Friday, December 7, 2012

Previewing the Providence College Friars

Everyone that is a part of BC hockey is worrying about one thing and one thing only. The record. As you all know, Coach York has a golden opportunity to pass Ron Mason's all time wins record tonight, a victory marking win #925. However, there is one man that could care less about the record. Actually, he would like it if there were no accolades or anything, just get the win and get home as soon as possible. That would be Coach York himself. Anyways, there is a game to play tonight and it comes against arguably the most improved team in the conference, the Friars of Providence College. Up to this point, Providence is in 4th place in Hockey East with 10 points, which slots them 4 behind third place BU, and 8 behind the first place Eagles. Providence has improved the most in the area of goal scoring as they rank 4th in Hockey East, averaging 2.86 goals per game. When it comes to special teams, the Friars rank 6th in terms of power play percentage and 7th in penalty kill, putting them at 5th in terms of special teams net. Up front, Providence is led by forwards Tim Schaller, Ross Mauermann, and Derek Army, their top three scorers. Army leads the team with 9 points and a solid +9 rating for the season. One big loss for PC tonight will be first round draft pick Mark Jankowski who is out thanks to a hip injury.

In goal, highly touted freshman Jon Gilles will get the start, making his first appearance vs the defending National Champs. Gilles is off to a solid start for second year coach Nate Lehman as he ranks 3rd in the league in terms of goals against average. For BC, Destry Straight will once again be out, meaning another big night from guys like Linell and Silk will be needed in order to capture two points. Silk showed everybody what potential he has during last Saturday's victory but in order to show that he can stay at that level, he needs to play big tonight. Playing with Arnold and Hayes certainly doesn't hurt. Unlike BU, Providence does not have that go to line that can matchup with BC's big three. I thought the Terriers did a great job of shutting them down last week so hopefully those guys can get it back together and score some goals tonight for BC.

All in all, I think this game will be closer than people think as Providence is sure to come out swinging. Hopefully, the circumstances surrounding the game will enable the Eagles to continue to play at a high level like they have all season long.

Keys for the Eagles

1. A solid game from the second line. An effort like last Saturday's would go a long way in order for BC to get the win.

2. Staying out of the box. When you play against teams that you probably should beat, giving them chances on the man advantage really hurts. Don't give PC chances to stick around in the third.

3. Playing as good in the defensive zone as Saturday's game. I thought the game last week was the best defensive effort of the year. Look for those guys to continue to play like they did that night as the season goes on.

Best opposing players-Schaller, Army, Brown.

All time series-BC leads 105-45-12 and have also won 11 in a row vs PC.

Prediction- BC 4-1


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