By: Matt Dresens
For the 278th time BU and BC will square off this weekend in a home and series that starts Friday at Agganis Arena and ends the following night down the B-Line at Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College.
While it may still be quite early too look at the PairWise rankings, in untypical fashion both traditional Com Ave. powerhouses find themselves well outside the top 16. BU is currently 29th, while BC is far down the charts, coming in at 53rd. Much of that has to do with the fact that Boston College hasn’t won a non-conference game since Obama was in office.
BC is winless in there last 22 non-conference games, a streak that was extended last week when the Eagles were doubled up 4-2 by Bentley at home. Overall, BC is 3-6-1 on the year and find themselves in fifth place in Hockey East, tied with Lowell at seven points.
BU, on the other hand, is tied with Northeastern with nine points for second place in the league after beating UConn in the opening game of the Friendship Four, which did in fact count in the league standings.
“We have played quite a bit better,” mentioned head coach Albie O’Connell, whose team started the year 0-4-1. “I think we have the ability but its a question of if we can continue to get better and that’s the goal: to keep getting better game to game and get results on the way. We have a singular game focus.”
While BU was overseas in Ireland, BC played just one game last weekend, at home nonetheless.
“We have to be physically and mentally ready to go right from the drop of the puck,” added O’Connell.
For Albie, this will be his first BU-BC experience as a head coach. Of course, the former Terrier captain played his fair share of games against the Eagles, including the 1999 Beanpot championship game that saw O’Connell and the Terriers drop BC 3-2 in overtime.
“That was a good one,” remarked O’Connell. “They were a lot better than us and we played a pretty good game and Russ Bartlett scored in overtime on kind of a weird one, but we will take it.”
Scouting The Eagles
Junior David Cotton has taken charge atop the Eagles scoring charts, posting ten goals and four assists in ten games thus far. In fact, Cotton leads all of Hockey East in goals scored and is second in the nation in that category behind only Arizona State’s Johny Walker, who has amassed a dozen goals in six more games than Cotton. Cotton is the only player to hit the double-digit plateau at this point in the season in Hockey East. Logan Hustsko, who was a standout as a freshman at the Heights, has had a strong second season, registering nine points in ten games by way of a goal and eight helpers. Other players to watch include Julius Mattila, Christopher Brown, and Grant McPhee.
“We are really more worried about ourselves,” said O’Connell. “If we start worrying about how the other team plays we are going to be in trouble. We are trying to focus on ourselves as much as we can. They have guys, much similar to us, who haven’t gotten on a roll yet.
In goal, Joe Woll holds a 2-6-1 record and a .909 save percentage to go along with a 2.58 goals against average.
Looking at Last Year
The two teams met three times last year. BU went into Conte Forum and won a topsy-turvy game by a score of 7-4. The following night, BC bucked the Terriers at Agganis 4-1. But, BU had the final say in 2018, ending BC’s season in the Hockey East semifinals in overtime on a Pat Curry goal.