Fresh off an impressive sweep in Durham of the New Hampshire Wildcats, the Huskies return to Boston for this weekend’s home and home against the neighbors to the west, the Boston College Eagles. Boston College is coming off a sweep of their own, however they were on the losing side of two 2-1 games against Maine up in Orono. Friday’s tilt will be at Conte Forum, and Saturday’s matchup will be at Matthews Arena. We plan to be present for both games live.
Eagles Lately– Boston College sits currently at 10-18-3, one of the worst years in their history with Jerry York as their head coach. As we all remember, the first matchup between these two teams saw a late BC comeback fall short ahead of the Huskies winning their second straight Beanpot title. That loss was the second in the Eagles’ current six game losing streak, which also featured losses to UMass and UMass-Lowell. In this losing streak, the Eagles have allowed 3.2 goals per game and scored a measly 1.5 per game, including being shut out once. This has been a tough season on the Heights, though I can’t say many around Hockey East are shedding many tears in sympathy for the Eagles.
Key Players– As we mentioned in the Beanpot preview, this team relies heavily on its top players, and none moreso than David Cotton. Cotton is the lone Eagle with over 20 points this year, and he is about to hit the 30 point mark (18 goals, 11 assists). He leads the team in shots on goal (100 total, over 3/game), powerplay goals (7, five more than second place), and has a shorthanded goal. After him it is a lot of middle-of-the-road in terms of scoring. Julius Mattila (7-11-18), Logan Hutsko (4-13-17), and Oliver Wahlstrom (7-8-15) would be classified as the most deadly offensive contributors after Cotton. Senior Christopher Brown also has 15 points (7 goals).
On defense, Casey Fitzgerald and Michael Kim have identical 1-9-10 stat lines, and Ben Finkelstein has 1-6-7 in 14 games since joining the team, but outside of them there is not much of an offensive threat from the blue line. Fitzgerald leads the team in shot attempts, as he usually does, while Kim is fourth, but they have not turned those attempts into much production.
Joseph Woll will be the goaltender again, as he was in the Beanpot. As he showed, he can make all the difficult saves in the world, and he is always an X factor to keep BC in the game.
Final Thoughts– Similar to the Beanpot final, Northeastern should be the favored team this weekend in both games. The Huskies are hot and are playing well, while the Eagles have been struggling for over a month now. The special teams edge favors Northeastern as well, with a slightly better powerplay (19.7% vs 19.2%) and a better penalty kill (85.1% vs 82.4%). The goaltenders are both elite talents, though despite what you may read on social media, Cayden Primeau is the better goaltender, so that matchup puts another needle in Northeastern’s favor. In short, the Huskies have the better team in all aspects of the game, except for maybe faceoff percentages. If the Huskies can play the same way they did in New Hampshire and in the Beanpot final, even with an Eagles team desperate to surge back to life, the Huskies should walk into the final weekend in prime position for the NCAA’s and Hockey East Tournament play.
Tickets for the game are $10 at the door, and it never sells out at Conte Forum, so please come by and cheer on the Huskies with us if you are around!
Fallon (30 points): BC wins Friday 3-2, NU wins Saturday 4-1
Downie (27 points): Friday tie 2-2; Huskies win Saturday 3-1
Davis (25 points): Eagles win Friday 4-2, Huskies win Saturday 3-1
Gordon (25 points): NU sweeps 4-3, 3-2.
Feature image via Lizzy Barrett, BCHeights.com