After battling to a 2-1 victory at Schneider Arena on Friday night, the No. 5/6 Boston University Terriers had to try and outwork a physical Providence College Friars hockey team again, this time at Agganis Arena. After going down 2-0 early, the Terriers came back to tie the game with less than three minutes to go. Overtime would prove fruitless, however, and the teams skated to a 2-2 tie. Freshman Jake Oettinger stopped 30 pucks in his second start of the weekend, and junior Nikolas Olsson had two goals in the series.
BU got off to a slow and penalty heavy start, and at the end of a Kieffer Bellows roughing call, Scott Conway roofed a puck in tight on Oettinger to put the Friars up 1-0. The trips to the sin bin would not stop for Boston University, as they took 8 calls against them in the first two periods of play. While not called a power play goal because the penalty had expired, PC scored again because of a man advantage, when on some fast passing, Jake Walman caught Oettinger on the other side of his crease and with Oettinger diving, Walman’s cannon-like shot rebounded off the freshman’s chest and in.
“It’s just undisciplined, it’s frustrating because it’s incredibly impactful when you take that many penalties,” Coach David Quinn said. “When you’re killing close to 20 minutes in penalties a game, you just got no chance, you put yourself behind the eight ball. Right now, that’s the theme for our season now, the penalties.”
The second period, while without scoring, had the most penalties for both sides of the game. It wasn’t until 14:50 of the third period when Brandon Hickey cashed in on the backhand in tight off his own rebound to put BU on the board.
“Yeah, sometimes I just like to joke around with the goalies after practice or helping them with their goalie drills,” Hickey said. “Honestly, I just saw the puck and whacked at and tried to put it anywhere and I just wanted to get it back on net and I was pretty pleasantly surprised it went in.”
Then, with the Terriers smelling blood in the water, pounced when Charlie McAvoy shot-passed the disc to Olsson, who had a wide-open net to even the score. Both teams had chances to score in the overtime period, as McAvoy took a hooking penalty to prevent a quality scoring chance for Kasper Bjorkqvist, while Bobo Carpenter had a shorthanded breakaway stopped by PC netminder Hayden Hawkey as time expired.
Hickey said, “Oh yeah, it’s a rivalry. Pretty easy to say it’s one of our biggest rivals. We have a lot of respect for them, they’re a really good team, we just don’t like losing to them, we don’t like tying them. We want to beat them and, I think playing against a team like that is something you have to learn how to do in order to move forward.”
Coach Nate Leaman said, “I think the National Championship game made it a rivalry. The physicality, the emotion in it, the level of play in the series, it’s good. This league is about great hockey, it’s about great hockey teams going at it, and we love playing that team [BU], we love going toe-to-toe with them.”
“Certainly proud of our guys, the way we battled back in the third period after really making life difficult for ourselves in the first and second period,” Quinn said.
The No. 5/6 BU Terriers are back in action next weekend with two games at Gutterson Fieldhouse against the University of Vermont Catamounts.