After five games on the road, the UConn men’s hockey team returns to the XL Center this weekend to take on No. 5 Boston University.
The Huskies (3-3-5) will take on their conference foes in a home-and-home series with UConn hosting the first game, before traveling to Boston. UConn has gone 1-1-1 in the Hockey East so far this season.
Last weekend, the Huskies drew one and lost one against Ohio State. In both games, UConn blew 2 goal leads. In the first game, the Huskies blew a 4-2 lead in a game that ended up 7-4. In the second game, UConn was up 2-0, in a game that ended tied 3-3.
The Terriers (5-3-1) are coming off splitting a series with No. 18 Michigan. BU is 2-3-1 on the road so far this season and undefeated at home, so the Huskies are facing pressure to make Friday’s game count.
Led by Patrick Harper and Jordan Greenway, the Terriers have tallied 3.4 goals per game while freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger and the rest of the BU defense have limited their opponents to two goals per game.
UConn star Tage Thompson picked up right where he left off after a breakout freshman year. Thompson has seven goals and seven assists this year and leads the team with 14 points. The Connecticut native thrives on the powerplay, so it will be interesting to see how he fairs against the top penalty killing unit in Hockey East. Entering this weekend Thompson is on a tear with eight points in the last five games. Teammate Maxim Letunov has also been productive as of late and is carrying a three-game point streak into this weekend.
It is still unclear who head coach Mike Cavanaugh will start in goal this weekend. Senior goalkeeper Rob Nichols and freshman Adam Huska have both been used often this season. This past week, Nichols was named Hockey East player of the week for his performance against Ohio State. The senior has a .915 save percentage this season, placing him eighth in the conference. In comparison, Huska has a .916 save percentage, which is good enough for seventh in the conference. Cavanaugh may decide to have the two split the series like he has in the past, or side with Nichols for the weekend.
Last time the two faced UConn won 5-2 in a historic win for the program. Thompson, Letunov and Nichols were on the ice for that win, and will be looking to repeat history Friday night.
Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.