Friday, February 24, 2017

Terriers face off with Notre Dame

The BU Terriers finish their regular season schedule this weekend with a pair of home games against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with both teams having a shot at the league title. For Notre Dame, it is an opportunity to ensure their place in the NCAA tournament as well as leave Hockey East for the Big Ten as regular season conference champions. The Terriers have struggled with Notre Dame in past years posting a 1-5-1 record against the Irish since David Quinn has taken over as head coach at BU. In the games against the Irish the last few seasons the Terrier have had difficulty getting victories despite outshooting the Irish. In the last four meetings, the team with the fewer amount of shots has not lost with BU going 1-2-1 in those games despite outshooting Jeff Jackson's crew by 41 shots total in those four games combined. The one game BU won they only posted 24 shots.

Part of the struggles for BU has been that ND goalies Cal Peterson is very good and part of is that he has always been on when facing the Terriers. Coach Quinn referred to the 1-0 loss at Notre Dame being the end of the season last year as the Terriers never seemed to play well after that difficult defeat in which they dominated play and outshot the Irish 39-28. Notre Dame has been an extremely frustrating opponent to play against for BU and it's just as bad for any fan who has to listen to the fake ND hockey fans from Southie after the game like I did last time BU hosted Notre Dame. This is an important weekend for the Terriers and me to wipe those memories from their minds by hopefully putting up another 8 goal performance like they did to UNH in their last game last Saturday.

These games also happen to decide the conference championship for the season. The Terriers currently sit tied for second at 27 league points. They are two points back of BC and tied with Lowell with one game in hand on both while ND sits one point back of the Terriers and RiverHawks. The Terriers control their own destiny in that they guarantee themselves a share of the league title with two wins this weekend. I would be worried playing Notre Dame with a league title on the line but as Kieffer Bellows said after last week's game "We got our swagger back" . Time for two more bricks in the wall.

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