU was outshot, 47-16, and, despite leading 2-1 four minutes into second period, finished the game on the losing side of a 6-3 scoreline, marking its 22nd second-place finish all-time.
All-Time Beanpot Record: 89-41
Beanpot Championships: 30
BU plays like the No. 2 team in the country. Though this season has been rocky thus far for the Terriers, they have the talent, especially at forward, to play with any team in the country—as evidenced by a close 4-3 defeat against current No. 1 Cornell in November. They should manage to beat a Harvard team that doesn’t have nearly as much talent as last year’s Frozen Four squad. If BU can cut down on its penalty problems—it has logged the second most penalty minutes per game in Hockey East—and boost its subpar penalty kill percentage (currently .781, third-worst in Hockey East), it definitely has the talent necessary to win a Beanpot-best 31st championship.
Inconsistency shows up again and results in an early exit. The Terriers have demonstrated that they are capable of both beating and losing to any team in the nation. If BU isn’t able to keep its special teams mistakes to a minimum, it may still be able to beat Harvard in the semifinal, but it will have a tough time against whichever opponent it faces in the final. After all, both BC and Northeastern have already recorded wins against the Terriers this season.