For the first time since October, the Boston University men’s hockey team has won two games in a row.
The Terriers (11-11-2. 9-7-2 Hockey Eat) garnered a weekend sweep of a Hockey East foe for the first time all season as they defended Agganis Arena with a 3-1 win over Merrimack College Saturday night.
Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter continued his stellar season with a pair of goals, classmate Jordan Greenway had two assists and freshman forward Brady Tkachuk added a tally for BU.
“[Carpenter and Greenway] feed off each other,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “Bobo’s got a heck of a shot. Those guys know where each other are. Bobo leaves no stone unturned when it comes to preparation. When he’s feeling good about himself, the pucks usually jump into the net.”
Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger held down the net for the Terriers, stopping 26 shots and allowing just one goal despite facing seven Warriors (7-13-4, 4-9-2 Hockey East) power play attempts. On the other side of the ice, Merrimack junior netminder Drew Vogler saved 23 of 26 shots.
Despite landing just one shot on goal in the first 10 minutes of the contest, the Terriers struck first on the scoreboard.
After Merrimack senior forward Brett Seney went to the penalty box for hooking, BU capitalized. Greenway corralled the puck outside the right faceoff dot and flipped it to Tkachuk who was settled on Vogler’s left side.
The World Juniors star caught the pass and attempted to dish the puck across the goal, but the puck bounced off Vogler’s pad and into the net. The fortuitous bounce gave Tkachuk his fifth goal of the season on BU’s second shot of the game.
“I thought someone was backdoor,” Tkachuk said about the lucky goal. “[I] tried to get it to him and was surprised it went in. I was definitely happy about it.”
The Terriers struck again four minutes into the second period. After killing off a Greenway penalty, BU forced Merrimack sophomore defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic to turn the puck over just inside the Terriers defensive zone.
BU freshman forward Ty Amonte grabbed it and flipped it ahead to Bowers with one man to beat. Carpenter cut down the middle of the ice to create a two-on-one chance, and Bowers flipped a saucer pass to him just outside the Vogler’s left pad. Carpenter slid in front of the pass and finished the opportunity for his 12th goal of the season to give his team a 2-0 lead.
With 1:26 remaining, the Warriors broke through. Sophomore forward Cole McBride found junior forward Ludvig Larsson on a beautiful pass on a two-on-one chance. Larsson finished it past Oettinger’s left pad to cut the deficit in half.
Merrimack continued the momentum into the first eight minutes of the third period, but was unable to capitalize on a flurry of chances around Oettinger. The Terriers made the Warriors pay for their inability to tie the game at two after Merrimack junior forward Michael Babcock was flagged for a holding penalty with 10:40 remaining.
With 9:56 left, Greenway and Carpenter struck again. With the man advantage, Greenway found Carpenter wide open in the middle of the offensive zone from the right face-off dot. Carpenter sniped it past Vogler’s outstretched glove for goal No. 2 of the night, doubling BU’s lead.
“Everyone is dialed in,” Carpenter said. “We’re a good hockey team and we just have to show that every night. Once we got that momentum going, it’s been helping us along now and you can just see that every day you come to the rink.”