Typically, recent meetings between the Boston College Eagles and Boston University Terriers have seen both teams be at least passable.
Tonight, the Eagles and Terriers meet for the 264th time, but one team is quite terrible.
That, fortunately for the home team, is Boston University. The Terriers are currently in tenth place, sitting at 7-11-2 (2-5-1). Under the old Hockey East Tournament configuration, they would be on the outside looking in, but Notre Dame’s entry changed everything: all teams now qualify, and the bottom six teams play in a best-of-three opening round. Nevertheless, with a record like that, their path to the TD Garden is a bit narrow to say the least.
Boston University has not won a game since November 30, picking up a tie with Merrimack on December 7 but otherwise losing all of their games. In their most recent game at Frozen Fenway, the Maine Black Bears dropped seven goals on the Terriers. Actually, so did Harvard on January 4. Hell, so did Maine (the first time) on November 15. Finally, in what seems shocking at this point in the season, the Terriers have not yet won a road game.
Meanwhile, Boston College is ranked #4 in the country, not having lost a game in about the same length of time as it has been since Boston University won. The two programs have gone in opposite directions over the last month and a half, not giving new head coach David Quinn a rousing welcome to Hockey East. If the Eagles want to stomp their Commonwealth Avenue rivals hard, they won’t get a much better chance than Friday night.
Quinn will send Sean Maguire in between the pipes for the visitors; Maguire is 1-6-0 with a 2.72 GAA. They will need this sophomore Canadian to stop the number-one offense in the country, humming along to the tune of 4.38 goals per game with current Hobey Baker shoo-in Johnny Gaudreau leading the way with 40 points.
Of course, for a team having a down year like the Terriers, playing spoiler is the sort of thing they would relish.