Retaking the Ice: Looking back on BU men’s hockey’s recent captains

Featured Image by Matt Dresens.

Welcome to Retaking the Ice! In this series, I will be diving into the history of BU’s hockey teams and exploring what has made this program so great over the years.

When the 2020-21 season begins, Logan Cockerill will dawn the “C” as the 122nd captain of the Boston University Terriers men’s hockey team. But before we get there, let’s cut out a small slice of the storied history of BU’s men’s hockey program and take a look at some of the Terriers’ previous captains of the late 2010s.

2014-2015 and 2015-2016: (D) Matt Grzelcyk

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Photo by Jim Pierce

Grzelcyk was the second player of the 2010s to serve as captain for multiple seasons after forward Chris Connolly did the same from Fall of 2010 to Spring of 2012. The Charlestown, Mass. native played all four seasons for BU and finished his career as one of the teams highest scoring defenders.

In his freshman season, the local kid scored 23 points, but the Terriers missed the NCAA Torunament and lost to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East Championship. After missing half of his sophomore season due to a season-ending shoulder injury in January 2014, Grzelcyk earned the ‘C’, came back stronger than ever, and would lead the Terriers in starting an epic four-year run.

He tallied 38 points (10g, 28a) in his junior year. He also had a timeless moment in the championship game of the 63rd Beanpot. Grzelcyk scored the game-winner in double-overtime to earn BU their 30th Beanpot championship: their first of the 2010s and most recent. Grzelcyk and the Terriers ran all the way to the National Championship game in his junior year. Although they lost that game to rival Providence College, Grzelcyk still finished the season as a First Team All-American and Hockey East First Team All-Star.

In his senior season, even though he only played in 27 games, Grzelcyk still made First Team in Hockey East for the second straight season after notching 23 points (10g, 23a).  The third round draftee of the Boston Bruins finished his great BU career with 95 points, finishing just short of the illustrious 100 Club.

So far as a Bruin, Grzelcyk has scored 54 points in 197 games over four seasons in the NHL.

2016-2017: (D) Doyle Somerby

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Photo by Rich Gagnon

Standing at 6″5, Doyle Somerby’s imposing figure was only matched by his defense and durability. He appeared in 39 games in each of his final three seasons, and didn’t miss a single game over the final two. While BU’s 117th captain never accrued as many points as his predecessor or successor, Somerby’s skills and leadership more than made up for it, and he did still have his fair share of great moments.

As a sophomore, Somerby scored the game-winner against North Dakota to send BU to the Frozen Four. It would be the second Frozen Four appearance of the 2000s for the Terriers and their 22nd berth in program history. Somerby’s junior year was his best points-wise: he had five goals and eight assists for 13 total points. He also finished second in Hockey East with 77 blocked shots.

Finally, in his senior year as captain, Somerby struck North Dakota again, scoring the first goal against the Fighting Hawks en route to the Terriers defeating them 4-3 in overtime. All in all, after 151 games and 27 career points, the New York Islanders’ fifth rounder more than made his mark on Terrier hockey.

Since departing from BU, Somerby has logged 35 points in 165 games as a member of the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL).

2017-2018: (D) Brandon Hickey

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Photo by Rich Graessle

Brandon Hickey’s arrival brought another explosive player to the defensive core. A solid point scorer with enough passion and drive to fill Agganis Arena, Hickey’s season as captain is remembered for an incredible resurrection by the Terriers to cap off a fantastic four-year stretch.

Drafted by the Calgary Flames in the third round before arriving to Comm Ave, Hickey’s rookie season demonstrated that he was a serious threat from the blue line. While leading the team in blocks, Hickey put up 17 points (6g, 11a), a career-high, and capped off a great first collegiate season by scoring a goal in BU’s semifinal win over North Dakota.

As a sophomore, Hickey logged another 55 blocks while also boasting a three-game goal streak in from late October to early November. As a junior, Hickey reached 15 points and set a school record with 17 blocked shots in one game in BU’s double-overtime win over North Dakota in the NCAA West Regionals.

In his senior year, Hickey, now captain, led the Terriers on a ferocious 13-3-3 second half en route to sweeping the playoffs to claim another Hockey East title and trip to the NCAA Tournament. While BU was eliminated in the semi-finals by Michigan and denied a trip to the Frozen Four, the Class of 2018 made the NCAA Tournament in each of the four seasons that they played at BU. While not all of the players stuck around to play for all four years, Brandon Hickey did. He ascended to captain to cap off one of the most successful four-year runs in program history.

After the close of the 2017-2018 season, Hickey began his career with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, where he has scored 11 points in 61 games.

2018-2019: (D) Dante Fabbro and (F) Bobo Carpenter

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LEFT: Dante Fabbro. Photo by Gabi Turi. RIGHT: Bobo Carpenter. Photo by Gabi Turi.

Now we head into the Albie O’Connell Era with our most recent duo of captains. Bobo Carpenter became the first Terrier forward to wear a ‘C’ since Wade Meagan in 2012-2013. A Second Teamer as a junior who won nearly a dozen Top Performer awards, Carpenter became the newest member of the 100 Club wracking up 102 points as a steady center for the Terriers.

Carpenter missed just one game in his first three seasons as a Terrier. After a solid 16-point season as a freshman, Carpenter tallied 32 as a sophomore, including an eight-game point streak that stretched nearly the whole spring. As a junior, he led the team in goals, scored the empty-netter to seal BU’s Hockey East championship, and scored his first career hat trick on October 21, 2017, in a 6-3 win against UConn.

The injury bug plagued Carpenter as a senior as he missed 11 games, including 10 in his final semester. He still notched 19 points and scored his 100th point on January 25, 2019, against Arizona State, before the team fell in the conference semifinal to Northeastern.

Fabbro, a 2016 first round pick (17th-overall) of the Nashville Predators, was a Hockey East Second Teamer twice as a Terrier, all while earning two medals in the World Juniors and scoring 80 points in just three seasons at BU.

In Fabbro’s first two seasons as a Terrier, he notched 47 points, six Top Performer awards, an eight-game point streak from January 26 to February 17, 2018, and his first career hat trick on January 19, 2018, in a 4-3 win over Merrimack. Despite all of this, the best was yet to come.

As a Junior, Fabbro became the first non-senior Terrier to serve one season as captain since defender Kevin Shattenkirk served one year as captain as a junior in 2009-10. Fabbro led Hockey East in blocked shots with 82 while leading the Terriers with 26 assists in addition to having his first five-point game (4a, 1g against rival Merrimack).

After BU’s 2018-19 season ended the team’s four-year streak of winning seasons and NCAA Tournament berths, both captains departed. Fabbro embarked on his NHL journey. Through his first full season in 2019-2020, Fabbro has scored five goals and added six assists in 64 games working from the blue line in Nashville.

Meanwhile, Carpenter signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Islanders after four great seasons as a Terrier. He has scored five goals with 13 total points in 30 games with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

2019-2020: (F) Patrick Curry

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Photo by Ryan Gregory

The winger from Schaumburg, Ill. became the most recent Terrier to sport the “C” in another year of transition for the Terriers. Curry’s season as captain featured one of the youngest Terrier teams of recent years with 17 combined freshmen and sophomores on the roster. His development as a Terrier was slow and steady, and peaked in his senior season as the team’s 121st captain.

After playing every game as a freshman and recording 11 points, Curry’ sophomore season featured some downs and some major ups. Despite only playing in 30 games, he notched his first multi-goal game on October 21st, 2017, the same day Bobo Carpenter got his hat trick. He assisted on the game-winner versus Harvard in the 66th Beanpot semifinals, and scored the game-winner to take down arch-rival Boston College in the 2018 Hockey East semifinal, making some memorable moments of Curry’s sophomore season.

As a junior, Curry was one of just six Terriers to play in all 38 games, and he set new career-highs with 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points. Finally, as a senior with that big red “C” now resting on his left shoulder, Curry had an even better season to conclude his college career. With a career-high 19 goals, a seven-game point streak to open the season, another seven-game streak to close the season, two points in the thrilling 68th Beanpot semifinal versus BC, and a new career-high of 32 points, Curry’s swan song was a smash hit!

With the season cut short due to COVID-19, Curry and the Terriers did not play in the postseason. Nevertheless, Curry finished his career with his best year, and ended up with 79 career points. On March 26, 2020, Curry inked a two-year deal with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL to begin the next stage of his hockey career.

There you have it folks: each of Boston University’s last six captains! Terrier Nation cannot wait to return to Agganis Arena to see what Logan Cockerill has in store for his senior season. Hopefully, 12 months from now, there will be yet another fantastic story to add on to the history of the captains of the men’s hockey team.

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