Game Previews

Terriers looking to end three-game slide at UNH on Friday

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The Boston University’s men’s ice hockey team (16-7-1, 11-4-1 Hockey East) will play in its second get-back game in a row this weekend against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (13-8-1, 6-5-1 HE). 

The Terriers had an opportunity to shake off their disappointing weekend series against Boston College, but BU’s issues seemed to only compound when it faced Northeastern Tuesday night in Matthews Arena and fell 4-3 in overtime. 

“We certainly started the year off, maybe facing a little adversity…but since then things have gone pretty well for us up until this recent stretch and then it happened pretty quickly when you lose three games in basically five days,” head coach Jay Pandolfo said in his weekly media call Thursday.

Riding a three-game losing streak, the Terriers will have to return to Whittemore Center Arena for the first time since the beginning of the season when the then No. 1 ranked BU fell 6-4 to the Wildcats.

“We’ve had our struggles with [UNH]. The first game, they really took it to us up there,” Pandolfo said. 

The Terriers last faced off against UNH on Jan. 13 at Agganis Arena, earning their lone shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory. 

“They’re very aggressive,” Pandolfo said of the No. 18 ranked Wildcat team. “They compete really hard, they skate, they’re on top of you very quickly, so you have to be ready for their pressure. I think that’s a key for us.”

Friday’s game is the final one for BU before its rematch against Boston College in the opening round of the Beanpot Monday at TD Garden. Still, the team says it needs to be focused on the task at hand in order to shake off this recent slump. 

“Obviously we want to get out of this, and we want to be going on a high streak into the Beanpot, so this is a huge game for us,” graduate defenseman Cade Webber said following practice Thursday. “These are a big three points. All the guys are focused on it.” 

The Terriers will be well prepared for Friday’s game given the two-games worth of film they have on the Wildcats, something the team is hoping to use to its advantage. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

“When you’re playing twice, you have a lot of film of yourself, so you kind of know their tendencies and that gives you an advantage,” Webber said. “But you still gotta execute on every detail – it’s not going to come easy.” 

As always going into a tough series, the team is hoping to key in on the “little details” in order to play a disciplined brand of hockey. 

“Discipline is a big thing, but not just discipline with penalties and stuff, but shift lengths, knowing when to get the puck deep, just being harder to play against, winning more 50/50 battles…If we’re playing well and we’re doing those things then I like our chances,” Webber said. 

Look for the Terriers to have a different look to their line combinations on Friday with sophomore forward Devin Kaplan (lower body) still out with injury. 

“We looked at some different lines today. Nothing determined 100% for tomorrow yet, but we definitely looked at some different combinations today,” Pandolfo said. 

Five things to know about the Wildcats:

  • UNH has played 10 games against ranked opponents so far this season, with a 4-5-1 record in those games.
  • The Wildcats are 16th in the Pairwise ranking, tied at that spot with Arizona State.
  • UNH has five shorthanded goals on the season, ranking in the top 10 in the country in that stat. 
  • To go along with their shorthanded goals, the Wildcats have a 80.3 penalty kill percentage on the season
  • UNH’s leading scorer this season is freshman forward Ryan Conmy with 12 goals on the year. The freshman was drafted in the 6th round of the 2023 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. 

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at Whittemore Center Arena Friday night and 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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