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Boston College Hockey vs. Michigan: Final Thoughts & Predictions

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Getting ready for the last game of calendar year 2014

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, we've come to the end of the first semester of games. AT 8-7-1, BC needs a win tomorrow night over Michigan to go into the break above .500. On paper, this could be a game that features a lot of scoring.

BC Roster Notes

The new line combinations last week seemed to find a little spark.

Projected Lines

Zach Sanford - Ryan Fitzgerald - Austin Cangelosi
Destry Straight - Adam Gilmour - Alex Tuch
Quinn Smith - Michael Sit - Chris Calnan
Cam Spiro - Matt Gaudreau - Brendan Silk

Defensive Pairs

Teddy Doherty - Michael Matheson
Noah Hanifin - Ian McCoshen
Scott Savage - Danny Linell

Goaltender:

Thatcher Demko

GAME FACTS

Game Time: 7:00 PM Saturday
TV: BCEagles.com
Radio: WEEI 850 AM, BCEagles.com

Record: Boston College 8-7-1 (4-4-1 HEA), Michigan 8-6-0 (2-1-0 Big Ten)

Goal Differentials:
BC: 47 GF, 42 GA - +5 GD
Mich.: 57 GF, 41 GA,  +16 GD

Team Rankings (Nationally):

Team Offense: BC #23 (2.94 G/GM)...Mich. #2 (4.07 G/Gm)
Team Defense: BC #29 (2.62 GA/GM), Mich. #41 (2.93 GA/GM)
Shot Differential Per Game: BC #27 (+1.52 shots/gm), Michigan #11 (+6.00 shots/gm)
Power Play:BC #52 (6-for-66), Mich. #18 (11-for-55)
Penalty Kill: BC #11 (60-for-68) Mich. #37 (40-for-52)

Pairwise: BC #31...Michigan #28
KRACH: n/a yet

Last Time Out: Last week, Michigan blasted Ohio State 8-3.

Common Foes: Michigan has played a few games against  Hockey East opposition this year. They split with UNH at home, then traveled to MA and beat Lowell before losing to BU at Agganis.

Players to watch: All eyes are on hotshot freshman Zach Werenski, part of the Holy Trinity of early enrolees in college hockey this year with Jack Eichel and Hanifin. Senior Zach Hyman right now leads the team in scoring with 17 points.

Blast from the Not-Too-Distant Past

Oddly enough BC and Michigan haven't crossed paths too much in recent years. One mildly interesting note is that BC opened the 2007-08 season and the 2012-13 season against Michigan, narrowly losing each time.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

It's a home game, and it's a Saturday (no need to rush things), so as usual I offer my recommendations to any traveling Michigan fans to skip Cleveland Circle and check out some of the bars in Brighton Center. It's only marginally longer to walk or drive from there to the game than it is to go from Cleveland Circle. Porter Belly's is usually a good spot. Get the Curry Fries.

Scoreboard Watching: Out-Of-Town Notes

It's a light weekend with many teams already on break mode. There's the UNH-Maine neutral site weekend series this weekend, which seemed a lot more exciting when it was booked than it does now (a lot like BC-Michigan, come to think of it). BU signs off for the semester tomorrow night with a game at old rival RPI.

Predictions

Joe Gravellese:

Michigan 5, BC 3

The Wolverines aren't a great team this year, but they've got a dynamic offense that gets a lot of shots on goal and keeps the pressure on you. That seems like a bad combination for a BC team that has seen games get away from them a few times against teams with powerful offenses (Lowell and Minnesota come to mind).

I do think BC will have their opportunities to score and keep it close, but I'm feeling pessimistic about the result.

Brian Favat:

4-2 BC.

New "Dan Rubin" Guy:

4-1 Michigan.

I'm just gonna keep picking BC to lose at this point and hope for a reverse jinx.

Grant Salzano:

4-1 Michigan, with an empty net goal.

AJ Black:

Michigan 3, BC 2

BCI Prediction Standings

BCJacket5 snuck in at 7:01 on Friday and got in the best picks of the weekend: BC 3, UNH 2 for Friday and BC 4, UNH 2 for Saturday. Not only did he get Saturday right on the head, he probably should have gotten Friday right on the head too, but, you know, Hockey East refs.

STANDINGS

AJ 3
New Guy 1
Brian 1
Grant 1
BCJacket5 1
Joe Grav 0.83
Airforce987 0.5
Enzo 0.33
Beerfart 0.33

Will BC be able to keep Michigan's dynamic offense off the board tomorrow night? Will Austin Cangelosi continue his mini-revival? And will the Eagles head into the holidays with a win? Leave your thoughts below.