Friday, November 28, 2014

A Huge Opportunity

Last weekend was all about saving the season from going into all out free for all mode and without a doubt, the team accomplished that by defeating UMass and Maine relatively handily to pick up 4 crucial Hockey East points. Seven days later, we're looking at a chance to take down a team that I believe is undoubtedly the best in college hockey, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Don Lucia's club is skilled, big, fast, and deep but surprisingly, they have dropped three straight games with one of those being an exhibition at home vs the USNTDP U18 squad. They were swept by rival Minnesota-Duluth the previous week. Part of the reason for the Gopher's struggles can be attributed to their injuries as star defenseman Brady Skjei and forward Travis Boyd have been out for extended periods of time. The latest reports had both of them slated to be in the lineup vs BC tomorrow night but Boyd could be a game time decision.

No matter who skates for Minnesota, we know they're going to be coming at us 100%, especially after three straight losses. They have three lines that can score at will, with their top trio being Leon Bristedt- Justin Kloos- Hudson Fasching. Amazingly, UMN only lost two forwards from last season's national runner-up squad and returned their two star blue liners, Skjei and junior Michael Riley. Ok, you get the point, they're really good.

The best thing BC can do is get off to a hot start, something they've done a much better job of lately. Sure, they gave up that early goal @ UMass but they responded with a heck of a period and they also thoroughly dominated Maine for the first 20 minutes last Saturday and while these guys are a lot more skilled, it's still going to be about BC's ability to forecheck hard, stay out of the box, convert on the power play, and finding a way to get an early lead. Like BC, the Gophers are struggling to put the puck in the net as they scored just a goal in 120 minutes of hockey vs Duluth. If the Eagles can find a way to get out to that all important first lead, then Minnesota will become more aggressive which could lead to some odd man rushes for the Eagles.

Obviously, it's going to be a great test but if BC can play as well as they did Saturday vs an albeit weak Maine team, then they could come out with a crucial victory tomorrow. Minnesota has all the talent in the world so the more power plays they get, the worse it will be for BC. If the Eagles are aggressive on the forecheck and get the Gophers running around in their own end, then they'll be the ones on the man advantage. This game cannot turn into a high scoring, penalty filled affair because I think the Eagles will be out gunned. If it's a low scoring, slow paced, physical but within the lines type game, then BC has a chance to change the outlook of their season in 60 minutes.

BC is at 100% except for Santini. Here is Minnesota's projected forward lines.


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