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Boston College Men’s Hockey at the Ledyard Classic: Preview & Predictions

Midseason tournament time!

Boston College v Massachusetts-Lowell Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

We’re back from the holiday break! This week, the Eagles head up to Hanover to participate in the Ledyard Classic Tournament hosted by Dartmouth. First up, BC will take on the Mercyhurst Lakers, followed by either Dartmouth or UNH. Here’s our full tournament preview.

WHO:

Thursday
Boston College Eagles (8-5-3) vs. Mercyhurst Lakers (4-9-4)

Friday
Boston College Eagles vs. Dartmouth Big Green (2-8-1) or University of New Hampshire Wildcats (7-9-1)

WHEN:

Thursday, December 30 at 4PM.

Friday, December 31 at TBA.

WHERE:

Thompson Arena
Hanover, NH.

HOW TO WATCH:

The games will be streaming on ESPN+.

FOLLOW ALONG:

@bcinterruption and @bchockey on Twitter

SO, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH MERCYHURST:

Mercyhurst enters the Ledyard Classic with a 4-9-4 record and on a four game losing streak. So far this season, they’ve earned wins against Holy Cross, Canisius College, and Ohio State. The Lakers offense is led by sophomore Austin Heidemann, who has 14 points in 17 games, followed by sophomore Carson Briere, who has 13 points in 12 games. In goal, sophomore Kyle McClellan and senior Hank Johnson have split time in net, with .906 and .881 save percentages respectively.

Historically, BC is 2-0-0 against Mercyhurst, but hasn’t played them since the 2010-11 season.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE OTHER TWO TEAMS?

Dartmouth is 2-8-1 this season, earning wins against Colgate and St. Lawrence so far. They’re entering the Ledyard Classic coming off a tie against Merrimack, a result that ended a five game losing streak. The Big Green are led in scoring by junior Mark Gallant, senior Jeff Losurdo, and freshman Sean Chisholm, who all have seven points this season. In goal, sophomore Clay Stevenson and senior Justin Ferguson have split starts. Stevenson has a .924 save percentage, while Ferguson has a .846 save percentage.

UNH is 7-9-1 heading into the Ledyard Classic, coming off a weekend sweep against BU. Notably, the Wildcats had huge wins against UMass and Harvard a few weeks ago, and have also collected wins against Union, Holy Cross, and Providence. Their offense is led by senior Jackson Pierson, who has 9 points in 17 games, followed by senior Filip Engaras who has 8 points this season. Graduate student Mike Robinson is the Wildcats starter, having earned 12 of their 17 starts, and has a .905 save percentage.

KEY BC PLAYER(S) TO WATCH:

Patrick Giles and Marc McLaughlin had extremely, extremely strong games to close out the semester, both entering the holiday break with four points collected during the week. McLaughlin earned Hockey East Player of the Week honors, while Giles assisted on McLaughlin’s game tying goal at BU and then caused Conte East to erupt when he put the Eagles up 3-2 after trailing by two goals after two periods.

PREDICTIONS:

I hate to say this because I do not want to speak it into existence but first, we have to acknowledge that there is a very real possibility one of the teams has a covid outbreak and wreaks havoc on the tournament/cancels it entirely. With the football team and men’s basketball team needing to cancel and postpone games, it’s really important to note that outbreaks are not any one player’s or any one team’s fault and you simply cannot individualize a public health crisis!

That being said, I do think the Eagles have a good chance to come out on top at the end of this. On paper, BC is the only team that has a winning record and unlike the past few years, they aren’t missing any players because of World Juniors and should be fielding a full and rested roster. But this is hockey, and the Eagles have yet to win two games in a week. Here’s to hoping this is a start of some more consistent play!

For now, I’ll take a 3-1 win against Mercyhurst on Thursday.

HOT BEVERAGE OF THE GAME:

If Starbucks still has their holiday drink menu this week, I’ll take a Chestnut Praline Latte!