Future is Now For BU Duo
by Marisa Ingemi/CHN Reporter
BOSTON Another year, another slew of stud freshmen littering the Boston University roster. That also means, another year of turnover.
The Terriers have lost the likes of Charlie McAvoy, Doyle Somerby, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Clayton Keller to the NHL. Tons of new players are scattered throughout the lineup, most of the blue-chip variety, but maybe more importantly, last year’s freshmen have larger roles.
Patrick Harper, who began his freshman season with a bang, scored twice on the Terriers’ opening night against Union. His teammate and fellow Nashville Predators draft pick, Dante Fabbro, also lit the lamp with a game-winning power-play goal.
Harper connected with Fabbro on a cross-ice pass to find him atop the circle to give BU a 2-1 lead and eventual victory.
“There aren’t many players at this level who can do that,” said coach David Quinn. “Fabbro’s got a great one-timer and he doesn’t waste any time getting rid of it. When you can cross that seam, you’re going to shoot it.”
Fabbro was banged up at times last season, but when he was healthy, he showed what a force he could be working the point, especially on the man advantage. He had 18 points last season, and is looking to build off of that as a member of the top pair this year.
That power-play goal had Fabbro and the Terriers happy for that game winner, but also the message it sent; that BU power play is back, and the blueliner is one of the keys.
“Last year we struggled a lot because we held on to the puck too long, and we weren’t getting shots off,” Fabbro said. “The mentality this year is 'shoot the puck,' find those seams no matter what, and just get the rebounds and keep attacking the net.”
Last season, Harper had 13 goals and 24 assists. He slumped midseason after his stellar start, but bounced back into form. He’s going to be relied upon in his sophomore campaign, and so far it seems like that’s good news for the Terriers.
“I just held it [the puck] and tried to read the coverage,” Harper said. “[Fabbro] did a real good job of finding that seam and I just hit him. It was a great bang-bang play and it was really clutch on Dante’s part.”
That Harper-to-Fabbro connection has not only Terrier fans excited, but the Preds as well. Both players are back at BU for another season, but the current and future teammates seem to have that perfect chemistry for the next level.
“Practice makes perfect,” Fabbro said. “We only worked on it a couple of times, we felt good about it. We made a switch between the second and third by putting me and [Harper] on opposite sides and we built off of that.”
David Farrance was another Preds prospect who hit the ice for the first time in the Terrier scarlet and white, and the freshman skated as the seventh defenseman, making it three potential Predators on the roster.
But for Fabbro and Harper, that year of chemistry already has them on the same page and ready to cause havoc on the Agganis ice for at least another year.
Things are far from perfect for a Terriers squad that has a lot of new faces and dynamics. But, it’s a positive first step to start out 1-0, and for sophomores like Fabbro, who are being looked to as leaders already, that group seems to have that part down.
“We just got to build off things and you really get to test out your abilities in games so I think we can definitely fix a few things on the penalty kill in practice and moving on to tomorrow as well, but I thought we were pretty solid throughout the whole game,” he said.