By: Matt Dresens
For the first time in the four-year history of the Friendship Four, Boston University will participate in the festivities in Northern Ireland as they square off with Connecticut Friday night inside SSE Arena in Belfast.
While the game is set for after Thanksgiving, BU got a jump on travel and actually left Sunday morning from Boston, taking in all that Northern Ireland has to offer.
BU’s game Friday night with UConn will count as a Hockey East League game, and the Union-Yale contest will also count towards the ECAC standings. Speaking of league standings, BU has rebounded since their 0-4-0 start and have picked up league points in four of their last five games.
The Terriers currently sit in a three-way tie with Boston College and Lowell for fourth place in Hockey East with seven points each. On the other hand, UConn is 0-4-0 in their last four league games and currently reside in seventh place in Hockey East with five points.
But the Huskies are a well-traveled team. They opened the season with four straight road games and they have only played four of their twelve games at home. Last weekend, UConn was swept by Lowell in a home-and-home and were outscored 8-2 in the two games.
Scouring the Huskies
Freshman and Budejovice, Czech Republic native Jachym Kondelik leads the Huskies in points thus far with eleven. All eleven points have come by way of assist. At the other end of the spectrum, Alexander Payusov has ten points, eight of which are goals. Karl El-Mar has added six goals, as well. Other players to watch include Benjamin Freeman, Johny Evens and Adam Karashik.
In goal, Adam Huska owns a 3-4-1 record and a 2.60 goals against average to go along with a .921 save percentage. Coming into the year, Huska was the cut-an-dry number one goalie for UConn. But, thus far, freshman Tomas Vomacka has posted better numbers. He is 2-2-0 with a 1.96 GAA and a .922 svp.
The Belpot Trophy
Prior tournament winners are Lowell (2015), Vermont (2016) and Clarkson (2017).
The Last Time They Met…
Was in the Hockey East quarterfinals. BU won in a thrilling overtime comeback in Game 1 and then finished the sweep the following night with another one-goal win to advance to the Boston Garden, where they won their ninth HE title in program history last March.