Thursday, January 12, 2017

BC Week

It is that time of year once again… It’s BC week. Yes, there is a weird scheduling quirkwith the games being a Friday/Monday split. Yes it’s over winter break, at least for BU. And yes, there is a Patriots playoff game on Saturday night, but hey at least the league had the presence of mind to not schedule a game that conflicts with the Pats.
From The Vault
Former BU captain Wade Megan works a power play against
the Eagles in a 4-2 BU win on November 30th, 2012
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

Overall it’s still dumb scheduling by the league to have their marquee matchup take place over winter break, but whatever. We’ll deal with it. Apparently it’s changing next year.

Finally the two teams will meet again for the first time since the epic Beanpot final that saw BC win 1-0 in overtime last February. A lot has changed for both teams since then. For one, BC lost seven players to the NHL in the offseason. Most thought this would be crippling for the Eagles, but the perennial Hockey East power is currently in a comfortable four-point lead over Lowell for first in the league with 19 points.

While Boston College may be racking up the league points, the currently sit 12th in the PairWise with a 14-7-2 record. BU is in a tie for fourth with Duluth. BC has struggled against better competition. On the year, the Eagles are just 2-5-0 against ranked teams.

The wins… At Denver in the Icebreaker consolation game 3-1 (very good win), and at home against Providence in the last weekend of October. At the time, Denver was ranked third (and are now number one), and PC was 14 and has since fallen out of the rankings.

The Eagles lost at Harvard 5-2 in the middle of November. Harvard was ranked 11th at the time. Two weeks later, BC was doubled up by Minnesota 4-2 and the Gophers were also ranked 11th. Moving to a showdown at Madison Square Garden against number ninth ranked North Dakota: loss 4-3. Then we get to a matchup with 14th ranked Notre Dame on December 10th, a 4-3 loss before rounding out with a 3-1 loss to Quinnipiac in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburg on December 29th.

For comparison, BU is 5-4-0 against teams ranked in the top 20.

All of this isn’t to say BC isn’t a good team. They are. Jerry York gets his team to play well in these games. The players know how to play in big games. Look no further than Colin White, Casey Fitzgerald, and Joe Woll, who all played an intricate part on the USA WJC team that won gold. This weekend will be a battle, as it always is against BC.

Scouting the Eagles

It is a bit surprising to see Matthew Gaudreau atop the BC scoring sheet. The senior forward has already surpassed his single season career high of 21 points in just over half the games played. In his first two seasons at BC, Gaudreau notched just seven points, before recording 21 last year. So far this season, he has 22 on six goals and sixteen assists. Chris Brown is second on the team with eighteen points, by way of six goals and twelve assist. Colin White, who has played five less game than Gaudreau and Brown is third with seventeen points. White is far and away the team's leading goal scorer with 10. White did miss BC’s Frozen Fenway game against Providence last weekend due to a sickness. Other Players to watch include senior Ryan Fitzgerald, who has a knack for killing BU, David Cotton and Michael Kim.

In goal, Joseph Woll has been excellent. He holds an 11-6-1 record in eighteen appearances with a 2.43 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. Woll plays with a aggressive style and is very quick post to post. So far, I have been far more impressed with Woll as a freshman than Thatcher Demko in his first year.

BU Notes.

Tommy Kelley was suspended one game for a play in the UMass Frozen Fenway game. He will be out Friday night. I would except Oskar Andrén to get the nod in his place.

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