Frozen Fenway BU Vs. UMass Notes: Sun Provides Unique Challenges For Players

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BOSTON — Sunday was a beautiful, sunny winter day, but that did create some challenges for an outdoor hockey game.

The sun was a factor for both No. 5 Boston University and UMass when the teams took the ice for pregame warmups prior to Game 1 of the Frozen Fenway Hockey East doubleheader, and the sun/shadow differential continued in the first period.

“For the first period, it was interesting because it was kind of like that shadow in baseball,” BU coach David Quinn said. “You know that 4 o’clock start here at Fenway, you got that shadow and we had it in the hockey game. Half of the ice had sun and the other half was covered in shadows.”

But that can be part of the outdoor hockey experience, one that both teams couldn’t say enough about after the Terriers’ 5-3 win over the Minutemen.

“Many times on the bench I just stopped, looked around and tried to soak it in as much as I could,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “The last TV timeout I said the same to our players. They were intense and they were battling, and I said, ‘Just take a second, guys, and soak this in. This is awesome.’ I’ve done a lot of really fun things in hockey. I’ve watched a Stanley Cup rolled into the rink, and this was right up there with it.”

Check out some more notes from BU-UMass below.

— We hope Boston Bruins fans were glued to this game, as B’s prospects Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Charlie McAvoy both played huge roles for BU in its win.

Forsbacka Karlsson scored the game’s first two goals, the first of which came on a great individual effort.

“A lot of people have asked me what’s the difference between him from last year, and I think it’s his skating,” Quinn said of Forsbacka Karlsson. “He’s a little bit more agile, a little bit more elusive. Slippery is another good word to use. The thing it looks like he’s done is he’s picked up a half a step of quickness.”

“He’s got the ability to take a guy wide and cut into the net, which he did on the first goal and he’s been doing consistently throughout the year. He’s just, you want to talk about an elite player and an elite person, he’s as good as everyone thinks he is and he’s probably a little bit better.”

McAvoy, who also starred for Team USA in the World Junior Championship, then put BU up 3-0 with a power-play goal. McAvoy is from Long Beach, N.Y., but that didn’t make this moment any less special.

“Kind of like coach eluded to, I’m a New York kid and obviously I grew up a New York sports fans,” he said. “But then you get to Boston and before I was even a Bruins draft pick I’d been to Fenway. It’s such a storied building and such a great city. You kind of take on a little allegiance to the Sox there. … But playing here was a blast and something I’ll remember for a long time.”

— Special teams were huge in this game. Ray Pigozzi scored a short-handed goal for UMass, but the Minutemen failed on all five of their power-play opportunities due to BU’s impressive penalty kill. The Terriers, meanwhile, converted on one of their five power plays.

— Terriers netminder Jake Oettinger made 26 saves, while the Minutemen’s Ryan Wischow stopped 25 shots.

— The big games keep coming for BU with a home-and-home with rival Boston College next weekend. UMass will return to Amherst, Mass., for a home game against UMass Lowell on Saturday.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Cam_McDonough

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