By Josh Hagwell
Over the next few weeks, each of this year’s participants in the Friendship Four will be featured in a brief article, helping the fans learn about the teams and what to expect in November. Next up, the Boston University Terriers.
The Boston University Terriers boast one of the most successful programs in the history of NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey. Since the inception of the program in 1917-18, Boston U. has garnered tremendous success, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament 36 times, advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four on 22 occasions, and claiming five NCAA Championships. In 1971 and 1972, Boston U. won back-to-back NCAA crowns – one of only four programs to accomplish the feat (Denver, Michigan and Minnesota have also claimed consecutive titles).
The Terriers success has translated into great individual success as well, with 82 former Terriers showcasing their skills at the game’s highest level – the National Hockey League. Former Terriers currently competing in the NHL include Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino, Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Greenway, and Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller. The alumni list also features Shane Johnson, Steve Thornton, and Chris Higgins, all of whom played in Belfast with the Giants for multiple years.
The long and storied history of Boston U. hockey is meshed into the very fabric of the sport as evidenced by numerous former Terriers enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The list includes former Terrier player and coach Jack Parker, along with Keith Tkachuk, Scot Young, Tony Amonte, Jack Garrity, and Jack Kelley. In addition, Mike Eurzione, Jim Craig, Jack O’Callahan, and Dave Silk all have been immortalized for their part in guiding the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team to the gold medal. The U.S. team beat the heavily favored Soviet Union, 4-3, in what is considered to be one of the greatest sporting events in history.
Players to Watch
Looking to this year’s team, the Terriers roster features 16 returnees from a squad that advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2017-18. Top returnees include Bobo Carpenter, who netted 20 goals as a junior in 2017-18; Shane Bowers, a Colorado draft pick, who scored 17 goals as a freshman; and defenseman Dante Fabbro, the Terriers top-scoring blueliner a year ago with 29 points, including nine goals. The Terriers should have no problems in goal as Dallas Stars first-round pick Jake Oettinger is back to man the pipes. Boston U. added seven newcomers this season, including graduate transfer Max Willman, who played at Brown University and participated in the Friendship Four in 2015 as a member of the Bears.
When asked about the Friendship Four Tournament, Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said, “This event is second only to our conference championships on our annual calendar. I know I speak for Steve Hagwell as well when I say that nothing in our professional careers is as rewarding as our continued participation in the friendship Four week.”