Game Previews

Terriers look to regroup in weekend series at Notre Dame

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

It would have been to foresee this weekend’s series for the Terriers becoming as big of a must win as it has. But, in no uncertain terms, the Boston University men’s hockey team (1-1-0, 0-1-0 Hockey East) must leave this weekend’s two-game series at Notre Dame (1-2-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) with at least one win. 

It may seem hyperbolic to say that the team is facing a must-win series this early in the season but its recent play put it in this position. 

The Terriers fell from  No. 1 in the USCHO poll to No. 6 this past week after losing 6-4 to UNH, a team BU hadn’t lost to since 2015.

Head coach Jay Pandolfo got straight to the point addressing the team’s “tough weekend” in a press conference Wednesday. 

“[It] started at UNH Friday, just getting outplayed in all areas of the game,” Pandolfo said. 

Pandolfo also addressed the weekend’s second game, an exhibition against the U18 National Development Team where the Terriers lost 8-2. 

On Sunday, the U18 team lost an exhibition at Dartmouth 7-2, a team which went 5-24-1 in last year’s season.

“We [played] an exhibition game on Saturday, looking for a response from our team, and it wasn’t very good,” Pandolfo said. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

In practice this week, Pandolfo said the team has been emphasizing defense, something it struggled with this weekend. 

“I think we have to show that we know how to play defense,” Pandolfo said. 

Assistant captain and senior forward Luke Tuch also emphasized the importance of getting back to playing good defense after this last stretch of games. 

“We let up 14 goals in two games so we got to help our defensemen out, help our goalie out, we left him out to dry last game,” Tuch said. 

The Terriers will face a difficult transition to playing a Big Ten opponent in Notre Dame, a conference historically known for their speed and scoring. For a struggling BU defense, the weekend series may be a trial by fire. 

On the play style of Big Ten offenses, Tuch said “they get the reputation of [having] more goals scored in those games.” 

Tuch said that he thinks the team will be able to adapt to a high scoring game, if needed. 

“We just gotta play how we play and play with that grit, we can make it a 2-1 game or make it an 8-7 game, we’re just looking to get that win,” Tuch said. 

Five things to know about Notre Dame ahead of this weekend

  • The Fighting Irish have also struggled managing expectations to begin the season. The team went 1-2-0, losing two games to Clarkson and RIT. They started the season ranked 20th in the nation and have now fallen out of the rankings. 
  • The Irish had a 16-16-5 record last season, missing an at large bid in the NCAA playoffs by three spots. 
  • Landon Slaggert, a senior forward, is the team’s captain. Slaggert ranked second on the team last season in goals with seven.
  • Notre Dame has eight NHL draft picks on their roster currently, the highest pick being freshman forward Danny Nelson who was drafted 49th overall by the New York Islanders in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Their home arena, the Compton Family Ice Arena, is notoriously a tough place to play in, the Irish had a home record last year of 10-4-3.  

Puck drop is set for 7pm on Friday and 6pm on Saturday. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on the ground coverage of both games so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram 

One Comment

  1. I would take a split because it against ND on the road.
    But I don’t want this to devolve into a lose on Friday and win on sat or vice versa

    First half is key record wise