By: Marisa Ingemi
Boston University has already faced an early test when it was forced to bounce back from a weekend sweep in Denver. The Terriers opened their home slate one week later, and after demolishing Sacred Heart, defeated the then-fourth ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats with freshman Jake Ottinger’s second consecutive shutout.
Now, BU has another early test for its young roster.
It will be twelve days before the Terriers don the ice again when they take the short trip to Matthews Arena to face the defending Hockey East champion Northeastern Huskies. It is the longest in-season break BU will have all season, and it leads up to its first conference foe.
Northeastern, meanwhile, has gotten off to its patented slow season start, and fell this weekend at home to Vermont. The Huskies, who are without top forward and St. Louis Blues prospect Nolan Stevens, still are far more fresh than the rested Terriers.
The Terriers offense hasn’t had trouble finding the back of the net, with two games of six or more goals this season. Freshman goalie Jake Ottinger has also had no problem keeping it out, earning two shutouts last week. He will take the ice after a lengthy period off, however, facing one of the bigger challenges he will all season.
While Denver and Quinnipiac certainly posed threats, and Denver did win both games against the young goalie, Ottinger was impressive in his shutout against the Bobcats. Northeastern, led by the third leading conference scorer Dylan Sikura, are the fourth highest scoring team in Hockey East.
From here, the Terriers’ schedule is dominated by conference play, with all but four remaining opponents coming from Hockey East. The Northeastern series, a home and home, comes a week before BU heads to Ann Arbor to face the 17th ranked Wolverines, yet another early test for this young roster.
While the story of the season for BU has been its impressive freshman class, its the sophomores and upperclassmen who have also made the roster what it is. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, with seven points, and Jordan Greenway with six are second and third respectively on the team in scoring behind freshman Patrick Harper, while sophomore Bobo Carpenter has also tallied twice.
Ranked fourth in the nation, the Terriers continue to take tests head-on. First Denver, then Quinnipiac, and they’ve come out of it with mixed results. A home and home series in the first conference play of the series, against a Northeastern team also looking to rebound, will give an even better idea of who this BU team is by the end of the weekend.