By: Daniel Shulman
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Union; Regular Season Game 1; Saturday October 10, 2015
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – Schenectady, New York; Mascot – Dutchmen; Last Year’s Record – 19-18-2 (8-13-1 ECAC), 4-1-1 vs. Hockey East, 6-8-1 at home; Miscellany – Union began last season with five straight wins
SCHENECTADY, New York — The Boston University Terriers Men’s Ice Hockey Team opens its regular season with a trip to the Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York to take on Union on Saturday.
This game will mark the second all-time meeting between BU and Union, with the first coming last January at Agganis Arena. The two sides played to a 3-3 draw as BU was without the services of Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel, who was playing at the World Junior Tournament.
The Union Dutchmen, 2014 National Champions, is a young and talented team. Despite a late season surge a year ago, the Dutchmen were dumped by Quinnipiac in the ECAC Quarterfinals and subsequently failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Union will open their 2015-16 regular season on October 9th when they host Sacred Heart.
The Dutchmen are led by junior forward Mike Vecchione, who recorded 50 points (19G, 31A) in his sophomore campaign. Meanwhile, on the blue line, junior Jeff Taylor returns to pace the defense and add an additional scoring touch.
In goal, Alex Sakellaropoulos, who played against BU last season, looks to be a denizen between the pipes for Union this season. Coming off his sophomore season, Sakellaropoulos played in 14 games last year, posting a 3.07 goals against average and a .894 save percentage.
The Terriers will hope to record their first win of the season against the Dutchmen. With the loss of Jack Eichel, BU will hope to find a similar spark for the new campaign.
Last weekend, BU dispatched Canadian heavyweight Acadia 4-2. Freshman Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson scored twice to in the third period to lift the Terriers over the Axemen.
In addition to Karlsson, the defense looked solid, despite allowing two goals early in the first period. Returning all six starters from last season with the addition of two freshman, the blue line looks to be the deepest asset of the team.
BU is looking to start their season on a high note before Hockey East play begins.
BU wins 5-3 – The Terriers will have their struggles with the Union offense, but should provide some firepower of their own. The game could also feature a plethora of power play goals.
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Stay out of the penalty box, make them take the penalties
- Union 19.7% power play was among the top units in the ECAC
- Their 80.3% penalty kill last season was one of the lowest in the conference
- Test Sakellaropoulos
- The goalie was shaky last season, put pucks on net often
- Take an early lead
- Union struggled to play from behind, going 3-10-1 when trailing after a period