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BC Hockey vs. Merrimack: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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Midweek game at Conte Forum tonight

The Heights

It's a rare Wednesday night home game at Conte Forum tonight as the Boston College Eagles take on a defensively stout Merrimack team. Point of concern: the last two weeknight games for BC ended in infamous defeat: the flameout at home vs. Harvard, and the midweek loss at UConn at the XL Center. Let's hope for a better performance tonight.

BC Roster Notes

Austin Cangelosi missed Sunday's game, which BC Hockey Blog described as a "healthy scratch." However, that seemed unusual, as Cangelosi was knocked out of Friday night's game for about 10 minutes before returning. I'd expect him back tonight.

Projected Lines

Ryan Fitzgerald - Destry Straight - Austin Cangelosi
Zach Sanford - Adam Gilmour - Alex Tuch
Cam Spiro - Matt Gaudreau - Brendan Silk
Quinn Smith - Michael Sit - Chris Calnan

Defensive Pairs

Teddy Doherty - Michael Matheson
Scott Savage - Ian McCoshen
Steve Santini - Noah Hanifin

Goaltender:

Thatcher Demko

GAME FACTS

Game Time: 7:00 PM
TV: NESN
Radio: WEEI 850 AM, BCEagles.com

Record: Boston College 13-8-2 (6-5-2 HEA), Merrimack 13-6-2 (4-4-1 HEA)

Goal Differentials:
BC: 70 GF, 55 GA - +15 GD
MC: 55 GF, 41 GA - +14 GD

Team Rankings (Nationally):

Team Offense: BC #16 (3.04 G/GM)...MC #32 (2.62 G/GM)
Team Defense: BC #22 (2.39 GA/GM), MC #4 (1.95 GA/GM)
Shot Differential Per Game: BC #30 (+1.09 shots/gm), MC #31 (+1.00 shots/gm)
Power Play:BC #49 (12-for-98), MC #34 (16-for-98)
Penalty Kill: BC #5 (90-for-102), MC #4 (92-for-91)

Pairwise: BC #19...MC T-#12
KRACH: BC #20...MC #12

Last Time Out: Merrimack is coming off an impressive weekend sweep against Quinnipiac.

Common Foes: In recent weeks, Merrimack has lost to Lowell and BU. But they did beat Minnesota, another common opponent with BC that the Eagles failed to beat.

Players to watch: Freshman Brett Seney unexpectedly invigorated the Merrimack offense. He's their leading scorer at 10-11--21. Hampus Gustafsson is another solid player, who also has an amazingly awesome name.

Blast from the Not-Too-Distant Past

Here's a fun one - a rare win at Merrimack's home rink, with Quinn Smith potting an OT goal to lift BC to a huge victory.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

I've shouted out Porter Belly's before and I'm going to do it again here. I had a great time there watching the Pats-Ravens playoff game after the last BC home game. Also worth keeping in mind before Saturday's game since apparently the UConn alumni club plan on heading to CitySide before Saturday night's game.

Scoreboard Watching: Out-Of-Town Notes

This is the only game in college hockey tonight. Spotlight, baby!

Predictions

Joe Gravellese:

BC 4, Merrimack 1. Time to crank it up a little bit tonight.

Brian Favat:

BC 3, Merrimack 2

New Guy:

BC 3, Merrimack 2

Grant Salzano:

BC 3, Merrimack 0

AJ Black:

BC 5, Merrrimack 2

BCI Prediction Standings

BCMike squeaks out a narrow victory over me and Grant. All three of us had narrow BC wins over BU (but whiffed on the Maine result). Mike edged us by picking BU to score exactly 2 goals, notching the extra point (insert BC extra point joke here).

STANDINGS

AJ 3
Brian 3
Joe Grav 1.83
New Guy 1
Grant 1

BCMike22 1
BCJacket5 1
Airforce987 0.5
Enzo 0.33
Beerfart 0.33

Can BC reverse their earlier weak performances in mid-week games? Can they solve Merrimack's tricky defense and get back on track? Leave your thoughts below.