Hockey baby. Actual hockey! Tonight, the 2014-15 edition of the Boston College Eagles will hit the ice to face Canadian foe, the University of New Brunswick in an exhibition game that does not count towards any part of the record or the standings. I can tell you this, BC knows this is a good hockey club as they're one of the favorites to win the Canadian college championship. Their current record is 3-0 but all of those wins have also been exhibitions vs Canadian teams. After playing @ Kelly Rink, they will head up to Orono to take on the Black Bears Sunday afternoon.
Obviously I'm not going to give a big preview because I don't know much about this team. However, I am told they have a 27 year old former AHL player on their club. Hey, what better way to prepare for Lowell than playing another team of grown men.
Anyways, here are the top five things to look out for.
1. The freshmen. We all know Hanifin is going to come in and play at a high level right away, if I'm wrong about that I would be shocked. We can survive with Noah having a bad game here and there because we're deep on the back end, we can't survive if Tuch and Sanford are nowhere to be found early in the season. There is no reason this team shouldn't be 4-0 before heading out to the Mile High city for a big series vs Denver. Tuch and Sanford need to find a way to get acclimated sooner rather than later.
2. Just how much different the style of play is. Yes, it is just an exhibition but I want to see BC keep their opponents shots on goal number low. This is the best D core we have ever had and there is no reason why we shouldn't have the lowest GAA in Hockey East this season. Tight gaps, fluent breakouts, no bad turnovers, solid goaltending.
3. The bottom two lines. The only way this team is going to win a National Title is if Danny Linell, Mike Sit, and Quinn Smith start scoring, even if it's just a little bit. We didn't really need them to score much last year because of the big three but this season is different, hopefully they can get off to a good start tonight .
4. The power play units. These teams from up north usually take a lot of penalties so look for the Eagles to get a good amount of power plays. I would think the first unit will be Gilmour, Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Matheson, and Hanifin while the second unit will be Sanford, Tuch, Calnan, Savage, and McCoshen or Doherty. It's been a while since we've had two potent power play units and it's a huge reason why we lost to Union. Having a high powered man advantage can only enhance BC's ability to score goals.
5. Look, I don't take much out of these exhibition games. I walked out of the one last season thinking we wouldn't lose a game all season and we lost less than a week later @ Michigan. There are two important factors. 1, win. 2, don't suffer any injuries.