Saturday, November 1, 2014

Big W

Ryan Fitz had two goals vs DU
Just when it seemed he couldn't break anymore records (and even though he probably could care less) Coach York broke another mark Friday evening @ Magness Arena, capturing his 500th victory as head coach for the Eagles as his team defeated Denver 2-1 in front of 4,559 fans. There really isn't any other way to say it other than it's an absolutely huge win for this club, by far and away their biggest victory of this young season. All I talked about from June to September was how this team was going to win games by defense and goaltending, something that fans were going to have to get used to. Five games into the 2014-15 campaign, it's hard to imagine BC's D and goalie Thatcher Demko can be much better. Some of the saves #30 made down the stretch tonight are the type of stops elite goaltenders make. Big saves in clutch situations. The fact that BC held DU to just 26 shots and an 0 for 6 mark on the power play are significant indicators of the progress the maroon and gold are making in their own end. 

The first period was as defensive and boring as it gets but let me make it clear, that isn't a bad thing. We aren't going to beat the Denver's, BU's, and Minnesota's of the world with 6 or seven goals like we have in the past. It's going to be solid all around play from the goaltender out. That's exactly what took place tonight. I can't recall DU getting anything in the offensive end in the first twenty minutes but give them credit because they also held us off the board. The only way BC gives up more than three goals in a game this season is when they shoot themselves in the foot with either penalties (although the PK has significantly improved)  or bad turnovers. Although part #1 needs some work, the guys have made enormous improvements in the turnover department. 

All seemed good and well until DU struck 28 seconds into the middle stanza, catching BC half asleep in their own end. Again, I have to watch the whole tape but here is a nice GIF from the boys at BC Interruption. It appears that their forward won a little battle behind BC's net but the Eagles are still in somewhat OK position until they forget to pick up one of DU's top D, Nolan Zajac who comes flying in from the point untouched and gives the Pios a 1-0 lead. Sanford looks like he's got his stick in between the passer and the receiver but it slides through him and the rest is history. BC's response to the goal was as well as they've responded to adversity all season as killed off a Cangelosi penalty and capitalized on a DU hooking call to tie the game up. Once again, Ryan Fitzgerald has proved to be the new "go to" guy as many predicted he would before the season started. Here is the replay. It's simple, Straight and Cango combined to win a puck battle and Cango turns it into a 2 on 1 down low with Fitzgerald. BC's power play is at it's best when they're penetrating the zone and creating odd number situations down low rather than up high. They try to do that by  constantly swinging the puck from left to right but in reality, the best way to create those type of situations is winning a battle on the boards and catching the defense off guard. Perhaps the biggest moment of the game besides the game winning goal was Denver's inability to capitalize on a 1:20 of 5 on 3. Don't get me wrong, they had their chances but Demko continues to manifest why he is the top goalie in college hockey. Credit Coach Ayers and his PK unit as they have killed off 10 of their past 11 penalties. 

It was apparent in the third that BC really built up a lot of momentum from that kill late in the second. They came out as the faster, more aggressive, team in the final period but once again, they killed that momentum with bad penalty midway through the period and Denver nearly cashed in. BC's penalty killing philosophy is a lot different than it was during the Cavanaugh era (he ran the PK)  but it continues to pump out positive results, which is all that matters. Immediately after Sanford's holding the stick call expired, he bolted out of the box and caught a long pass from Quinn Smith before having it fall off his stick and into the corner. However, he stayed with the puck, won a battle for it in the corner, and made a sick pass out front to guess who, Fitzgerald, who gave the Eagles their first lead of the night. Here is the replay

The lead was great but the maroon and gold still had to hunker down and find a way to hold DU off the board for the final 5 minutes. Thanks to more spectacular saves from Demko and a little bit of puck luck, they were able to do just that and land their first "landmark" victory of the season. 

Winning on the road in college hockey isn't easy, especially when you're playing 2,000 miles away vs a team who's season you ended five months earlier but the staff has to be extremely proud of the way their team play tonight. For the past 10-15 years, BC has won the majority of "big" games by overpowering their opponents with speed, skill, and depth up front, not necessarily their defensive prowess. Is this team different? Very. Does it matter as long as the results are the same? Not one bit. 

Why BC Won- 

1. Demko continues to be the top goaltender in the country. Heck, he might be the best player in the country right now. Oh, I'm forgetting someone. We will see him on Friday.

2. Coach Ayers' PK gave DU nothing on the power play. The Pios could have blown that game wide open with a couple of 5 on 3 goals late in the second but the Eagles held up. 

3. Fitzgerald's development has exceeded anyones expectations. I knew he would improve with more playing time but to be honest, I didn't see 5 goals through 5 games. 

Negatives- 

1. Although they had a goal, I'm still not crazy about the power play. They aren't creating enough "grade A" chances, it's a whole lot of cycling down low but not getting anything in between the circles.  

2. The penalties are ridiculous at times. 

Player of the game- Thatcher Demko 

Next up- vs DU tomorrow. 9 PM EST

Congrats Coach ! Go Eagles



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Denver Preview


Winners of three in a row, the #5 Boston College Eagles are set to travel 2,000 miles west to the Mile High city to take on the #11 Denver Pioneers, who will be hosting their homecoming weekend. It goes without saying that this will undoubtedly be BC's biggest test of the season up to this point but surprisingly, BC is 8-3-1 in 12 trips to Denver, that doesn't include the 2008 National Title which was also won in Broncoville.

For a variety of reasons, I think the Pioneers, who are also 3-1 on the season, present a challenge unlike BC has faced thus far. First off, the Eagles will be missing arguably their best defensive defenseman but I'm actually not as worried about Santini's absence as much as some others are. Don't get me wrong, I think "the sheriff" is one of the top blue liners in college hockey but his injury opens the door for Noah Hanifin to get more playing time and I'm no math guy but Noah+ more playing time should = positive results. Another reason why Denver is going to be firing on all cylinders is because we ended their season in a rather embarrassing form six months ago at the Northeast regional. It wasn't the fact that BC won as much as it was the Eagles flat out dominated to Pios for 60 minutes, mainly because Johnny G lit his former coach's team up like a jack-o-lantern.

So far, sophomore forward Trevor Moore leads the Pios with 5 points but he is only a point ahead of junior Quentin Shore and freshman Danton Heinen. Initially, I had planned to talk about how DU's defense was the backbone of their team but then I noticed that they gave up 6 goals and 48 shots @ Minnesota Duluth last Saturday. They did however hold the Bulldogs to one goal on Friday and allowed just a single mark to a horrible RPI squad on opening weekend. In fact, despite giving up those 6 tallys to UMD, the Pios have given up an average of just 2.00 goals per game, good for 8th in the country. The Denver blue line is led by Joey LaLeggia, a guy that has potted more than 25 points in each of his three seasons at DU and is 5th round pick of the Edmonton Oilers. The other leader on the defensive side of the puck for them is junior defenseman Nolan Zajac who tallied 5 goals and 18 assists for the garnet and gold last season. He is currently tied for fifth on the team with 4 points. In terms of special teams, Denver's power play ranks amongst the nation best with nearly a 29% conversion rate. Interestingly, they're towards the bottom half of college hockey in power play attempts with just 21. Shockingly (sarcastic), BC has been given the 44th most power plays in the country with 16. DU's penalty kill is 39th in the country, with a 78% kill rate.

Obviously, two wins this weekend would be  GIANT steps in the right direction, especially with you know who coming to Kelly Rink on Friday night. I think parts of Denver's game, especially their defense, pose problems for the Eagles but I'm not convinced that DU's offense is on par with that of BC's.  Vs CC, the Calnan-Gilmour-Tuch line was dominant each time they were on the ice so with the return of the much improved Calnan, I expect them to be the Eagles' best line again tomorrow night. BC's three wins this season have had one common theme; all of them featured a goal by one of the Eagles' bottom six forwards, something that is paramount to BC's success this season, especially against good clubs such as Denver. We will see what happens tomorrow night but if those guys can provide energy and scoring right off the bat, this team could have a lot of momentum heading back to Beantown.

Keys for BC- 

1. Not getting caught up in the post whistle theatrics. For the most part, they did a good job of this vs UMass but there was one occasion in which one of our guys reacted to something their guy did and was called for it. DU's crowd will be insane and giving them power play chances isn't going to help anyone.

2. Getting to DU's sophomore, first year starting, goaltender. Sure, his numbers to this point have been pretty solid but he gave up 6 genos last weekend to a "mediocre" UMD squad. Pressure him early and force him to make mistakes, much like they did to UMass' young starter last week.

3. Hopefully Travis Jeke can get somewhat accustomed to the speed early on. I expect that the staff will run five D for the majority of the game, especially in the final two periods but I also think that Jeke's skating ability and offensive awareness could surprise some people, maybe even the staff.


I have a long flight to catch tomorrow AM. That's all. See you in Denver.

Go Eagles !


Eagles Land Premier 99' Recruit

The staff picked up their first 1999 recruit today when forward Jacob Tortota committed to the Eagles for the fall of 2018. The 5'6 is a native of Rochester, New York and recorded 7 points for the black team up at U15  festival early in the summer. Obviously, the kid will grew a couple more inches before he gets to the Heights but all in all, it seems like the staff picked up another small but highly skilled forward, something that we don't have much of in any of the upcoming classes (skill part yes, small part, no).

I have never seen the kid play so I'm not going to pretend I know what I am talking about but according to the guys that have seen him play, it's a substantial get for the staff as they continue the never ending recruiting war vs Boston University.

Here is some reaction-

Over the Boards had him ranked in their top 150-













From Sean Lafortune, the head scout for TheScout.ca and OHL regional scout for McKeen's Hockey.











All in all, it seems like a very nice get for the staff. Now they just have get him to campus......four years from now !

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Injury Updates

Weekly injury report.

OUT- 

Steve Santini, surgery on wrist. Hopes to be back by January 1st.


IN- 

Chris Calnan, Missed Saturday's game due to a lower body injury. Was a full participant in practice today with linemates Adam Gilmour and Alex Tuch.


Go Eagles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Santini Out For First Half

The team's official Twitter account announced today that defenseman Steve Santini would miss the first half of the season along with World Jr Championships due to surgery on his wrist. The staff is hoping to have him back by January 1st.

Obviously, it is a tough break but I have reason to believe that Travis Jeke can come in and play at a high level. I think he's a smooth skater and because they won't play him too many minutes, he won't have to be relied on too much defensively. Listen, if there is someone that always overreacts to things, it's this guy. This isn't the end of the world. We still have the best D core in the nation and as long as our forwards stay healthy, we will be fine.

The biggest question currently surrounding the team is the status of sophomore forward Chris Calnan who was held out of the lineup on Saturday. I will update you when I find anything out.

Go Eagles

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monte Graham Commits to BC

Boston College received their second commitment in two weeks this afternoon when Thayer Academy forward Monte Graham, a 5'11 forward out of Hanover, committed to the Eagles. Last season, Graham recorded 9 goals and 12 assists for a Thayer team that made the Prep school Elite 8. He impressed the staff out @ U16 camp two months ago where he recorded 8 points in 5 games. His USHL rights are held by the Tri City Storm.

Graham is BC's 5th prospect in the 2016 class, their fourth forward. As of now, they have him in that class but it is rare for guys to come to BC right from prep school so I wouldn't count out the 2017 class for him.

Go Eagles

Two's a Fluke, Three's a Streak


Photo from BC Athletics.
For the 499th time, Coach York picked up a win as head coach @ Boston College, this time it was a 4-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts in front of 4,908 fans @ Kelley Rink. First off, solid weekend in every aspect of the game, especially in the defensive zone where this team is supposed to be as good as anyone in the country. I predicted that Noah Hanifin would be the best player on the team by the Beanpot but as of now, I don't think I'm out of line saying Noah is BC's best player through four games. He continues to blow me away with his skating ability and hockey IQ. Some of the little plays he makes at the defensive blue line when an opponent is coming down on a 3-2 or 4-3 are just absurd. The staff continues to play him a large amount of minutes in all three situations which is something they have never done for any freshman, let alone a defenseman (Possibly Matheson).

The first period was a pretty boring twenty minutes of hockey. The teams combined for just 9 shots on goal but amazingly, BC held UMass to three shots on three power plays. The advantage of packing the box and giving the point a little more room is that opponents will have a hard time getting shots through to the net. Although the Minutemen added a power play goal late in the game with BC up 3-0, I thought the PK made some strides in the right direction this weekend. The main reason BC only gave up three goals in two games? Thatcher Demko was the best player on the ice, outside of maybe Hanifin, on both nights. When Thatcher plays like he has been playing, BC has a great chance to win a game on any given night, no matter how good the opposition is.

Early in the second period, the Eagles were forced to kill off a couple more penalties but were also given a few chances on the power play. Right now, BC's best unit is Gilmour's line along with Hanifin and Matheson as they seem to be moving the puck quiet well and generating some quality chances on goal. I'm a bit worried about the second unit, especially the back end of it. Ian McCoshen is one of the premier defenders in the country but he looks uncomfortable with the puck sometimes. His biggest asset on the PP is his blistering slap shot, in fact he scored BC's first power play of the season last week @ RIT on a one timer from the point. He should and hopefully will remain on the power play but his breakouts and entries need to get smoother over time. Halfway through the second stanza, UMass came down on a 4-2 but thanks to another solid save from Demko and a good clearing pass from Mike Matheson, Alex Tuch sent an absolute rocket over the shoulder of UMass goalie Henry Dill, giving the maroon and gold the first lead of the night. As I said after the exhibition game, Tuch may have the best shot of any BC forward in the past 10 years, including Steven Whitney. Towards the end of the period, the power play broke through for the third time this season when Adam Gilmour fired home a one timer while falling down, giving the Eagles a comfortable two goal lead heading into the third.

Let me preface what I am about to say because sometimes I don't want to create another firestorm on Twitter. I don't know a single UMass hockey player, coach, or fan but I'm sure they're all tremendous people who care deeply about their university. I certainly respect their program and the fact that they always play the Eagles tough year in and year out. However, what took place in the third period last night was a disgrace to college hockey. Their players were not out there to play hockey, they were out there to hurt our guys. I need to see a reply of the hit before I dive into a rant about it but it appeared that one of their forwards took a shot to the head of Matty Gaudreau right in front of the BC bench. Again, I will not comment on the hit until I see the tape but it didn't appear to be anything that belongs in the game of hockey. Just a minute after that, another UMass player was sent to the box for high sticking and the Eagles were able to put the nail in the coffin thanks to another Gilmour power play goal, this coming BC's first 5 on 3 mark of the season.

All in all, it's nice to pickup two wins before a tough weekend series @ Denver but it wasn't all good news, unfortunately. Forward Chris Calnan was sidelined with a lower body injury but he was walking around the concourse yesterday without a boot or crutches, he did have a bit of a limp though. According to those who attend the press conference last night, Steve Santini suffered a wrist injury and was scheduled for x-rays on Monday. I did not see him leave the bench or suffer any tangible pain on the ice and he was out there for Gilmour's goal halfway through the third period so maybe it isn't as bad as we think.

I'm excited about where this team is at but Denver on the road is certainly going to be the toughest test of the season. Good start but now it gets really tough.

Why BC Won-

1. Demko was as good as he can be. Like I said, when he plays like that, he is the best goaltender in the country and it isn't even close.

2. Gilmour and Tuch were firing on all cylinders. They didn't seem to miss their left winger one bit.

3. BC put the nail in UMass' coffin when they had the opportunity to. If the Eagles don't score on that 2 minute 5 on 3, the Minutemen could have used that momentum to make it a one goal game and who knows what would have happened after that.

Negatives- 

1. Injuries. Calnan and Santini would be huge losses but I don't think either is severe. I'll have more later.

Player of the game- Thatcher Demko

Next up- @ Denver next weekend.

Go Eagles


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Update- Calnan Out

Forward Chris Calnan is a scratch for tonight's game vs UMass-Amherst. It is believed to be because of an injury sustained Friday night when he was slammed hard into the boards.


Matthew Gaudreau will play with Alex Tuch and Adam Gilmour

Previewing the UMass Minutemen



Fresh off two dominant victories over a couple of inferior opponents, the Eagles will play their first home conference game tonight @ 7 PM vs the UMass Minutemen. While UMass had a lopsided loss vs Boston University a couple weeks back, they have won two of their last three games, one @ Michigan State and last night @ Northeastern. The Minutemen, like BC, lost their three top scorers from a season ago but unlike the Eagles, they also lost their two best defensemen. They're expected to start a whopping 7 freshmen, including goaltender Henry Dill, who stood on his last night, stopping 42 of 44 Huskie shots. Many "experts" had the maroon and white either last or second to last in their preseason rankings but at this point, they're sitting comfortably in a tie for first and in the top 30 in the pairwise. Yes, it's very early.

Without a doubt, this is going to be a much stiffer test than last night. Let's face it, while UMass has only beat us once @ Kelly Rink since 2006, they always make it a game. They play a style eerily similar to that of BC's, up tempo, lot of quick skaters, and as a result of that, they sometimes breakdown big time in their own end (they gave up 6 goals in the third period @ home vs BU). The most intriguing story line of the night is former BC commit Frank Vatrano's return to the Heights. After an academic issue early in the 2012-13 season, the staff was forced to cut ties with the Springfield native. Shortly after, Vatrano transferred to UMass although he had to sit out all of last season as well due to transfer rules. So far this season, he doesn't have a point but he does headline their top line along with freshman center Dennis Kravchenko and senior Troy Power. While that line certainly possesses some fire power, I think UMass' two big guns are sophomores Ray Pigozzi and Steve Iacobellis. I remember being impressed with the speed and skill of those guys last season when they came in here and almost beat BC @ Kelly Rink for the second consecutive season.

As you can tell, the biggest thing the Eagles have to watch out for is UMass' speed. They can skate really well and could cause a lot of problems for the Eagles if they catch BC off guard on the forecheck. In terms of where BC can expose these guys? They're very weak on the defensive end, especially in their own end. In the second half of last night's game, the Eagles did a great job of not only getting the puck deep, but they sustained the play in CC's end for large chunks of time, wearing the Tigers down which eventually led to an onslaught. BC's size, superior defensive depth, and the fact that UMass is coming off a physical back and fourth battle 24 hours ago, are all signals pointing to a third straight but I don't there is anyone in that locker room who believes this will be a cake walk such as the past two games have been. Every league point is massive, especially the ones at home. the Minutemen took one of three points BC gave up at home in the regular season last year, the other two went to Notre Dame.



Scouting UMass-

Record- 2-2 (losses vs BU, MSU. Wins vs MSU, NU)

Leading scorers- Zack LaRue (2-2-4), Steven Iacobellis (2-2-4), Ray Pigozzi (1-3-4)

Projected starter- Freshman Henry Dill (2-0, .911 save percentage)

NHL draft picks- 1 (Ben Gallacher, Florida) Has missed their past two games

Goals per game- 2.75 (31st)

Goals allowed per game- 4.50 (52nd)

Power play- 13% (31st)

Penalty kill- 94% (8th)

Penalty minutes per game- 9.00 minutes per game (42nd)

Notes-

Last meeting- Tie last November @ Kelly Rink

All time series- BC leads 55-13-14

Coach York is 2 wins shy of his 500th at the Heights.

Keys for BC-


Contain their speed. Turning the puck over in the neutral zone won't help at all.

They can't take three penalties right off the bat again. Not a formula for success.

Continue to get secondary scoring. They've had it in two of three games so far, those two games have been wins.




Go Eagles








Penalty Kill Leads Eagles By Tigers


Photo from BC Athletics 


Yesterday, we discussed the importance of special teams and how BC's penalty killing unit had to step it up a few notches after rough games vs Lowell and RIT. Not only was the PK improved from the previous games, it was one of the central reasons why the Eagles were able to record their second consecutive victory. Overall, I was quiet pleased at the way BC played. We know this team can't survive with scoring from the senior class and so far, those guys have proven they can deliver goals at necessary junctures. Unheralded Cam Spiro recorded his first two goals in over a year and a half while Quinn Smith hooked up with linemates Danny Linell and Destry Straight for his first tally of the season. 

The only negative for BC was their first period. They didn't create much offense, they gave up multiple grade A chances, and could not keep CC off the power play. Two of the penalties were the results of a poor job keeping the puck down low for a long period of time and forcing CC into mistakes in their own end. In both the RIT game and the second and third periods last night, BC proved that they're most effective offensively when they penetrate with an aggressive forecheck. I didn't think they did a tremendous job of keeping CC on their heels in the first stanza. Anytime you give an opponent three power plays in a 20 minute span and keep them off the board, it's a huge positive. BC did a better job of keeping the puck to outside and not allowing the Tiger's many scoring chances between the dots but when CC did get those occasional tight area chances, Thatcher Demko was there to make the stops. Although he misplayed the puck on CC's goal (perhaps his biggest weakness is puck handling), he played phenomenal all night long. When he is playing at that level, I believe he's the best goalie in college hockey. 

For the second straight outing, BC's best period was the middle stanza. They dictated the play in all three ends and were rewarded with four goals, one of which was on the power play. Perhaps the most recognizable goal of the evening was Noah Hanifin's first collegiate tally in front of 20 NHL scouts, four of which were from Winnipeg. It is quite clear to me after watching three games that he is the best skating defenseman on this team, perhaps in a tie with Matheson. The most nerve racking portion of the period was when Teddy Doherty went down with what appeared to be a hand or wrist injury. Thankfully, he stayed on the bench and played the remaining 30 minutes. BC was given a minute of 5 on 3 time midway through the period and even though they didn't capitalize on the two man advantage, Ryan Fitzgerald dangled his way around a couple defenders in Johnny G style towards the end of the second penalty, giving the Eagles their second PP goal in as many goals. It's fair to say that Fitz has been without a doubt BC's most prolific forward through three games, in fact he has a goal in all three games. For some reason, maybe it's the increased playing time, he looks so much more comfortable with the puck on his stick and is really starting to create some big time plays at critical points. If CC gets out of that 5 on 3 only down a goal, they've got a ton of momentum, thanks to #19, that didn't happen. 

Third period was a tad sloppy and included a couple of bad turnovers but all in all, not a bad effort from the maroon and gold. The three biggest things they need to improve for tonight’s game vs UMass, a team that picked up a big win @ NU last night, is staying out of the box (UMA has a potent power play), avoiding turnovers, as they were lucky not to fall victim to a couple of really bad defensive lapses, and lastly, I'd like to see them move the puck better on the power play. Sure, they had a goal last night but that was a result of some great individual play. There was too much passing at the blue line and not enough of getting the puck deep and the zone and creating good chances from the "inside out". 

Anyways, solid win but two huge league points are on the line tonight. Preview later. 

Why BC won- 

1. Penalty kill was terrific. CC was 0 for 5 on the man up, much better execution from the Eagles. 

2. Sanford, Tuch, and Hanifin seem to be improving each and every game. Noah looks like a pro out there sometimes while Tuch and Sanford are clearly two of the best forwards on this team at the moment. They combined for 4 points.

3. Spiro was sensational. I don't know how this kid didn't get any playing time in his first three seasons but he has argaubly been BC's best forward besides Fitzgerald. 

4. Demko was fantastic. 

Negatives- 

1. Penalties. Five power plays is too many. 

2. BC turned it over a lot more than they did vs RIT. Teams like CC don't always capitalize on chances, other opponents down the road certainly will. 

Player of the game- Cam Spiro 

Next up- UMass tonight 


Go Eagles

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Previewing the Colorado College Tigers


The last time I wrote the five words you see above, BC Hockey world was filled with optimism as many inside the program felt the 2011 version of the Eagles was the best of the Coach York era. While they may have been true, the walls came tumbling down on March 26th, 2011 as #4 Colorado College ended #1 BC's season, 8-4 in the semifinals of the NCAA West regional in St. Louis. Obviously, a lot has changed since that dreadful day but it will no doubt stay in the minds of coaches, players, and fans for a very long time.

Anyways, tomorrow presents a fantastic opportunity for this Eagle club. They open up at home against a "weak" Tiger squad, fresh off a perfect performance vs RIT. Colorado College is in it's first season under head coach Mike Haviland, who took over after Scott Owens ran the program for 15 years and engineered that historic upset of BC four years ago. I think it's quiet fair to say that CC is in a bit of a rebuilding year but they have a large senior class (six guys) and six NHL draft picks to their credit. So far this season, the Tigers are 2-2, with both wins coming at home vs Alabama-Huntsville and both losses coming at home vs the University of North Dakota. In fact, UND demolished their NCHC rivals by a cumulative score of 10-3 last weekend. While CC did pick up two wins vs UAH, those weren't the usual power conference team vs UAH blowouts, the scores were 3-2 and 4-3.

Leading the way for the black and gold is their top returning scorer and Carolina draft pick, defenseman Jaccob Slavin who posted 5 goals and 25 assists as a freshman. Unfortunately for CC, he was the only blue liner to record more than 9 points a season ago. Slavin is joined by talented freshman Teemu Kivihalme, who is currently second on the team is scoring. It appears that while CC may have a hard time putting the puck in the net (33rd in goals scored so far), they have some young, talented defenseman that have a good mixture of size and speed. Jr forward Peter Maric currently leads their club in points with three, already 3/4 of the amount he recorded a season ago.

Let's make this very clear. BC should win this game. I'm not going to try and sugarcoat it for you, a loss tomorrow night would be three or four steps in the wrong direction. Not only should the Eagles win this game, they should run these guys out of the building. If they play within their system, break the puck out smoothly, forecheck aggressively, avoid dumb penalties and stupid turnovers, they should be able to take home the win. The two biggest areas they need to improve in are the power play (only one goal in six tries), and the penalty kill (42nd in the country, 75%). I'd like to see them switch up the penalty killing pairs. While I think Straight could possibly get some time on the kill, I don't understand why he is above Smith, Sit, Linell, Spiro (who they don't put out there much), and Cangelosi. In fact, Straight has been out there for both PP goals BC has given up this season. Odds are, BC is going to take a couple of penalties. They're going to be amped up to play in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, so they may come out with a little "too much" intensity from the start. Let's hope the PK is ready to go.

Scouting CC-

Leading scorers- Pete Maric (3 points), Cody Bradley (2 points), Garrett Cecere (2 points)

Record- 2-2 (Wins vs UAH, losses vs UND)

Projected starter- Tyler Marble (.892 save percentage)

Through four games, CC is the most penalized team in college hockey. 16.5 penalty minutes per game. They have given up 2 power play goals per game. 11 for 19 on the kill.

Notes- 

Last meeting- Next.

All time series- 12-5-1 BC leads

BC is 12-7-1 in home openers under Coach York. 5-1-1 since 2008

Keys for BC- (Same as always) 

1. No stupid penalties.

2. No turnovers in the defensive or neutral zone that will lead to odd man rushes.

3. Convert on the power play!! This team will be able to produce offensively if they can develop a potent power play.

No injuries.

It's been 1,309 days.

Go Eagles.