By: Dan Shulman
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. U.S. Under 18 Team (exhibition), Friday, October 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – Plymouth, Michigan; Fun Fact – The NTDP has faced three NCAA opponents this season, going 1-1-1 thus far…BU is 5-0-1 vs. NTDP all time
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Wisconsin (non-conference), Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – Madison, Wisconsin; Mascot – Badgers; Last Year’s Record – 4-26-5 (1-11-1 in first half of last season) 0-1-1 vs. BU last season; Fun Fact – Terriers are 11-6-1 vs. Wisconsin all time
The Boston University Men’s Ice Hockey Team will look to put its dismal season opening loss to Union behind them as they host the U.S. Under 18 Team in their final exhibition on Friday before returning to regular season play on Saturday against Wisconsin.
The Terriers played both opponents last season. They defeated the NTDP on October 18th, 2014 by a score of 6-4. BU then took three points out of four from Wisconsin in January, tying 3-3 the first game and winning 6-1 the following night.
The NTDP fell behind 4-1 to BU at Agganis before Auston Matthews and Jeremy Bracco woke up, recording three points each to cut the deficit to one. But the Terriers were too much and held the duo in check for the remainder of the night.
This season, the U.S. Under 18 Team is extremely talented, highlighted by current 3 Terrier commits: forward Clayton Keller (4G, 9A), forward Kieffer Bellows (7G, 2A), and defenseman Chad Krys (0G, 5A). Their starting goaltender Jake Oettinger is also a Boston University commit, and he’ll get to see what life in Agganis is like when he stares down the Terrier attack.
After falling to Northern Michigan 4-0 on October 3rd, the NTDP rallied to beat Lake Superior State 2-1 in overtime the following night. The Under 18 Team most recently played to a 2-2 tie at Notre Dame on Sunday, the 11th.
The Terriers had a difficult bout with Wisconsin on January 9 in Madison last season. Ahti Oksanen scored two goals for BU with their own net empty in the third period to force a tie with the Badgers.
The next night, Wisconsin took an early second period lead before the wheels fell off. Behind Jack Eichel, BU netted six unanswered goals to down the Badgers.
Wisconsin has just three seniors on an extremely young roster this season. Junior Grant Besse, last season’s leading point-getter for the Badgers, returns from his eleven goal campaign. Both goaltenders from last year’s squad have graduated, and a void at goaltending remains.
Wisconsin battled Northern Michigan last weekend to a pair of ties. Besse scored with 42 seconds remaining in the first game and the Badgers scored three unanswered third period goals in the second contest to fend off the Wildcats.
The Terriers will try to right the ship against two young opponents before opening Hockey East play next weekend vs. UConn.
BU defeats NTDP 3-2…this will be a test for the Terriers, but the experience and talent of BU should be enough to down the Under 18 Team
BU defeats Wisconsin 5-1…this game should be a confidence booster for the Terriers, who should easily outplay the Badgers who will be coming off a tough game vs. BC the previous night
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Energy – the Terriers are going to need to stay energized against the youthful NTDP and Wisconsin as both are dangerous third period teams
- Defend, Defend, Defend – the defense suffered several lapses vs. Union, and will have to remain focused and solid to keep both opponents off the scoresheet
- Get Pucks in the Net – without last season’s leading scorers, the Terriers need to find new ways to score using a more physical and balanced approach