In many wins, this weekend's situation is eerily similar to 2012. That year, Jerry York went in to a weekend home and home with BU needing two victories to secure victory #925 and break the all time NCAA wins record. As it turned out, the two teams split the weekend series, and #925 had to wait a few weeks until the Mariucci Classic against Alabama-Huntsville. This weekend, York needs to wins to get to #1000; a split will push things off until at least next Friday night at UMass, while a sweep at the hands of BU would obviously delay the party even further.
What was truly surprising about that weekend in 2012 however is not the fact that the teams split, but rather that each team actually won at home. Since Agganis Arena opened up in the 2004-05 season, road wins have often defined this regular season series.
First, just the stats: BC is 11-3-1 all time at the House that Jack Parker built, including a stretch in which the Eagles have just one loss at BU since 2009 (the aforementioned game in 2012 when Jerry York was going for win #924). During that same stretch, the Eagles are 13-15-1 against the Terriers at all other venues, including a 5-7-1 mark on home ice.
In recent seasons it's been pretty common for BC to drop a game (or two) against BU at Conte, only to redeem the season series with a win at Agganis. Last season, the Eichel-led Terriers unsurprisingly notched a win at Conte in November, beating BC 5-3. When BC returned to Agganis in January, however, they managed to pull off the mild upset, winning 4-2 - arguably their biggest win of the season last year.
In 2011, BU embarrassed BC twice at home within a four week span, spanking the Eagles 5-0 on November 13 and following that up with a 5-3 win on December 2. This was a pretty painfully mediocre year for BU as well, whereas BC was an eventual national champion. BC salvaged a win out of the regular season series at Agganis with a 6-1 blowout win on December 3, then went on to top BU in the Beanpot final.
BU went through their 08/09 national championship season without losing to BC, and followed it up with another pretty successful run in the season series in 2009/10, beating the Eagles at Conte Forum and at Fenway Park. But what happened when the teams got together at Agganis? A 4-1 BC win, naturally. Last but not least, the same situation happened in 2006/07, with BU smoking the Eagles at Conte Forum, but BC sweeping a pair at Agganis.
Why is BC so good at Agganis Arena compared to games against BU in other locations? It could just be a fluke, but it's gone on long enough that it no longer feels that way. Explanations range from the psychological to the physical. BC players have said that they feel extra motivation playing in front of the hostile BU crowd. Others have suggested BU plays too tight in these games and that the reputation for losing to BC at Agganis has only made the situation snowball mentally.
A possible explanation also comes in the ice surface. Agganis, a modern facility, has a top-notch, pro-level ice surface, which can favor the often speedier Eagles. The slower track at Conte (sometimes even complete with puddles through the years) has neutralized that advantage or favored BU's ability to score dirty goals by creating traffic in front of the net.
Whatever the explanation is, it's a story that's gone on for over a decade now. So if history is any guide, expect Jerry York to be sitting on #999 after this weekend following a home loss and a road win.