Men’s Hockey: No. 3 Terriers set for rematch with top-ranked BC

By Claire Smieszny

As of Monday night, trophy season is officially underway in college hockey.

Boston University men’s hockey (17-7-1, 12-4-1 HE) is gearing up for a shot at redemption against the Boston College Eagles (19-3-1, 12-3-1 HE) in the first round of the Men’s Beanpot. 

After dropping both games in the home-and-home series two weeks ago, the Terriers look to reclaim the bragging rights in the rivalry by taking down the Eagles in one of college hockey’s greatest traditions. 

BU has a tough game ahead of them, as the Eagles comes into the game as the top-ranked team nationally. Their star players are sure to perform just as well as during the regular season series. Namely, the highly-touted freshmen line. 

Freshmen forwards Will Smith, Ryan Leonard and Gabe Perreault have dominated the D1 circuit so far this season on a line together, and are sure to pose a tough challenge for BU’s defense yet again. The line has a combined 107 points on the season, which accounts for over a third of the team’s points as a whole.

Another bright spot on the BC offense is sophomore forward Cutter Gauthier. With 34 points of his own, his contributions are right up there with the freshmen. 

The Eagles’ elite offensive play is complemented by their strength between the pipes. Freshman goaltender Jacob Fowler is having the ultimate debut season, with a 2.21 goals against average and a .925 save percentage through almost 1500 minutes played. 

As stellar as Fowler is in net, BU’s offense will make it difficult so keep those stats up. Freshman forward Macklin Celebrini has 37 points on the season and is showing no signs of slowing down. BU has had a season full of contributions from everywhere in the lineup, with six players with over 20 points and 12 with at least 10. 

Additionally, sophomore offensive defenseman Lane Hutson poses a threat of his own. With 32 points on the season, he’ll be hard for BC to challenge on both ends of the ice. BU’s defense is hard to get through, with other star players like freshman Tom Willander and veteran graduate students Case McCarthy and Cade Webber.

To hold it down in net, there’s no better choice heading into the Beanpot than junior goaltender Mathieu Caron. Since transferring from Brown this season, he’s recorded a 2.48 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. The Eagles have a couple different hard barriers to go through when it comes to scoring in this game. 

With pride on the line against their biggest rival in college hockey, BU looks to both get themselves into the Beanpot championship game and right their reputation after a devastating series sweep. 

Puck drop is at 8p.m. at TD Garden, with streaming available on ESPN+ and broadcast on NESN.