The last time David Quinn sat on a bench for a game between the Boston University men’s hockey team and Boston College, the then-associate coach watched the Terriers score three goals in less than a minute to defeat the Eagles in the semifinal round of the 2009 Hockey East Tournament.
Now, as head coach of the No. 17 Terriers (4-4, 2-1 Hockey East), Quinn said he did not prepare the team for the rivalry game any differently than he would any other contest, but he acknowledged the importance of the game.
“I think both schools circle this game on their schedule no matter where the standings are, how good the teams are, no matter what the records are,” Quinn said. “It’s always a competitive, well-played game. This is going to be no different.”
Both teams enter into Friday night’s tilt after a home-and-home series with a Hockey East opponent.
The Terriers started off the weekend strong with four unanswered goals against Providence College in the second and third period of Friday night’s game at Agganis Arena to complete a comeback 4-3 win. On Saturday, however, untimely penalties and a lack of a shooter’s mentality led to a 3-1 loss at Schneider Arena.
As a result of his penalty in the offensive zone that led to the Friars’ game-tying goal on Saturday, sophomore forward Sam Kurker will not dress for Friday’s game.
While penalties have remained a main topic of conversation for the team all season, though, Quinn said that the team has frequently discussed its shooting mentality.
“We’re still working on it,” Quinn said. “You don’t change somebody over night, so we have to look to shoot pucks more, without question.”
After a weekend series against Northeastern University, the No. 8 Eagles (4-2-1, 2-0 Hockey East) come into Friday night’s game with a home-and-home sweep in their pocket. After taking the Friday game against the Huskies (5-3, 0-2 Hockey East) 4-2, BC bounced back from a 3-1 deficit in the third to defeat Northeastern 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.
As they have done all season, forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold had a significant role in the weekend sweep, as they registered a total of nine points on the weekend.
“We are trying to match up our best against their best,” Quinn said. “They have got a lot of good players. They’re three special players, but we have played special players before.”
Quinn will attempt to stymie one of the more potent offenses in the league with sophomore Matt O’Connor in net. This weekend marks the first time during the regular season that the Terriers have had just one game during a weekend. According to Quinn, O’Connor got the nod in part because it was his spot in the rotation.
Whether he played sophomore Sean Maguire or O’Connor, though, Quinn said he could sleep easy knowing that he has such strong netminders on the team.
“I think we have a goaltending advantage over everybody,” Quinn said. “I mean, really, we are very lucky to have bot of them.”
According to the team’s Twitter account, Friday evening’s game is sold out, meaning the Terriers will likely play in front of the largest crowd they have seen at Agganis Arena this season.
“You don’t get three points if you beat them, it always feels good if you beat them,” Quinn said. “At the end of the day, it’s still a two-point game, but I know what it means to our players, and I know what it means to their players. I know what it means to our alumni, and I know what it means to their alumni. I know what it means to both schools.”