Men’s Hockey: The Battle of Comm. Ave takes center stage at 68th Beanpot

By: Joe Pohoryles

The latest Battle of Comm. Ave will unfold at the 68th edition of the Beanpot as the Boston University Terriers (10-8-6, 7-4-5 HE) take on the No. 5 Boston College Eagles (16-7-0, 10-5-0 HE) tomorrow at 8:00 pm at TD Garden.

The two-winningest teams in the tournament’s history will look to win their first title in over four years, with the Terriers having last won in 2015, while the Eagles last took home the hardware in 2016.

These two sides met just 15 days ago in Chestnut Hill, in a contentious back-and-forth affair that eventually went the home team’s way, with BC taking the 4-3 win. If that game gives any hint about what fans will see tomorrow night, it should be a matchup for the ages.

The Terriers have not lost since that night against BC, going 2-0-1 in the three games since. BC meanwhile lost two Hockey East matchups in overtime, both against the University of Maine Black Bears, before shutting down the UMass Amherst Minutemen on the road by a score of 3-0.

Leading the way offensively for the Eagles are senior forwards Julius Mattila with 31 points (7g, 24a), which is tied for the fifth-most in the nation, and David Cotton with 29 (10g, 19a). Freshman goaltending phenom Spencer Knight backstops the Eagles, boasting a strong 1.95 goals-against average (GAA) and .931 save percentage, both top three marks among Hockey East netminders.

On the other side, junior defenseman David Farrance remains the point leader for the Terriers with 29 points (11g, 18a). He is followed closely behind by senior forward and assistant captain Patrick Harper with 28 (11g, 17a) and freshman forward Trevor Zegras, who has 26 (8g, 18a).

Another Terrier to watch tomorrow will be junior defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo. Listed at 6-3, 205 pounds, the Finnish blueliner is one of the biggest physical forces on the team, and he leads BU in blocked shots by a wide margin with 41. (Freshman defenseman Case McCarthy is second with 31.) Expect Kotkansalo to rough around the BC forwards all night long.

The winner of this match-up will face the winner of Harvard vs. Northeastern, which will begin at 5:00 pm tomorrow, to play for the 68th Beanpot championship at 7:30 pm on Feb. 10, while the losers of both games will play a consolation match-up at 4:30 pm.

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