Game Previews

Shorthanded Terriers to close out 2023 with non conference clash at Yale

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The bad news? The Boston University men’s hockey team will be without its superstars for Friday’s game at Yale, since Macklin Celebrini, Lane Hutson and Tom Willander are in Gothenburg, Sweden competing at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

The good news? The Bulldogs are one of the worst teams in the nation, ranking 55th of the 64 teams in PairWise. On paper, BU should be just fine in the absence of its top guns. 

The Terriers (11-4-1, 7-1-1 Hockey East) will travel to Yale’s Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn., marking BU’s first road, nonconference game since a series at Notre Dame on Oct. 20 and 21. It will be the Terriers’ first game in 27 days. The Bulldogs (4-8-0, 2-5-0 ECAC) last played on Dec. 10. 

Macklin Celebrini, Lane Hutson and Willander have accounted for 31% of BU’s points with 53. But the Terriers have received offensive contributions from across the lineup — especially recently. 

Sophomore forwards Quinn Hutson (eight goals, eight assists) and Ryan Greene (six goals, 10 assists) are tied for third on the team in points behind Macklin Celebrini and Lane Hutson. Both are positioned to play key roles on Friday. 

Senior forward Nick Zabaneh is fresh off a breakout two-point performance in BU’s 5-2 win over Merrimack on Dec. 2. He has spent time on the fourth line with grad student Sam Stevens and freshman Doug Grimes, who has scored twice in BU’s last three games. 

Lane Hutson and Willander had been playing together on the Terriers’ top D-pairing. With those two unavailable, freshman Aiden Celebrini will likely slot back into the mix. Another freshman defenseman, Mick Frechette, is in line to also re-enter the lineup. 

At the semester break, BU is the top-ranked team in PairWise. A win over Yale would not raise any eyebrows nationally, but a loss — World Juniors absences aside — would be detrimental to the Terriers’ momentum. 

Five things to know about Yale:

  • Junior forward Briggs Gammill leads the Bulldogs with six goals. Meanwhile, sophomore forward David Chen is Yale’s points leader with 11. 
  • Yale has split goaltending duties between freshman Jack Stark (3.30 goals against average) and senior Nathan Reid (3.89 goals against). Stark played with Macklin Celebrini on the USHL’s Chicago Steel last year.
  • The Bulldogs have been playing their best hockey of the season of late, notching consecutive wins against Merrimack (Dec. 8) and LIU (Dec. 10) to end the semester.  
  • The last matchup between the two teams came on Dec. 13, 2016, when the Terriers took home a 5-2 win at Agganis Arena
  • Ingalls Rink, nicknamed “The Whale,” is one of the coolest venues in college hockey. Its cavernous interior has a curved ceiling that is divided by a huge spine-like beam — hence the nickname. 

Puck drop is set for Friday at 7 p.m. in New Haven, and the Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage. Follow along at and on Twitter (X) and Instagram @BosHockeyBlog.

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