Following an impressive weekend sweep of No. 8 University of Massachusetts Amherst (9-5-1), the Boston University men’s hockey team (3-1-0) will look to pick up six more points this weekend at Walter Brown Arena against the University of Maine Blackbears (2-5-1). The Terriers now have eight points in Hockey East standings, which has them tied with Maine for eighth place.
“Their team will be organized; they’re highly competitive. We’re going to have to beat them, they won’t beat themselves. We’re gonna have to make sure we have our A-game,” Head Coach Albie O’Connell told the media.
Heading into the weekend, the Terriers may be without captain Logan Cockerill, who suffered a massive hit from UMass’ Jake Gaudet. The hit resulted in a five-minute major, a game misconduct, and ultimately a one-game suspension for the Minutemen captain.
“Logan is day to day. It’s questionable,” O’Connell said.
Along with Cockerill, forward Ty Amonte missed the UMass series due to injury. A redshirt junior, Amonte missed all of the 2019-20 season due to an upper-body injury from development camp with the New York Rangers.
“Ty, unfortunately, won’t be with us for a while. Could be the entire season, so we’re just sorting through that now. That’ll be a big loss for the group. We’re just waiting for a final word on that,” O’Connell said.
Without Cockerill, the team’s leading goal-scorer, the Terriers will have to rely on Hobey Baker finalist and point-leader David Farrance to keep the Terriers in the win column. Farrance, currently averaging two points per game, was regarded as “the best player in college hockey,” by O’Connell after the win over Providence. “He’s got the ability to change a game, control the play, make a difference.”
Behind Farrance in points is sophomore defenseman Domenick Fensore (1g-4a-5p), and transfer Jay O’Brien (2g-2a-4p).
In net for BU, Drew Commesso has become more and more comfortable with each game played. Having stopped 77 shots on goal from the Minutemen, Commesso has a 3.92 goals against average and a .907 save percentage, likely securing his spot in the Terrier crease.
“Drew’s gonna stop a lot of pucks. We’ve got great confidence in him, he’s got great confidence in himself, and he can give our team a chance like last night, where we didn’t have our legs right away. We’re psyched to have him,” O’Connell said.
On the other side of the ice, the Black Bears have a .312 win percentage but shouldn’t be overlooked. Maine leads Hockey East on the power play, scoring nine times on 35 opportunities for a conversion rate just over 25 percent.
Leading the Black Bears is Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, who has tallied nine points off of three goals and six assists, followed by Eduards Tralmaks (5g-3a-8p), and Adam Dawe (1g-6a-7p). Schmidt-Svejstrup is among the top ten in Hockey East for power play points with two power play goals and four power play assists.
Having lost Jeremy Swayman to a professional contract with the Boston Bruins, the Black Bears have turned to sophomore Matthew Thiessen and freshman Victor Ostman to rotate in net. Thiessen had a 4.54 GAA and a .872 save percentage in the first six games, compared to first-year Ostman’s 3.89 GAA and .894 save percentage.
Going forward, Hockey East will release schedules on a weekly basis in hopes of having every team play as many games as possible. This weekend’s series with the Black Bears will take place Friday Jan. 22 at 3:30 and Saturday Jan. 23 at 6:30.