In a battle against No. 7 Providence with major Hockey East implications, Boston University overcame a two-goal deficit and got late goals from sophomore defenseman David Farrance and sophomore forward Logan Cockerill to tie and overtake the Friars en route to winning their second game of the new year.
“It was a big statement game,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell regarding the victory.
Looking to replicate their 5-0 thumping of BU back in October, Providence (12-6-4, 6-4-1 in Hockey East) came storming out of the gates, tallying two goals within the game’s first 10 minutes.
Junior Josh Wilkins got the Friars on the board early with a power play goal just six and a half minutes into the contest, and senior Scott Conway doubled Providence’s lead less than three minutes later. Wilkins’ tally gave the junior his team-leading 25th point, while Conway’s goal made him the first Friar to score 10 goals this season.
“Just stick with it” was the simple message shared by O’Connell to his team after going behind 2-0.
With sour memories of the 5-0 thrashing in the back of their minds, BU (8-8-3, 7-5-2 in Hockey East) came up with an immediate response through the stick of sophomore Shane Bowers with nine minutes left in the first. The sophomore’s powerful net drive and clever finish cut the Providence lead in half before the teams headed into the first intermission.
“That got us going,” remarked Coach O’Connell about the early Bowers goal.
In the middle stanza, the teams traded opportunities for 11 minutes before Bowers brought BU even with his second goal of the game, separating himself as the lone Terrier with seven goals on the season, good for second on the team, only behind senior captain Bobo Carpenter’s 10 tallies. Providing the sophomore with a pass into space was freshman Joel Farabee, continuing the freshman’s strong start to 2019.
Providence had three chances on the power play in the second frame, but the BU penalty kill was resilient throughout the period, and junior goalie Jake Oettinger remained rock-solid between the pipes for BU.
Following the second break, the Friars caught the BU defense by surprise 11 seconds into the third period. Conway matched Bowers’ mark with his own second goal of the contest, regaining the Providence lead before BU could even gain possession in the final frame.
Despite going down late, the Terriers would not go away, as sophomore David Farrance drove in a shot from distance to level the game once more with 17 minutes left in regulation. Riding the momentum of the game-tying tally, BU kicked into an extra gear, and found a go-ahead goal just five minutes later.
Sophomore Logan Cockerill provided what became the game-winner, snapping a shot past senior netminder Hayden Hawkey to put BU ahead for good.
“That’s a season-changing play by Cockerill,” O’Connell said.
The Terriers would gain the benefit of a five-minute major penalty called against Providence’s junior Vimal Sukumaran with four and a half minutes to play, but Oettinger would still be called into action to preserve the BU lead as the Friars poured on pressure in the game’s waning minutes.
It was an intense effort from the junior netminder, fending off 33 shots and getting his second win in as many nights.
Continuing their undefeated start to 2019 with the victory over Providence, the Terriers will now turn their focus to No. 3 Quinnipiac (16-5-1, 7-4-1 in ECAC) when the Bobcats come to Boston next Saturday.