clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oettinger, Terriers Pitch Shutout to Finish BC Sweep

Patrick Curry scored the game-winning goal in Boston University’s 3-0 win over Boston College on Monday night at Conte Forum.
John Corneau/SB Nation

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Any time Boston University and Boston College take the ice, the difference in the game is minuscule.

Such was the case again Monday night at Conte Forum. This time though, the major difference this time was goaltender Jake Oettinger.

Offense was hard to come by on this night, but the freshman made 14 of his 34 stops in the third period to lift the No. 5 Terriers to a 3-0 win, their sixth straight victory in more than a month’s time and fifth shutout of the season.

“That felt like playoff hockey out there tonight, and there wasn’t a lot of easy ice,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “Two teams competing hard. … Not a surprise when our two teams meet, because there’s usually a goalie pulled at the end and it comes down to a bounce here or there.”

The Commonwealth Avenue rivals had combined to score just six goals over their last three meetings. After Friday’s 2-1 win, the bounces added up to the Terriers completing their first Hockey East regular-season sweep of this series since 2001-02.

As Quinn alluded to, special teams also played a major role for BU in a game with such limited, high-quality offense. The Terriers scored all three of their goals on the power play, with freshman Patrick Curry and sophomores Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter lighting the lamp.

“Jake came up big when he had to, special teams were big and we kept them off the scoreboard on the penalty kill, and our power play gets a huge goal at the key time,” Quinn said. “We’re fortunate, but with that being said I thought we played a lot better tonight than we did Friday.”

BC had the better of the play in the first period, holding a 14-8 shot advantage. Oettinger pitched a clean sheet in the frame, with six blocked shots also helping the cause.

This final result was the Lakeville, Minn., native’s second during BU’s present winning streak and the team’s first since Nov. 13, 2011 against the Eagles. He is also one of just four goaltenders, and the only freshman, in Division 1 college hockey with four shutouts on the season.

The first period also featured some of BC’s best offense, with senior Ryan Fitzgerald totaling four of the Eagles’ 14 shots on goal. Senior defenseman Scott Savage set up the assistant captain from North Reading, Mass., at the front of the net, but Oettinger recovered strongly to make a pad stop at the back door.

From there, BU beared down over the final two periods, holding its opponent to just six on goal in the second and just three chances in prime territory in the third.

“Our defensemen, I think they did a great job of making it easy on me,” Oettinger said. “I don’t think I had to make too many big, Grade-A saves. Me doing my job is making simple saves and trying to be calm and be there for the guys.”

The Terriers notched the game’s first goal in the midst of a dominating second frame over which they held a 12-6 shot advantage as Curry scored his third of the season at the 7:26 marker.

After Kieffer Bellows forced a turnover at the center of the offensive zone, Curry ― who becomes the tenth of BU’s top 11 scorers to net a power-play goal this season ― opened up space in the slot and fired a wrister past BC’s Joseph Woll.

“He’s a really good hockey player, and he’s fit in right from the get-go,” Quinn said of Curry. “He’s got skill, good soft hands and he works hard. It was a heck of a shot, a quick release. Any time you get the first one in this series, it makes your life a little bit easier.”

The final frame was probably the night’s most even as it took the Terriers until the final minute to extend their lead. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson doubled BU’s lead with his seventh goal in four games and tenth of the season with 57.4 seconds remaining, taking freshman Clayton Keller’s feed and bouncing the puck off Woll.

Sophomore Bobo Carpenter added an empty-net tally at the 19:46 mark, coasting ahead into the offensive zone off a feed from Jordan Greenway.

Since rattling off a ten-game unbeaten streak in October and November, the Eagles are just 4-7-1. Despite seeing their first-place cushion dwindle, this home-and-home set was a learning experience for head coach Jerry York’s club.

“I thought for our young team, we matured and we played pretty well over the weekend, but pretty well is not going to win big series,” York said. “A lot of times, goals come from second-chance opportunities and screens in front, power plays, but it was just a difficult series for us to score goals.”