Game Previews

Terriers set to rematch with University of New Hampshire Saturday at Agganis Arena

Photo by Molly Potter.

Exactly three months after the University of New Hampshire outplayed the Boston University men’s hockey team in the 6-4 Oct. 13 loss, the Terriers have a chance for redemption Saturday night at Agganis Arena when the two teams meet for the second time this season.

The No. 16 Wildcats (11-5-1, 4-2-1 Hockey East) served an early wakeup call to the No. 2 BU (13-4-1, 8-1-1 HE) in October that talent only takes you so far, but since then, the Terriers have gone 8-0-1 in conference competition. 

“UNH coming in here Saturday is going to be another tough contest. They dominated us last time we played, so we have to respond here,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said Tuesday following his team’s 4-3 overtime win over Northeastern University. 

Sophomore forward Jeremy Wilmer had two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning shot, in the victory over Northeastern. Sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson logged three points (one goal, two assists) in his first game back with the Terriers since winning gold with Team USA at World Juniors. 

While BU was able to pull out the win in the end, it gave up a two-goal lead in the second period and let the Huskies claw back into the game after controlling the first 30 minutes of play. Pandolfo said his team is focusing on consistency – through shifts, periods and games – in the second half of the season. 

“I think we’ve seen it all year long how good Hockey East is and how competitive it is,” Pandolfo said Tuesday. “It’s going to be like this down the stretch, there’s no easy games. It’s going to be tough competition every single night.”

Photo by Molly Potter. 

Junior goaltender Mathieu Caron remains the Terriers’ starter and has posted a 2.55 goals against average and .909 save percentage through 18 games – he hasn’t missed a single matchup. 

BU brought in freshman netminder Max Lacroix from the NAHL’s Colorado Grit for the second half of the season. Lacroix’s early arrival on Comm Ave is to “add a little depth” between the pipes. 

“We wanted to add a little depth to the goaltending position. We’ll see what it looks like going forward here,” Pandolf said on Dec. 29.  “He had a very good first half up in Colorado, we liked the way he looked and we thought he could come in and help us.” 

Despite the addition, Caron will likely get the start Saturday against UNH as BU’s go-to guy unless a rest is needed down the stretch. 

The Terriers’ sophomore class has really come into form this year as consistent point producers. Of the team’s top-five leaders in points, four are sophomores. Freshman forward Macklin Celebrini tops the group with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) followed by L. Hutson with 23 points, Wilmer with 19, Ryan Greene with 18 and Quinn Hutson with 17. 

While the Wildcats aren’t a classic conference rival, the top-ranked BU was embarrassed by them early on. The Terriers have since found their winning ways, and Saturday is an opportunity to show how far they have come as a team this year. 

Photo by Molly Potter.

Five things to know about the Wildcats: 

  • UNH is on a three-game win streak, most recently sweeping Princeton University. The Wildcats beat Princeton 5-2 on Jan. 5 and 3-1 on Jan. 6. 
  • Freshman forward Ryan Conmy leads UNH in points with 22 (10 goals, 12 assists). Conmy has been skating on the first line with junior Liam Devlin and sophomore Cy LeClerc.
  • Saturday marks UNH’s first Hockey East game since Dec. 1 when they lost 5-2 to the University of Maine. The Wildcats are currently tied for sixth place in Hockey East with UMass Amherst. 
  • Junior goaltender Jakob Hellsten has been the starter for the Wildcats this season. Hellsten has a 1.79 GAA and .920 save percentage. UNH has also utilized sophomore netminder Tyler Muszelik who has a 3.44 goals against average and .869 save percentage. 
  • The Wildcats have averaged 3.4 goals per game to their opponents’ 2.6. The Terriers have averaged 3.9 goals per game this season, and have scored four or more goals in their last four contests. 

Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. at Agganis Arena. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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