Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: Maine

Boston College men's hockey

Following an impressive 5-2 road win against Massachusetts, No. 19 Boston College looks to finish the season strong with a win over Maine on its final road trip of the regular season this Saturday.

The No. 21 Black Bears (16-11-4, 10-8-3 Hockey East) are 1-2 in their last three contests—their last game was a tight 4-3 win over New Hampshire. They are 9-4-1 on the road this year and are ranked fifth in Hockey East. The last four of Maine’s games have all gone to overtime and been hard fought battles. Although BC is the slight favorite in this one—it ranks first in Hockey East—Maine’s ability to move the puck and score consistently will make this one a very tight matchup.

Who is BC playing?

Maine

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Harold Alfond Sports Arena, Orono, Maine

How to Watch/Listen:

The game can be heard on 103.9 WVOM-FM.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Freshman forward Logan Hutsko recently became the first Eagle to score five goals in two games since the 2007-08 season with his hat trick against Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game. He has been a spark for the Eagles’ offense and will be counted on to produce against the Black Bears.

2) BC has scored a power-play goal in nine out of its last 10 games and, when penalized, the Eagles are one of only 11 teams in the NCAA with at least five shorthanded goals this season.

3) Sophomore goalie Joseph Woll has stopped 596 of the 659 shots that he’s faced this season. He is currently on the watch list for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which honors the best goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s hockey.

Maine:

1) The Black Bears have been in many close games this season. Six of their last eight games have ended in the extra frame—Maine’s overtime record for the season is 3-2-4.

2) Maine sophomore Mitchell Fossier leads the team in scoring, averaging 0.93 goals per contest. Through 30 games, he has 11 goals and 17 assists.

3) The Black Bears have been able to find the back of the net plenty times this season. In fact, Maine is ranked 10th overall in scoring with an average of 3.26 goals per game.

Last Meeting:

The last two matchups between the Eagles and the Black Bears were nearly a year and a half ago when BC defeated Maine, 6-1. Austin Cangelosi fueled the Eagles’ offense with a hat trick, then, one day later, BC earned a 3-2 victory at Alfond Arena.

BC wins if…

It can amp up its physicality and score early by getting the puck up to its offensive weapons, namely Hutsko. The Eagles also must take advantage of any power plays that come their way, just like they have been of late. Maine’s offense has consistently been able to score against good teams, but its mistakes on defense have kept opponents in the game. BC must exploit Maine’s subpar defense and try to gain some momentum early on. When outshooting opponents, the Eagles are 17-7-3, so their level of aggression on offense might just determine this game.

BC loses if…

It allows Maine to score a couple goals early, something the Black Bears have been doing all season. With the Hockey East Tournament around the corner, the Eagles need to prove that their defense can step up and keep their team in the game. In BC’s 3-0 loss to Northeastern in the Beanpot, it was apparent that the Eagles cannot compete with teams when they give up an early lead. When trailing after one period this season, BC is a mere 2-4-1, and when trailing after two, it’s just 1-12-1. If the Eagles can’t keep the game close early, they will fall short of a win at Maine.

Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor