By Joe Pohoryles
A disappointing start to the season has the Boston University Terriers (1-1-2, 0-0-1 HE) looking to turn things around and capture their first Hockey East victory of the season as they face the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (2-1-1, 1-0-0 HE) tonight at 7:00 pm at Agganis Arena.
The Terriers are coming off a 3-3 tie vs. the Riverhawks of UMass Lowell in last night’s Hockey East opener. After taking a 3-0 lead, the Terriers allowed the River Hawks to storm back beginning in the latter half of the second period. UMass Lowell’s sophomore defenseman Seth Barton notched the game-tying goal with just 1:20 remaining in the game.
Senior assistant captain and forward Patrick Harper had three points on the night, boosting his point total to a team-leading eight on the season. Graduate goaltender Sam Tucker allowed three goals on 25 shots.
The Wildcats come to town after a bout with Merrimack College in North Andover last night that ended with a 3-2 victory in overtime. The two sides traded shots throughout the game, but the Wildcats came out on top to open their Hockey East season with a win.
The Wildcats are averaging 3.8 goals per game while allowing opponents an average of 2.8, compared to the Terriers’ totals of 4.3 and 3.5, respectively. With those numbers, fans at Agganis Arena can expect to see a high-scoring affair.
Of the 15 goals the Wildcats have scored so far this season, seven have come on the power play, which boasts a strong 35% success rate, compared to the Terriers’ 27.8%. With the Terriers averaging 5.3 penalties per game, discipline will be key as the best way to keep this New Hampshire team at bay will be staying out of the penalty box.
The Terriers have been getting the most production from their top line, which features Harper, senior captain Patrick Curry and freshman phenom Trevor Zegras. David Farrance is second on the team behind Harper with seven points on the season, doing his part to boost production from the blue line. Curry and Zegras sit just behind with five points apiece.
Players to watch from New Hampshire include Wildcats’ junior forward Charlie Kelleher, who scored last night’s overtime winner and leads his team in points so far this season with eight. Sophomore forward Pierson Jackson and junior defenseman Max Gildon trail close behind with seven points each.
This “Halloweekend” smackdown should be contentious out of the gate, and serves as an opportunity for the Terriers to nab their first Hockey East victory.
Featured Image: Kasper Kotkansalo discusses strategy with his teammates ahead of a faceoff last week against Northern Michigan. Photo by Ryan Gregory.