Men’s Hockey: Terriers to face Air Force in Desert Hockey Classic in Tempe

By Gracie Davenport

No. 6 Boston University Men’s Hockey (12-5-0, 8-4-0 HE) will head west this weekend for a pair of games in the fourth annual Desert Hockey Classic hosted by the Arizona State. The games will be played at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

This marks BU’s first appearance in the four-team tournament, and they will face the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons (6-10-2) in the first game. The Desert Hockey Classic will also feature the No. 16 Michigan Tech University Huskies (12-6-3) in addition to the Sun Devils (10-11-0). 

The Terriers are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 overtime win over the then-No. 9 Harvard Crimson on Dec. 30. BU captain Domenick Fensore capped off a career-high seven shot on goal night with the winner. 

The senior was named December’s Hockey East Defender of the Month and is riding a seven-game point streak. Over that span, Fensore has 10 points (6g, 4a). 

After facing back-to-back Top 10 teams, BU will be dealt an easier opponent in Air Force for their first game of the weekend. 

The Falcons are currently on a five-game losing skid, and their series last weekend was postponed due to inclement weather. This matchup with the Terriers will be Air Force’s first in-game action in 34 days. 

Junior forwards Will Gavin and Nate Horn, and defenseman Luke Rowe lead the Falcons with 13 points each through 17 games. Horn is riding a six-game point streak, and Rowe was named November’s AHA Defensive Player of the Month. 

In net, Air Force has started sophomore goaltender Guy Blessing (6-8-1) in 15 straight games. The netminder holds a .889 save percentage and a 3.23 goals against average. 

This will be only the fourth time the Terriers will play against the Falcons, and BU proved victorious in all three of their previous matchups. The last time they faced each other was Oct. 9, 1999, when BU won 8-3. 

Depending on the outcome of this game, the Terriers will either face the Sun Devils or Huskies the following day. 

ASU is coming off a series split with Boston College. The Sun Devils won the second game 2-1, and former Terrier Robert Mastrosimone recorded a point. The senior forward leads ASU in points with 22 (6g, 16a) in 21 games. 

Michigan Tech would be an even bigger test for the Terriers. The Huskies are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against No. 14 Michigan State but have not faced any Hockey East teams this season. 

The Huskies hold the seventh-best penalty kill in the NCAA (86.1%). This is an area BU has emphasized for the second half of its schedule, and the Terriers’ PK was a perfect 4-for-4 against Harvard. 

Senior goaltender Blake Pietila has been the Huskies’ starter (11-6-2) and holds the nation’s 16th-best save percentage (.922) and GAA (2.19). 

BU will face off against Air Force Friday night at 5:30 p.m. ET. The ASU-Michigan Tech game will follow at 9 p.m. ET. If the Terriers play Michigan Tech Saturday, puck drop will be at 5:30 p.m. ET. Otherwise, they will square off with the Sun Devils at 9 p.m. ET. All four games will be available for streaming on