Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: Massachusetts Lowell

boston college men's hockey

After managing to reclaim first place in Hockey East with a 2-1 victory over Massachusetts on Tuesday night, BC welcomes Massachusetts Lowell to Chestnut Hill for a weekend series. Tuesday’s low-scoring affair resulted in the Eagles stringing together a two-game win streak for the first time since early November. BC will look to keep the ball rolling against an unranked UMass Lowell squad that’s smack dab in the middle of the conference. The River Hawks are the last Hockey East team that the Eagles will play before the Beanpot.

Who is BC playing?

Massachusetts Lowell

When is BC playing?

Friday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Friday: Tsongas Center, Lowell, Mass.

Saturday: Kelley Rink, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

Friday’s game at UMass Lowell will be broadcasted on NESN. The back half of the series will be covered on ESPN3, available online at WatchESPN as well as the ESPN App. Both games can be heard over the radio on WEEI 850 AM.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) BC is 6-4-1 when scoring first and 6-5-2 when its opponent does.

2) Sophomores have accounted for 48 percent of BC’s goals this season.

3) The average age of the Eagles’ roster is 20 years and 125 days, making it the youngest roster in college hockey.

UMass Lowell:

1) UMass Lowell enters the series having won 10 of its last 15 games and eight of its last 10 Hockey East games.

2) The River Hawks’ level of play has yet to dip on the road, as their home (7-5-0) and away records (7-6-0) are nearly identical.  

3) UMass Lowell is 27th in the Pairwise Rankings, exactly 10 places behind BC.  

Last Meeting:

BC will be seeking retribution for the events of last year’s Hockey East Championship. Last March, atop the grand stage of TD Garden, the Eagles conceded two second-period goals to dig themselves a hole prior to the final frame. Despite a late Ryan Fitzgerald tally to draw BC within one, the Eagles failed to orchestrate a comeback in what, effectively, was their final game of the season, marking the first time head coach Jerry York’s team missed out on the NCAA Tournament in seven years—the culmination of what had been an all too disappointing season for the No. 14 ranked team in the nation.  

BC wins if…

It can continue hold down the fort. The Eagles are giving up an average of only 2.75 goals per game, ranking fourth in the conference in scoring defense. During BC’s last 16 games, it has allowed four or more goals on just five occasions. Considering, however, that UMass Lowell has scored an average of 3.7 goals in its last eight games, BC’s defensive unit must be on its game at all times.

BC loses if…

It it doesn’t play disciplined hockey. The River Hawks’ offense, the fourth-best in Hockey East, matches BC’s defense—at least on paper—and sophomore Ryan Lohin is one of only four skaters in all of college hockey with three shorthanded goals this season. The Eagles are currently on the wrong side of the power-play ratio, having scored three less goals than their opponents on the one-man advantage this year. Meanwhile, UMass Lowell has scored 21 goals on the power play this season. As such, BC must attempt to keep six players on the ice whenever possible.

Featured Image by Andy Backstrom / Heights Editor