By Mark Fraenkel
After a weekend sweep over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (5-5-1, 1-5-0 Hockey East), the Boston University men’s hockey team returns to action with a home-and-home series against the Northeastern Huskies (6-3-3, 5-3-2 HE).
The Huskies will play Friday at Agganis Arena without senior forward Aidan McDonough and senior defenseman Jayden Struble, as both were suspended for fights during last Saturday night’s matchup with the Boston College Eagles (4-4-2, 4-3-1 HE). Both players are expected to play in Saturday’s game at the historic Matthews Arena.
“We like to think our mindset is, you know, it doesn’t matter,” head coach Jay Pandolfo said during his media availability. “You know who we’re playing. Who’s in the lineup, we really want to focus on how we’re gonna play. That’s the big thing for us… we’re really focused on playing our game.”
The Huskies enter the weekend coming off of a poor performance against BC where they went down 4-1 in the third period. Eventually, they crawled their way back to a tie and went on to win the shootout and receive the extra point in the Hockey East standings. On Saturday, Greg Brown’s eagles would beat the Huskies 3-2 in regulation.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe said to the media following the loss. “They did look like a much faster team than us. We were undisciplined again tonight… It looked like we ran out of gas.”
Freshman forward Cam Lund did shine for Northeastern last weekend, however. The Bridgewater, Massachusetts native had three goals and one assist in the two games and was dubbed the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week.
In contrast, BU had one of its best weekends thus far last weekend. The Terriers took both games from the Minutemen in a convincing manner.
Freshman forwards Ryan Greene and Quinn Hutson would both score twice, and freshman forward Devin Kaplan and senior forwards Wilmer Skoog and Matt Brown would each add goals in Friday’s 7-2 win in Amherst.
Greene’s hot streak would continue in Boston, as he would open up the scoring on Saturday night. Senior forward Jamie Armstrong, senior defenseman Case McCarthy, junior forward Nick Zabaneh, and senior forward Jay O’Brien also netted goals en route to a 5-1 BU win.
Greene’s strong performance has not gone unnoticed– the Newfoundland native was named Hockey East Player of the Week.
“I was happy for our guys. I think they did good work in those two weeks leading up to the UMass series, so it’s a credit to them for being ready,” the first-year head coach said. Obviously it was our first Friday night win but we talked about not being satisfied and, especially being at home on Saturday night, we wanted to make sure we were solid.”
After the home-and-home series this weekend both teams will face non-conference opponents during the week of Thanksgiving.
Northeastern will face the Western Michigan Broncos (8-5-0) in Nashville, Tennessee on Black Friday, and BU will host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-5-2) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving before playing the United States Under-18 National Development Team on Saturday. They’ll return to Hockey East with a home-and-home series against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (3-9-1, 0-8-1 HE) on the first weekend of December.
Be sure to follow along on twitter @BosHockeyBlog and Instagram @Boston.Hockey.Blog for live coverage and recaps this weekend.