Seeing the No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team in action without sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger in the net has been a rare occurrence.
Redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik made the sight a little less frightening for the Terriers (5-6-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East) fans, shutting No. 9 University of New Hampshire down for a shutout in his first ever collegiate start for a 4-0 BU win.
After allowing a goal in relief of Oettinger in the Terriers 6-1 loss to No. 13 Northeastern University on Friday night, Prawdzik was called upon to stop an even more prolific offense in UNH (6-3-1, 3-2-1).
He answered the bell, making 29 saves and preventing even one goal from squirting through while becoming the first BU goalie in 17 years to record a shutout in his inaugural full appearance.
“A great night for us for a lot of reasons,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “Last night was a tough pill to swallow but I though we were making progress in some areas and we built on that tonight. I feel so good for Max, he just keeps working hard and persevering. The guys are excited for him.”
The Terriers’ offense was there in support of their goaltender, putting up goals in each period. BU received goals from four different contributors, as freshman forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro, junior forward Jordan Greenway and junior forward Bobo Carpenter all sent pucks into the net.
Aside from a penalty kill at the conclusion of the period in which they yielded six UNH shots, the Terriers controlled the pace for much of the first period. They garnered 12 shots while the Wildcats had just six entering the final two minutes of the period and outshot UNH 27-16. In addition, BU controlled the face-off battle with 13 wins to the Wildcats’ six.
The Terriers broke through midway through the first period. After graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson began the surge with a feed to sophomore forward Patrick Curry. The Schaumburg, Illinois native drove to the left of senior goaltender Danny Tirone and flipped it behind his back to the cutting Amonte.
The first-year forward was driving from the left side of the dot toward the goal and Curry dropped it perfectly on his stick. All Amonte had to do was raise the puck over the right shoulder of Tirone and into the net for his second goal of the season.
“There was a lot of space out there,” Amonte said. “We create a lot of confusion. [Melanson] made an unbelievable pass to [Curry] and he just put it right in the slot for me. It was pretty hard to miss that one or at least get it on net and I was able to beat him blocker side.”
BU got on the board yet again at the beginning of the second period.
Three minutes in, Fabbro, positioned at the top right side of the zone, flipped a wrister towards the net from an odd angle. Somehow, it scooted past Tirone and into the net for Fabbro’s third goal of the season. Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys was credited with an assist on the goal, but his assistance was marginal.
The second frame was marked by excellent goaltending by Prawdzik. The Andover native stopped 11 shots, including a flurry of saves on a penalty kill after both freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo and Carpenter were holed up in the penalty box.
BU added to its lead eight minutes into the third period.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk began the scoring chance by carrying the puck around the goal and attempting a wraparound shot on Tirone. The goaltender was forced to stretch into a split to save the shot, and the puck trickled to his left. Greenway drove in and finished off the rebound chance for his third tally of the year.
Carpenter added to the gap with 6:31 remaining in the game. After Tkachuk found him on the left side of the zone, he traveled towards the center before lifting a wrist shot past Tirone. The goal was Carpenter’s seventh of the season, knocking Tirone out of the game in favor of UNH’s freshman goaltender Mike Robinson.
“It’s November, but we are a little less than one-third through the season so time is of the essence,” Quinn said. “I think we have balance, I think we have depth. I think it’s going to show throughout the season.”