There was a lot of doom and gloom in this space at this time last week. The Eagles were riding a three game losing streak and were without Thatcher Demko, staring down the barrel of a home and home with the defending national champions. All BC managed to do after that was score 11 goals in two games against one of the nation's very best defensive teams, going 1-0-1 on the weekend and looking good doing so.
That's revived hopes with the first BC/BU clash of the season now on deck. BU is playing as well as anyone in the country right now, with recent wins over top title contenders Quinnipiac and Harvard under their belt. Will they stay hot against the Eagles, or can BC post another strong weekend?
atFriday, January 15, 2016; 6:00 PM; Conte Forum; Boston, Mass.
atSaturday, January 16, 2016; 7:00 PM; Agganis Arena; Boston, Mass.
- Who's in goal?: As of late Thursday night, we're not sure yet who will be in net for BC this weekend. Thatcher Demko has returned to practice, but there's no confirmation that he's ready to return from the "upper body injury" that kept him out of action against Providence. Ian Milosz performed admirably against the Friars last weekend and BC will likely feel thankful that Milosz is a capable backup should Demko not be ready to go, but obviously having the Eagles' #1 goalie available would be a huge boost to the team going up against BU.
- Third period team: Last year, BU won 18 straight games that they led going in to the third period. The first time all year they didn't lock down a third period lead was against Providence in the national championship game (womp womp). BU also had a number of third period comeback victories last year after slow starts. This trend has continued in 15/16. BU has been outscored by its opponents 19-13 in the first period and 20-19 in the second period, but is outscoring opponents 39-18 in the third period and overtime. That's obviously pretty absurd, and adds a layer of fear to the fact that the Eagles have had a series of third period breakdowns this year.
- Power play turning a corner?: A lament all season long—and most of last season, too—has been BC's lackluster power play. Last week, BC scored five power play goals plus an additional goal on a delayed penalty. Was that a fluke or has BC finally turned it around with the man advantage? BC/BU series tend to get chippy and have plenty of penalties called so special teams will be critical.
|Grant Salzano||BC 4-1
|Coming to you LIVE from scenic Connecticut||20
|Joe Gravellese||Watching from OO tonight and the lion's den tomorrow night||19|
|Laura Berestecki||Tie 4-4
|At Conte Forum as always||19
|Arthur Bailin||BC 4-3
|Slowly losing ground to the pack, let's hope he's right about this weekend's series||14|
BC 35 BU
BC 74 BU
|Still right there in the running for first place so let's see if his score prediction works out||19|
|John Fidler||BC 5-4
|Brave the Cat/ The Gifford Cats||BC 4-1
|New "Dan Rubin" Guy||BC 3-2