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PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS: Boston College Hockey at Harvard

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#AllstonBrightonDerby day

2016 Beanpot Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

GAME FACTS

Who:

#5 Boston College Eagles (10-2-1, 5-0-1 HEA)
#18 Harvard Crimson (4-1-1, 2-1-1 ECAC)

What:

The 125th edition of the #AllstonBrightonDerby

When:

Friday, November 18, 2016, 7:00 PM ET

Where:

Bright-Landry Hockey Center, Allston, MA

Why:

The degree of difficulty cranks up for BC tonight as they take on a quality Harvard team that has been one of the best possession teams in the nation in the early going so far. BC has 10 wins, but their recent games against lowly UNH and ASU were sloppy - so they’ll be hoping for a tighter performance tonight.

How to Watch:

ESPN3!

How to Listen:

WEEI 850AM / BCEagles.com

BC STORYLINES

  • The Eagles carry a 9-0-1 streak after starting the season 1-2-0 - the longest unbeaten streak in the nation.
  • The penalty kill: Sunday’s game against Arizona State was the first time BC was perfect on the PK since going 6-for-6 against Providence on October 28. They also limited their penalty minutes to 10, tied for 2nd-lowest this season.
  • Clamping down: BC has only allowed over 30 shots three times this season. BC is 0-2-1 in those three games. The Eagles are now facing one of the best offenses they’ve played all year, so we’ll see if they’re able to continue limiting opponents’ opportunities.
  • Something’s gotta give: in close, even-strength situations, BC has a 60.3% edge in shot attempts. In the same situations, Harvard is at 58.4%. Which team will be able to take initiative and control the flow of the game?
  • Third period struggles: BC has gotten outshot 54-33 by opponents in the third period over the last 5 games - not good. The third period is also when things got hairy against UNH and ASU, and when things went astray in BC’s season-opening loss to Air Force, and the tie at Merrimack. Overall, opponents are outshooting BC 141-112 in the third period this season, but BC is outshooting opponents 311-221 through two.

GETTING TO KNOW THE OPPONENT

Harvard doesn’t have Jimmy Vesey anymore but they have plenty of offensive weapons. Alex Kerfoot has been a BC killer throughout his career and has 6 points so far this season. Senior Tyler Moy (3-6--9) and sophomore Ryan Donato (4-4--8) are leading the way in scoring for Harvard so far through six games.

The Crimson are #3 in the nation early on in goals per game.

Saturday night at Quinnipiac, Harvard outshot QU 32-21 but suffered a tough 4-2 loss, with QU notching a late empty net goal.

For more info on Harvard, check out our Q&A with Jake Meagher.

THE NUMBERS GAME

Statistically, BC and Harvard are two of the top teams in the nation right now.

Both teams are top-7 in both offense and defense. Harvard is #3 on offense (4.17) and #4 on defense (2.00 ga/game). BC is #5 on defense (4.00) and #7 on offense (2.08).

To add on to that, Joe Woll has a .930 save percentage, while Merrick Madsen is rocking a .924 SV% of his own.

These two teams are mirror images statistically continues right on to both of their struggles on the PK, ranked #39 (BC) and #44 (Harvard) in that category.

THE EXPECTATIONS GAME

This is pretty much the classic example of a game that could go either way, with no result really being surprising or disappointing, other than getting blasted. Harvard will certainly be looking at this as an opportunity to get an important win at home. If BC comes back with at least a tie, we should be happy.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT HARVARD

People who went to Harvard went to Harvard. You may not be aware of that fact.

CAT PREDICTIONS

Cat predictions are brought to you by the adoptable cats of the Gifford Cat Shelter, the nation’s oldest cageless, no-kill shelter - located near BC on Undine Road in Brighton.

Mimi is confident about BC this week. She picks a 5-2 Eagles win.

harvard meow

HUMAN PREDICTIONS

Joe Gravellese - BC and Harvard tie 3-3, with Joe Woll holding down the fort in the third period to preserve a tie.

Grant Salzano - BC 3, Harvard 0. Going to keep picking them until they prove they can lose.

Laura Berestecki - BC 3, Harvard 2

Arthur Bailin - BC 4, Harvard 1

Eric Hoffses - Harvard 2, BC 0

PREDICTION CONTEST

BC's 4-2 win ove Arizona State was closer than anyone thought it would be; Grant came closest to being right, picking a 4-0 W.

Standings

JPDot 4

Laura Berestecki 2

CoachJF 1

Gifford Cats 1

Joe Gravellese 1

Grant Salzano 1

BCJacket5 1

Arthur Bailin 1

princisb 1

LEAVE US YOUR THOUGHTS

Traveling to Allston tonight for the game? Watching on ESPN3? Share your thoughts here or on Twitter at @BCInterruption. Go Eagles!