Featured images by Joe Eachus
By Miranda Lemus
Friday night lights are upon us, and both No. 3 Boston University Men’s Hockey and Boston University Women’s Hockey are set to take home ice against the Merrimack College Warriors (10-16-1, 3-13-1 HE) and the University of Maine Black Bears (11-16-2, 7-13-2 HE) respectively.
The Mens’ matchup against Merrimack should be a good test of how the Terriers plan to build momentum following their win over the No. 1 Boston College Eagles in the Beanpot semifinal. “Every game’s a big game don’t get me wrong, but proceeding the Beanpot [is] obviously a big deal,” said coach Jay Pandolfo.
Earlier this season, the Terriers swept Merrimack in their first-semester home-and-home. Even with senior forward Alex Jefferies returning for one of the games against the Terriers early this season, he came out pointless.
Jefferies has been in and out of the Merrimack lineup due to injury. The Warriors have not won a game since his most recent hiatus from the team. Whether their six-game losing streak has been due to Jefferies’s absence, MC is ready to turn things around. According to Pandolfo, Jefferies will be playing this Friday.
A recent change in the lineup may help the Terriers lock down a win against the Warriors. Hockey East Rookie of the Week, Forward Macklin Celebrini, is now centering a line with freshman forward Jack Harvey. Harvey and Celebrini play together on the Chicago Steel before heading over to BU. The two have undeniable chemistry and will surely connect this weekend.
As for Women’s Hockey, their recent win over No. 15 Boston College has also put pressure on them to keep their foot on the gas pedal. Especially against an even-matched team like Maine, the Terriers need a win here.
This game is particularly special for Maine transfers Lilli and Luisa Welcke. The sophomores will look to play some of their best hockey against their former team. Each sister has 9 points this season, which is a slight regression from their impressive rookie campaigns. Maybe, this will be exactly what they need to start producing.
Similarly to the Merrimack College Men’s Warriors, the Black Bears have spent their last six games winless. Their only glimpse of hope came from a 3-3 against Merrimack College Women’s Warriors.
However, it is hard to discount Maine’s veteran prowess. Graduate forwards Ida Kuoppala and Ann-Frederique Guay and senior forward Rahel Enzler have done all the heavy lifting this season.
There is a large drop-off in points after those three forwards and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.
No. 2 Boston University Men’s Hockey takes on Merrimack College Warriors at 7 pm while Boston University Women’s Hockey will face the Maine Black Bears at 6 pm. Both games are available on ESPN+ and NESN.