What do you need to know about the Boston University Terriers, Northeastern’s opponent Monday night in the Beanpot championship game? Well, for starters, they’re the hottest team in the nation.
BU is 7-0-2 in its past nine games—with all but three of those games coming away from their home ice at Agganis Arena.
Matt Dresens, founder and writer for the BU Hockey Blog, says this is hardly the same BU team that Northeastern swept in a home-and-home earlier this season in November. BU counts nine freshmen on its roster, and Dresens chalks up the team’s early struggles in part to the younger players still finding their roles. “They were always finding ways to lose the games early on,” he says. Lately, though, BU has tightened up its defense and improved its power play and penalty kill.
Junior forward Bobo Carpenter leads BU in goals (17) and points (28). Freshmen Shane Bowers and Brady Tkachuk have also been solid producers this season, tallying 15 and seven goals, respectively. On Friday night, Bowers scored twice and Carpenter netted a goal in a 3-3 tie with UMass.
Dresens says BU’s biggest strength is on the blue line. “The defense is very good,” he says. “They have some big guys who are highly skilled.” Three of BU’s top eight goal scorers are defensemen; in fact, headed into the Beanpot tournament, BU was the only team in the country with three defensemen with at least five goals this season.
Dresens says BU and Northeastern both boast potent top lines, but it’s the second and third lines where BU could have matchup issues with Northeastern. Also, BU will be without junior Jordan Greenway, who is second on the team in points (25). Greenway is in South Korea playing for Team USA in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.