Terriers riding high into regular season finale vs. UMaine

Entering their final regular season game, the Boston University Terriers (14-15-4, 12-9-3 Hockey East) will face the University of Maine Black Bears (14-15-4, 10-9-4 Hockey East) in a Saturday battle at 7:30pm in Orono.

The Terriers tallied yet another big win last week, beating last seeded Merrimack 5-1 at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. Not only is BU looking to continue their five game unbeaten streak, but they are trying to climb as high up in the conference rankings as they can.

“[There is] quite a bit [of pressure] I think,” said junior defenseman Dante Fabbro regarding the Terrier’s upcoming game against Maine. The co-captain had an outstanding performance in the Merrimack game, tallying 5 points.

BU has the opportunity to land in the 3, 4, or 5 seeds heading into the Hockey East tournament depending on this weekend’s conference results. The top four positions host first round playoff matchups, so the fifth-place Terriers are still on the outside looking in at UMass Lowell one point ahead, and Northeastern two points ahead. BU hold the tiebreaker over these two teams, so if BU wins against Maine and Northeastern loses against UNH, BU will overtake Northeastern. In addition, if BU wins or even ties against Maine and UMass Lowell loses against Vermont, the Terriers will jump above UML.

It is no a secret that the game against Maine is not going to be a walk in the park for BU. The two sides already met twice  back in November when the teams split a home-and-home series. The first night in Boston, BU won 3-2, while the next night Maine grabbed the win on their home ice with a 3-1 victory.

“I think if we keep building off of things we have worked on in the last half year or so we will do really well. At the same time, we have to execute what coach is saying and bring it everyday,” said Fabbro.

A player to watch on the Black Bears’ bench is freshman defensive standout Simon Butala. Butala has appeared in every game for Maine and has logged 40 blocks for the Bears. Leading Butala and the rest of the Black Bears is senior captain Rob Michel, who has recorded 39 blocks of his own.

Moving up the ice, the Black Bears have an extremely deep junior class at the forward positions. Mitchell Fossier, Chase Pearson, and Tim Doherty are the leaders in points for the Bears. The one player that BU will key in on is Fossier. Fossier’s vision on the ice is undeniable and has an impressive 27 assists for the Bears. If BU is able to subtract him from the play, Maine will have a much tougher time unlocking the Terrier defense.

It is not the best of circumstances for the Terriers to play Maine away from their home ice, but with the confidence booster that they gained after beating Merrimack, the Terriers are flying high into their season finale up north.

Along with their recent results, an improvement in health has given the Terriers reason to be optimistic going forward. BU has finally been gifted with the return of senior captain Bobo Carpenter, who missed more than a month with a lower body injury. Always providing leadership and an offensive spark, the Terriers have already noticed a difference with captain Carpenter back on the ice.

“His competitiveness is infectious.,” said BU head coach Albie O’Connell about having Carpenter back in the lineup. “His presence on the bench was felt.”

If the Terriers want any shot at home ice in the playoffs, Saturday’s game is a must-win. Tell us what you predict will happen on Saturday’s match in the comments below! You can follow the game through our live blog as well as on Twitter. You can also listen to the game through GoTerriers.com.

10 thoughts on “Terriers riding high into regular season finale vs. UMaine

  1. I see a win. Alfond is hostile BU will need to come out flying just like providence. The difference being I want to see the D jumping into the rush and BU forwards covering. I also want to spread the ice getting forwards behind Maine D with our speed even if passes don’t connect we can avoid icings. We need and will do a better job on faceoffs. All of the things I mentioned above needs to be done in moderation during providence game we played well defensively but the old saying a good defense is a good offense rings true. Our D is playing great. Let Jake see the puck and good things will happen. The haters will come on with some stat they got off somewhere talking about how we have no shot well I don’t buy it I like our chances.

    • I’m a little worried about this one, I must admit – but if we come out hot like you said, we should be alright. Let’s hope the D and Oettinger can keep things going, they’re playing well!

  2. I think the boys know whats at stake in this game I would expect a great game and with bobo back should be a good .. Due to unfortunate situation I will not make the trip like I planned but will be rooting for them ..go bu

    • Good point – Bobo being there will definitely make an impact like it did against Merrimack. Also, I believe the game will have a live video stream, so you can still watch it from wherever you will be!

  3. maine is a tough environment and they have a very good goalie in Swayman

    this will be a real test. if they win, it will be a character win for the team

    • Agreed. Swayman has played well, but hopefully if we get shots off early and often, we’ll beat him on at least a couple. A character win to close out the regular season, I like the sound of that!

  4. Good points Vinnie! Maine is only slightly below BU in Pairwise. I’m sure they’d love nothing better than ruining BU’s home ice chances. This is shaping up to be a great regular season ending game. TK out!

    • Maine will certainly be looking to play the role of spoiler, that’s for sure. It’ll be a good test for BU heading into the postseason.

  5. Tk pretty sure pairwise at this point means nothing we will need to win Hockey east to make into NCAA tournament.. Can it be done we shall see.. Extremely toigh game st Maine…go bu

  6. RE, My point about Pairwise was that the two teams are pretty evenly matched. I understand that entrance into NCAA’s is a longshot. TK out!!

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