By: Dan Shulman
BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Cornell (Red Hot Hockey) November 28, 2015
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Location – Ithaca, New York; Mascot – Big Red; This Year’s Record – 6-1-1 (4-1-1 ECAC), 3-0-1 on the road, 42nd all-time meeting, Cornell leads 22-18-2; Fun Fact – This is the fifth edition of Red Hot Hockey, with BU holding a 3-0-1 record in the contest
The Boston University Terriers will make the trip down to the Big Apple this weekend, facing Cornell at Madison Square Garden in the biennial Red Hot Hockey.
After splitting a weekend series at home against Michigan, the Terriers dispatched the Bentley Falcons on Tuesday, 3-0, outshooting their Atlantic Hockey opponent 47-15 in the process.
Cornell, following a scoreless tie at Yale on Friday, the Big Red traveled Providence, Rhode Island, skating off with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Brown Bears. Cornell is currently holding a shutout streak that extends back over 8 periods.
The last time these two teams met was back on November 30, 2013 at MSG. The Terriers defeated Cornell by a margin of 3-2. Despite only recording 11 shots on goal, BU, led by the goaltending play of Matt O’Connor, fought off a late comeback from Cornell to remain undefeated in Red Hot Hockey.
This season, Cornell is led offensively by forward Jeff Kubiak. The junior has registered nine points (3G, 6A) in eight games to go along with a +8 rating. Freshman Anthony Angello leads the team with four goals this season on only 15 shots. Angello is also a +7 and has three assists as well.
Defensively, the Big Red are anchored by the top defensive pair of Alec McCrea and Patrick McCarron. The two have combined for eight points (2G, 6A) this season and are a +6 and +4 respectively.
Between the pipes for Cornell will be Mitch Gillam. The junior net-minder has played in every game for the Big Red and bolsters a .938 save percentage coupled with his 1.59 goals against average. As a team, Cornell is fifth in the nation in goals against per game with a stout margin of 1.594.
On the other side, the eleventh-ranked Terriers are led by assistant captain Danny O’Regan. The senior forward sits tied for fourth in the nation with 17 points and third nationally with 13 assists. Fellow senior Ahti Oksanen leads the Terriers in goals with seven on the year from an NCAA leading 66 shots on goal.
Defensively, BU is led by junior Doyle Somerby, who has scored two goals over the past three games and has eight points on the year.
Senior captain Matt Grzelcyk is expected to return to lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a minor knee injury. Grzelcyk sustained the injury on Saturday when he slid awkwardly into the boards chasing a Michigan forward.
In net for the Terriers will likely be Connor LaCouvee. After making way for senior Sean Maguire on Tuesday, the sophomore earned some much need rest, as he had appeared in every game since October 27. LaCouvee holds a .917 SV% and a 2.63 GAA in ten appearances this season.
Puck drop on Saturday is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and can be heard live on WTBU.
BU got a much needed confidence booster on Tuesday with a shutout of Bentley. However, Cornell is coming off back-to-back shutouts of their own. It should be a low scoring game, and the team who scores first will come away with a victory.
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Get Pucks on Net
Cornell is very even with its opponents in shots on goal this season; both don’t record too many. More shots on net means more chances to score, especially against an impressive goalie like Gillam.
- Second Period Play
Cornell’s best period is the second, outscoring opponents 12-6. Conversely, BU has struggled in the second period, being outscored 13-11. The Terriers need to improve their play in the second period against the Big Red.
- Don’t Be Awestruck
For many Terriers, this will be the first time they play Cornell in MSG. It is important for BU to not be taken aback by the environment.