BC vs. BU & Army: Final Thoughts & Predictions

Wally Gobetz

Getting ready to drop the puck on another hockey weekend - this time, featuring the Battle of Comm. Ave.

This is the third straight year they've done it, so I might as well get over it and get used to it, but I still don't like the idea of a BC-BU game happening in November. It's just... too early to get the proper level of dander up. The first-weekend-in-December clash was a great little tradition. The teams had enough time to establish their identities and their places in the Hockey East pecking order, so we had a pretty good idea of what the storyline was; Thanksgiving was over, so we were firmly into winter; it just felt like the right time for hockey season to truly heat up with a home-and-home series between the two ancient foes.

But now that Hockey East has screwed everything up... we get this. A one-off in early November; see you again in January. I certainly hope we use the non-conference schedule to add some extra games against BU in the future.

That being said, it's time to go: A win over BU could establish some momentum for this BC team, which sits at 4-2-1 and is looking at (let's be honest) a layup on Sunday against Army, a game they absolutely should win.

The Terriers are a perfectly mediocre 4 -4 to start the season, with 21 goals scored and 20 allowed. That's a pretty accurate depiction of where they're at right now. They've got a lot of new pieces, most prominently the new piece behind the bench. Quinn would certainly love to get his first real signature win in front of a sold out crowd tonight.

BC Roster Notes

-Another weekend, another goalie rotation. Demko tonight, Billett Sunday.

-Saturday night saw three changes from Friday's lineup, with Scott Savage swapped out for Teddy Doherty, and Silk and Straight re-inserted for Evan Richardson and Cam Spiro. Per The Boston College Hockey Blog, expect Savage back in but for Spiro and Richardson to remain in the stands.

Projected Lines

Gaudreau-Arnold-Cangelosi
Fitzgerald-Hayes-Calnan
Smith-Brown-Gilmour
Silk-Sit-Straight

McCoshen-Matheson
MacLeod-Linell
Savage-Santini

Demko in game 1, Billett in game 2

Game Time: 7:30 Friday, 3:00 Sunday
TV: FRIDAY: BU has a website where they show the games but I'm not going to link to them. BOO! SUNDAY: BCEagles.com
Radio: WEEI 850 AM and BCEagles.com

Record: BU is 4-4-0; BC is 4-2-1. Army is 0-4.

Goal Differentials:
BC: 29 GF (3rd in HEA).... 21 GA (9th in HEA)... +8 (4th in HEA)
BU: 21 GF (6th in HEA).... 20 GA (8th in HEA).... +1 (7th in HEA)

Last Time Out: BU split a series last weekend with Providence, erasing a 3-0 deficit in game 1 to win at home, before losing on Saturday in Providence. Army lost to Bentley last weekend, 5-2.

Common Foes: BU also faced Wisconsin, a team BC beat 9-2; BU also wrecked 'em to the tune of 7-3. While BC handled RPI, BU lost to them, 3-1. Like BC, BU has a loss at Michigan this year,

Army has faced one Hockey East team - Merrimack - and lost 4-2.

Storylines: This is the first BC-BU game without Jack Parker behind the bench since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Players to watch: Garret Noonan. Watch out for him because he's a goon. BU sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen is having a tremendous season, with a 2-7---9 line. He's been a revelation for the Terriers this year. Sharks draft pick Danny O'Regan is off to a 3-3--6 start. Bruins pick Matt Grylzyxxyxz is off to a bit of a slow start (1-2--3) but he's one of the better players on the team.

Army's leading scorer, Willie Faust, has 2 goals and an assist this year; but really, they're all Players to Watch, because America.

Fun Fact: BC is 21-19-2 in their last 42 games against the Terriers.

Lingering Questions

Battles for playing time are sharply into focus now: we've got Spiro and Richardson vs. Silk and Straight, and Doherty vs. Savage as the big battles last weekend. And obviously everyone knows about the goaltending question. Silk scored a big goal at Agganis last year - can he do it again? Can Demko remain undefeated on the season? How will this BC-BU game look compared to ones with Jack Parker at the helm? Will it still be a penalty-fest?

Scoreboard Watching: Out-Of-Town Notes

Notre Dame hosts Minnesota this weekend in a marquee series between two highly-touted squads. Early-season-heartthrob Providence faces the challenge of facing Merrimack at Andover MDC rink tonight before hosting them in Providence tomorrow. Lowell looks to continue their bounce back with a home game against Northeastern tomorrow night.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

There's no shortage of great choices near BU. This year's choice is Sunset Cantina on Comm. Ave, with hundreds of beers available and a good combination of Mexican-ish food and steak tips, burgers, etc. I have to give a shoutout to T's Pub here, which is always crowded before and after games but for good reason: it's an awesome bar. You may have read about them in the Boston University Hockey Task Force report as being the #1 choice of underage hockey players. I'm sure that's totally not true.

Predictions

Joe Gravellese:

FRIDAY: BC 4, BU 3. This is going to be a tough game, I think. BU has a lot of weapons, especially on the blue line, that could make life difficult for BC's young defense. But the Eagles are, on the whole, a better team, and should win this game. I'm looking for Kevin Hayes to be the deciding factor on this one. BC needs to establish a physical presence early in the game, because you know BU will.

SUNDAY: BC 6, Army 1. This was not a particularly good addition to the home schedule. Hopefully BC doesn't make it any more interesting than it needs to be. This should be a chance for Gaudreau to pad his Hobey stats.

I think we'll see Minnesota come in and go 1-0-1 against Notre Dame, as they did against BC. They should be well-rested after being off last weekend.

Lowell continues the Sacred Heart Redemption Tour with an easy win over Northeastern tomorrow night.

Brian Favat:

BC 4, BU 2

BC 4, Army 0

Dan Rubin:

BC 3, BU 1.

BC 6, Army 0

Grant Salzano:

BC 4, BU 0

BC 6, Army 0

A.J Black:

Didn't get his predictions in on time. I blame Baldwin Jr. Caw caw!

Conrad Kaczmarek:

He didn't send any predictions but he's a smart kid because he goes to BC so I'm gonna say he predicted BC 11bajillion, BU 0.

BCI Prediction Standings

5 points for a correct prediction, minus one point for how far off you were from the victory margin. i.e., predicting a 4-goal win and it ends up being a 2-goal win = 3 points. Also, 1 bonus point for getting a team's score correct. Enter this week's contest by leaving your BC-BU and BC-Army predictions in the comments.

Last week:
Boston College 4, Northeastern 2
Boston College 4, Northeastern 3

Staff

Joe: BC 6, NU 1 (2 points).... NU 3, BC 2 (1 point) ---> 3 points
Brian: BC 4, NU 1 (5 points)... BC 3, NU 2 (5 points) ----> 10 points OH SNAP
Grant: BC 8, NU 1 (0 points).... BC 3, NU 0 (3 points) ---> 3 points
Dan: JCNG 0 points
AJ: BC 5, NU 3 (5 points).... BC 2, NU 2 (0 points) ---> 5 points
Conrad: DNQ

Fans

Patty: BC 4, NU 2 (7 points!).... NU 3 BC 2 (1 point) ---> 8 points
Maureen: BC 4, NU 1 (5 points)... NU 4 BC 2 (0 points) ---> 5 points
Amy C: BC 6 , NU 2 (4 points).... NU 4 BC 3 (0 points) ---> 4 points

Brian wins with quite the impressive score. Good work.

Leaderboard:
Brian - 1.5 wins (Week 3 tie, Week 4 )
Joe - 1 win (Week 1)
Conrad - 1 win (Week 2)
AJ - 0.5 wins (Week 3 tie)

How are you feeling about the weekend? Will BC continue their outstanding play at Agganis Arena? Will Army sneak up on the Eagles on Sunday? Leave your thoughts below.

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