Boston University spent much of last night’s Hockey East game against Providence College wondering if it would ever snap its scoreless streak against the Friars. That was before Terrier defenseman Chad Krys broke through, scoring twice in a 1:37 span in the final period as BU took a 2-0 victory at Agganis Arena.
BU (4-4-1 overall, 2-1-1 Hockey East), which lost, 3-0, at Providence last Saturday, ended a scoreless span of more than 5½ periods against the Friars (5-3, 2-2).
“I didn’t care how we did it, I didn’t care what the score was, I didn’t care how it looked,” BU coach David Quinn said. “We needed to win. We needed it to feel good about ourselves. We’ve been a little bit fragile mentality and, obviously, our start wasn’t what we wanted. I thought we were a step slow, but after we killed some penalties in the first, we started playing better and spending some time in the offensive zone, and the next two periods we played much better.”
Providence dominated early, taking a 13-1 shot advantage, Jacob Bryson hitting the post. But BU goalie Jake Oettinger kept the Terriers in contention, making 15 of his 31 saves in the opening period.
But BU remained resilient, gaining momentum late in the opening period, sparked by a Jordan Greenway-Bobo Carpenter near miss in a short-handed situation. The Terriers went on an 8-0 shot run, though Providence had the best chance late in the opening period as a Greg Printz shot was saved.
Both teams’ power play struggled as the Terriers outshot the Friars, 14-7, in the second period. PC threatened early in the period as Brian Pinho went in alone on Oettinger in a short handed situation.
“Kind of got the feeling the first team that was going to score was really going to take hold of that game, and it happened to be them,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “We hit a couple posts, they had a couple go in, and I thought that was difference in the game.
“I thought we had a great first 6-7 minutes and then we showed some immaturity. We thought the game was going to come easy to us. We were working hard and causing them to take penalties to get power plays and then our second unit got so out-worked. You’re not going to win on the road if you don’t win speciality teams and we didn’t do that.”
Krys took command with spectacularly efficient finishes for his first two goals of the season. First, Krys slammed a one-timer from the left circle off a Patrick Harper feed at 7:18 of the final period. Krys started the sequence from his left defense position, taking possession and advancing through the neutral zone, then playing a give-and-go with Harper.
“I honestly didn’t even look at the net,” Krys said. “I just shot it right away.”
On the second goal, Krys had a chance to see plenty of the net, advancing through the left circle, then putting a backhander past Hayden Hawkey at 8:55.
“Shoot enough, some are going to go in the net,” Krys said. “I haven’t had that much luck lately. I think we were rewarded for how we played in the second and third period.”
But Providence retaliated, nearly cutting the deficit as Scott Conway’s attempt went past Oettinger’s glove side, hitting the right post.
“The last couple weekends I don’t think we’ve been as good as we know we are, and so it’s nice to get a couple bounces and get rewarded,” Oettinger said. “Huge team win for us and we’re going to look to keep it going tomorrow night [against Northeastern].”
This was BU’s first win over the Friars in Boston since a 4-3 victory on Nov. 1, 2013.
“If we can find ways to win while we’re trying to figure out how to be productive offensively, we’re going to be a really good team,” Quinn said. “Sometimes we get immature about how you create offense at this level. I still don’t think we pass nearly enough — we tend to lug it too much. We’ve got to play faster, we’ve got to play smart.”