Previewing 2018-19 Men’s Hockey: Boston University

boston college men's hockey

Boston College men’s hockey will face rival Boston University (4-6-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East) this weekend in what’s famously known as the Battle of Comm Ave. It will be a home-and-home conference series this weekend for the Eagles (3-6-1, 3-1-1) and Terriers, which should make for an exciting environment as both fan sections will likely be filled and ready to cheer on the two longtime competitors.

BC saw its four-game unbeaten streak come to an end last week against Bentley, suffering an uncharacteristic 4-2 loss. It was the sixth-longest streak nationally and the second-longest in Hockey East, which could motivate the Eagles to bring their A-game against BU. The Terriers just competed in the annual Friendship Four in Belfast, Northern Ireland, last weekend, where they beat Connecticut and then lost to Union in the title game.

Who is BC playing?
Boston University

When is BC playing?
Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?
Friday: Agganis Arena, Boston, Mass.
Saturday: Kelley Rink, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:
The game will be televised on NESN and TSN on Friday night. On Saturday night, the game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) David Cotton, Julius Mattila, and Logan Hutsko, BC’s first line, have a combined 10 goals and 14 assists across the last five games, combining for a +5 rating over the same span. The trio has accounted for 55 percent of the team’s total points and two thirds of the scoring output.

2) Cotton holds the national lead in goals per game, with 10 goals in 10 games this season. He leads the Hockey East with 1.4 points per game and is also fourth in shots on goal per contest, with an average of 3.7 shots.

3) BC ranks 11th in the country in combined special teams, boasting a 54.4 percent success rate. The Eagles—tied for 20th on the penalty kill—shut down 18 of the 19 power plays that they faced during their four-game unbeaten streak.

BU:

1)  Junior defenseman Dante Fabbro—the 17th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft—leads the Terriers with 12 points on three goals and nine assists. He has 10 points over the last seven games this season.

2) The Terriers are converting 20 percent of their power plays so far this season and are at 70.6 percent on the penalty kill. These marks rank third and 11th in the conference, respectively.

3) Junior goalkeeper Jake Oettinger has started 10 of BU’s 11 games and was recently named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week after stopping 75 of the 77 shots he faced in the Friendship Four.

Last Meeting:

The teams last met in the Hockey East semifinals last year, a game in which BU won in overtime, 4-3. The Terriers won the season series, 2-1, and have claimed five of the last seven matchups against the Eagles. Overall, the two teams are an even 5-5-1 in the last 11 contests. Boston College is 3-1-1 in its last five games at Agganis Arena, including a 4-1 league victory last season. This will be the 278th and 279th time the two teams meet in the Battle of Comm Ave.

Outlook:

The Eagles need to work together and be more efficient on the offensive end of the ice. BC currently sits at 50th in the nation in goals per game (2.10), seven spots behind its weekend opponent. Head coach Jerry York’s team has relied on Cotton’s line pretty heavily—it’s performed well so far and will need to continue to find the net. Eagles goaltender Joseph Woll has been pretty solid at protecting the net, but BC still needs to be more cautious on the ice and limit silly mistakes.

BU could pose a major threat to the Eagles, especially starting off the series on its home ice. Oettinger is strong in goal, especially as of late, and could be a problem for BC if it can’t find a way past him. These two long-standing rivals will make for a great matchup this weekend, and after losing to Bentley, starting this year’s Green Line rivalry off on the right foot would certainly help the Eagles get back on track.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Senior Staff