Sixty-five minutes proved to be not enough time for the Boston University men’s hockey team to get a win against No. 11 Providence College at Agganis Arena Saturday night.
All of the teams’ goals occurred during the second period. The Terriers (9-11-2, 7-7-2 Hockey East) had a 2-1 lead before the scoreline was evened up at 2-2 and would remain there until the end of the overtime period.
“It’s been kind of an odd stretch for us over the last month and since the Maine game, we’ve gradually gotten better,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “I thought tonight was our best game of the three games we’ve played since the break ended. Our pace good, we were physical, our goalie looked good. There’s a lot to like about our weekend.”
Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter supplied the Terriers with their two goals, but BU’s power play proved to be its weak spot.
The Terriers went 0-for-6 in power plays, which included the Friars (15-7-2, 8-4-2 Hockey East) having to kill off a five-minute major penalty with six minutes and nine seconds remaining in regulation time after Providence forward Vimal Sukumaran hit sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro from behind.
“It looks like he’s going to be okay,” Quinn said of Fabbro. “It’s a little early, but the preliminary feeling is he’s going to be okay.”
While the opening period remained uneventful scoring-wise, BU was able to survive its two penalties drawn within the first minutes of the game. Mid-way through the Terriers’ penalty kill, they were called for too many men on the ice.
BU got its first of many power play chances, beginning at 13:26 in the first period, but the Friars showcased their strong penalty kill. Providence entered the matchup with an 87.5 percent success on the penalty kill while the Terriers were successful on 21.1 percent of their power plays.
Quinn said one of the major factors that hindered BU’s power play was the team’s inability to practice it altogether, as many players represented their countries in international tournaments over the break.
“We don’t have [sophomore forward Patrick] Harper, we don’t have [freshman defenseman David] Farrance so … not only have we not practiced it as a group, but we put people in places that they’re really not comfortable in so I thought it hurt us that we had all those power plays to be quite honest with you,” Quinn said.
Nearly eight minutes into the second frame, Terriers sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger, who finished the night with 21 saves, survived three quick shots from Providence forwards Erik Foley and Shane Kavanagh.
However, it was forward Josh Wilkins who got his team on the board first at 11:32. Wilkins went toward Oettinger in a 3-on-1, and received a pass from forward Kasper Bjorkqvist before slipping the puck into the opening between Oettinger’s left foot and the post.
Though the goal only began the scoring of the game. Senior defenseman John MacLeod sent a wrister from the point and Carpenter made sure it found the back of the net with a redirect.
Less than two minutes later, Carpenter got the puck past Friars junior goaltender Hayden Hawkey with a quick release shot from the top of the right face-off circle.
“I guess some of the games the puck goes the right way and … I do owe a lot to my teammates,” Carpenter said. “They make a lot happen and I just seem to be in the right spots so I owe a lot to them.”
Although it was Foley who determined the contest and knotted the score at 18:50 in the middle frame after redirecting defenseman Vincent Desharnais’ shot past Oettinger.
BU had many chances to even the score in the final period, outshooting Providence 9-4 and receiving three power play chances.
The Terriers’ second power play chance of the frame was cut short after Fabbro slashed Kavanagh, who was racing toward BU’s net.
With 6:09 remaining, the Terriers had a five-minute power play as Sukumaran went to the box for a hitting from behind penalty, but were unable to score.
While BU also remained unable to capitalize on its power play chance in the extra five minutes of overtime, Quinn remained optimistic of the Terriers’ trajectory.
“Obviously we would’ve liked one more point, but we’re going in the right direction and the biggest thing since the break is Jake Oettinger looks like Jake Oettinger,” Quinn said.