BC Hockey at Providence: Final Thoughts/Predictions

Graham Beck, The Heights

The Eagles look to continue their strong 2014 as they travel to Providence to take on the Friars

When last we saw the Providence College Friars, they were locked in a close battle with BC for the top of the Hockey East table. The Eagles responded to the challenge by being one of the only teams to light up PC for 5 goals this season, playing a magnificent game and earning a 5-2 win at Conte Forum.

While 2014 has been great for the Eagles, it's been mixed for the Friars, who have come down from their top-4 ranking at Christmas to a tie for 7th in the pairwise with Northeastern, just ahead of UMass-Lowell. They've shown cracks: their backbone all year has been defense and goaltending, but both struggled last week in their series against UML. PC required an uncharacteristic late rally to overcome Lowell at home 5-4 last Friday, before traveling to Tsongas on Saturday and getting thumped to the tune of 6-1.

For BC, they get back into the nitty gritty of conference play boasting a six point lead over Northeastern with a game in hand. They'll be looking to keep the good times rolling and pick up another quality pairwise win.

BC Roster Notes

It looks we've got ourselves a #1 goalie, as Jerry York signaled his intentions at Beanpot media day to "ride the hot hand" in Thatcher Demko.

Projected Lines

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

Savage-Matheson
MacLeod-Doherty
McCoshen-Santini

Demko

Game Time: 7:00 PM

TV: COX TV in Rhode Island, streaming online ($5) here
Radio: WEEI 850 AM and BCEagles.com

Record: BC: 18-4-3..... Providence: 15-6-5
KRACH: BC #2.... Providence: #8

Goal Differentials:
BC:112 GF (1st in HEA), 58 GA (5th in HEA), +44 (1st in HEA)

Last Time Out: The Friars split a weekend series with UMass-Lowell last weekend, while BC narrowly edged Penn State.

Storylines: Johnny Gaudreau's 20-game point streak; Thatcher Demko's chance to emerge as the full-time #1; BC's attempt to grow their sizable Hockey East lead.

Fun Fact: BC is 6-0-3 in their last nine trips to Schneider Arena.

Players to watch: Jon Gillies, PC's sophomore goalie, boasts a .927 SV%. Ross Mauermann is among the league leaders with a 16-15--31 scoring line.

Lingering Questions

Will Providence get their defense and goaltending back on track after last week's rough go against the Riverhawks? Will the Eagles' offense stay hot?

Scoreboard Watching: Out-Of-Town Notes

INotre Dame travels to New Hampshire for two games this weekend in a series between teams who are running out of time in their bid to move up in the Hockey East standings. Meanwhile, UMass-Lowell has a home-and-home with Merriamck, and a key chance to make some hay against a weak opponent. BC's next opponent, yknow, BU, has one game this weekend, tonight vs. UMass.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

Plenty of options in Providence, always; being of Italian-American heritage I tend to enjoy Federal Hill, but given that time is short for me tonight, I'll probably stay closer to downtown. Last year, our traveling cohort enjoyed Luxe Burger Bar, right near the Providence Place mall. Solid choice.

Predictions

Joe Gravellese:

BC 2, Providence 2

I'm predicting a tie tonight. I think the Friars will have it drilled in their head all week that they need to refocus on their strength on the defensive end. They'll be the first in a while to effectively slow down the BC attack and will keep the game tight. BC will probably have most of the possession, but to this point they haven't shown a demonstrated ability to hold their opponent under two goals... so I'm going with 2-2.

Grant Salzano:

BC 4, PC 1

Dan Rubin:

BC 3, PC 2.

Providence is free-falling worse than Tom Petty in the 1990s.

Brian Favat:

"BC 4, PC 2

BCHysteria:

BC 3, PC 1

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 predictions in the comments.

Last week:

BC 3, Penn State 2

We pretty much all sucked last week because almost everyone was predicting a BC blowout win. But one great humble genius did not suck. He predicted 3-2 BC, right on the nose. I think we all know which humble genius we're talking about. Since he's such a humble humble genius, we won't need to mention his name, and he wouldn't want all the fanfare of a '74-gun salute. But he knows he won. Good job!

Leaderboard:

Grant - 3.5 wins (Week 5, Week 9, Week 11, Week 12 (tie))
Brian - 2.5 wins (Week 3 tie, Week 4, Week 6 1/2)
Joe - 2 wins (Week 1, Week 7)

ACal6888: 1 win (Week 10)
giantsfan428: 1 win (Week 8)
Conrad - 1 win (Week 2)
Humble Genius - 1 win (Week 13)The Eagles look to continue their strong 2014 as they travel to Providence to take on the Friars
BCJacket5 - 1 win (Week 6)
AJ - 0.5 win (Week 3 tie)
JCNG - 0.5 win (Week 12 (tie))

Leave your thoughts on the game below and see if you can climb up the BCI leaderboard, to win all sorts of fabulous invisible prizes. Actually, you know what, I'm making up a prize, right now. The winner of the BCI prediction game for the season gets a 15 minute interview done by New Guy on BCInterruption Radio at the end of the season. Yes, New Guy, I'm committing your time and your studio technology without your permission. Go Eagles!

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