By Jarett Leonard
BOSTON – Done in by three quick second period goals in a shutout loss on Saturday, Jake Oettinger and the No. 12 Boston University Terriers flipped the script on No. 6 Providence College Friday, blanking the Friars 2-0.
BU (4-4-1, 2-1-1 Hockey East) had gone more than five periods without beating Providence (5-3-0, 2-2-0 Hockey East) goaltender Hayden Hawkey before sophomore defenseman Chad Krys netted two in a span of 1:37 in the third period to lift the Terriers to a Hockey East win.
“I didn’t care how we did it, I didn’t care what the score was, I didn’t care how it looked, we needed a win tonight,” BU coach David Quinn said. “We’re a work in progress and we were reeling a bit mentally, but to be able to play the way we did in the third, I feel really good for our players.”
Krys’ first goal of the year started the third period flurry when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and fed fellow sophomore Patrick Harper at the Providence blue line. Harper then placed a saucer pass perfectly on the tape of Krys, who was driving the net and slipped the puck past Hawkey for the eventual game-winner.
Under two minutes later, Krys again picked off a clearing attempt and raced the other way, this time doing all the work himself. He walked around the six-foot-six defenseman Vincent Desharnais, forced Hawkey out of position and easily slid the backhand into the net to give the Terriers an insurance marker.
“We were quicker in the neutral zone when we got the puck,” Quinn said of what led to the two goals. “We turned it up quickly and didn’t let them get set in their neutral zone fore-check, and that leads to a goal. We’ve got to get that more into our game.”
Krys entered the night without a goal on the year, but not due to a lack of opportunities. He was tied for the team lead in shots on goal with junior forward Bobo Carpenter, and Krys finally broke through on Friday.
“If you shoot the puck enough, some are going to go in the net,” Krys said. “That’s how I’ve been looking at it. I haven’t had much luck lately but it was nice to see two go in tonight. I think we were rewarded for how we played in the second and third periods.”
While the Terriers finished strong to capture the win, it was Providence who applied the pressure in the early going. Aided by three first-period power plays, the Friars jumped out to an 11-1 advantage in shots but failed to convert.
“I thought we had a great first six or seven minutes, and then I thought we showed some immaturity,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “We thought the game was going to come easy to us.”
From that point, BU settled down defensively and slowly wrestled the momentum back in its favor. That started with sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger, who made 31 saves to earn his first shutout of the season.
“I think we started a little bit slow and I knew we were going to have to weather a storm,” Oettinger said. “Being a goalie it’s important that you’re ready right away because your team might need you and that’s what happened tonight.”
Quinn said his team is still working out the kinks offensively but that he is proud of their resiliency despite the long goal drought.
“It’s not easy to change your mental outlook during the course of a game, and I thought we did a good job of that.” Quinn said. “Maybe the fact that we knew we didn’t play great yet it was still a nothing-nothing game, if we can just buckle down here for 20 minutes, we’re going to win a hockey game.”
BU will have a quick turnaround to prepare for another important Hockey East game as the Terriers host No. 15 Northeastern on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.