This never does get old, does it? It's a little different for us BC fans, I suppose, with the TD Garden being "Our House" the last several years. But even those perpetually cursed Huskies down on Huntington Ave get amped every year despite knowing -- nay, expecting! -- that they won't win.
Trophy Season is officially upon us. Not playing BU in the Beanpot Final is a little weird, but the benefits of knowing that no matter what, BU will not win the Beanpot this year is more than a fair tradeoff.
Plus, fewer ulcers! So that's a plus.
Northeastern seems to have eschewed their usual expectations of losing, something they usually embrace, which is cute. Unfortunately for them, this just isn't their year to break through and claim their most coveted trophy
Kevin Roy, Hockey East's top scoring freshman, has been on fire and has single-handedly been enough to win Northeastern some hockey games. His 5-2--7 scoring clip in the last 4 games includes a hat trick against BU in the Beanpot semi-finals. The last time he didn't hit the scoresheet was... oh, it was against us, in the 9-3 pasting we handed out at Matthews Arena. Oops.
BC's answer to Northeastern's "top dog" (HA! See what I did there?) Is Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudureau riding a bit of a scoring draught, conspicuously absent from the scoresheet in 3 of his last 4 games. Though fortunately for BC fans, he's been anywhere but invisible on the ice. In those last 4 games, Gaudreau has created all kinds of scoring opportunities and come in alone on, no joke, probably 7 or 8 breakaway opportunities, but hasn't been able to put the proverbial biscuit in the proverbial oven.
The law of averages pretty much guarantees an opening of the floodgates soon, no? Last year's Beanpot MVP is primed for an offensive explosion, and Trophy Season would seem to be the perfect time to finally break out of his snakebitten slump.
In goal, Northeastern "boasts" the talents of senior Chris Rawlings, who is like a magnet he's so bipolar (Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week...). Rawlings can either steal a game or drive Northeastern fans completely mad with Badgoaltenderitis. Credit where credit is due, though -- Rawlings pitched a shutout against the Terriers last week to get Northeastern here to begin with.
Most important of all to this game is the fact that the Eagles roster will be as healthy as it has been in a long, long time. Freshman defenseman Colin Sullivan is back from an upper body injury, joining Mike Matheson who returned last week to the blue line and allowing us to use actually defensemen on defense, which seems important. Sullivan had a -3 rating before going out and was shaky at times, but having a full complement of blueliners changes the game for us. Sitting and watching a bit mat have helped as well.
This game should be all BC, all the time. BC is finally turning around its season, and Northeastern is, to put it bluntly, really not all that great of a hockey team. The game entirely hinges on how well Rawlings and Roy play for the Huskies.
Since BC should dominate the game, so naturally I expect the game to go to overtime. Take It To The Bank: Boston College 5, Northeastern 4 (OT) -- Gaudreau and Roy will each put up at least 3 points in the game, but the newly clicking 4th line for BC will put home the game winner.