Men’s Ice Hockey: Terriers Look to Rebound Against Struggling Maine

BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Maine (Hockey East) January 22-23, 2016

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

Location – Orono, Maine; Mascot – Black Bears; This Year’s Record – 5-13-6 (2-6-2 HEA), 0-7-1 on the road, 124 all-time meetings, BU leads 61-50-13; Fun Fact – The two teams met in the 1995 National Championship Game, with BU winning 6-2.

PREGAME PODCAST: Listen Here

PREVIEW

The Boston University Terriers will look to rebound from a disappointing weekend series against Boston College as they take on the struggling Maine Black Bears in a home-and-home series this weekend.

BU mustered just one point in their Green Line Rivalry, falling on Friday before tying Saturday against BC.

Maine only scored one goal last weekend, losing 1-0 on Friday before tying 1-1 the next night against UConn at home. The Black Bears then hosted Quinnipiac on Tuesday in their fifth of six straight home games, tying the Bobcats 3-3.

The two teams last met in November of 2014 as BU won both games in a split home-and-home series. The Terriers won 3-1 at Alfond Arena in Orono before winning an overtime thriller in Boston despite falling behind by two after two periods, 3-2.

This season, Maine has struggled to produce offensively, scoring only 43 goals this season. 15 of those goals have come from leading scorers Will Merchant and Steven Swavely. Merchant leads the Black Bears with 13 points while Swavely leads the team with 107 shots on goal this season.

Defensively, Dan Renouf is the team’s top blue-liner, earning a team-high +2 rating this season along with five goals and seven assists.

The goaltender for Maine this season has been an uncertainty, as both Rob McGovern and Matt Morris have played 13 games this season. Despite sub-3.00 GAAs for both goalies, the duo have only scraped together five wins, four of which belong to Morris.

For Boston University, undrafted senior Matt Lane is making his final year a memorable one, tied for the team lead with 11 goals. Lane has added six assists and is a team-high +12 this season.

Sophomore forward Nikolas Olsson will not be suiting up this weekend after sustaining an upper body injury last Friday at BC. Olsson has played only 14 games this season and collected just four assists.

On defense, Matt Grzelcyk has continued to stay red-hot, recording 12 points (7G, 5A) in just 10 games this season.

Senior goaltender Sean Maguire has played all four games so far in the second half for BU, and five straight overall. Maguire boasts a .908 SV% and a 2.72 GAA in 10 games this season.

Puck drop on Friday at Alfond Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and for 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at Agganis Arena. Both games can be heard live on TSRN.

PREDICTION

The Terriers are frustrated after earning just one league point in two games against BC, and will look to take their frustration out on Maine. In two must-win games, the Terriers will take a close game at Maine on Friday before dismantling the Black Bears in Boston on Saturday, earning four crucial points in Hockey East.

BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

  1. Power Play

The Black Bears penalty kill is an abysmal 78.6%, and with the Terriers converting on nine of their last 25 power plays along with Maine averaging 14.2 PIM per game, the Terriers need to have a strong weekend on the man-advantage

  1. Fast Start

Maine is -11 in the first period and has only won twice when allowing the first goal. It is important for BU to set the tone early and force Maine to play from behind.

  1. Remain Disciplined

In addition to taking penalties, Maine forces its opponents to make frequent trips to the sin bin, with Black Bear opponents averaging 11.2 PIM per game. The Terriers need to remain disciplined in order to beat Maine.

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