Game Previews

Terriers face Providence in top-10 Hockey East matchup

Freshman defenseman Aiden Celebrini (22) defends the blue line against Merrimack College at Agganis Arena on Feb. 9, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

The Boston University men’s hockey team has no time to dwell on Monday’s Beanpot Championship loss. 

The Terriers (19-8-1, 13-4-1 Hockey East) will face the No. 10 Providence College Friars (16-9-2, 9-6-2 HE) in a home-and-home series this weekend. The top-10 matchup features a Providence squad that has been a conference threat all year, and one BU is meeting for the first time this season. 

“It’s not easy to play against them, and we have to make sure that we are willing to battle, win our puck battles, be willing to get to the net,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said Thursday. “It’s actually a great team to be playing coming off a tough loss – you have to be ready to play against this team.” 

While the Terriers played well enough to win in the 4-3 overtime loss to Northeastern on Monday, they weren’t able to extend their lead in the third period, nor close out the competition with a trophy on the line. 

Pandolfo said moving forward, his team needs to dial in on “all the little things” to find success on big stages – especially with Hockey East playoffs coming up in March. 

“Just trying to look for some answers why. I think for us, it’s still about getting a little bit more desperation in games like that. Creating more second chances, getting to the net even more,” Pandolfo said. 

Against a team like Providence that is defensively sound and pushes its opponents to the perimeter, BU can’t waste offensive zone time looking for the perfect shot. Instead, getting pucks on net and having support down low for second and third chances will be key. 

“As these games get tighter and tighter when you get into the playoffs, you have to find a way to score maybe grittier goals. That’s something that was a focus the last couple days,” Pandolfo said. 

Case McCarthy (7) and Jeremy Wilmer (16) celebrate the BU Captain’s second goal of the season at Agganis Arena on Feb. 9, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

Senior forward Dylan Peterson is good to go for this weekend and has practiced with the team the past two days, Pandolfo said. Peterson briefly left the third period of the Beanpot Championship after getting hip-checked and struggled to put weight on his right leg. In terms of the lineup, Pandolfo said he hasn’t made any final decisions. 

The Terriers have faced bouts of adversity in the second half of the season – losing three straight games at the end of January, including two against Boston College – but have adapted and bounced back nonetheless. 

Providence will be another good gut – and depth – test for BU with just six regular season games left on the calendar. 

“I believe in this group. I’m proud of them just the way they come to work every day and look to improve every day,” Pandolfo said. “When we don’t do something well, they’re always looking to respond…That’s the thing I’m really happy about – they’re resilient.” 

Five things to know about the Friars:

  • Providence has split its last two Hockey East series, most recently falling 2-1 to the University of Maine on Friday before winning 4-3 in overtime on Saturday. Junior defenseman Guillaume Richard scored the OT game-winning goal. 
  • Senior forward Nick Poisson leads the team in points with 21 (seven goals, 14 assists). Poisson is on the second line, left wing alongside freshman Hudson Malinoski and sophomore Jaroslav Chmelar. 
  • Sophomore Philip Svedebäck has been Providence’s starter this season. The goaltender has a 2.19 goals-against average and .901 save percentage through 27 games. 
  • The Friars’ power-play percentage is ranked 31st in the nation at .200, compared to BU’s which is ranked ninth at .254. Providence’s .826 penalty kill percentage, though, is ranked 21st while the Terriers’ .814 sits at 28th. 
  • Senior forward Chase Yoder leads the Friars in goals with nine. Yoder is centering the first line between sophomore Bennett Schimek and junior Riley Duran. 

 Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Schneider Arena, and 6 p.m Saturday at Agganis Arena. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage of the series so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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