Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Hockey: HEA Tournament Semifinals Vs. BU

bc men's hockey

Boston College men’s hockey renews its biggest rivalry this Friday in the Hockey East semifinals against Boston University at TD Garden. After scraping out two wins against Merrimack in the quarterfinals, the Eagles will look to advance to the conference championship for the second-consecutive year.

No. 15 BC (20-13-3, 18-5-0 Hockey East), the top seed in this year’s tournament, split its regular season series with fourth-seeded BU (19-13-4, 12-8-4) back in December, so Friday’s winner will have bragging rights until next season. The game showcases some of the biggest talent in Hockey East, with six conference All-Stars—three on each side—slated to take the ice. Neither team is guaranteed a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, so the semifinal matchup could very well be a win-or-go-home kind of game.

Who is BC playing?

Boston University

When is BC playing?

Friday, March 17,  5:07 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

TD Garden in Boston

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on NESN and ESPN3, and can be livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Logan Hutsko, who’s recorded 12 goals and 19 assists this season, leads all Hockey East freshmen with 31 points.

2) BC has scored seven shorthanded goals this season—the most in the conference and the second-most in the country.

3) Eagles goaltender Joseph Woll had a standout performance against BU last time out, totaling 36 saves in a 4-1 victory on the road. That said, the sophomore has been inconsistent this season, falling somewhere in the middle of the pack, in terms of conference statistics, including save percentage (.915), wins (17), and goals against average (2.45).

BU:

1) Junior forward Bobo Carpenter scored the fourth-most goals in Hockey East this year, with 19 on the season. Carpenter is one of the most dangerous forwards in the conference. He has also shown that he can light the lamp in the big moments, scoring the decisive goal in the Terriers’ 5-4 overtime victory against UConn in the quarterfinals.

2) BU has two players in the top 10 in Hockey East in assists, Dante Fabbro and Brady Tkachuk. Both of the stars for the Terriers have 20 assists on the season, tied for seventh in the conference.

3) The Terriers have the second-highest scoring offense in Hockey East, averaging 3.11 goals per game.

Last Meeting :

In their last meeting on Dec. 2, BC took revenge on a Terriers team that had beaten the Eagles the previous night at Kelley Rink. Head coach Jerry York’s team won by a score of 4-1 at Agganis Arena, behind an impenetrable Woll. The sophomore had a season-best 36 saves to go along with goals from David Cotton, Connor Moore, Graham McPhee, and Ron Greco.

BC wins if…

It plays well on the penalty kill. The Eagles are average when they’re a man down, killing just 80.8 percent of opponents’ power plays. BU, on the other hand, is an extremely efficient special teams unit, converting 22.6 percent of its power plays—the second-best mark in the conference. If BC can keep its penalties to a minimum and halt BU’s power plays, then it will have a much better chance of advancing to the final.

BC loses if…

It allows BU to get on the board early. The Terriers have scored 40 first-period goals this season, the second most in the conference. To go along with that, BC allows its most goals in the second period of game. The two trends don’t bode well for the Eagles. If BU strings together an early lead, it could very well put the Eagles away in the second.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor