By: Jarett Leonard
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The story of No. 11 Providence’s 3-0 shutout win over No. 6 Boston University may have begun the night before. While the Terriers fell to top-ranked Denver after surrendering a last-minute winner Friday, the Friars recovered from an early deficit to capture a 2-1 win over Boston College, and they were able to ride that momentum into Saturday’s game
“Last night was such a heartbreaker,” BU coach David Quinn said. “It was really a devastating loss for us. It was a concern of mine coming in. We’re so young and mentally fragile that we feel sorry for ourselves in a hurry and we’ve got to get over it. Providence didn’t care that we lost last night with 16 seconds to go.”
After a back-and-forth opening period that ended without a score, the floodgates opened for Providence (5-2, 2-1 Hockey East) in the second, as they scored three goals in under 11 minutes to run away from the Terriers (3-4-1, 1-1-1 Hockey East.)
Under two minutes into the frame, Vimal Sukumaran was the beneficiary of a Ryan Cloonan turnover in the BU zone. Cloonan tried a backhand pass from behind the Terrier net that was intercepted by Sukumaran, who easily slid the puck past an unsuspecting Jake Oettinger.
“To give them the goal that we gave them to start the onslaught, that was just a microcosm of what our problems were,” Quinn said.
Midway through the period with the Friars on a 4-on-3 advantage, Jacob Bryson slid the puck across the ice for Erik Foley, who unleashed a wrist shot from the left circle that found the top left corner of the net and extended Providence’s lead to two.
Foley, a member of the U.S. World Junior team that won gold last year, returned to the Friars’ lineup this weekend after missing the previous two games, and he made an immediate impact. In addition to the power play marker Saturday, the junior also netted the game-tying goal against BC the night before.
“He’s a game changer,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “Getting that second goal for us tonight was a heck of a play. It was a great shot and he had to beat a big-time goaltender and he can do it.”
Under a minute later, Kasper Bjorkqvist fed the puck across the crease to Brandon Duhaime who waited out Oettinger and snuck it under the sophomore goaltender’s arm and into the back of the net.
Providence goaltender Hayden Hawkey posted his fifth career shutout and turned away 46 of the 47 shots he faced over the weekend. The Terriers collected 22 shots but only mustered five in the third period. His counterpart Oettinger made 28 saves, 15 of them in a strong first period for the Friars.
“Just a poor performance by us in many, many areas,” Quinn said. “Early on it was obvious that this game meant a lot more to Providence than it did to us for some reason and I don’t know why. You’re sitting on the bench trying to figure out what you need to do better, and the answer is everything.”
BU will look forward to two games on its home ice next weekend, as the Terriers host Providence in the back end of the home-and-home series on Friday before welcoming Northeastern to Agganis Arena the following night.
“We get a week of practice to prepare for it and hopefully we can shake this off and move forward,” Quinn said. “We just have to move past this and we can’t let this get in the way of next weekend.”