Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: Michigan Tech

Boston College men’s hockey touched down in Las Vegas Wednesday evening, and since then has prepared to take on Michigan Tech in the inaugural game of the Ice Vegas Invitational. The tournament, which also features Arizona State and Northern Michigan, will be the Eagles’ first and only trip south of New England all season, allowing them to take a break from their frigid home ice and compete against more unfamiliar opponents.

Who is BC playing?

Michigan Tech

When is BC playing?

Friday, Jan. 5, 5 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.

How to watch?

The game will be livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Las Vegas native Graham McPhee returns to his hometown, looking to end a streak of two games in which he has failed to record a point.

2) The Eagles have scored power-play goals in back-to-back games for the third time all season, and will look to make it three-straight against the Huskies.

3) David Cotton has tallied at least one point in six of his past seven games and is tied for second on the team in assists with nine.

Michigan Tech:

1) With 17 points and a 0.41 goals per game average, Jake Jackson leads the Huskies in scoring.

2) Michigan Tech ranks 18th nationally on defense, allowing just 2.70 goals per game.

3) Mitch Reinke has an impressive 14 assists on the year for the Huskies, five more than any other defenseman.

Last Meeting:

BC last faced Michigan Tech in December 2011, coming away with a 2-1 win. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin scored the game-winning goal in the third period, and just over four months later, the Eagles captured their fifth national title. The two teams rarely play. In fact, prior to their 2011 showdown, they hadn’t suited against each other since 1988.

BC wins if…

Its younger players are locked in for the their first neutral-ice game of the season. The Eagles shouldn’t have too much trouble against a Michigan Tech team that is already just one conference loss away from matching its total from each of the past two seasons. For the most part, BC has played phenomenally since its 6-1 loss to Denver back in November. If the team’s youthful leading goal scorers can produce— namely sophomores Julius Mattila, Ron Greco, McPhee and freshman Chris Grando— the Eagles should coast to the Ice Vegas final.

BC loses if…

Its own defense can’t hold, while Huskies’ goalie Patrick Munson puts together a fantastic fantastic performance in net. This season, Michigan Tech has won just one game when scoring three goals or less, and has never tied or lost when scoring four or more. Meanwhile, BC has proven to be relatively inconsistent as of late, most notably a 5-2 loss to Northeastern last month at home. The Huskies are fairly strong on the power play with an 18-percent conversion rate, and if they can find the back of the cage early, the Eagles could very well find themselves in the tournament’s consolation game.

Featured Image by Celine Jia Rong Lim / Heights Staff