By: Marisa Ingemi
After a 6-1 thrashing of Colgate and the impressive play of a highly touted freshmen class, Boston University had an opportunity to establish itself as the top team in the nation.
BU’s comeback in game one came up short, and the Terriers tallied once in the third period in game two in a second attempt to claw back into the contest. The losses come a week after the Pioneers were swept on home ice by Ohio State and Boston College the week before.
After scoring ten goals in his first three games of NCAA hockey, freshman winger Patrick Harper was shut out over the weekend. Freshman goalie Jake Oettinger suffered his first mishap when he misplayed a puck to give Denver a 1-0 lead in Saturday’s contest.
There is plenty of good to take out of the losses as well, however. It is the first adversity the team has faced after tearing through its pre-season opponents and Colgate, so it is the first chance for the young players to bounce back.
One of the freshmen, Kieffer Bellows, did find the back of the net with a tally in Saturday’s game, while Clayton Keller also got on the board on Friday night with a short-handed goal. The Terriers are a team projected to be one of the tops in the nation in putting the puck in the net, and to be shut down in the second game of the set means David Quinn will have to make adjustments.
Of note, Oettinger played both games, which should be indicative that this is his job to lose. A concern for the Terriers has to be staying out of the box, something this group has struggled with, after allowing Denver four power play chances in the first period on Friday night.
Another positive could be, along with the team now facing a difficulty for the first time, is the resiliency the Terriers showed in the first game. It’s a learning experience for a young team with lofty expectations placed on its shoulders, and now the team, which hosts nine freshmen, can attempt its first rebound this weekend.
The Terriers next tough challenge is No. 3 Quinnipiac on Saturday night following a contest against a stingy Sacred Heart. Yet, Quinnipiac is coming off a loss last week against predicted Hockey East cellar-dwellers Maine. Despite the two losses, BU remains in the top ten with the eighth ranking heading into this week, where the Terriers will hit the Agganis ice for the first time in the regular season.