As the Boston University Terriers continue their second-half tear, it’s easy to point to positives.
One of those positives is undoubtedly sophomore center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson.
With seven goals in his last four games, the alternate captain is showing signs of life after a slow start to the season. His goal in the third period on the power play against Boston College on Monday night sealed a victory.
“Tonight I thought we were much quicker and more alert,” head coach David Quinn said of his man-up unit. “Our power play delivered big. As important as your percentage is, the timing of a power play goal is equally important. If you’re going to have success, your special teams better be good.”
JFK got going in the January 5th game against Union, where the Terriers were without seven players with USA and Canada at the World Junior Championships. The Boston Bruins second round draft pick went off to score a hat trick, including the overtime game winner.
As if that wasn’t enough, Forsbacka-Karlsson scored two goals at Frozen Fenway against UMass en route to a Terriers 5-2 victory. None might have been more important than his third period tally against the Eagles, however.
“I think we’ve played a more mature game over the last six games, we’re healthy too," said Quinn. "We were down [Clayton] Keller, [Ryan] Cloonan, and [Nikolas] Olsson for over a month, and those are three good players. You insert them back into the lineup and all of a sudden, your forward group looks totally different."
With four key points against first place Boston College, the Terriers move into second place in the conference standings, behind the Eagles. Both with four losses, BU has two games in hand, and trail by just three points, effectively controlling their own destiny.
Part of that sudden swing has to do with the recent winning streak, with the emergence of JFK and other secondary scorers such as Kieffer Bellows, who has taken off following a first half of the season where he was benched more than once, and freshman Patrick Curry, who also scored on Monday night.
As leaders like JFK continue to play well, the rest of the team has followed suit, and the Terriers find themselves in a position they can control.
“We’re young, we’re growing, we’re getting more mature, we’re getting better,” said Quinn. “I think you add all that up, and we’re in the midst of six game winning streak.”