The Boston University men’s hockey team (6-6-5, 4-3-4 Hockey East) will open 2020 with a trip to Plymouth, Michigan to face the U.S National Under-18 Team (18-12-0) in an exhibition game Friday.
The Terriers closed out 2019 on Dec. 29 with a strong performance against Concordia University, defeating the Stingers 3-0. BU was without many key contributors in the victory, including five scratched upperclassmen and freshman forward Trevor Zegras, who is abroad at the World Junior Championship.
The matchup against Team U.S.A. is a familiar one for many Terriers. Several BU skaters played for the U.S. U-18 Team before heading to BU, with three U.S. players, Drew Commesso, Luke Tuch and Dylan Peterson, have committed to BU next year.
Commesso is a 6-foot-2-inch goalie from Norwell, Massachusetts and appeared in 19 out of the team’s 30 games this season. Tuch, a 6-foot-2-inch lefty forward from Baldwinsville, New York, racked up seven assists and 10 goals so far this season, ranking fourth on the team in terms of goals. Peterson, standing at 6-feet-4-inches, is another forward from Roseville, California. He tallied five goals and 11 assists this season, sitting fourth for most assists on the team.
Other notable forwards on the U.S. U-18 Team roster are Thomas Bordeleau, Matthew Beniers and Brett Berard. All three players are tied in most goals on the roster with 13 each. In addition to most goals, Bordeleau ranks first in assists on the team with 15. Close behind, Beniers and Berard have 14 assists each. Bordeleau will play for the University of Michigan next year, Beniers has committed to Harvard University and Berard will attend Providence College.
On the blue line, several players lead the U.S. defensive unit, such as University of North Dakota commit Jake Sanderson and University of Michigan prospect Jacob Truscott. These two make up a tandem of big defensive players that also pose an offensive threat, each notching 11 assists while Sanderson has four goals and Truscott has two.
BU and the U.S. Team are no strangers when it comes to non-competitive play. The most recent meeting came at the beginning of the 2018-19 campaign when the Terriers bested the Americans 5-4 in overtime at Agganis Arena. Current Terrier defenseman Alex Vlasic scored late for the U-18s, while Zegras provided three assists for the red, white and blue.
The puck will drop at USA Hockey Arena at 7 p.m. and can be streamed for a fee on HockeyTV.
Is Vinnie Purpura still on the team?
Yes, Rob, for now.
Thanks. It doesn’t seem like he’s been given much of a chance to compete.
Yeah, he was put in a few tricky spots – it’s not easy as a backup, sometimes you just have to make the most of your opportunities, even if they’re rare.