Hockey East’s finest will be on display this weekend at the Gutt, as the Catamounts look to upset the apple cart once again after a solid weekend at BU that saw them come away with a pair of ties.
The Boston College Eagles come in as the #6 team in the country with an overall record of 16-3-4, and are in first place in Hockey East by a mile. Their 12-2-2 conference record leaves them with 26 points, six ahead of second-place Northeastern with two games in hand. This will be a matchup of the two best defensive teams in Hockey East, so expect low-scoring affairs.
BC’s starting goaltender will be Katie Burt, a junior. Thus far she has been solid, ranking eleventh in the country with a .929 save percentage to go along with four shutouts. Her backups, junior Gabriella Switaj and freshman Molly Barrow, have played a combined 140 minutes this season, so I’ll expect two Burt starts this weekend.
The defense has been excellent at shot suppression, conceding an average of 22.6 shots per game, and prevents goals – they lead Hockey East teams with 1.61 goals against per game (1.44 in conference play). They can also contribute offensively, as shown by the fact that they have four defenders with at least 13 points. For comparison’s sake, UVM only has three players PERIOD with more than 13 (Picard and Gorecki are on 16, and Valkama is on 15). BC also has the best PK in Hockey East, killing them off at a 91.9% rate (93.8% in conference play).
Offense is where the Eagles really shine, however. They average over 3.5 goals per game and almost four in conference play. They have Hockey East’s best power play, and the second-best in the country after Minnesota. The scary part is, it’s not really one star you have to look out for, as BC does not have a player that is top-20 in the nation in scoring. BC’s offense is talented and deep, and you have to pay as much attention to the fourth line as you would the first. Andie Anastos, the daughter of Michigan State men’s coach Tom Anastos (fire him), leads the way with 26 points, but Makenna Newkirk (25 points), Delaney Belinskas (23), and Caitrin Lonergan (22) are also deadly for the lackadaisical defense.
Games are Friday and Saturday at 2pm, and will be on CatamounTV, but come to the Gutt if you can, because this is gonna be some high-level hockey.