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Boston College Hockey vs. Notre Dame: Final Thoughts and Predictions

Can the Eagles beat their foes from South Bend and close the semester strong?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With Jack Parker retired, Jeff Jackson probably counts as the biggest thorn in Jerry York's side in recent years (other than Union...). Though BC holds a narrow 20-17-2 lead in the all-time series with Notre Dame, the Irish have controlled the series recently, going 9-6-1 in the last 16 matchups. This includes Notre Dame's memorable three-game upset over BC in the Hockey East quarterfinals in 2014, when ND bottled up BC's high powered offense and broke their streak of Garden appearances in the Hockey East semifinals.

This difficult foe comes to Conte tonight playing some good hockey, so this should be a tricky challenge for BC going in to the winter break.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4-4) at Boston College Eagles (13-1-1)
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 7:00 PM, Kelley Rink at Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

MATCHUP:

Pairwise: ND #16, BC #8
Team Offense: ND #17 (3.19 goals per game)... BC #2 (4.40 goals per game)
Team Defense: ND #23 (2.56 goals allowed per game)... BC #2 (1.47 goals allowed per game)

Storylines

Shoring up the defense: BC has fallen out of the national lead in goals against average for the first time since the second game of the season after giving up six goals in two games against Northeastern. BC faces a pretty decent scoring team in Notre Dame tonight; can they limit them to two goals or fewer and get back on the horse defensively?

Line matchups: Jeff Jackson has been a pretty good chess player against BC in picking line matchups that slow down BC's top lines while exploiting weaknesses. He doesn't have as good, as deep or as experienced a team as he had in 2014 when the Irish pulverized BC's fourth line while neutralizing Gaudreau/Arnold/Hayes, but it will be interesting to see what game plan they carry out tonight.

Beating the trap: Despite being an interesting rivalry, BC-ND games aren't always the most high-octane due to Jackson's proclivity to employ a neutral zone trap. BC hasn't played many good trap teams this year and the ability to deal with it effectively is key during conference play as they're likely to see it from a number of teams. In order to beat the trap you need quick, effective puck movement and accurate passing.

Stay out of the goddamn box: Here we go again - BC really hamstrung themselves last week giving NU 13 power plays to BC's 2 on the weekend. That won't really fly against Notre Dame as the last thing BC needs to do is spot them two goals and deal with trying to come back against the 1995 New Jersey Devils incarnate. This is probably a night to reign in the aggressiveness.

Obligatory Game Day GIF/Video

Notre Dame Hockey Tactics, in GIF form!

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

Not Chipotle.

#CATPREDICTIONS, By The Cats Of The Gifford Cat Shelter

"Cody is a super sweet 11 year old waiting for his forever home. Cody is a lap cat and will run to cuddle with you whenever you sit down. (He has been on my lap and purring the entire time I've been typing this.) He's a long-haired cat, but his previous family shaved him to be short-hair (weird) so his full coat is growing back in. Cody's love for treats can be seen by looking at his very round belly, so he was excited to make some predictions.

cody1

Cody took a second to think, but ultimately decided that BC will be motivated to win the hockey Holy War. Cody predicts a 4-1 BC win."

cody2

You can visit Cody 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

Notre Dame 3, BC 2

Ugh, I know. I hate predicting a BC loss and I almost never do. But I'm not really feeling it today. History tends to repeat itself a lot in college hockey and for whatever reason, ND is a tough opponent for BC year after year. In addition, the Eagles' game isn't quite at the level it was a couple weeks ago, I think. They needed to use #heart and #grit to grind out points against Michigan State and Northeastern and I feel like some things might catch up to them tonight. We'll see.

Predictions Contest

Grant has stretched out his lead atop the standings but things are getting very tight from #2 on back. Nobody picked a tie last Friday, but most people di pick a Sunday BC win.

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
Grant Salzano

Bostoncollege_medium
3-2


19
Joe Gravellese


http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/nd/graphics/nd-15-mast-logo.png
3-2

Not feeling good about this one.
16
Laura Berestecki

Bostoncollege_medium
2-1

The cats sense a more comfortable win but she has this one as a close game.
16
Arthur Bailin

Bostoncollege_medium
3-2

14
AJ Black http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/nd/graphics/nd-15-mast-logo.png
4-2

14
Coach John Fidler

Bostoncollege_medium
4-2


13
Von Dutch the Cat/ The Gifford Cats

Bostoncollege_medium
4-1

Meow

10
New "Dan Rubin" Guy

http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/nd/graphics/nd-15-mast-logo.png
2-1


12
Caleb Childers

Bostoncollege_medium
3-2

7
Kwani Lunis

http://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/626155246352379904/0oNVPa-t_normal.png

If you didn't submit a pick, you're picking the University of Hartford women's basketball team
0
Bridget Klish

http://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/626155246352379904/0oNVPa-t_normal.png


0




Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (6) - ND (3) - Tie (0)

Fan Prediction Standings after last week:

JPDot's 16 points put him at #2 overall between staff and fans combined, tied with Laura. We'll see if he can close in on Grant.

JPDot 16 points
princisb 14 points
airforce987 14 points
bostoncollegenyr 14 points
cam_dezak 11 points
pjpj23 11 points
seobe 8 points
mig1168 6 points
95dougie95 7 points
we are bc 5 points
bcmike22 6 points
b0mberman 4 point
bcmurt09 4 points
tommykay 4 points
totheheights 2 points
bceagles66 2 points
rmbc81 1 point
spillerhighlife 1 point
eagles2015 2 point
eagleeye9184 1 point

Leave your thoughts and predictions on the game below... can the Eagles finish their calendar year 2015 slate at Conte Forum strong?