Men’s Hockey: BU Opens 2016-17 at Colgate

BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. U.S. Under-18 Team (exhibition) — October 6; Colgate (non-league) — October 8

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

Location – USA (Plymouth, Michigan), Colgate (Hamilton, New York); Mascot – USA (N/A), Colgate (Raiders); Last Year’s Record – USA (22-31-7), Colgate (11-24-2), 11-20-0 vs. BU all-time; Fun Fact – USA earned 8 victories over NCAA D-I opponents last season; Colgate is unbeaten in its last three home-openers

PREVIEW

The Boston University Terriers have one final exhibition game this Thursday against the U.S. Under 18 Team before taking opening the regular season at Colgate University on Saturday.

The Terriers fell, 7-4, to the Under-18 Team last season at Agganis Arena. The U18 squad was led by four current Terriers: Kieffer Bellows, Clayton Keller, and Chad Krys combining for seven points in the game and Jake Oettinger making 41 saves.

Meanwhile, BU hasn’t played Colgate since November of 2014, when BU took a 5-2 victory over the Raiders in Boston. The Terriers trailed, 2-1, after two periods before exploding for four goals in the final twenty minutes.

The U18 Team most recently fell to Notre Dame, 5-1, in South Bend, Indiana. Team USA got a good showing from BU recruit Logan Cockerill, scoring his team’s only goal and finishing with an even rating. In goal, Adam Scheel turned aside 32 shots in a 60-minute effort.

Colgate opened up its season last weekend with a 2-2 tie against Army. The Raiders went only 1-9 on the power play while amassing 37 penalty minutes. Despite taking a 2-0 lead, Colgate couldn’t hold on as Army battled back to tie it with just over three minutes to play.

The Raiders are led offensively by Tim Harrison who is coming off a 17-point (8G, 9A) season. Harrison scored his first of the year last weekend against Army on the power play.

Defensively, Jake Kulevich returns for his senior season after grabbing 14 points (4G, 10A) last season. The senior has already recorded one-fifth the assists as he did last season, earning helpers on both Raider goals last weekend.

In net, Charlie Finn has been a denizen between the pipes since arriving at Colgate four years ago. The senior finished last season with a .899 save percentage and a 3.28 goals against average in 35 games. Finn made 25 saves against Army on Saturday.

The Terriers are fresh off a 10-2 win over Canadian opponent Prince Edward Island last Saturday. In a game that saw 122 penalty minutes and plenty of scoring, the Terriers saw an offensive eruption right from the get-go.

Freshman forward Patrick Harper scored five times and had two assists while fellow freshman Clayton Keller potted a hat-trick of his own. Harper featured on the first forward line with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. Keller played with former U18 linemate Kieffer Bellows and Jordan Greenway on the second forward line.

Defensively, freshman Dante Fabbro scored his first goal as a Terrier, adding and assist and taking five shots on goal. The 2016 NHL first-round draft pick showed his physicality and two-way ability throughout the game.

In net, Thursday will likely be yet another audition for the starting role as all three Terrier goalies saw a period of playing time last weekend. Come Saturday, we will know for sure who is starting in net for BU. Freshman Jake Oettinger, who made the fewest saves (7) among the three net-minders, showed the most promise and potential for the starting role.

Thursday’s exhibition game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on WTBU. Puck-drop for Saturday’s season opener is set for 6 p.m.

PREDICTION – BU 5-4 over U18s, BU 7-2 over Colgate

The Terriers have proven they can score, and will continue to get goals in a gutsy, close win over the U18 Team. Two nights later, despite Colgate’s strong goaltending, BU will put on an offensive showcase reminiscent of their 2014-15 season opener against UMass-Amherst.

BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE WEEKEND

  1. Stay Disciplined

The Terriers had 64 PIM on Saturday against UPEI, far too many for a top-ranked team to be successful. With the referee’s calling a lot more penalties this season, BU will need to play smart, disciplined hockey from the get-go.

  1. Don’t get frustrated

BU features a team of young players making their first forays in the world of college hockey. The games this weekend could have some discouraging moments, but it is important for the youngsters not to get disgruntled.

  1. It’s still early

As for the veterans, everyone will still be trying to shake off the rust from the long summer and the game against Colgate could see a slow start from both sides.

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