Numbers to Know:
Record: 10-11-3, 8-6-2 HEA, 25th in pairwise
Goals For: 69 (2.875 per game)
Goals Against: 72 (3.0 per game)
Save Percentage: 0.913
Power Play: 18-for-98 (18.4 percent)
Penalty Kill: 78-92 (84.6 percent)
After winning the Hockey East Tournament and even a first round NCAA Tournament game last year, the Boston University has largely struggled in replicating that success this season. BU has a .500 record, including eight wins in conference play, but has had an up-and-down campaign. The Terriers did not start out the season on an ideal note, losing to Minnesota State, Providence, and Merrimack. Since then, they have rebounded somewhat, posting wins over ranked teams such as Northeastern, Providence, and Arizona State. But, the hierarchy of the Hockey East has greatly shifted since last season. BU is usually a top contender, but it finds itself in the middle of the pack this time around.
Players to Watch:
1) Bobo Carpenter, F
The team’s top center, Bobo Carpenter paces the team with 10 goals—but, the senior has arguably taken a step back since his junior year. Last year, he piled up 20 goals and 15 assists, but without the potent pairing of Jordan Greenway, he hasn’t had as many chances.
2) Dante Fabbro, D
A first round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2016, Dante Fabbro has enjoyed a strong third year with the Terriers. He boasts 21 points—16 of which come from assists—which leads the team. Fabbro has gotten better each year, bumping his points per game average from 0.50 in his freshman year to 0.91 this year.
3) Jake Oettinger, G
Per usual, Jake Oettinger has been a rock in the net and one of the few consistent players on BU’s roster. Oettinger boasts a .925 save percentage, 14th in the country, and it’s a figure that would be even higher if he had a better defense in front of him. Oettinger’s talent was on full display against Boston College during the Battle of Commonwealth Ave., a contest in which he pitched a shutout during a scoreless draw.
All-Time Beanpot Record: 90-42, 30 Beanpot Championships
Last year’s Beanpot was another heartbreaker for BU. The Terriers claimed a victory in dramatic fashion in the first round, downing Harvard, 3-2, in double overtime. But when facing off against Northeastern in the championship, the Terriers were off their game and suffered a 5-2 defeat. BU struck first with a goal in the first period, but the Huskies responded with four unanswered goals, putting the game out of reach. This was the fourth consecutive Beanpot title game the Terriers appeared in and marked their third straight loss, a painful sequence of events.
BU draws Northeastern in the first round, which is a manageable matchup. The Terriers faced the Huskies in a series early in the season, winning one game and tying in the other. If BU wants to win, it needs its offense to show up and put plenty of shots on goal. Should the Terriers advance to the championship, they will face off against either BC or Harvard. The matchup with BC would likely be a toss-up. In the series earlier in the year, BC won the first contest, and then the Terriers battled the Eagles to a scoreless draw. A matchup with Harvard would also lack a clear favorite. BU squared off against the Crimson just a couple of weeks ago, and the final was, to no surprise, a 2-2 tie. Ultimately, the Terriers have the necessary talent to come home with the Beanpot, it’s just a matter of execution. BU has fallen short so far this season, but this year’s iteration of the Terriers could be following a similar trajectory as last year’s team. In 2017-2018, BU was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the preseason poll, but it got off to a slow start before turning it up down the stretch and parlaying that momentum into an NCAA Tournament berth. The Terriers have yet to flip the switch, but the Beanpot is the perfect time to do so.