By: Dan Shulman
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Merrimack (Hockey East) October 30, 2015
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – North Andover, Massachusetts; Mascot – Warriors; Last Year’s Record – 16-18-4 (5-14-3), 9-4-2 at home; BU is 84-16-8 against Merrimack all-time, rematch of last season’s Hockey East Quarterfinals
The Boston University Terriers head up to the North Shore on Friday to take on the undefeated Merrimack Warriors at J. Thom Lawler Rink.
The Warriors are currently ranked seventeenth in the US College Hockey Online poll, while the Terriers sit at eighth.
The game will be the first of two meetings this season between the Hockey East rivals, with the second one coming at the end of January.
The last time the Terriers and the Warriors met was in the Hockey East Quarterfinals at Agganis Arena, where BU swept Merrimack, 6-2 and 5-0, respectively.
In Game 1, the Terriers outshot Merrimack 46-19 as the teams combined for 16 penalties. Evan Rodrigues had a game high four points while Robbie Baillargeon and Brien Diffley each had two points.
Game 2 saw each team take 11 penalties in a physical affair. BU held a 55-27 advantage in shots while Matt O’Connor recorded a shutout in goal and even had an assist on the game’s opening goal. Cason Hohmann scored twice to power the Terriers.
BU’s last visit to Lawler Rink ended in a 1-1 tie. In a game that saw 14 penalties, Matt Lane scored an early third period equalizer for the Terriers after Brett Seney netted the opening goal for the Warriors early in the second period.
This season, the Merrimack Warriors beat Clarkson, 7-1, and St. Lawrence, 3-1, in their opening two games. Last weekend, the Warriors and UMass-Lowell played a home-and-home series that saw both games end in a 1-1 tie.
Offensively, the Warriors are paced by Brian Christie, who has six points (2G, 4A) and carries a +4 rating on the young season. In goal, Collin Delia has been difficult to beat, posting a .953 save percentage and a 0.97 goals against average through four games.
Similar to previous meeting, expect a physical, penalty-filled affair on Friday night. The Terriers need to find a way past Collin Delia, and if the defense sits back against the potent Warrior offense, it could be a rough night for BU.
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Solve Collin Delia
- Just keep shooting pucks on net and hope one gets through, but make sure they are quality shots
- Win the physical battle
- The game, like all classic Merrimack-BU contests, will be physical. It is important for the Terriers to set the tone early but also stay disciplined
- Remain Poised
- Lawler Arena is a small, shoebox ice rink where the fans are loud and right on top of the play. The Terriers need to stay calm in order to come out the better team.