By: Dan Shulman
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. University of Connecticut (Hockey East) October 24th & 27th
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – Storrs, Connecticut; Mascot – Huskies; Last Year’s Record – 10-19-7 (7-11-4 HE); 3-11-3 on the road, 5-6-3 at home; Fun Fact – This is UConn’s second season in Hockey East…BU holds a 2-0-1 record vs. the Huskies
The Boston University Terriers Men’s Ice Hockey Team will open up Hockey East play this weekend as they host University of Connecticut on Saturday.
The Terriers will play a disjointed home-and-home series with the Huskies, travelling to Connecticut, Tuesday, to wrap up the season series.
The Terriers have faced UConn three times, winning twice. The lone tie came last season at Agganis Arena, as BU battled back to take a late lead before UConn tied the game with just under four minutes to go in regulation leading to a 4-4 score line.
Connor LaCouvee got the nod in net for the Terriers in that game, making 22 saves. For the Huskies, Shawn Pauly and Trevor Gerling scored twice and had two assists each. Goaltender Rob Nichols recorded 30 saves.
Two weeks later, the teams met again at XL Center in Hartford as the Terriers shutdown UConn in a 5-2 rout. BU forward Ahti Oksanen had three points in the game and fired nine shots on goal.
This season, the Huskies enter the contest at 2-1-0. Following a split on the road against Alabama-Huntsville, a series where both teams earned a 5-2 victory, the Huskies hosted Arizona State last Friday, winning 5-1.
UConn is led by freshman Max Letunov and sophomore Spencer Naas. Letunov, originally a BU recruited, committed to UConn in the summer and has been the star so far for the Huskies, registering three goals and three assists. Naas, who was third a season ago with 17 points, has two goals and two assists so far in 2015-16.
BU is fresh off their first win of the season over Wisconsin last Saturday. The victory saw ten different Terriers record a point, including freshman Bobo Carpenter’s first career goal.
The Terriers will look to stick to their winning ways as they start Hockey East competition.
The Terriers will struggle in the opening period Saturday, as the speed of UConn will be difficult to slow down. However, the Terriers are definitely more physical and the Huskies prolific offense has yet to be given a real test. With BU’s improving defense, the teams should play a close game on Saturday before the Terriers take home a big win on Tuesday.
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Shut down the Huskies offense
- so far, the Huskies have played a weak schedule. The Terriers must keep a confident UConn team off the scoreboard in order to bring the Huskies back to earth
- Play Physical, Yet Disciplined
- UConn is a small but fast team. The only way to slow them down is to play physically. Still, the Terriers must remain disciplined as last year’s draw came as a result of a UConn equalizer on the power-play.
- Test the Huskies goaltender
- regardless of who starts in net (likely Rob Nichols), the Terriers need to fire pucks on goal to test the goaltending, which currently has a combined 2.67 GAA and a 0.884 SV%.