After winning its first game of the season, the No. 2 Boston University men’s hockey team will take on No. 14 Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. This matchup marks the Terriers’ (1-0) first road game of the season.
Last weekend weekend, BU secured a win against No. 16 Union College after sophomore forward Patrick Harper notched two goals and an assist, and sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the game-clinching goal on a power play in the third period.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk fed the puck to fellow freshman forward Shane Bowers for an empty-net goal to seal the 4-1 score.
“It was a great atmosphere here and all the fans were buzzing around, the student section was awesome, the band was awesome, so it was definitely an awesome night,” Tkachuk said.
The following day during their exhibition game, the Terriers played the University of Prince Edward Island. Despite scoring four power-play goals, the contest ended with a 5-5 draw.
While his team put up 43 shots against Union (0-3-0), BU head coach David Quinn said his team needs to be more prepared to shoot the puck at the net.
“I thought we had a lot of quality shots,” Quinn said. “The goalie played really well for Union. I think that we’ve got to be more prepared to shoot. I think we got the puck in an area where we should get rid of it, and we wait and maybe get a little too cute.”
Although the Terriers possess a potent offense, in order to find the back of the net, they’ll have to first get past Quinnipiac’s (0-0-1) sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge.
Shortridge finished last season with a .920 save percentage and 2.09 goals against average.
Standing in front of him is sophomore defenseman Brogan Rafferty who led the Bobcats in assists with 22 last season.
Out of its top six team point-leaders last season, each amassing to 24 points or more, five remain and will pose a threat to BU’s blueline that has seven NHL draft picks that were all present on the line sheet last weekend.
Senior forward Landon Smith led the team in points last season with 11 goals and 18 assists.
With Quinnipiac retaining many of its older players, sophomore defenseman Chad Krys said he expects the team to have a physical presence on the ice.
“They’re a big team,” Krys said. “They’re an older team, much older than us so I think anytime you deal with that, you’re going to deal with a pretty physical team and a team that plays hard.”
Krys, who notched an assist against Union and three points in the Terriers’ exhibition game, said he hopes to be a leader on the ice this season.
“Last year I did a pretty good job getting better as the year went on, but I think this year right from the get-go I want to be a go-to guy,” Krys said. “I want to play a lot of minutes and be a big part of our team.”
Quinnipiac enters this matchup having tied its first game of the 2017-18 season against No. 13 Boston College.
Last season, Quinnipiac struggled offensively against BU as sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger collected his second collegiate shutout after saving 22 shots.
While there’s no guarantee that Oettinger will have the same success this season, Quinn said he remained pleased with the goaltender’s performance over the weekend.
“He had played real well the other night,” Quinn said. “[Our defense] gave up some glaring chances and he stood tall and we’re going to need that. Every team relies on a good goalie and we’re no different.”