BOSTON -- As the top-ranked team in the country, Boston University officially has a target on its back.
The Terriers open up a stretch of three straight games against ECAC foes on this pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday evening, welcoming No. 18 Harvard to Agganis Arena for the 150th meeting between the crosstown rivals.
Tonight marks the first of two meetings between the Crimson and Terriers this year as they will open the 63rd Beanpot Tournament on Feb. 2, 2015 at TD Garden. BU holds a 76-67-6 advantage in the all-time series which dates back to 1922, but has lost each of the last four meetings and five of the last seven.
BU is in the midst of a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) and jumped into a tie atop the Hockey East standings after weekend wins over Maine and UConn, while Harvard is off to its best start since 2005 after shutting out Dartmouth last Tuesday and posting a convincing Friday win over Bentley. The two join Robert Morris as the only one-loss teams remaining in Division 1.
BU freshman Jack Eichel posted a goal and three assists on the weekend to earn Hockey East Player of the Week honors. If he is able to record a point tonight, the North Chelmsford, Mass. native would become the first Terrier to record an 11-game point streak since Chris Drury in 1995-96.
Eichel and Crimson sophomore Alexander Kerfoot are the two highest scorers in Division 1 to date, each with well over a 1.50 points per-game average as they have combined for 11 goals and 20 assists in 18 games. Senior Patrick McNally leads the nation's defensemen with 1.38 points per-game.
Harvard's overall offensive (tied for third, 1.62 GPG) and defensive (sixth, 3.62) units and combined special teams (first, 30-for-31) all rank in the nation's top ten.
Here are tonight's lines:
CRIMSON (5-1-2, 3-1-2 ECAC Hockey)
Jimmy Vesey - Alexander Kerfoot - Kyle Criscuolo
Tommy O'Regan - Luke Esposito - Brian Hart
Seb Lloyd - Tyler Moy - Jake Horton
Devin Tringale - Eddie Ellis - Phil Zielonka
Patrick McNally - Desmond Bergin
Max Everson - Victor Newell
Wiley Sherman - Clay Anderson
TERRIERS (8-1-1, 6-1-1 Hockey East)
Ahti Oksanen - Jack Eichel - Danny O'Regan
Evan Rodrigues - Cason Hohmann - J.J. Piccinich
A.J. Greer - Matt Lane - Nick Roberto
Chase Phelps - Mike Moran - Tommy Kelley
Matt Grzelcyk - John MacLeod
Brandon Fortunato - Brandon Hickey
Doyle Somerby - Brien Diffley