Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: UConn

Backup goaltender Ryan Edquist.

After three weeks off, No. 14 Boston College men’s hockey returns to action against Hockey East foe University of Connecticut. Without their starting goaltender Joe Woll and talented forward Aapeli Räsänen, the Eagles will look to win their conference-best 10th game and create separation between them and second-place Northeastern.

Who is BC playing?

UConn

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Dec. 30, 3 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Kelley Rink, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to watch?

The game will be streamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Woll (United States) and Räsänen (Finland) are both gone, playing for their respective nations at the World Juniors. Woll has played in 15 games and posted a 2.90 goals against average mark this season, while Räsänen has recorded a trio of goals and 17 assists.

2) The Eagles’ defense has been stout, ranking sixth in the Hockey East in goals allowed per game (2.89).

3) Backup goaltender Ryan Edquist will likely get the start, having played in five games this season. He’s stopped .939 percent of shots and recorded a 1.97 goals against average mark in over 200 minutes of game action.

UConn:

1) The Huskies had plenty of momentum entering the break, winning five of their last six games, capped off with a 4-2 win over then-No. 16 Colgate.

2) Adam Karashik, a freshman defenseman, leads the Hockey East with 43 blocked shots. His 2.15 per game average is good for fifth nationally.

3) UConn also boasts the league’s top faceoff winner, with senior forward Jesse Schwartz winning .614 percent of his draws (78-49).

Last Meeting:

BC rallied from a 1-0 deficit in early November, scoring shorthanded and power-play goals in the second period to secure a 2-1 win. Edquist made 27 saves, while Julius Mattila and Michael Kim found the back of the net. The Eagles hold a 5-1-1 edge in the all-time series.

BC wins if…

Edquist holds down the fort. The absence of Woll didn’t affect the Eagles in the last meeting between these two teams, with Edquist turning in a strong performance. A similar outing from the sophomore netminder would bode well for BC, a deep team that has a chance to pick up right where it left off before the break in conference play.

BC loses if…

Edquist struggles, and Räsänen’s team-leading +10 is missed. UConn hung with BC during its last meeting, despite converting just 1-of-6 power plays. The Huskies couldn’t capitalize on a couple of big chances, and those very well could’ve gone their way. They were playing some of their best hockey of the season at the beginning of December, and could play spoiler on the Eagles home ice.

Featured Image by Celine Jia Rong Lim / Heights Staff

About Bradley Smart 125 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.