Boston College Hockey Heads To Burlington, Vermont

Posted by on in Hockey Nation

Boston College journeys up to Burlington this weekend to break up a seven-game streak staged at Kelley Rink between the Eagles and Catamounts. This weekend's series marks BC's first trip to Gutterson Fieldhouse since Feb. 19-20, 2016 where the Eagles swept Vermont,  3-1 and 4-1, respectively. That sweep ignited a 6-1-2 run against UVM since that series as Boston College earned its revenge over Vermont.

The Catamounts rallied back to oust the Eagles in the 2015 Hockey East quarterfinal round, curbing a long run for BC to TD Garden for the Hockey East semifinals. In last year's regular-season meetings on The Heights, no victor was determined after 130 mnutes and the clubs skated to respective 3-3 and 2-2- draws on Feb. 17-18, 2017. Vermont is a common playoff foe for BC as the Eagles possess an 8-3 mark in Hockey East quarterfinal meetings and a 10-3 mark, overall, in the Hockey East tournament. In the overall series, BC possesses a 43-16-7 mark with a 28-7-5 win-loss total in Hockey East play.

Vermont skates into this weekend's set with a 3-5-1 mark, including a 1-1-1 total in Hockey East play. The Catamounts took a trip to Hartford last weekend and splut with UConn, losing the front end 5-1 and responding with a 4-2 victory. UVM also made a trip to Yost on Oct. 20-21 and got swept by Michigan but responded against one of Hockey East's top teams in the early goings, New Hampshire, with a 4-4 draw on Oct. 28. Vermont is lead by dynamic sophomore Ross Colton who has scored 30 percent of UVM's offense himself. Colton has scored seven goals this season, trying him for sixth in the nation with 0.78 goals per game and leads all of Hockey East with his seven tallies. Four of Colton's seven strikes have come via the power play. Sophomore Stefanos Lekkas has gotten the brunt of the work for UVM early on, settling on a 2.98 goals against average (53rd nationally) and a .914 save percentage (32nd nationally). Lekkas anchors a defense that is tied for 33rd in college hockey (3.00 goals per game) and tied for seventh in the conference while the offense is averaging 2.56 goals per game, tied for 40th nationally.

Sophomore Julius Mattila scored his team-leading second-career short-handed goal on Nov. 7 against Uconn. The Tampere, Finland native is one of 29 skaters in all of college hockey to have found the back of the net while on the penalty kill.

Boston College might have had a slow start in the non-conference slate, but the Eagles have responded well in conference play. Winning their last three games (Merrimack, UConn) and an OT win over Providence, the Eagles are all alone in first place in the Hockey East standings, having accrued eight points with a 4-1 record to the early goings of the conference slate.

Boston College used a power play goal and a short-handed counter attack to outlast Connecticut on Nov. 7 in a 2-1 victory. Julius Mattila scored his first goal of the season and did so while on the penalty kill. Mattila notched the Eagles' first short-handed goal of the season and it stands as his second-career shorty.  Michael Kim scored his first goal of the season in power play fashion, counting as the game-winner. Kim's goal counted as both his second-career power play strike and game-winning goal.

The Eagles boast a sturdy freshmen class as Christopher Grando and Logan Hutsko lead the charge for the newcomers. Grando tallied his first-career game-winning goal early on in the contest at Merrimack on Nov. 4 while Hutsko is now leading the team in the assists department with five thus far. The Tampa, Fla. native assisted on Julius Mattila's short-handed goal in the win over UConn and is is currently tied for 38th in the country in scoring amongst freshmen, averaging 0.60 points per game (2-4-6).

Boston College is being led offensively by junior defenseman Casey Fitzgerald 3-3-6) through the opening month this season. He scored a pair of goals at PC on Oct. 15 and one at Merrimack on Nov. 4. Amongst Hockey East defensmen, the junior is tied for ninth in scoring overall (0.67 points per game).

Boston College's defense has done a stellar job at limiting the opponent in the first few weeks of the season. In six of the Eagles' first 10 outings, their opponent has not scored three or more goals, including the last three outings where the opponent has one scored once. The Eagles' defensive corps has surrendered 2.80 goals per game, ranking it 32nd nationally and tied for fourth at the conference level.

Sophomore backstopper Joseph Woll has stopped 201-of-222 shots faced in his first eight outings for a .905 save percentage which is currently 49th in all of college hockey while his 2.62 goals against average ranks 37th in the game. Woll has stopped 1,113 - of - 1,221 shots faced (.912 save percentage) with a career mark of 2.64 goals against average. Woll was also one of 20 goalies named to the watch list for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men's hockey.

Sophomore goaltender Ryan Edquist earned his first win of the 2017-18 season after stopping 27 shots in a 2-1 victory over UConn. Edquist's first start came on Oct. 20 at St. Cloud State as he stopped a career-best 42 shots in the decision. He also came in with 1.6 seconds left at Merrimack and made a game-tying save to preserve an Eagle victory.

It's no secret Boston College has skated off to a 1-5-1 start in November, but the Eagles, by far, had the toughest non-conference schedule in the country. In October, combined, BC's opponents went 23-6-3 and are currently ranked No. 1 (Denver), No. 2 (St. Cloud State), No. 6 (Providence), No. 7 (Wisconsin) and No. 11 (Quinnipiac), respectively. The Eagles look to turn the page on October and turn things around in conference play. The Eagles have turned things around in November, sweeping Merrimack on Nov. 3-4 to start 2-0 on the season.