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Previewing Boston College Men’s Hockey v. Harvard

Yale v Boston College Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Amidst the chaos of Black Friday amongst all the land, the Boston College Eagles will put a now six game winning streak to the test in upper Allston against the first Beanpot opponent of the year, the Harvard Crimson.

The Eagles and Crimson have had some fantastic games over the last few years, including several at the Garden, but what should we expect of the Crimson this year? Let’s break it down.

What to Watch For

  1. Not letting the first chances count: Harvard simultaneously has some of the worst possession numbers in the country (the worst at even strength) and yet has not only won every game it has played so far, but has done so on very strong offensive performances. Intuitively you would imagine that Harvard’s shooting percentage would be pretty good, and you would be right! Harvard has the best shooting percentage in the nation at 19.1% and it isn’t even close. The be-all-end-all of this is that when Harvard is in the offensive zone, they make their chances count. When Harvard is in the attacking zone, BC needs to cut down on Grade-A chances otherwise the Crimson have the ability to make those chances count.
  2. Pressuring the goaltender: Mitchell Gibson and Cameron Gornet have been splitting games so it’s not clear who is going to be the starter on Friday, but both have been brick walls in net thus far. BC needs to put offensive pressure on net to make whoever is in net make a mistake.
  3. Shutting down the top line: The line of Nick Abruzzese, Jack Drury and Casey Dornbach has been absolutely potent this year, and is quietly shaping up to be one of the best in the nation. The way BC plays against that line could be the decider in the game.

Random, Possibly Incorrect Fact from Harvard’s Wikipedia Page

Legally Blonde was based at Harvard, obviously, but it’s not prominently displayed which is odd considering it is the university’s most important cultural contribution.

Barley and Hops Based Alcoholic Beverage of the Game

It’s winter, which means the return of one of my favorite beers of the year. This is a somewhat heavy beer, but it goes down smooth, perfect for watching a Friday afternoon game when you have the day off.

Prediction

Give me a 2-2 tie. This is probably one of the best teams BC is going to face this calendar year, and odd things happen during these early games.