After capturing a double-overtime 5-4 win over No. 4 Boston College at the Beanpot semifinals this past Monday, the Boston University men’s hockey team prepares to face Merrimack College at home this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
These teams last faced off less than a month ago on Jan. 17 when the Terriers (10-8-7, 7-4-5 Hockey East) beat the Warriors (6-18-3, 4-10-3 Hockey East) in North Andover, 3-2.
Looking at the current Hockey East standings, Boston University is third — and out of first by a single point — while Merrimack sits in 10th with only the University of Vermont ranked lower in conference play.
BU head coach Albie O’Connell said that regardless of the records, Hockey East games are always close.
“Any time you play a team in our league, it’s going to be tight,” O’Connell said.
Scoring has not come easy this season for Merrimack. Senior forward Tyler Irvine leads the Warriors with 10 goals, seven of which have been scored in the Hockey East play. Following Irvine is sophomore forward Chase Gresock, who has scored eight goals, but just two of them against Hockey East teams.
Back in January when the two teams faced off, Merrimack got on the board first, scoring 18 minutes into the first period and then again 11 minutes into the second. BU then answered two minutes later on a power-play goal and pounced twice in the third period to steal the road victory, their first of the season against conference competition.
Points are at a premium in Hockey East this year, making every win all the more important. With a Beanpot championship clash against Northeastern University scheduled for Monday night, the Terriers can use Friday’s game to work out any last-minute kinks and keep the momentum going into Monday’s title game.
O’Connell said the Terriers cannot disregard this game, even if the Beanpot finals are on Monday.
“We can’t look past it,” O’Connell said. “We’re going to have to be ready from the drop of the puck.”Game coverage and an in-game live blog can be found on the Boston Hockey Blog, and game updates will be posted on Twitter, @BOShockeyblog.