Sunday, January 31, 2016

BU-NU Square Off In Championship Game Rematch

It's that time of year again and it can only mean one thing: Beanpot. Tomorrow night, BU and Northeastern will square off in a rematch of last year's championship game. If anyone forgot, BU walked off in the opening minute of overtime on a power play goal from Matt Grzelcyk. It was BU's 30th Beanpot crown and left NU still searching for their first title since 1988.
From The Vault
BU celebrates after winning last year's Beanpot. Photo quality is
terrible because I took it on my phone.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Coming into Monday night's game, NU is following a similar path as to when the two teams met in last year's championship game. The Huskies are on a six game win streak and have only lost one game since November 27th. Last year, NU won seven consecutive games before falling to Maine the Saturday before the Beanpot Final.

Much like a year ago, NU limped out of the gate. They lost 11 of their first 14 games, but come into Monday's tilt with a 9-12-4 record. Since playing in the Belpot (Friendship Four in Belfast) in late November, NU is 8-1-1 and have outscored their opponents 44-21. In the streak, NU has knocked off St. Lawrence, New Hampshire, and Merrimack twice, tied Quinnipiac and Boston College and beat Michigan State and Colgate once. Their only loss was to Boston College and they were up 2-0 and 3-1 in that game, but lost 4-3 at home.

Earlier this year, BU caught NU in the middle of their dismal 13 game winless steak. BU won a back and forth, seesaw type of game at Agganis on November 6th, 5-4. The following night, the Terriers rolled to a convincing 4-1 at Matthews.

Scouting the Huskies
Zach Aston-Reese currently is the offensive leader for the Huskies. In 25 games played, Aston-Reese has 7 goals and 16 assists for 23 points. Nolan Stevens has the most goals on the Huskie roster with 10. Other players to watch include Dylan Sikura, John Stevens, Matt Benning and Adam Gaudette, who scored in both games vs BU earlier this season.

Then there is Kevin Roy. Yes, that Kevin Roy who always seems to score against BU in the Beanpot. Well, he only has seven points on the year and surprisingly has not scored a goal yet. He was out with an injury from November 13th to January 22nd and has posted two assists in two games back. In total, the Lac-Beauport, Quebec native has only played in 13 games.

In goal, freshman Ryan Ruck has seen action in 21 games and has a 7-9-3 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.47 goals against average. BU posted eight goals on him in two games on 62 shots. That's an .886 sv%.

Out Of Conference Common Opponents 
Bentley 3, at NU 2 (October 16)
NU 1, at Bentley 4 (October 17)

BU 3, Bentley 0 (November 24)   

BU 4, at Quinnipiac 1 (December 12)

Quinnipiac 3, at NU 3 (January 2)

BU Notes
- BU will be the home team in both games no matter if they play in the Consolation game or the Final a week from Monday. They won the coin flip at the Beanpot Lunch earlier this week. 

- Maguire in net.

- Still no word on Nik Olsson's availability.

- I would suspect that Ryan Cloonan will be back on the top line with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Danny O'Regan. Oskar Andrén will likely be back on the third line.

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