Posted: 3:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
By Joseph Gravellese
There is still time, I suppose, for some force of nature to derail tomorrow night's game, one of many attempts to honor Jerry York that have gone by the wayside. First, BC tried to retire his number from his playing days - one of the only good decisions made by Gene DeFilippo relating to BC hockey, probably ever - but York humbly declined that honor. (Natch.) Then last year we had two attempts to have "Jerry York Night" honoring him for becoming college hockey's all-time winningest coach. The first got canceled due to a freakish blizzard; the second was postponed when York missed the game due to his detached retina. Let's hope this one goes off without a hitch.
Wisconsin comes into Boston riding high, carrying a 2-0-0 record and a shiny new #2 national ranking. They return many veterans from last year's team, which won the last ever WCHA championship. They look likely to battle with Minnesota for the inaugural B1G crown. I'm not going to go all hyperbolic and call this a "crucial" game in October, but it certainly wouldn't be good to fall to 1-2 with a trip to Minnesota to play two staring them in the face. This should be an intense game in front of a sold-out crowd.
-There hasn't been much in the way of white smoke wafting out of the chimneys at Conte this week. News has been light. It sounds like there will likely be no changes to lines that BC trotted out on Sunday against RPI.
-Bob Van Wert of EagleAction reported that Kevin Hayes missed Tuesday's practice after taking a puck off the ankle but looked full strength on Wednesday.
-There has been no announcement about who will be starting in net. My gut still tells me Demko.
Game Time: 7:00 PM, Friday
TV: BCEagles.com live stream
Radio: WEEI 850 AM; BCEagles.com
Record: Wisconsin is 2-0-0; BC is 1-1-0.
Last Time Out: As expected, Wisconsin started out their season with two wins over Northern Michigan at home - 5-2 and 2-1.
Common Foes: Wisconsin's season last year infamously ended at the hands of Hockey East's UMass-Lowell in a 6-1 rout. It was their only game against a Hockey East team in 2012-2013.
Storylines: This is the biggest test of the season so far for the young Eagles. The biggest storylines are Jerry York Night festivities and the big question of who will start in net for each team, both of whom are going with a goaltending platoon at this point of the season. Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson split the two games last week for Wisconsin.
Players to watch: Freshman Grant Besse made a splash with two goals in his first two collegiate games last week. Jake McCabe is a highly-touted junior defenseman who will also pose an offensive threat for the Badgers. Michael Mersch is their leading returning scorer after a 23 goal, 13 assist season last year.
Fun Facts: 1) The Big Ten invented college hockey (I read about it in the New York Times), so it's safe to say this is the first college hockey game ever played in Conte Forum. 2) Yes, I made that joke last week. 3) The last time BC played Wisconsin we won the national championship. That was pretty great.
There are so many great games this weekend, it's hard to just focus on a few of them. RPI plays at BU but will have to beat them without Kasdorf. Quinnipiac plays UMass-Lowell home-and-home on Friday and Saturday in an early matchup of two of last year's Frozen Four teams. And UNH hosts Michigan for two, which should be a hell of a test for an emerging Wildcats team. Broadening our horizons a bit, North Dakota travels to Miami for two games in a big NCHC clash.
The BC women's team faces two ECAC foes: Yale on Saturday, Dartmouth on Sunday. Minnesota women look to continue their winning streak alive in a huge two game set against Duluth. The last time Minnesota lost, Boston College was located in the South End.
I'll be in section OO, as usual, trying to keep my eye on Grant and make sure he doesn't get us in trouble.
BC 3, Wisconsin 3: I have no idea if they're actually going to do a shootout or not in the event of a tie, and I don't really care. But I'm copping out and predicting a tie. I think BC will be able to score against Wisconsin, but I have my doubts about the young defense keeping them off the board. If Demko plays and shows his World Junior pedigree then I could see BC getting outshot but ekeing out a narrow win. Gaudreau will be the sparkplug, because obviously... but also because I think the style of game we're likely to see (fast. fast. and fast.) will play to his advantages.
BC women sweep Yale and Dartmouth: and hopefully use Wednesday's loss to UNH as a wake-up call that #Get(ting)ThatStar won't be a cakewalk.
Lowell sweeps Quinnipiac: sending them back to the Cradle of College Hockey (or whatever they're calling it now) with the knowledge that they are not as high on the Connecticut totem pole as Sacred Heart.
Michigan and UNH split: yes, another copout prediction. Two good teams on big ice = should be a fun series.
BU will beat RPI but lose to Wisconsin: I think they're probably going to outperform expectations this year under a mentally-functioning head coach, but Wisconsin will be too much for them on Saturday night. That should be a fun game to watch.
Maine 5, Bentley 0: Jesus Christ, New Guy
Providence 8, AIC 0: I know we can't really talk anymore because we have Army on the schedule this year, but honestly, AIC? Seriously Providence?
Wisconsin 4, BC 3: I think this is going to be one of those incredibly back-and-forth games, but I think Wisconsin is slightly more seasoned. The BC growing pains on defense will rear their head early, and a mad dash third period comeback falls just short. THis is a game where Gaudreau needs to become one with his inner Adam Banks and score a goal, assist on one other, and avoid being a total cake eater.
Michigan 3, UNH 1 - Too much Michigan.
UNH 4, Michigan 2 - It'll be a big early season game for the second night against Michigan. That means UNH (cough cough) Clemson (cough cough) wins this game, then promptly loses to Vermont later in the season.
Maine 4, Bentley 1 - Honestly, toughest game for me to call. I think Bentley can compete against Maine and beat them. But I think when you factor in two games at UNO, then a Wednesday game at Sacred Heart, there's a chance it's a backup goalie playing to avoid early season fatigue, whereas Maine has a whole week off. I would not be shocked if Bentley won this one, though. #HobeyGensler will not score the goal.
BC 5 - 3 Wisco: Gaudreau will finally put home a goal on a breakaway. I WILL PREDICT IT UNTIL IT HAPPENS, DAMN IT.
I do think BU gets swept, though the RPI game will be close. I think Wisconsin does very bad things to them.
BC women will beat Yale by a touchdown, but the Dartmouth game will be decent. We'll win, but I would be surprised by a total blowout. More than anything I would just like to see them control that game.
I have to say, I think UNH sweeps Michigan. Just a hunch. I think UNH is going to be real good this year.
I WILL BE AT THE GAME FRIDAY I AM SO EXCITEDDDDDDDDDDDDD. Sieving until my arm comes off.
AJ Black: BC 5, Wisconsin 4. CAW CAW!
Conrad:BC wins 4-1. I haz excite.
BCI PREDICTION STANDINGS
5 points for a correct prediction, minus one point for how far off you were from the victory margin. i.e., predicting a 4-goal win and it ends up being a 2-goal win = 3 points. Also, 1 bonus point for getting a team's score correct. Enter this week's contest by leaving your BC-Wisconsin prediction in the comments.
Results: Michigan 3, BC 1.... BC 7, RPI 2.
Joe: Michigan 3, BC 2 - 5 points.... BC 6, RPI 1 - 5 points = 10 points
Grant: BC 5, Michigan 2 - 0 points.... BC 5, RPI 2 - 4 points = 4 points
Dan: BC 5, Michigan 1 - 0 points..... BC 4, RPI 2 - 3 points = 3 points
Brian: BC 3, Michigan 3 - 1 point.... BC 5, RPI 2 - 4 points = 5 points
AJ: BC 4, Michigan 2 - 0 points..... BC 3, RPI 1 - 2 points = 2 points
Conrad: Michigan 72, BC 55 - 0 points .... BC 68, RPI 51 - 0 points = 0 points
BCEagle74: BC 6, Michigan 5. - 0 points... BC 5, RPI 3 - 2 points = 2 points
Patty: "Michigan 2, BC 3, Spiro 3." Indecipherable. 0 points.
Amy C: BC 4 Michigan 1 - 0 points... BC 5 RPI 2 - 4 points = 4 points
Maureen: BC 2, Michigan 1 - 0 points.... BC 4 RPI 2.- 3 points = 3 points
So, last week's winner was...... me. Woo.
Joe - 1 win (Week 1)
-After a 1-1 weekend to start the season, BC hosts #2 Wisconsin on Friday night. Here are our last thoughts before the big game.
How are you feeling about tomorrow night's game? Think BC defends home ice against Wisconsin? Want to register your prediction this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments.