The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team will face Boston University on Friday, Oct. 7 at the XL Center and then again on Sunday in Boston.
Coming off last Saturday’s win, UConn goes into its first Hockey East game of the season with a 1-0 record after beating Sacred Heart 6-3. Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh was proud of that win, referencing how the Pioneers have been a tough team to beat whenever they play.
Going into this weekend, it’s logical that coach Cavanaugh probably expects the same thing, considering the Boston University Terriers were ranked second in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches’ Poll while the Huskies were ranked sixth.
The last time UConn and BU played was earlier this year on Feb. 20. Despite losing that game, the Huskies did lead for the majority of the three periods, but struggled in the final minutes. This was the opposite case last Friday when Sacred Heart pulled their goalkeeper at the end of the game and UConn put the puck in the open net twice to finish out a win by three.
During the last matchup against the Terriers, the Huskies were incredibly strong on their penalty kills, which was also present against Sacred Heart. Connecticut’s main downfall back in February was not utilizing the scoring chances it had on power plays. Last week, it was able to score on the power plays it did have, so UConn Nation is hoping that momentum continues for this weekend’s games.
Over half of BU’s roster is made up of upperclassmen and 11 of its 12 top scorers and point leaders returned this season. Here in Storrs, UConn boasts experience within returners and transfers who all bring a great deal of hockey experience and play well as a team through several scorers and assists. Both teams boast five freshmen each, so it will be interesting to see how each team chooses to utilize their young, fresh legs.
Friday will be the Terriers’ season opener, so the Huskies will have both the home ice and a game record advantage (albeit only by one game). Saturday will be the first game BU has played on its home ice in 581 days.
The puck drops in Hartford at 7:05 p.m. on Friday. Saturday’s game in Boston at Agganis Arena begins at 7 p.m. to finish out the weekend’s schedule.
After the game on Saturday, the Huskies stay on the road and travel to play the Ohio State Buckeyes.