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BC Hockey at RIT: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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Can the Eagles get themselves into the win column this weekend?

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Here's some good news: BC is 1-0 against teams from Canada this year, with matchup #2 coming up tomorrow night. (Sorry Enzo, I had to.)

In all seriousness, the Eagles look to bounce back from a tough 5-2 loss on opening night last week at Lowell with a game against the RIT Tigers at Blue Cross Arena. It's Homecoming for RIT, and the game will be played before a capacity crowd of 10,600+. While RIT struggled last season to a 7th place finish in Atlantic Hockey, they have a history of punching above their weight and knocking off some big time opponents. After a decent start to their season last week, splitting a home series against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, they'll be looking to land the scalp of the 5-time national champions.


BC Roster Notes

Brendan Silk is back in the lineup for the first time this year. According to the BC Hockey Blog, the two players who had injury scares last week, Michael Sit and Zach Sanford, should be good to go. He reports that Matt Gaudreau will be the odd player out this weekend.

Projected Lines

Alex Tuch - Adam Gilmour - Chris Calnan

Zach Sanford - Ryan Fitzgerald - Austin Cangelosi

Cam Spiro - Michael Sit - Brendan Silk

Quinn Smith - Destry Straight - Danny Linell

Defensive pairs

Michael Matheson - Scott Savage

Ian McCoshen - Ted Doherty

Noah Hanifin - Steve Santini

In goal:

Thatcher Demko

What stands out here is the shuffling of the bottom six forwards after an ineffective debut. Sit, who is perhaps the team's best returning faceoff guy, moves up to a third line that features Spiro and Silk, who both have speed to burn. York will certainly be hoping this line can turn into an attacking threat.

While rumor had it Destry Straight would be the odd man out when Silk returned, he remains in the projected lines as a center--hopefully that position change suits him. On paper, his line with Smith and Linell seems like it will be tasked with a more physical role.

GAME FACTS

Game Time: 7:05
TV: Streamed online at RIT's website ($$)
Radio: WEEI 850 AM, BCEagles.com

Record:

BC 0-1-0
RIT 1-1-0

Goal Differentials:
BC: 2 GF, 5 GA, -3 GD
RIT: 6 GF, 5 GA, +1 GD

Last Time Out: RIT opened their sparkling new on-campus arena with an up and down weekend, hammering St. Lawrence 5-2 then following that up with a 3-1 loss to Clarkson.

Common Foes:The only "Hockey East" team RIT played last year was UConn, to whom they lost twice.

Players to watch: RIT's top returning scorers from last year are sophomore Todd Skirving (8-14--22) and junior Dan Schuler (13-8--21). Also, they have twin 21-year-old freshman brothers from Strong Field, Saskatchewan, Chase Norrish and Brady Norrish. I have no idea if they are good or not, but I will never not find any element of that sentence amusing. "Strong Field, Saskatchewan." Come on, that's great.

Last Three Meetings:

BC and RIT have only met once in their history, when the Eagles blanked RIT 6-0 in the championship game of the 2007 Mariucci Classic. This was the start of Nate Gerbe really going off and taking over for BC that season.

Blast from the Not-Too-Distant Past

I choose this video for a few reasons. First of all, it's an excuse to watch the final seconds run off as BC wins the 2010 national championship. Secondly, you can't really hear it well in this video, but if you listen carefully to some video of the final seconds ticking off the clock of this game, you could hear the mass of RIT fans chanting "R-I-T! R-I-T!" despite the fact that RIT was, well, not playing. RIT fans were out in force at that Frozen Four and were one of the highlights of the experience.



The Pre-Game Watering Hole

I'm going to leave this one to Enzo. Alright Enzo, let's hear it: where should BC fans out there grab a drink before the game?

Scoreboard Watching: Out-Of-Town Notes

It's a pretty interesting weekend in Hockey East. Lowell and Quinnipiac have a home-and-home series starting tonight up in Lowell. UNH travels to Michigan for two, while Maine hosts defending national champion Union for a pair up in Orono. Completely uninteresting to me is the two game set between Lake Superior State and Notre Dame, but of course that's the series that's on TV, thanks NBC.

Predictions

Joe Gravellese:

BC 6, RIT 3:

I think this week, BC gets some rhythm going and pumps 30-35 shots on goal. If that happens I expect around 5 to beat the goalie. Throw in an empty netter for good measure and come home with an important win.

Brian Favat:

BC 4, RIT 3:

BC gets in the win column but it won't be easy as the Eagles make the long, long long road trip to upstate to play in front of a very hostile and enthusiastic environment, against a very fired up team...an atmosphere that is no way a neutral crowd.

AJ Black:

4-2 RIT. Full panic mode engulfs BC hockey fans as the Eagles start the season off 0-2.


New "Dan Rubin" Guy:

No prediction for me this week because I'm picking the game for USCHO so I'll give a Kirk Herbstreit-like "key to the game."

The key is going to be the BC defense. RIT wants to create a track meet because they love to skate hard and attack. As a result, BC needs its defense to play stout in front of the net. This is not a game where the net needs to be peppered and long defensive shifts absorbed. Allow one or two looks and get the puck cleared. If the defense can't hold in the back for whatever reason, RIT won't have to worry about weak goaltending.

Grant Salzano:

There is absolutely no way we give up 3+ goals; you guys are nuts. BC 4, RIT 1.



BCI Prediction Standings

Congratulations to AJ, if you agree with the idea of giving congratulations for correctly being a NEGNAN; his guess of Lowell 4, BC 2 was the closest to the final result and was almost spot on before Lowell's empty netter.

STANDINGS

AJ 1

Everyone else 0

Caw caw.

Ready to make some predictions? How will BC's tweaked lineup perform in Rochester? Will BC get in to the win column? Leave your thoughts on the game below.