By: Jake Reiser
BOSTON — With the weather cooling down, hockey season is beginning to kick into action, and the Boston University Terriers are looking for another stellar season after last year’s disappointing finish.
With that, Hockey East held their annual Media Day in the Legends Club at TD Garden last Monday, September 21st. All twelve teams had their coaches and some players in attendance, including the Terriers. After sitting down with forwards Danny O’Regan and Matt Lane, and coach David Quinn, here are three things BU fans should expect for the 2015-16 Terrier hockey season.
Great Debate in Net
With Matt O’Connor’s departure to the Ottawa Senators, David Quinn is left with a grueling decision as to who to start in net.
On the roster is sophomore Connor LaCouvee, a backup last year who went 3-4-1 with a 2.58 GAA, senior Sean Maguire, returning after battling concussion issues that kept him out all last season, and even freshman netminder Max Prawdzik, the 2015 ISL Hockey League MVP who posted a 1.25 GAA in his senior year at The Brooks School.
With only a few days left before the season, Coach Quinn is not sure yet who to play in net for the year, but will decide as the season begins.
“My plan is to play the best goalie,” Coach Quinn stated. “We pay attention to everything in practice, we have depth at the goaltending position, and the guy who’s playing the best will play.”
Quinn needs to make a decision and soon; indecisiveness about goaltending can haunt a team for a whole season.
Incoming Freshman Class
Both upperclassman Danny O’Regan and Matt Lane re-iterated their excitement about this incoming freshman recruit class, despite losing phenom Jack Eichel and seniors Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues.
“You know they’ve all come from great programs,” Matt Lane said, “and our coaches do such a great job at recruiting, so, there’s no doubt in our mind that there is a good class coming in, and that they’ll be good contributors to our team.”
The class is headlined by two NHL second-round picks in last year’s NHL Entry Draft Jordan Greenway and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson.
A big power winger, Greenway knows how to throw his body around and move the puck around the ice.
“JFK,” as he’s affectionately known, gives BU a second year of being deep at the center position. With a high hockey IQ, he can turn a nothing play into something and can lead the way in scoring.
Greenway was drafted 50th overall by the Minnesota Wild, and Forsbacka Karlsson was taken 45th overall by the Boston Bruins.
The Terriers will also maintain depth on the blue line with two defensemen who could figure their way into the starting lineup, Charlie McAvoy and Shane Switzer.
An offensively-minded defenseman, McAvoy is regarded as a very smart defender for his size. He’ll bring a lot of grit and defensive authority deep into the Terrier team.
Menwhile, Switzer will bring a dominant transition game with smooth puck moving abilities, being able to set up forwards up the ice with the best chances.
Last year’s freshman class led the Terriers to the Frozen Four final, and while this year’s class is not as glamorous as 2014 without a diamond like Eichel, it has a wealth of tools at its disposal to contend for another playoff run.
Red Hot Hockey
After a year’s hiatus, the Terriers return to a classic tournament against out-of-conference rival Cornell, as “Red Hot Hockey” will take over Madison Square Garden on November 28th.
Boston University holds a 3-0-1 record in the annual neutral site game, winning in the inaugural year of 2007, as well as in 2011 and 2013. The teams tied in 2009.
According to the joint press release between Boston University and Cornell University, the teams’ first ever game was on Jan. 10, 1925, where the Terriers thumped the “Big Red” 7-2, and had a fierce rivalry until BU left the ECAC to join Hockey East.
Tickets have already gone on sale for the event, but do not be surprised if they sell out fast.
The year is certainly looking exciting already as the first exhibition game will be on October 3rd against Acadia, followed by the regular season opener a week later at Union.