BOSTON – A poor showing against Harvard (13-7-3, 9-5-2 ECAC) left the Terriers (10-14-3, 8-7-2 HEA) on the losing end of a 5-2 final score in the Beanpot Consolation Game.
“It was a lack of focus, a lack of care,” head coach Albie O’Connell said after the game. “We played poor for two periods. … You can’t go out and play a good hockey team – or even a average hockey team – if you’re not ready to compete.”
It was BU’s sixth consecutive game against a ranked opponent and its fifth in a row without captain Bobo Carpenter in the lineup after he suffered an undisclosed injury in the game against Arizona State on Jan. 25. O’Connell also sat junior goaltender Jake Oettinger for rest, opting instead to have freshman Vinnie Purpura make his second career start.
The first period ended scoreless. Neither squad could sustain consistent offensive pressure for the majority of the period. The Crimson outshot the Terriers 12-5 in the first stanza, testing Purpura’s strong glove hand often.
“It was lackadaisical,” O’Connell said. “It wasn’t a good first period, and the second was worse.”
BU won the faceoff battle 10-8 in the second frame, but they were outshot 20-9. The Terrier defense allowed Frederic Gregoire to take an uncontested shot from the right circle and left Jack Badini free in the crease, where he received a centering pass from Reilly Walsh. After 40 minutes, Harvard had nearly triple BU’s shot total (32-11), and they led 2-0.
The Terriers finally showed signs of life in the third period as the Garden filled in anticipation of the Beanpot Championship (a 4-2 Northeastern victory to give the Huskies their second Beanpot in a row). Patrick Curry did his best Badini impression to put BU on the board 6:11 into the third period.
But it proved to be too little, too late. Gregoire scored his second goal on a questionable goaltender interference no-call, while empty-netters from Adam Fox and R.J. Murphy sandwiched an incredible effort play by Gabriel Chabot. His shot rang off the post, but he cut into the crease to pick up the rebound and sneak the puck over Michael Lackey’s left skate.
Adam Fox’s goal was a clearance attempt from his own goal line that had the legs to travel nearly 180 feet for his 100th career point (19-80-100), becoming the fourth Crimson defenseman to hit the century mark. After the game, head coach Ted Donato joked, “If they had a skills competition for hitting empty nets, I’m not sure there’d be anybody better,” before he went on to praise Fox’s effort and leadership for the next two minutes.
The Terriers hope to have their leader in Bobo Carpenter back soon to make a late-season push and earn a home playoff game. They will try to rebound from their fifth straight loss with a home-and-home series against Connecticut (9-17-2, 4-12-2 HEA) this weekend, Feb. 15 and 16.