Terriers set to host #2 UMass on Friday in greatest test thus far

In a final tune-up before the Beanpot, the Boston University men’s hockey team will host the University of Massachusetts on Friday night in one of the Terriers’ greatest tests of the season thus far.

While history may favor BU (10-10-3, 8-5-2 Hockey East), who have not lost to the Minutemen (19-5, 11-3 Hockey East) since 2013, a victory over this UMass team is by no means a guarantee. The Minutemen have been consistently ranked among the top teams in college hockey all season, including multiple stints holding the number one spot in the Division 1 rankings.

This season, UMass has the 2nd highest scoring offense in D1 hockey, averaging 3.79 goals per game. Individually, senior forward Jacob Pritchard holds a team-best 31 points on 12 goals and 19 assists, while sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee leads the team with 15 goals. Chaffee has also been recognized on a national level, currently tied for third among all Division 1 players with an average of .65 goals per game.

On the defensive end, the Minutemen have been nearly as dominant as they have been in attack. UMass has allowed the fifth fewest goals per game in the NCAA’s top division with only 1.96 goals conceded on average. Anchoring the defensive effort has been sophomore goaltender Matt Murray, who is fifth in college hockey in terms of save percentage, turning away 93 percent of all shots faced.

While the Minutemen boast the joint-best winning percentage in Division 1 at .792, the Hockey East leaders have stumbled as of late. UMass fell 1-2 in a visit to Northeastern on January 19, before splitting a series at the University of Maine between the 25th and 26th. The team’s current road swing could be responsible for the Minutemen’s drop in form, as all but one of their losses have come away from home ice.

Like UMass, BU will also be entering Friday’s contest coming off a loss, as the Terriers fell 3-0 to #17/15 Arizona State University on  January 26. After benefitting from some fortunate bounces to put up four goals in a 4-2 victory over the Sun Devils the night prior, the Terrier offense came up dry in the second game of the weekend series. It was the first time in nine games that the Terriers had been held goalless, a streak dating back to December 1st.

“The team that wants it more usually wins,” said BU Head Coach Albie O’Connell in the minutes after the loss to the Sun Devils. “Arizona State wanted the game more.”

The Terriers were without a few significant names last Saturday night, as junior netminder Jake Oettinger and senior forward Bobo Carpenter each got the night off during the loss. After appearing in every one of BU’s 22 contests prior, Oettinger was replaced by freshman Vinnie Purpura, who made 36 saves in his debut with the Terriers.

“Our goalie was our best player,” remarked Coach O’Connell after the game regarding Purpura, who joined the Terriers during the winter break.

As for the captain and leading goal scorer, Coach Albie O’Connell reported that Carpenter had been banged up going into Friday’s contest, in which he was still able to tally his 100th point as a Terrier – joining a list of only 82 BU hockey alum who have hit the century mark.

“I love Bobo,” commended Coach O’Connell following Carpenter’s milestone game. “Everything he gets, he deserves.”

While a rest was certainly deserved by these two star Terriers, all hands will be on deck for this week’s meeting with UMass. BU’s two-game home-and-home set against the Minutemen will be split between the first two Friday nights of February, separated by the first round of the Beanpot on Monday the 4th.

It will be a challenging stretch for the Terriers, but one that will be crucial to their season, simultaneously fighting to claim a Beanpot title and climb up the Hockey East standings.

The Terriers will take the ice against the Minutemen at 7:30pm on Friday, February 1. We will have minute-by-minute coverage of the game through our live blog, accessible through this website or our twitter account.

6 thoughts on “Terriers set to host #2 UMass on Friday in greatest test thus far

  1. If we come out skating and battling for the puck we will give ourselves a chance. If we try the fancy stuff we will be in trouble. Shoot or pass but get the puck to the net. We need shots and need to get to the dirty areas for rebounds. I think bu will be ready and answer the test.

  2. I was just looking at the Hobey Baker vote page on line and a clear front runner is Makar from U mass it’s clear by his stat line he is a great hockey player I’m going to detail why I think we have even a better player here at bu in Dante Fabro. Makar makes his name offensively Fabro generates offense does not have the same number as Makar but nonetheless creates offense. Fabbro is a defenseman and in my opinion is the best underrated defenseman in the country. For the past two years a forward has not beat him one on one unheard of in college hockey. Also I don’t mean this as a knock on Makar but he’s turned his nation down twice to play because he needed rest. He’s also asked his coach to limit his ice time Fabro played world juniors last year on a bum ankle he went to Europe twice this year and plays 35+ minutes a game. The pundits don’t see this but I do Fabro is the best at his craft he excels at making his team better he exemplifies the Hobey Baker award. Go terriers

  3. Mired in mediocrity. Unfortunate that Albie cannot motivate these pampered, overrated , underachieving crybabies for more than two games in row.
    I cannot agree with the take aways as basically the same squad that beat ASU on Friday, refuse to compete for the majority of the game on Saturday. Losing most of the one on one or fifty , fifty puck battles, making ridiculous passes that created odd man rushes for ASU, playing as individuals and for themselves.
    Colin , where was the leader ship form the captains and the assistant captains ? Nice for Fabbro to show emotion when the game is over. In my mind a losers mentally and poor sportsmanship. I wish he challenged his teammates to be more focused and be engaged. Sure ASU is more physical and older but B.U. has superior speed and alleged higher end talent. As proven on Friday you cannot hit what you cannot catch.
    I feel that Cal Maker is a better player than Dante and he is having a much better season.
    I do believe Dante will be in Nashville , maybe as early as mid March. Similar to Charlie and Clayton, he will be a better pro than Terrier.

  4. Actually, as of now, Charlie and Clayton were better Terriers then pros … though that will one day change I am sure. They were unreal when they were at BU.

  5. Frozen out I was disgusted last week with our performance. I never like to loose but they played hard tonight I was proud of them. As to the end of the game it’s not poor sportsmanship when your guy is jumped by 4 it’s good old fashioned sticking up for a teammate. I said I thought it was a mistake to start Purpura last week but as to coach I can’t have any more confidence in him. He is the best coach in college hockey and the kids sure played hard for him tonight. We lost to a very good team🐾

Comments are closed.