The Boston College hockey team is so fun to watch right now that the gap between games feels like an eternity. Finally, though, it's Friday, and it's game day - a chance for BC to stay hot against the Michigan State Spartans. Oddly enough, it's Michigan State's first visit to Kelley Rink since 1996. Seriously??
Michigan State Spartans (4-3-0) at Boston College Eagles (8-1-0)
Friday, November 13, 2015, 7:00 PM, Conte Forum, Boston, Mass.
Pairwise: MSU #34, BC #7
Team Offense: MSU 3.12 GPG (#23 in NCAA)... BC 4.00 GPG (#6 in NCAA)
Team Defense: MSU 2.38 GA/G (#16 in NCAA)... BC 0.67 GA/G (#1 in NCAA)
Thatcher Demko's shutout streak (again): For the second time in three weeks Thatcher Demko enters a game at Conte Forum riding a three-game shutout streak. Demko's previous shutout streak of 206:02, stretching from the third period of BC-RPI on 10/11 to the Denver game on October 30, is the third longest in school history. The longest? Scott Clemmensen's 254:23 in 1998. To catch that mark on his current streak, Demko will need to shut out Sparty tonight, then keep it going for about half a period next week at UNH.
Teddy Doherty's health: According to The Boston College Hockey Blog, Doherty "should be a go" for tonight's game, which is a good sign after the captain missed Sunday's game against Maine due to a mild shoulder separation. Doherty's absence forced BC to rotate five defensemen as Travis Jeke continued to man a spot as fourth line forward. With Brendan Silk's continued injury woes, BC is pretty devoid of roster depth and needs to stay healthy.
Tuch still searching: The relief was evident on Alex Tuch's face last Friday night when he potted an empty net goal to seal BC's 3-0 win over Maine. Can he put one past a goalie tonight? His line still needs to get cranking. Last year's top line has lagged a bit for the Eagles this year, so if they can start putting the puck in the net the Eagles will become an even harder team to beat.
Can Colin White Stay Hot?: It looks like Colin White has really found his groove as he moves in to his second month as a college hockey player. He has 9 points in his last four games and was key in last weekend's sweep of Maine. Can he and his line keep it going against the Spartans?
Michigan State heating up: After a 1-3-1 start that included a tie against Maine (yuck), the Spartans have found their groove, winning three games in a row. They've done it in a few different ways, too - first by earning a pair of shutouts over Lake Superior State and UNH, then by winning a wild shootout against UNH last Saturday, 7-4. The Spartans will carry some confidence with them on their cross-country flight as they look to climb their way back into tournament contention after a few dry years.
Obligatory Game Day GIF/Video
Did you miss Thatcher Demko appearing as SportsCenter's Star of the Night? Well, now you have not:
Jerry York's Three Classy Keys To The Game*
Hello again to all my good friends over at BC Interruption, it's been a real fun season so far and the kids can't wait to get back out there on the ice and see if they can't keep it going. Tonight we welcome another great hockey club to Kelley Rink in the Michigan State Spartans.
Here are my three keys to the game:
1. It doesn't matter what conference they're in, bring your A game: You know, there's a natural tendency for people to think a team from a mid-major conference like the Big Ten isn't going to be able to compete with a team from Hockey East, but we know that's not true. These kids play hard and they're going to come in determined to knock off the team from a big conference, so we have to be ready for that and really bring our best effort.
2. Don't worry about individual accolades: People are talking about Thatcher Demko's shutout streak, and he's really playing some terrific hockey, but he'll tell you himself, he doesn't care about that, other than that it helps the team win. People ask me about coming up on 1000 wins, and I can tell you, I don't think about that all. I just want one win, the next game - we take it one game at a time.
3. Be wary of that champagne study: You may have recently read that drinking multiple glasses of champagne per week can help fend off dementia. That may be true but these studies come and go and keep finding different things, so my recommendation would be to find what works for you and stick with it. For me, that's one nightly glass of pinot noir.
*Jerry York did not actually say these things.
The Pre-Game Watering Hole
IS THE CHESTNUT HILL PEPE'S OPEN YET??? No. :(
IS THE NEW PLACE OPENING WHERE ROGGIE'S WAS OPEN YET? No. :(
IS MARY ANN'S STILL A THING?: Yes :(
Mary Ann's put up their new sign pic.twitter.com/Jo4q09htnl— John Hutchings (@JHutchings27) November 7, 2015
#CATPREDICTIONS, By The Cats Of The Gifford Cat Shelter
"Last week, #CatPredictions saw some great BC loyalty from Nike. Since it is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, I decided to give another Gifford senior a shot to give BC some love.
Sawyer is a shy but sweet 9 year old available for adoption at Gifford. She is very agile, so I think she'd be a fan of Demko's goalie skills.
Sawyer thought about it for a bit before making her choice, but once she decided on BC she was pretty confident, completely ignoring the MSU treat.
Sawyer predicts BC winning 2-0.
You can visit Sawyer and friends at The Gifford Cat Shelter, located right across from BC at 30 Undine Road in Brighton. Founded in 1884 it is the oldest no kill and cageless shelter in the U.S. More information is available at http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/.
The Last Word
BC 3, Michigan State 1
At some point tonight, the shutout streak will end. But I think BC is playing too well right now to drop a home game against Michigan State, albeit a Michigan State team that appears to be significantly better than last year's. Michigan State was struggling to score goals before they got a taste of the magical elixir that is UNH and their 4.00 goals against average/.885 team save percentage. So I think those struggles will resume tonight.
Everyone from the staff picked a BC sweep last week but Grant somehow managed to nail both scores on the button (3-0 and 2-0). Nicely done, Grant.
Scoring rules if you'd like to 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
|I think BC is playing too well right now to drop a home game against Michigan State. I'll be in my usual spot in Section OO.
||AJ is relieved it's a football bye week, but misses Baldwin Junior. Caw caw!
||New Guy's looking to climb out of the basement in the prediction contest.
||Surpassed by Grant in the prediction contest, she'll be hoping to lock down grasp of 2nd place with this pick.
|Coach John Fidler
|Caleb is delivering a BC field hockey win over Albany this weekend... or else
|Sawyer the Cat/ Gifford Cat Shelter||
||Anyone who doesn't submit a pick this week picks Chelsea F.C.
Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (7) - Michigan State (0) - Tie (0)
Fan Prediction Standings after last week:
New leader in the fan prediction standings as JPDot picked up 3 points on the weekend, nailing Friday's margin of victory (he said 4-1, it was 3-0) and then also picking a BC win Sunday. Everyone had a good weekend because everyone picked BC.
mig1168 6 points
princisb 8 points
airforce987 8 points
cam_dezak 6 points
JPDot 9 points
b0mberman 4 point
bostoncollegenyr 7 points
bcmurt09 4 points
tommykay 3 points
we are bc 4 points
bcmike22 2 points
pjpj23 4 points
seobe 5 points
95dougie95 3 points
Leave your thoughts and predictions on the game below... can the Eagles top the Spartans and extend their winning streak to eight?