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Boston College Men’s Ice Hockey v. UMass: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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COLLEGE HOCKEY: MAR 22 Hockey East Championship - Boston College v UMASS Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week the Hockey East scheduling roulette landed on UMass Amherst for the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles will look to defeat the Minutemen on Friday evening at Kelley Rink to either maintain or lose ground in the HEPI standings, no one really knows for sure. Boston University’s overtime win against UConn last weekend certainly factored into the standings, but the Terriers are still in hot pursuit of the regular season title that will definitely be awarded this year. Oh, maybe not.

How to watch:

BC v. UMass Amherst: Friday, 7 PM, NESN+, Stream in New England, Stream outside New England.

What to watch for:

  1. What happened since last time: UMass Amherst has settled into being the very obvious third best team in Hockey East behind Boston University and Boston College, which, it should be noted, is still pretty darn good. UMass Amherst’s only blemishes on the record since BC swept the Minutemen are a sweep at the hands of Boston University and a Lawler Arena classic against Merrimack back before the holiday break. The Minutemen are coming off a sweep of the team’s most ancient rival, UMass Lowell, meaning there will be an awful lot of momentum coming into the matchup.
  2. Lindberg: Part of the Minutemen’s success comes from junior goaltender Fillip Lindberg. Lindberg has been nothing short of spectacular, posting a .980 save percentage in January, and he currently is second best nationally in save percentage on the year. The four and six goal games against Lindberg for the Eagles back in November loom more as an anomaly for the junior as the Eagles now face him at his hottest. A hot goaltender can stymy any team, and Lindberg has the real potential to steal the show.
  3. Newhook and power plays: As we mentioned earlier in the week, Alex Newhook has been lightning in a bottle for the Eagles’ power play. For a unit that has been snakebitten all season long, the Eagles are now 8 for their last 25 on the power play, and really all credit goes to Alex Newhook. He’s been so important to the success of the power play, and any mitigation by the Minutemen on the power play will need to focus on Newhook.
  4. Suspension: One note: Boston College will have to play without Harrison Roy, who has been banned a game by the league for an incident from the Eagles’ game against Maine last weekend.

Random and Possibly Incorrect Fact from The News

UMass Amherst prohibited outdoor exercise during its lockdown. Nothing like combatting a potential mental health crisis from the COVID pandemic like not allowing people to be outside!

Barley and Hops Based Alcoholic Beverage of the Game

Dogfish Head Campfire Amplifier

My girlfriend got me this beer for my birthday, and I was very happy that she did because it is absolutely delicious. It’s a stout that will remind you of being out on the campground.

Prediction:

I think you have to lean on BC winning this game at home, but I have absolutely no idea how the Eagles are going to be able to handle Lindberg. I’m always very wary of picking against a hot goaltender. I’m going to call this a tie, 3-3.