The Boston University men’s hockey team (1-0-0) is set to take on the University of Waterloo Warriors (0-0-0) in an exhibition match up at Agganis Arena on Saturday night. The exhibition game will be the second time the team dresses this season following a dominating 8-2 victory against Bentley on Oct 1.
Like the Bentley weekend, the Terriers will play just one game at Agganis before heading on the road to face the University of Michigan Wolverines and then start Hockey East play in late October. Year in and year out the Terriers seem to struggle to get into some games mentally, especially when they go into the game feeling overconfident, and objectively, Waterloo plays in a less competitive league and should be a beatable team.
“This is just another game –– we don’t want to take it as an exhibition game,” head coach Jay Pandolfo said in Thursday’s media availability. “We want to play it like we’re gonna play on it.”
The Warriors play in the far west division of Ontario University Athletics and finished the 2021-22 season tied for third in their division going 8-8 overall. The Warriors are led in points by their forwards Dan Walker, Jack Phibbs, Tate Popple and Chase Campbell. Walker, a sophomore from Sudbury, Ontario was named to the OUA West All-Rookie Team after posting 17 points on eight goals and nine assists in 12 games as a freshman.
Waterloo took the 2020-21 season off due to Covid, so their senior class has only had two real seasons of play in 2019 and in 2021. Campbell is one of four seniors to take the ice and totaled 12 points in 15 games.
The matchup will be the first time the two teams have met, and Waterloo will have the advantage in terms of games played. Despite them all being exhibition games, Waterloo has played six games since Sept. 16, winning two. Most recently, the Warriors faced the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières where they lost 6-0.
In terms of goaltending, the Warriors will lean on fifth year netminder Julian Sime. The Mississauga, Ontario native is entering his fourth season playing for Waterloo and has sinced played in 30 games. In a Warrior jersey Sime has posted a 3.94 goals against average and a .887 save percentage.
In addition to the number of games played, the Warriors beat the Terriers in terms of size, with seven players above 6’3 compared to BU’s five. Size considered, Pandolfo had high praise for his second defensive pairing of assistant captain and senior Case McCarthy and freshman Lane Hutson.
“[Case] moved the puck really well. His transition was great. He defended really well… [Lane’s] hockey sense is off the charts. I think everyone saw that on Saturday night,” Pandolfo said of his defenders. “I think he and Lane, you know, balanced each other nicely. Case is a little bigger and you know, a little more physical. Lane, undersized but really competitive.”
Despite it being exhibition, the Terriers will still dress all of their skaters. Pandolfo had addressed Wilmer Skoog’s absence in the Bentley game due to injury and implied that he’d be game-ready for the game against the Wolverines, but would benefit from another week off. He also said that Luke Tuch likely would not play this weekend.
While no line ups have been released yet, BU’s showing last Saturday night against the Falcons showed some possible combinations. This game might also be a chance to see some new faces in net with either junior Vinny Duplessis or graduate student Pat Schena.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm on Oct 8 in Agganis Arena. Be sure to follow @BOSHockeyBlog on Twitter and @boston.hockey.blog on Instagram for live coverage and pregame updates throughout the week.