By: Marisa Ingemi
This past weekend was meant to be a test for the Boston University men’s hockey team after being swept at Denver the week prior. If head coach Dave Quinn wanted to see how his young team would rebound, he had to be pleased with the results.
Following a 7-0 thrashing of Sacred Heart, the Terriers held down a strong Quinnipiac team in a 3-0 affair as freshman Jake Oettinger earned his second straight shutout in just his fifth career contest.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our team. We didn’t feel very good about ourselves after we left Denver,” head coach David Quinn said after Saturday’s game. “We showed a lot of guts, we showed a lot of character, we showed a lot of stupidity, we just really gutted this one out.”
Each freshman has now found the scoresheet except third and fourth line centers Patrick Curry and Johnny McDermott respectively.
Penalties are one of the difficulties this team has faced, being forced to kill 12 penalties on Saturday night and 32 minutes in the box, but its something for the Terriers to continue to work on.
Oettinger, after facing questions following the two losses in Denver, established himself as the starting net-minder until further notice by starting both games this past weekend. He’s now faced two top ten teams and came out especially solid against a Bobcat team that could be Frozen Four bound yet again.
“We, structurally, were good,” Quinn said on Friday night. “We didn’t get overextended and we had good sticks, we moved when the puck moved and, you need puck luck and you need great goaltending.”
Seven of the team’s nine leading point scorers are underclassmen, including freshman Patrick Harper with eight points, which is also good for ninth in the conference overall. There is plenty to build off of the Terriers, with youth being their biggest asset, but also their biggest detriment with inexperience and a lack of discipline.
It will be 12 days before the Terriers hit the ice against when they open Hockey East play at Northeastern, and that’s plenty of time to work on its flaws. However, after winning two straight at home so early in the season, BU may wish it could ride the momentum into this weekend.
The win over Quinnipiac is a statement just a week after losing to another top ten team in Denver. The early season was a challenge for the Terriers, but its a challenge they needed to face now so they have time to prepare for conference play and the late season. By the time the Beanpot and conference playoffs come around, BU will be battle tested despite its youth.