Previewing 2018-19 Men’s Hockey: at Merrimack

Boston College men’s hockey will open up Hockey East play this Friday against Merrimack in the first game of a weekend series with the Warriors. The Eagles (0-4) have lost four straight matchups to start the season and are desperately looking to bounce back after a 7-0 blowout loss to St. Cloud State last week. Merrimack is 2-5 to start the year and has dropped each of its past two contests. Like the Eagles, the Warriors already find themselves in somewhat of a hole.

Who is BC playing?
Merrimack

When is BC playing?
Friday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?
Lawler Arena, North Andover, Mass.

How to Watch:
Both games will be available to stream on WatchESPN and aired on WEEI 850 AM.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles have converted a dismal 4.3 percent of their shots to start the season and have scored just five goals in four games, while opponents have scored on 16.1 percent of attempts.

2) David Cotton has started the season well. He leads the team with three goals and four points.

3) Joseph Woll is conceding 4.09 goals per game this fall. To his credit, he also has 48 saves and a save percentage of .857.

Merrimack:

1) Junior Tyler Irvine leads the team in scoring with six points and has recorded at least one point in five of the Warriors’ seven games to start the season.

2) Patrick Kramer, Merrimack’s other main offensive threat, leads the team with three goals and notched the first multi-goal game of his career against Massachusetts last Saturday, scoring twice.

2) Craig Pantano has started six of the Warriors’ seven games in goal thus far, posting a record of 2-4-0. He has a save percentage of .913 and is giving up 2.43 goals per game.

Last Meeting:
BC and Merrimack will meet for the 99th and 100th times in series history this weekend. They last met in the 2017 Hockey East Quarterfinals at Kelley Rink, where the top-seeded Eagles beat the Warriors twice in a row to advance to the semifinals. BC won all four meetings with Merrimack last season, and the Eagles have a 10-1-2 record in their last 13 games against the Warriors.

Outlook:
At the moment, BC is in a serious slump and will have to right the ship before things really get out of hand. Despite having a bevy of talented players, the Eagles can’t seem to execute, especially on the defensive end of the ice. BC will have to start playing smarter and learn to work together, in order to create quality scoring opportunities. The defense must remain quick on its feet if it’s to limit Merrimack from scoring and controlling the puck. The Eagles need to win this series to start off the conference slate strong, and if they play to their talent level, they should be in a good position to take the first game Friday night. The caveat there is that BC hasn’t played up to its potential all season long.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / For The Heights