It may not be a good idea to be a Minuteman this weekend.
It’s true that the Boston University hockey team will enter its game Friday night with a disappointing record of 2-8-1, but consider a few things as the squad gears up for two games this weekend against the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
If there is any team the Terriers would probably enjoy facing in the midst of a six-game losing streak, it’s the Minutemen.
The Terriers are 25-2 all-time against Amherst, which is 3-8-2 this season. BU has won nine of the last 10 meetings, including five in a row.
Chances are there is no one alive who has actually seen the two games in which Massachusetts has edged out BU. The last time the Terriers fell to the Minutemen was a 5-4 loss on Jan. 23, 1999. Before that, the Terriers had won every game after Jan. 16, 1920 — the only other time the Terriers have fallen to the Minutemen.
Friday night the Terriers will head to Amherst to take part in its third straight road game. It has been a road trip that has taken BU as far away as Colorado during Thanksgiving break and as close as Amherst this Friday. The Terriers will also host the Minutemen at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday night.
The Minutemen are in the midst of a six-game winless streak and haven’t emerged victorious from a hockey game since Nov. 4 against the University of New Hampshire.
But one player the Terriers will have to look out for is Tim Turner, who leads the team in goals and assists with with eight and nine, respectively. He is also tied for the team lead in points with 12. Turner’s point total is tied with that of brother Jeff Turner, who has netted three goals and tallied nine assists.
Like the Terriers, the Minutemen use a rotation of two goalies between the pipes. Markus Helanen has started eight of the nine games in which he has appeared. With a record of 2-4-1, he holds a 3.60 goals-against average overall and a 1.98 GAA in Hockey East. Mike Johnson, Amherst’s secondary goalie, has started five of his seven games and holds a 4.40 GAA overall.
On the Terriers’ side, junior goalie Jason Tapp enters the weekend with a 1-5-1 record and a 3.84 GAA. Freshman goalie Sean Fields comes in at 1-3-1 with a 2.77 GAA.
The Terriers are also trying to rebound from a rough November, where the squad went 1-7. In December, the Minutemen will consume two of the month’s five games. This month, BU will battle the University of Maine, the University of North Dakota, and either the University of Wisconsin or Princeton University, depending on the results of the Bank One Showdown in Wisconsin over winter break.
If the Terriers take both weekend matchups, it would be a step toward regaining a winning record, which the Terriers have achieved in nine of the last 10 seasons. It would also give fans a chance to watch their team take the first steps toward regaining the level of hockey that has become synonymous with BU.