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Weekend preview: Now Gibbons is become Death

February 11, 2010

The No. 20 Lowell River Hawks (14-12-2, 8-9-2 HE) vs. the No. 10 Boston College Eagles (16-8-2, 11-6-2 HE)

7 p.m. Friday at Tsongas Center, Lowell, Mass.
5 p.m. Saturday at Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Lowell is tied for fourth in Hockey East with 18 points from 19 games and BC is second in Hockey East with 24 points from 19 games.

Last three games
Lowell — 1-3 at Merrimack, 2-3 vs. BU, 1-2 at Northeastern
Boston College — 4-3 vs. BU, 7-1 at UMass Amherst, 6-0 vs. Northeastern

Prior meetings
Lowell trails BC 30-52-7, all-time.

Season series
Lowell actually beat BC 3-1 just three weeks ago on Jan. 23 with a brilliant effort.

Top scorers
Lowell:
Kory Falite — 28 GP, 14-12-26 (19 GP, 8-8-16 HE)
Scott Campbell — 28, 9-14-23 (19, 5-9-14)
David Vallorani — 28, 9-13-22 (19, 6-9-15)
Nick Schaus — 26, 4-18-22 (19, 3-13-16)
Paul Worthington — 28, 11-8-19 (19, 9-5-14)

Boston College:
Brian Gibbons — 26 GP, 10-25-35 (19 GP, 6-21-27 HE)
Cam Atkinson — 26, 17-14-31 (19, 14-10-24)
Joe Whitney — 26, 10-13-23 (19, 8-10-18)
Ben Smith — 26, 12-9-21 (19, 9-5-14)
Carl Sneep — 26, 8-13-21 (19, 5-9-14)

Goaltending
Lowell:
Carter Hutton (8-8-0) — 16 GP, 957:53 minutes, 2.13 GAA/.926 sv% (10 GP, 601:02 minutes, 2.70 GAA/.913 sv% HE)
Nevin Hamilton (6-4-2) — 12, 725:14, 2.73/.911 (9, 546:22, 2.86/.910 HE)

Boston College:
John Muse (11-6-2) — 19 GP, 1,121:10 minutes, 2.41 GAA/.912 sv% (14 GP, 825:00 minutes, 2.25 GAA/.915 sv% HE)
Parker Milner (5-2-0) — 8, 439:30, 2.73/.883 (6, 320:27, 2.62/.885 HE)

Team stats
Lowell:
Overall (28 games) — 85 goals for (3.04/gm), 68 goals against (2.43/gm). Power play 27/138 (19.6%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 104/126 (82.5%, 1 SHGF)
Hockey East (19 games) — 57 goals for (3.00/gm), 54 goal against (2.84/gm). Power play 18/97 (18.6%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 70/88 (79.5%, 0 SHGF)

Boston College:
Overall (26 games) — 99 goals for (3.81/gm), 53 goals against (2.65/gm). Power play 31/147 (21.1%, 3 SHGA), penalty kill 117/134 (87.3%, 2 SHGF)
HE (19 games) — 72 goals for (3.79/gm), 46 goals against (2.42/gm). Power play 21/103 (21.4%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 81/94 (86.2%, 1 SHGF)

Outlook
It’s been a while since Lowell actually lost to BC so you might forget what it feels like. Don’t worry though, you’re going to get a healthy dose of that this weekend.

Boston College comes into this weekend more or less unstoppable. It is statistically the best team in Hockey East in terms of goals per game and the penalty kill, is second in goals against per game and fourth on the power play. In conference games, it is first in goals for, against and PK and still fourth on the power play. And since the 3-1 loss to Lowell, the Eagles have been indomitable.

Not only have they scored 22 goals in their last three games, they’ve done it with everyone contributing, rather than just one line. Number of players with at least a point in BC’s last four games: 16. Number of multi-point games for the Eagles in these last four contests: 14. Number of different goalscorers: 11. Number of players averaging at least a point a game in this stretch: six.

Translation: Uh oh.

You could look at the stats and say all this runs through Brian Gibbons and you’d probably be kind of right. After all, his line, which also features Joe Whitney and Cam Atkinson, has totaled — oh God! — seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points in these last four, with Gibbons’ nine points leading the charge. That looks crazy, obviously, but consider that this is as many goals and more points than everyone on Lowell has combined in the same stretch.

But outside them, the Eagles are still scoring like crazy because of guys like Chris Kreider (three goals), Steve Whitney (three goals, five assists), Carl Sneep (two goals, three assists) and Pat Mullane (a goal and three assists) are killing it for BC. And this is all just looking at BC’s offense in a vacuum. It ignores the PK going 18 for 19 in this stretch and John Muse allowing five goals on 104 shots.

And is Dehner playing this weekend against BC? We don’t know for sure, but we’re not banking on it.

So, then, who’s ready for a massacre?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 5:16 am

    Recently, it seems like the offense on the first line has run through Atkinson. Gibbons has tallied a point in his last 11 games, but a vast majority of those points have been assists.

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