CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- For the first time in just under one year, it's about time to battle on Commonwealth Avenue. No. 4 Boston College and No. 10 Boston University open a crucial Hockey East home-and-home series tonight here at Conte Forum, renewing their historic rivalry for the 268th time.
Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. tonight. The game will be televised on American Sports Network (NESNplus locally) with Tom Caron and Dave Starman on the call.
The teams did not meet in the Beanpot or Hockey East playoffs last season, so tonight's game marks their first head-to-head clash since BC earned a 4-2 win at Agganis Arena on Jan. 16, 2015. Last year's two meetings were the fewest in the historic series since 1982-83.
Tonight's game holds added significance nationally as the teams are separated by just one spot in the PairWise Rankings. BU sits ninth and has a 3-1-3 record this season against teams ranked in the top ten. The Terriers' only loss came during a Nov. 20-21 weekend split with Michigan.
BU broke out the offense last week, coming from behind for a 6-5 win at Harvard on Thursday before a 7-2 victory against UMass two nights later. The Terriers have earned points in six of their last league seven games and would be on their first four-game win streak of the season with a victory tonight.
Senior captain Matt Grzelcyk scored his first collegiate hat trick ― naturally, with two goals in the second period and one in the third ― in the latter game. He had four goals and an assist in the two games since returning from injury for the second time this season.
The Eagles are coming off an impressive three-point weekend against Providence, which concluded with a dramatic 4-4 road tie on Saturday night. BC and UMass Lowell sit even in the Hockey East win column, but the River Hawks hold a slight one-point standings edge.
Rookie Colin White returned from the World Junior Championship in style in Friday's 7-3 win over the Friars. The Hanover, Mass., native lit the lamp three times and added an assist for his third four-point game of the season.
Junior goaltender Thatcher Demko sat out both games last weekend with an upper body injury, allowing freshman Ian Milosz to debut just days after he joined the team. Milosz made a combined 62 saves, including 38 on Saturday.
Here are tonight's lines:
TERRIERS (11-6-3, 5-3-2)
Ryan Cloonan - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - Danny O'Regan
Jordan Greenway - Matt Lane - Ahti Oksanen
Nikolas Olsson - Bobo Carpenter - Robbie Baillargeon
Chase Phelps - Mike Moran - Oskar Andrén
Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy
Brandon Hickey - Brandon Fortunato
Doyle Somerby - John MacLeod
EAGLES (14-4-2, 7-1-2)
Matthew Gaudreau - Colin White - Ryan Fitzgerald
Miles Wood - Austin Cangelosi - Chris Calnan
Adam Gilmour - Zach Sanford - Alex Tuch
Travis Jeke - Christopher Brown - J.D. Dudek
Ian McCoshen - Casey Fitzgerald
Teddy Doherty - Steve Santini
Michael Kim - Scott Savage