The best kinds of games to lose are the ones that don't count. The Eagles took one on the chin last week, 5-2, against the University of New Brunswick in a tune-up that got ugly in the second period. However, BC goes on the road this weekend for two games that count - two games that the Eagles will be favored to win. Can they rise to the occasion and start the season hot?
#1 Boston College Eagles (0-0-0) at Army West Point Black Knights (0-0-0)
Friday, October 9, 2015, 7:00 PM, Tate Rink, West Point, NY
#1 Boston College Eagles (0-0-0) at RPI Engineers (0-0-0)
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 2:00 PM, Houston Field House, Troy, NY
Thatcher Demko, again: Demko looked great last week against UNB in one period of action. Can he go 60 minutes this weekend? How about 120? We've yet to get a definitive answer from the coaching staff. If he does go 60, will he look as good for the entire game as he did for one period last weekend?
The Defense: The new defense corps' first test last weekend didn't go very well, with the Eagles struggling to clear rebounds and make crisp breakout passes. What will the D pairs be tonight and will they be able to put in a solid performance? Will Travis Jeke stay ahead of freshman Josh Couturier on the depth chart?
Miles Wood: I joined BCHB on the Miles Wood hype train last week after getting the chance to see him in person at the collegiate level. In his first competitive game, can he again be a factor?
Pressure on at RPI?: Three or four years ago, most RPI fans probably would have considered an occasional tournament run to be an acceptable level of performance at their school, which, despite having a rich hockey tradition, has limited sports resources and tough academic requirements. However, the conversation in the ECAC has changed a bit, with Yale and Union raising the bar. Union in particular is a historic rival of RPI and RPI fans will want to get the upper hand back. It looked like coach Seth Appert was building something a few years back, winning 18 games in 2010, 20 in 2011 and 18 in 2013. However, RPI's had two straight losing seasons including going 12-26-3 last season. You have to think the pressure is on the tenth-year head coach.
Obligatory Game Day GIF/Video
Here's a pretty cool video from the jumbotron presentation at RPI honoring the history of their proud hockey program.
Jerry York's Three Classy Keys To The Game*
Hello again out there to all my friends over at BC Interruption, you know we really appreciate the fan support and just how terrific you all are about cheering on our kids. We're just so excited here to be playing our first games of the regular season and start working real hard night in and night out so that we can get to where we want to be at the end of the season. Here are my three keys to the weekend:
1. Respect your country: It's a real honor to play against these kids at West Point, these kids are our heroes and they're going to be out there serving our country all over the world. To be able to face off against these fine young men is a great thing for our program, and you know they're going to be real tough and not make anything easy on us.
2. Honor the rivalry: You know some of you kids might not remember but BC and RPI, now there's a great, historic rivalry, going to back to some great times in the ECAC. They're a real high quality hockey program with a great coach in Seth Appert, he's a true gentlemen and a terrific hockey coach so you know the team is going to be well-prepared and we're going to need to bring our A game to get two points.
3. Enjoy the scenic surroundings: Obviously we're focused on doing our jobs this weekend and winning each game but it's important to tell the kids to appreciate their surroundings on these road trips, obviously West Point is a special place, but then on Sunday we get a chance to see just a real beautiful place in Troy, New York. What a nice town that is, the people there are just wonderful and they love the game of hockey. It's in a beautiful and scenic location being so close to Albany so there's just so much to see and do. I am looking forward to being there.
*Jerry York did not actually say these things.
The Pre-Game Watering Hole
I've never been to West Point, but in doing my research on the town it seems like there are basically four places to eat in the entire community: the cadets' mess hall, another dining hall on campus that has a sort of deli theme, a Subway (eat fresh!), and General Patton's Tavern, located inside a hotel located on the USMA campus. So obviously I'm going to General Patton's. General Patton's Tavern, 674 Thayer Rd, West Point, NY 10996
#CATPREDICTIONS, By The Cats Of The Gifford Cat Shelter
Allow me to introduce a segment we are extremely excited about: CAT PREDICTIONS. Each week, cats from the Gifford Cat Shelter in Brighton will predict what will happen in the weekend's games. Let's get it started. Our first contestant is Bowser, a friendly one-year-old cat.
As you can see, Bowser is a serious cat who means business. So you know you're going to get a thoughtful prediction. First, it's BC at Army on Friday night. Surely, Bowser will pick the Eagles...
...but no, Bowser is not one for the easy or obvious pick. He picks the Black Knights in a big upset.
Does he think BC can bounce back on Sunday at RPI?
Yes! So there you have it: a loss on Friday and a win on Sunday. Let's see how his predictions hold up.
You can visit Bowser 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 7 - Army 0: With apologies and respect to NG, Army is one of the weakest teams in a weak conference. If BC can't win comfortably, that will be worrisome. I'll be in West Point sitting a few rows above the BC bench with Grant and some other friends. SIR YES SIR!
BC 2 - RPI 1: I kind of think RPI is going to be better this year, though I have very little to base that on. They're also going to be fired up to be facing BC and I expect their best shot in the first period if not for 60 full. I'm going to predict what I want to see happen, which is Demko handle any initial RPI wave and BC to grind out a tough road win.
Coach and New Guy jump out to the lead by being the only people to predict New Brunswick to top BC last weekend. Reminder that you can play along with our contest by predicting the scores in the comments.
Predict the correct winner: 1 point
Get the margin of victory right: 2 points
Nail the correct final score: 3 points
||I'll be in West Point for the opener and streaming Sunday's game, probably while working.
|Grant will also be in West Point tonight
||AJ will be furiously breaking down BC's many passing touchdowns against Wake Forest
|New Guy||New Guy decided that we don't get to read his hot takes here because he'll be making a prediction for USCHO's AHC weekend preview.
BC-Army won't be a contest. I'll be watching from my apartment in Brookline anxiously awaiting the start of the Mets run to the World Series #shocktheworld [ed. note - lol]
For Sunday, BC 3 RPI 1. I'm not quite ready to be bullish on RPI just yet.
Despite Bowser the Cat's bold prediction, Laura sees BC beating Army 5-1.
She'll be holding down the BCI fort while Grant and Joe are in West Point.
|Coach John Fidler
||Neither of these teams will challenge BC, even on the road.
|Bowser the Cat/ Gifford Cat Shelter||
||100-0||That's right, if you didn't send me a prediction, you're still picking New Brunswick to win even though they're not playing
Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (7) - Army (1) - Tie (0)
BC (8) - RPI (0) - Tie (0)
Leave your thoughts and predictions on the game below. Will BC start off with an exhibition win?