The Boston University men’s hockey season has arrived, and they started the preseason with a victory over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, 10-2. With 39 separate penalties between the two teams, both power play and penalty kill units saw most of the ice time for each squad. Freshman Patrick Harper scored five goals and was named first star of the game, while fellow freshman Clayton Keller touted a hat trick of his own. All three Terrier goaltenders, junior Connor LaCouvee, freshman Jake Oettinger, and sophomore Max Prawdzik, tended goal for a period, LaCouvee being the only one to give up scoring to the Panthers.
The story of the night was certainly penalties, a combined 39 minors and majors between BU and UPEI, including majors by Chad Krys, Jordan Greenway, and Derek Ryckman. In the eyes of head coach David Quinn, it’s not the referees that are to blame for the amount of times both Terrier and Panther players went to the box, but in some part, his team’s play itself. “To me, we have to a better job staying out of the box. I’m not blaming the referees in any way, shape or form,” Quinn said. “We’ve got to adapt to the way they’re going to call it. We’re going to watch every penalty we took tonight and we’re going to understand what a penalty is.”
The night’s offense certainly belonged to freshman Patrick Harper, who slotted in on the top line with Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. With three even strength goals, one power play marker and one shorthanded tally, Harper couldn’t recall a night he’d ever scored as much. “Maybe in NHL16,” Harper said. Even still, Harper recognizes that despite his tremendous offensive output, the game is played one shift at a time. “I think you just have to approach each shift like it’s a new one and have the same mentality.”
Clayton Keller combined for another hat trick, with freshman Dante Fabbro and junior Brandon Hickey bringing the scoring total to 10 for the Terriers.
Despite it being an exhibition game, Somerby knows how important it is to the rest of the season to get back into and stay in game action. “We have some big games coming up, and I know that guys don’t want to get into it and lose games in the season from scrums in an exhibition game,” Somerby said.
With just a small sample size, Coach Quinn knows his team can do more and has made it the team’s goal to just keep improving every period they play. Quinn said, “We just have to keep getting better. The winning and losing will take care of itself. If you live in the moment and play the right way and you’re mentally and physically committed to playing the right way and you have talent, you have a chance to have a lot of success and that’s what we have to focus on.”
The Boston University Terriers have one more preseason exhibition game against the United States Under 18 National Development Team Program at 7p.m. at Agganis Arena on Thursday, October 6th.