The Boston University men’s hockey team has been on a roll as of late on the power play, and the opener of the 66th Beanpot tournament was no different.
In a marathon double-overtime contest that concluded in a 3-2 Terriers (15-11-2, 10-7-2 Hockey East) win over Harvard University, BU maintained its recent consistency on 5-on-4 chances.
For the sixth consecutive game, the Terriers netted a goal with the extra man advantage.
The goal came eight minutes and two seconds into the game as freshman forward Logan Cockerill landed his fourth goal of the season.
“When it’s all said and done, they scored a goal on the power play and we didn’t,” Crimson (10-9-4) head coach Ted Donato said. “It does seem to come down to special teams in these big games.”
With Harvard sophomore defenseman John Marino holed up in the box for cross-checking, the Terriers took advantage. The scoring chance ensued when senior defenseman Brandon Hickey ripped a shot on goal from just inside the blue line.
The puck ricocheted off of graduate transfer Drew Melanson’s stick in front of Crimson senior goaltender Merrick Madsen before glancing off the keeper’s pad and into play.
As this scenario unfolded, Cockerill trickled down the right slot, inching into perfect position to corral a rebound off Madsen’s left blocker. The puck bounced into a perfect spot for Cockerill, and he cashed in.
The Brighton, Michigan native slapped the puck past Madsen’s outstretched glove and into the net before uncorking a furious celebration.
“We started playing the brand of hockey that we’ve been playing over the last month,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “Just a great win.”
Dances have become customary for BU on the power play over the past few games. The Terriers entered the contest ranked No. 11 in the nation in power play percentage, connecting on 22.4 percent of their odd-man opportunities.
BU came into Monday night atop Hockey East in power play goals (42) with an in-conference percentage of 26.1 percent.
The Terriers’ power play has been considerably mighty compared to their Hockey East counterparts. BU has outscored the second-most prolific power play in the conference, Northeastern University, by eight goals.
In the percentage category, the Huskies also rank second, with a 20.7 percent conversion rate, more than five percent worse than the Terriers.
Even more encouraging for BU is the wide variety of players who have recorded power play tallies during this stretch.
In the two wins over Merrimack College, sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro, freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and junior forward Bobo Carpenter all notched power-play goals.
In an 8-0 drubbing of Arizona State University on Jan. 26, Tkachuk and Carpenter scored with the man advantage once again before Hickey joined in on the action in one night later.
Junior forward Jordan Greenway collected a power-play goal in BU’s win over the University of Massachusetts Amherst last Friday night before Cockerill penned his name on the score sheet at TD Garden Monday.
While Greenway has netted just one power-play goal during this stretch, he has made his presence felt passing the puck. The soon-to-be Olympian, set to depart this week, has four power play assists over the last six games, putting his teammates in ideal positions to boost their own scoring totals.
Despite Monday’s contest being Greenway’s last until the Winter Olympics conclude, BU should be able to continue spreading the puck around on the power play over the course of his absence.
Hickey and Fabbro have proven themselves as viable passing options from the point with the extra man as of late, while freshman defenseman David Farrance has picked up multiple assists over the past few games while also receiving a few stints at forward.
“I’m very proud of [Greenway],” Quinn said. “I’m sure there is a piece of him that wishes he could play in this Beanpot final, but once he gets over there it’s all going to be about winning the gold medal.”