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Boston College Hockey vs. Denver: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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We share our thoughts on tonight's marquee clash on the Heights

Dustin Satloff for BC Interruption

For the second time in as many seasons, Boston College and Denver clashed in the first round of the NCAA tournament this past March. In 2014, BC demolished Denver en route to the Frozen Four. This year in Providence, it was Denver who waxed the overmatched Eagles. Months later, these two teams are back on the ice against one another. Both have many changes from the teams that last met in March, and both have hopes of making a deep run this season.

Unless you've been living under a rock, of course, you know that this week's big story was the loss of Jeremy Bracco to Kitchener in the OHL. It's a tough loss for a team reliant on freshmen for so much of its scoring, and a real blow to the program. How the team responds will tell us something about their resiliency.

Bracco may be gone but the rest of the Eagles have certainly looked just fine; Bracco has only accounted for 3 BC assists and 0 goals so far this season, but the team top to bottom has looked very good, albeit against weak competition. The competition ratchets up tonight, and it should be a good one.


University of Denver Pioneers (3-1-0) at Boston College Eagles (4-1-0)
Friday, October 30, 2015, 7:00 PM, Conte Forum, Boston, Mass..

MATCHUP:

Pairwise*: Denver #10, BC #17
Team Offense: DU 3.50 GPG (#15 in NCAA)... BC 4.00 GPG (#10 in NCAA)
Team Defense: DU 2.00 GA/G (#9 in NCAA)... BC 0.60 GA/G (#1 in NCAA)

*literally meaningless right now, but YOLO

Storylines

BC's response to the Bracco news: Teddy Doherty called a team meeting shortly after learning about Jeremy Bracco's decision to leave for Canada. We don't know what was said, but we know BC has a great group of mentally tough upperclassmen leaders who will hopefully have the team fired up to play for their coach and their teammates.

Lineup changes: According to the BC Hockey Blog, at practice yesterday, BC went in an unexpected direction with the lines, sliding Matt Gaudreau in to the third line and slotting Travis Jeke, normally a defenseman, in at forward on the fourth line wing. Is that the lineup BC will use today? Will Gaudreau stick as a top 9 forward? Will BC still be a team that threatens with three lines?

First big test for the D: As we have discussed many times, BC has faced weak competition so far this season; Army, Wisconsin, CC and RPI are all highly unlikely to do much damage. That changes tonight. DU is a highly skilled team that will provide a potent test to this defense; can BC keep up their great play in their own end?

Can-do Cangelosi?: Austin Cangelosi has looked like a different player this season alongside Chris Calnan and Miles Wood. If he keeps up his torrid early season pace, nobody will be worrying about what forwards aren't here.

Obligatory Game Day GIF/Video

Here's a little throwback to the great 2010-2011 BC team, which left an early mark on the season by sweeping Denver on the road. These are the highlights from BC's 6-2 win in game one, on Friday, October 15, 2010.

Jerry York's Three Classy Keys To The Game That Are For The General Public And Should Not Be Interpreted As Being Directed At Anyone In Particular*

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/rvp/pubaf/chronicle/v9/a26/york.jpg

Hello again BC Interruption, as always it's terrific to be here, and to start getting excited about another Friday night matchup at Kelley Rink against a great opponent in the Denver Pioneers.

Here are my three keys to tonight's game, and, really, to life in general.

1. Commitment to your teammates: You're all out there together as a team representing Boston College, and it's important to respect your teammates and be there for them through thick and thin. It's all about the team, not any one individual.

2. Loyalty: You know, we're part of a great family here at Boston College, and we need to all remember to respect and honor what it means to be a BC Eagle. Every year there are hundreds of kids that would love the opportunity to wear the maroon and gold, but we're lucky enough to have that chance. Even after you graduate from here and go on to success either in pro hockey or some other endeavor, it's important to stay loyal to the BC community.

3. Communication: As a coaching staff it's always so important to know what's going on with our players. If there are any problems or concerns or things going on me and the rest of the coaching staff, we're all available and happy to be notified about any forthcoming problems in advance.

*Jerry York did not actually say these things.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

The BC area is still pretty devoid of good options, so we're just over here waiting for Pepe's to open up in Chestnut Hill (hopefully next month) and for the new pizzeria/bar going in at the old Roggie's site to open.

#CATPREDICTIONS, By The Cats Of The Gifford Cat Shelter

Tux got off to a strong start last week, picking BC to beat Colorado College in game 1. However, he misguidedly took the Tigers in game 2, perhaps out of loyalty to fellow cats, and ended up going 1-1 on the week, bringing the Gifford cats' record to 2-3 on the season. Next up?

"George is the gentle giant of Gifford. This 8 year old was declawed by his previous family (boooo) so he isn't comfortable around other animals or rambunctious children, but he LOVES adult humans. He will happily sit on your lap for a full hour and will sweetly rub against you to get your attention.

george

George managed to rise halfway out of bed in order to make his prediction: a Denver win over BC."

georgedu



You can visit George and friends at The Gifford Cat Shelter, located right across from BC at 30 Undine Road in Brighton. Founded in 1884 it is the oldest no kill and cageless shelter in the U.S. More information is available at http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/.

The Last Word

​BC 6, Denver 2

Is this purely an emotional pick? Yes, yes it is. I was thinking a tight, low-scoring game all week that could go either way. But I think we're going to see some inspired, hair-on-fire hockey tonight out of the Eagles and they're going to make a statement.

I'll be in my customary spot at Conte Forum.

Predictions Contest

Everyone from the staff picked a BC sweep last week except New Guy (boo) and Tux (he's adorable though so we'll let him get away with it. Sorry New guy, we still love you too). 

Scoring rules if you'd like to play along at home:

Predict the correct winner: 1 point
Get the margin of victory right: 2 points
Nail the correct final score: 3 points

Name Predictions GPS Points
Joe Gravellese
Bostoncollege_medium
6-2

Ready to see BC make a statement. In my usual spot at Conte Forum.
6
Grant Salzano

Bostoncollege_medium
3-0

Demko will set a record for shutout minutes by a BC goalie. Grant will be in Arizona presumably trying to watch some of the game.
4
AJ Black
Bostoncollege_medium
4-2
Iggles win 4-2 starting the post-Bracco scorched earth tour
4
New Guy
http://www.thesummitleague.org/images/setup/2015/logo_small_denver.png
3-1

It has nothing to do with Bracco, I just think Denver is a little bit better than BC right now.
3
Arthur Bailin

3-
I think BC wins 3-2 in front of a very venomous crowd. Or, since this is BC hockey, a crowd only interested in singalongs like this is karaoke night at Cityside. 4
Laura Berestecki

2-1
A tough game, but a) I will always choose BC and b) I think they're going to be extra motivated to win. 6
Coach John Fidler
http://www.thesummitleague.org/images/setup/2015/logo_small_denver.png
2-2
Not sure what being on the fence does for the pool, but I will try it
5
Caleb Childers
http://i2.wp.com/sflanders.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/neu-logo.png If you didn't submit a pick this week, you're picking Northeastern, which is never a good idea
1
Tux the Cat/ Gifford Cat Shelter

http://www.thesummitleague.org/images/setup/2015/logo_small_denver.png

Meow 2
Kwani Lunis
http://i2.wp.com/sflanders.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/neu-logo.png North
0
Jeff Martyn
http://i2.wp.com/sflanders.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/neu-logo.png Eastern
0
Bridget Klish
http://i2.wp.com/sflanders.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/neu-logo.png North
0

Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (5) - Denver (2) - Tie (1)

Fan Prediction Standings after last week:

mig1168 4 points
princisb 4 points
airforce987 4 points
cam_dezak 2 points
JPDot 3 points
b0mberman 1 point
bostoncollegenyr 3 points
bcmurt09 4 points
tommykay 2 points
we are bc 4 points

Leave your thoughts and predictions on the game below... can BC keep up their hot start to the season with a win over Denver?