For the first time since 1973 Boston University and Boston College will meet on the ice without Jack Parker as the head coach of the Terriers. The two old rivals will square off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Harry Agganis Arena in the first clash between the teams since David Quinn took over for Parker at BU.
Boston College is 4-2-1 overall and 2-0 in Hockey East after a weekend sweep of another Beanpot rival -- Northeastern. The Eagles are still trying to sort out their goaltending situation, but Jerry York's squad is loaded upfront with experienced talent and sensational rookies.
Junior Brian Billett and freshman Thatcher Demko have split the goaltending duties thus far. If the rotation goes as expected, Demko, the former USNTDP star, should get the nod on Friday night. Demko's numbers are significantly better than those of Billett's, but York seems committed to giving each a chance to prove themselves.
As usual, the BC offense starts with explosive junior Johnny Gaudreau and senior Kevin Hayes, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect. The Eagles freshman class, the undisputed best in college hockey, got into the action Saturday night with Ryan Fitzgerald scoring a goal and then Adam Gilmour potting his first career goal in overtime.
Boston University has struggled at times early in the season, but has been much better on home ice. Quinn's team is 4-1 at Agganis Arena compared to 0-3 on the road. Danny O'Regan, Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann and Matt Lane have been the offensive catalysts out of the returning players. Freshmen Robbie Baillargeon and Nick Roberto have played a key role as well.
The defense has stepped into the offense for the Terriers with Ahti Oksanen and Garrett Noonan leading the team in scoring, but the group has also struggled to contain opposing offenses. The Terriers have been out shot 285-209 cumulatively.
Sean Maguire and Matt O'Connor have both appeared in four games with both putting up solid numbers. Quinn has chosen to ride the hot hand more than a firm rotation, but it has worked out that way.
It's always an exciting game when these two old rivals get together and Friday should be no different. Boston College and Boston University will battle it out for Commonwealth Ave. bragging rights in front of a sold-out Agganis Arena with a new face behind the home bench.
Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.