BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. University of New Hampshire (Hockey East) February 19-20, 2016
ABOUT THE OPPONENT – All-Time Series: BU leads 104-52-19
Location – Durham, New Hampshire; Mascot – Wildcats; This Year’s Record – 10-15-5 (4-9-5 HEA); Fun Fact – Rematch of the 2015 Hockey East Semifinal Game, BU won 4-1 at TD Garden.
The Boston University Terriers will play their final home-and-home series of the season when they take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
BU is coming off a series split last weekend against UMass-Lowell. The Terriers won 2-1 in overtime at home last Friday before falling 6-3 at Lowell on Saturday.
“It was an emotional week last week,” said Terrier Head Coach David Quinn. “We let the momentum of the game get the best of us.”
UNH hosted Vermont last weekend for two games, only managing to take one point in a Saturday tie against the Catamounts.
The Wildcats are led by forwards Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher who have combined for 89 points this season and are both among the nation’s top five scorers. Poturalski is tied for second in the country with 22 goals and Kelleher is the national leader in assists with 34.
“They’re a team that counters and creates offensive transition,” said Coach Quinn. “They got a great first line, great power play. We’ve got to play an honest game. We just have to be thorough.”
On defense, Matias Cleland has scored three goals and added 19 assists, 13 coming on the power play. Cleland leads the Wildcats with 77 blocked shots and 28 PIM.
In goal for UNH will likely be Daniel Tirone. The sophomore boasts a .900 SV% and a 3.31 GAA in 27 games this season.
For Boston University, one of the offensive stars lately has been Jordan Greenway. The freshman forward is tied for fifth on the team with 19 points (5G, 14A) on the season. He is also a +15 and has taken 60 shots on goal in 30 games.
“[Jordan’s] been outstanding,” said Coach Quinn. “He’s learning and becoming more consistent. Back to back Rookie of the Week Awards is pretty impressive.”
On defense, Doyle Somerby has been one of the Terriers’ most consistent players all season. The junior has scored five goals, including three game-winners, and eight assists on the season. He leads the Terriers with 66 blocked shots and is a +10 this season.
The goaltender for BU will be a game time decision. Sean Maguire has seen most of the minutes this season and has had a terrific second half of the season. The senior has posted a .925 SV% and a 2.24 GAA in 18 games.
“This time of year I think everyone is playing playoff hockey,” said Coach Quinn. “Whether you’re trying to get home ice or win the league, there’s a lot on the line for everyone.”
Faceoff on Friday at the Whittemore Center is scheduled for 8:30 and can be seen live on NESN. Saturday night’s game is set for 7:00 p.m. and can be head live on WTBU.
The Boston University Terriers need to gain four points this weekend in order to put themselves in position to clinch a playoff bye. Against a defense as unpredictable as UNH, the main concern will be shutting down the Wildcats’ top line. If BU’s defense can hold, then the Terriers should sweep the weekend series.
BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
- Special Teams
UNH has a strong power play at 24.8%. The Terriers penalty kill has been improving, but needs to shut down the potent man-advantage unit for the Wildcats. At the same time, UNH struggles to kill penalties at 77.8%. BU needs to capitalize on any power play opportunity they get.
- Shots on Goal
UNH is -147 in shots this season while BU is +126. With shaky goaltending, BU needs to get ample shots on goal against the Wildcats’ goaltending units.
- Fast Start, Strong Finish
UNH is -8 in the third period and BU is +20. Additionally, BU is tough to beat when scoring first while UNH struggles to play from behind.