The regular season all comes down to this weekend. For BC, they are on the verge of locking up the #1 seed in the Hockey East tournament and at least a share of the regular season league title. With one win this weekend, BC will do just that. With three points, BC can lock up the regular season trophy outright. For UMass-Lowell, a series of confounding results against lower-ranked teams - especially their sweep at the hands of UConn - has them in a position where they need to pull off a big weekend against BC and hope BU drops points in order to avoid having to play in the Hockey East Octofinals next week.
In the bigger picture, BC is trying to lock down a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament, while Lowell, sitting at #13 in the PWR, is hoping to secure their spot in the field.
This is going to be a great weekend of hockey.
Friday, February 26, 2016; 7:00 PM; Kelley Rink at Conte Forum; Boston, Mass.
Saturday, February 27, 2016; 7:00 PM; Tsongas Center; Lowell, Mass. (TV: NESN)
- Penalties: The Eagles returned to their undisciplined play last weekend, taking 16 penalties on the weekend against Vermont. Thankfully, the penalty kill was once again stout, only allowing one UVM PPG on the weekend. But facing a Lowell team with a power play converting at over 20%, in a series between two teams with defenses and goaltenders that have been excellent this season, taking that many penalties could do BC in this weekend.
- Fitzgerald heating up: In his junior season at BC, Ryan Fitzgerald is really starting to show why the Bruins view him as part of their future plans. Fitzgerald now has 38 points on the season, just one point behind Colin White for the team lead in scoring. Fitzgerald has been a bit of a quiet assassin - nothing too flashy, but he keeps getting on the board.
- Depth vs. Depth: What has made BC so good this year is that they've been able to roll at least 3 really strong scoring lines that are, for the most part, better than anything anyone can put up against them. When healthy, they have four very good lines. You can't shut anyone down and think that's going to be enough to beat BC. For Lowell, their strength is also in their depth. Norm Bazin's teams have become famous for rolling 3-4 lines that are stout defensively and do enough on offense to win games.
Expect to see all 4 lines play for Lowell; their top line features #2 and #3 leading scorers Joe Gambardella and Adam Chapie, while CJ Smith leads the team in scoring from the second line. Lowell's third line is centered by the talented Nick Master, who has 22 points tihs season. Seeing who matches up against which line should be interesting all weekend long. Does Lowell have the depth to shut down all of BC's lines?
That said, here are highlights of another clash between those two great teams, who were so razor-tight in 2014. BC picked up a huge 3-0 win over Lowell in their second to last home game of the year, a surefire sign that BC was ready to make noise in the postseason. Just putting three past Hellebuyck was an achievement in and of itself. Little did we know BC would go on to put up 4 against him in the tournament.
#CATPREDICTIONS: By the cats of the Gifford Cat Shelter
Lucia was very excited about getting treats since it's a rare occasion for her, so she was quick to make her decisions. She's guessing that there will be a weekend split, but she thinks each team will ruin the other team's senior night.
Lucia is guessing a 4-2 Lowell win on Friday.
And she's predicting a 5-3 BC win at Lowell.
Play along at home!
Predict the correct winner: 1 point
Get the margin of victory right: 2 points
Nail the correct final score: 3 points
|Grant Salzano||FRI: BC 4-1
SAT: BC 4-1
|Grant thinks BC is all done losing for this season.||42
FRI: BC 3-2
|Lowell will have their backs somewhat against the wall on Saturday on Senior Night, while BC will have already locked up the RS title, I think; so I expect some desperation out of UML and a win for them on Saturday.||36|
|Laura Berestecki||FRI: BC 3-1
SAT: BC 3-2
|Listen I know that it's unlikely but I'm gonna go BC BC. This group of seniors is especially hardworking / team oriented and I think the younger guys are gonna show up for their senior weekend games.
|Arthur Bailin||FRI: BC 3-2
SAT: UML 2-1
FRI: BC 4-3
|Hanging on to that one-point lead in the table.||43|
|Lucia/ The Gifford Cats||FRI: UML 4-2
SAT: BC 5-3
|New "Dan Rubin" Guy||26
|Caleb Childers||FRI: BC 3-2
SAT: BC 4-3
Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (10) UML (3) Tie (1)
Fan Prediction Standings after last week:
We've got a heck of a race brewing at the top!
JPDot 39 points
princisb 36 points
bostoncollegenyr 35 points
airforce987 35 points
pjpj23 35 points
cam_dezak 30 points
eagles2015 25 points
bcmike22 24 points
95dougie95 15 points
seobe 8 points
mig1168 8 points
bcmurt09 7 points
we are bc 5 points
kreidersjohnson 4 point
b0mberman 4 point
tommykay 4 points
totheheights 2 points
eagleeye9184 2 points
bceagles66 2 points
rmbc81 1 point
spillerhighlife 1 point
bceaglekeepr 1 pint
suckstobu 1 point
Leave your thoughts and predictions on the weekend below!