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Boston College Hockey vs. UNH: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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The Eagles take to the big sheet tomorrow night. Can they keep it going?

FLASHBACK PHOTOS STRIKE AGAIN!
FLASHBACK PHOTOS STRIKE AGAIN!
Elsa/Getty Images

The Eagles have just one game over the weekend and of course it happens to be at the same time as that football game people keep talking about. The good news is that this game is on TV (WBIN in the New England area; Fox College Sports Atlantic for those with the Comcast sports pack) so if the football game gets ugly you can always flip over and enjoy watching Jerry and company push for their ninth straight win.

This is BC's first road game since traveling to Colorado College on October 23 & 24. How will the Eagles respond to the test of going on the road for the first time in Hockey East play? Let's talk about it.

Boston College Eagles (9-1-0) at University of New Hampshire Wildcats (3-4-2)
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 7:00 PM, Whittemore Center, Durham, N.H.

MATCHUP:

Pairwise: BC #7, UNH #28
Team Offense: BC #5 (4.20 goals per game)... UNH #10 (3.78 goals per game)
Team Defense: BC #1 (1.00 goals allowed per game)... UNH #55 (3.89 goals allowed per game)

Storylines

The big sheet: Whenever teams travel to the Whittemore Center, UNH's Olympic-sized rink is always a factor. In theory, BC teams, which generally like to play with pace and in transition, should benefit from playing on a bigger ice surface. However, UNH's familiarity with the big sheet has helped them maintain a strong record against the Eagles at home through the years. How will BC play on the big ice on Saturday night? Can they use the space effectively?

Track meet?: Even in their down years, UNH has been one of the fastest teams in Hockey East, and is never afraid to get into a high-octane matchup with BC. They're not one of the teams that will look to clog up the neutral zone and slow the Eagles down. This year will likely be no exception as the Wildcats have a number of talented skaters. Their best chance at winning will be to take the game to BC. Odds are, they're going to give up some goals at the other end no matter what; there will be no #icebus impression from the 'Cats.

2 goals in 3 games for Tuch: Sure, his first goal was an empty netter, but Alex Tuch scored in classic Alex Tuch fashion last Friday night by breaking in all alone and roofing a shot past Michigan State's goalie. Is this the sign that Tuch is finally revving it up and ready to lead the BC offense again?

Bounceback game for Doherty and Santini?: The defensive pair of Teddy Doherty and Steve Santini struggled a bit against the Spartans. Can they bounce back with their customary strong performance on Saturday?

Obligatory Game Day GIF/Video

In one of the most exciting regular season matchups in recent memory at Conte Forum, Johnny Gaudreau tied the game with three minutes to go and Steve Whitney scored in the final minute to help BC past UNH 4-3 on January 27, 2012. This game, coming on the heels of BC being swept by Maine the weekend before, was the start of the Eagles' winning streak that culminated in the 2012 national championship.

The Pre-Game Watering Hole

Despite being in New Hampshire, Durham can actually be a pretty fun place to spend a day if you do it right. While I'm not a huge fan of the Whittemore Center itself - which, like Conte Forum, is showing its age, and was built pretty blandly to begin with - there are some good places to eat, drink, and walk around near UNH's campus. There's also an Amtrak stop right on campus across the street from the Whit, which is pretty badass (especially since traffic in and out of there on gameday is a complete nightmare).

Wildcat Pizza (3 Madbury Road, Durham) is a pretty solid college pizza joint where you can get a slice before the game. Scorpion's (45 Main St., Durham) is nearby the arena and is a college town dive bar, so take that for what it's worth. If you're willing to drive a bit to your pre/post-game destination, you can't beat the Portsmouth Brewery (56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801), about a half hour away from UNH and chock full of good food and local beer.

#CATPREDICTIONS, By The Cats Of The Gifford Cat Shelter

"Curtis, a ten year old cat available for adoption at the Gifford Cat Shelter, is very sweet and cuddly despite his constantly morose expression.

curtis1

Curtis frequently tries to steal #CatPredictions from other cats, so it was time to give him a chance to shine. Curtis walked straight to the BC treat without a second thought. Curtis is predicting a 4-1 win for BC - he's confident that BC is going to win the game, but he's a cat so he wants UNH to score so they can throw the fish.

curtis2

Next time on #CatPredictions: Coffee Berestecki gets a chance to redeem herself for picking UMass to beat BC earlier in the season when she predicts the winner of BC vs. UConn!

You can visit Curtis 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 5, UNH 2.

UNH has played a lot of high scoring games lately so I have no reason to think that will change this week. Assuming BC adapts well to the wider ice surface, they should be well-suited to get in to a track meet with anyone. With how mediocre UNH's goaltending has been, if BC gets 30 or so shots, they should score plenty of goals.

Predictions Contest

Everyone picked BC wins but some managed to also get the margin of victory correctly (BC topped the Spartans by 2)... including Sawyer the Cat, giving the cats their best week of the season. Grant retains the lead by one point with Joe and Laura just a notch behind.

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

Name Predictions GPS Points
Joe Gravellese
Bostoncollege_medium
5-2
I'll be on my couch trying to ignore the football game by deep-diving in to this hockey game. Ultimately, my will will give out and I'll have to watch some football, too. Let's hope it's a good night all around!
12
Grant Salzano

Bostoncollege_medium
5-1

Grant is confident in BC this week though Joe stole his initial prediction of 5-2. That's called editor's privilege, sucka.
13
AJ Black

Bostoncollege_mediumhttp://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/teamlogos/ncaa/500/160.png&w=50&h=50&transparent=true
3-3 Tie

Boooo AJ Booooo ye of little faith Booooo actually this isn't a bad prediction at all
9
New Guy


Bostoncollege_medium
4-1

New Guy is back from vacation and not happy about it.
7
Arthur Bailin
http://imagesmtv-a.akamaihd.net/uri/mgid:uma:image:mtv.com:10847200?quality=0.8&format=jpg&width=300&height=300&matte=true&matteColor=0xd9d9d9 If you failed to submit a prediction this week, you're picking Denise, Kermit the Frog's new girlfriend.
11
Laura Berestecki


4-0

Laura will be the lone BCI Representative holding down the fort in Durham, and hoping UNH fans don't get a chance to throw that stupid fish
12

Coach John Fidler

Bostoncollege_medium
4-2
The University of No Hardware is not picking up any this year.
8
Caleb Childers

4-2
It would be 4-0 if Leah Settipane was in net.
2
Sawyer the Cat/ Gifford Cat Shelter


4-1

Meow 6
Kwani Lunis
http://imagesmtv-a.akamaihd.net/uri/mgid:uma:image:mtv.com:10847200?quality=0.8&format=jpg&width=300&height=300&matte=true&matteColor=0xd9d9d9
0




Bridget Klish
http://imagesmtv-a.akamaihd.net/uri/mgid:uma:image:mtv.com:10847200?quality=0.8&format=jpg&width=300&height=300&matte=true&matteColor=0xd9d9d9
0

Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (7) - UNH (0) - Tie (1)

Fan Prediction Standings after last week:

JPDot retains the lead by correctly picking a two-goal BC win.

mig1168 6 points
princisb 9 points
airforce987 9 points
cam_dezak 8 points
JPDot 11 points
b0mberman 4 point
bostoncollegenyr 9 points
bcmurt09 4 points
tommykay 3 points
we are bc 4 points
bcmike22 4 points
pjpj23 5 points
seobe 6 points
95dougie95 5 points
rmbc81 1 point

Leave your thoughts and predictions on the game below... can BC keep the good times rolling with a win at the Whitt tomorrow night?