UConn will take on the Boston College Eagles in their third showdown of the season Friday night at the XL Center. BC came away with victories in both of their previous matchups with the Huskies this season.
These two Hockey East rivals last met the first week of December in a Thursday and Friday back-to-back matchup. BC won the first game on the Huskies’ turf 4-0 behind a hat trick from Julius Mattila. UConn held the shot advantage over the Eagles 30-27, but BC goalkeeper Joe Woll was able to keep all 30 pucks from the net.
Another thing that stood out from this game was the difference between the two squads on special teams. BC scored two goals from power plays on just as many opportunities. UConn had two power play chances, and while they failed to score for themselves, they also surrendered a shorthanded goal to Mattila.
The next day, the Huskies played much better in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Though they didn’t come away with the win, they only lost 3-2. Furthermore, they improved their play on special teams quite a bit. Both teams scored one power play goal each, and the Huskies managed to repay the favor from their previous game with a shorthanded goal by Karl El-Mir. With both teams at full strength, however, the Eagles outscored UConn 2-0.
UConn hasn’t been playing their best hockey recently. They’re 0-4-1 in their last five games and their issues on special teams have not gone away. Over the five-game stretch, UConn has scored on just two of their 20 power play opportunities. Their opponents have scored six goals on 17 chances.
Head coach Mike Cavanaugh spoke about the team’s lack of execution on special teams after their last loss to Sacred Heart.
“Special teams again continue to be a problem for us,” Cavanaugh said. “I think it’s too stagnant. We are just doing a perimeter power play and not getting enough to the net. We have to get more movement, whether it’s the puck moving or bodies moving, we can’t be stagnant on the power play and it’s something we’ll continue to work on.”
If UConn wants to take BC down this time around, they are going to have to be a lot better when someone’s in the penalty box.
UConn and BC will face off Friday, Feb 1. at the XL Center at 7 p.m.
Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.