Tonight Northeastern travels to Chestnut Hill to do battle with the Boston College Eagles for their second matchup of the season. Boston College won the first game at Matthews after battling back from a 3-1 deficit to win in overtime, 4-3.
Northeastern Boston College
Justin Daniels: 5-2-7 Chris Kreider: 8-7-15
Vinny Saponari: 1-6-7 Bill Arnold: 7-7-14
Mike McLaughlin: 3-2-5 Steve Whitney: 6-6-12
Team: 19-32-51 Team: 43-73-116
The above statistics tell the story. Kreider has 8 goals, while the top 3 scorer’s for Northeastern have 9. BC leads Hockey East with 4.3 Goals per game, while Northeastern sits in 9th at 2.38 goals per game. With BC’s high offense, and Northeastern’s further impaired defense (see below), the Huskies are going to have to core early and often if they want to beat the Eagles.
Northeastern: 3.25 Goals Allowed per game
Boston College: 2.40 Goals Allowed per game
Northeastern is going into the game having lost an integral part of their defense. Anthony Bitetto is still suffering from the injury he received during the Merrimack game and won’t be playing tonight (and I’m guessing we won’t see him tomorrow either). Replacing him will be Ben Oskroba, who takes his spot and pairs with Cornell. This means we are running 3 freshmen defensemen against the highest scoring team in the league. Northeastern is going to have to stress team defense, and play conservatively in order to not be run out of the building early on.
Chris Rawlings: 2.93 (5th), .918 (t-2nd)
Parker Milner: 2.19 (2nd), .918 (t-2nd)
BC has run with only Parker Milner this year, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t keep using him. The only situation in which we might see one of their freshmen goalies is if York wants to rest Milner for the game against BU on Sunday. Rawlings is likely going to have to bail his team out early and often if we want to win this game. If Rawlings is on his game, we stand a decent shot, if not, better luck next time.
Northeastern: Boston College
Power Play: 5.1% (10th) 27.3% (1st)
Penalty Kill: 81.1% (5th) 90.6% (2nd)
BC is the best with the PP in the league by a fairly substantive margin (#2 Merrimack is at 23.9%). Northeastern hopefully stressed the PK this week. Northeastern really needs to step up and pressure the opposing PP unit and force them to make mistakes, and not sit back and watch them shoot. For the Power Play, Northeastern can really only go up at this point. There’s really nothing more to say here. They need to start scoring goals with the man advantage, and until they can do that they’re going to face problems winning games.
Boston College is a juggernaut this year, and while I would love the Huskies to upset them in Conte Forum, I just don’t see that happening. I’m guessing a 5-2 result, with lots of frustration for me.