One thing that has not changed is that the teams come into this game as highly ranked programs once again as both are coming off trips to the NCAA tournament with Quinnipiac being the national runner-up. Quinnipiac lost some talent to graduation and early departures while Boston University imported what many experts consider to be the number one recruiting class in the country. On paper no team in the country matches the high end talent that Boston University possesses.
Boosting a collection of eleven NHL draft picks including four first round picks and four second round picks, the Terriers are loaded on offense and defense. If there is one thing that is lacking with them, the word that comes to mind is experience. 17 of the 26 players on the Boston University roster are underclassmen with 9 freshman and 8 sophomores.
|Patrick Harper (photo by Maddie Malhotra)|
|Clayton Keller (photo by U.S. National Development Team)|
The Terriers boast a talented defense with a good mixture of size, speed, experience and youth. The six main stays on defense are all NHL draft picks. The leader of the defense is captain Doyle Somerby (2012 5th round, New York Islanders). He is the only senior of the group. Juniors Brandon Hickey (2014 3rd round, Calgary), John McLeod (2014 2nd round, Tampa Bay) and Brien Diffley round out the upperclassmen. Diffley has seen action in one game this season but has over the prior two seasons saw action in 68 games. Sophomore Charlie McAvoy was drafted by the Boston Bruins with their first round pick this past season had 25 points as a freshman. Rounding out the defensive core Dante Fabbro (2016 1st Round, Nashville) who was the British Columbia Hockey League's top defenseman in 2015-16 and Chad Krys (2016 2nd round, Chicago) who comes to BU from the United States National Program. Quinnipiac's offense will need to try to get some of the younger defenseman on BU to make mistakes along with taking penalties to create increased scoring opportunities.
|Charlie McAvoy (photo by Steve McLaughlin/BU Athletics)|
The Terriers have a freshman, but talented goaltender in Jake Oettinger who is almost surely to go in the first two rounds of the 2017 draft. The 6'4 goaltender came to BU from the United States National Program. He has played in all three of the Terriers games so far posting a 2-2 record with a 1.78 GAA and a .937 save percentage. Quinnipiac will need to get as many chances as they can get on him and hope his inexperience shows up like it did on the road a week ago against Denver.
BU has taken 31 penalties in its first four games, so for Quinnipiac to win a road contest against as good as a team as the Terriers, they will need to get onto the power play and to capitalize. Dave Quinn's team has been very good so far on the penalty kill as they have killed off 29 of 31 chances for a 93.5% clip. For Quinnipiac it must limit the penalties it takes because it is only a matter of time before the BU power play gets going with the talent they bring. The Bobcats have only killed off 82.4% of their penalty kills on the young season. Getting strong goal tending from likely starter Chris Truehl or freshman Andrew Shortridge is a must. I'd expect coach Pecknold to go with the experience that Chris Truehl brings in a game of this magnitude. Game like this go a long way in pairwise come March so a Quinnipiac win on the road could be key for them down the road if they can prevail against the Terriers.