Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: UMass Lowell

Boston College men’s hockey

After faltering in the Beanpot’s opening round against Northeastern, Boston College men’s hockey (13-12-3, 13-6-0 Hockey East), still atop Hockey East, is looking for a second-straight win against Massachusetts Lowell (16-12-0, 10-8-0) on Friday night.

Seeking their 16th regular season conference crown, the Eagles need a win to remain on top of the standings with Northeastern just a point behind. No. 18 BC will play the final game of the series with UMass Lowell, seeking to win the rubber match. The River Hawks currently trail the Eagles by just six points in the season standings, which makes winning Friday night’s game that much more important to both teams.                                  

Who is BC playing?

UMass Lowell

When is BC playing?

Friday, Feb. 9th, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Kelley Rink, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be aired on ESPN3, and available to stream on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Goaltender Joseph Woll has been quick on his feet, racking up 29 saves in the last game against Northeastern. Woll has posted a .901 save percentage this year, good for 52nd in the country.

2) The Eagles defense has had a somewhat rocky season: It’s conceding an average of 2.82 goals per game, which ranks seventh in the league and 29th nationally.

3) Graham McPhee has been delivering for the Eagles, as he’s now got 11 goals under his belt. He’s scored three of them against the River Hawks, with two coming in the first matchup.

UMass Lowell:                                                                         

1) The River Hawks scoring has been up to par recently, ranking fourth in the Hockey East and 20th nationally. Kenny Hausinger has paced the offense, scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists for a team that’s averaging 3.11 goals per game.

2) Christoffer Hernberg, UMass Lowell’s junior goaltender, recorded a shutout against American International College on Tuesday night and continues to thrive, posting a .921 goal save percentage this season.

3) UMass Lowell’s defense has been a little bit more effective than BC’s, giving up an average of 2.71 goals per game. The River Hawks currently rank fifth in the conference and 24th overall on the defensive end. Last time out against the Eagles, though, the unit conceded five goals.

Last Meeting:

The Eagles responded to an mid-season loss in a big way, rolling to a 5-2 win in which five different players scored—David Cotton, Connor Moore, J.D. Dudek, Jacob Tortora, and McPhee. Up until the most recent matchup, the River Hawks had dominated the Eagles, having won five games in a row by a combined score of 17-8. UMass Lowell is 6-3-1 in the last 10 meetings with the Eagles.

BC wins if…

It keeps the River Hawks’ scoring in check and defends the net effectively. The Eagles also have to get better shots on goal than they did in Monday’s loss to Northeastern. BC’s forwards need to finish chances and avoid another shutout in order to build some momentum heading into the Beanpot consolation game.

BC loses if…

It doesn’t defend the puck well and allows the River Hawks to have plenty of scoring opportunities. The Eagles also have to break through UMass Lowell’s goalkeeper, who is coming off a shutout this past Tuesday night. If BC struggles to light the lamp, it could very well suffer another agonizing defeat and inch one step closer to losing its hold on the top spot in Hockey East.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff