CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Good Friday evening and welcome inside Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College where tonight the No. 7 Eagles return home for the first time in 2016, hosting No. 3 Providence in the first game of a crucial Hockey East home-and-home series. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
BC has won 11 of the last 12 head-to-head meetings with Providence here in Chestnut Hill, while five of the last 11 overall contests between the teams have been shutouts. The only loss in BC's impressive home stretch came on March 2, 2013.
The Friars were ranked atop the national polls for six straight weeks before suffering their first two losses this season last week. PC opened the Florida College Classic with a 2-1 overtime loss to Cornell on Dec. 28, six days before dropping a 4-3 decision to Brown. Each of PC's last five losses have come in overtime, and it has not fallen in regulation since a 2-0 loss at Notre Dame last Feb. 13.
PC concluded its stay in Florida with a 2-1 win over the Eagles on Dec. 29. Seniors Nick Saracino and Brandon Tanev scored goals in a 44-second span in the third period to steal victory against junior Thatcher Demko, who will miss his first game of the season tonight with an upper body injury.
Freshman Ian Milosz will start in his first collegiate game tonight after being added to the Eagles' roster earlier this week. The North Grafton, Mass., native previously played for the USPHL's Boston Junior Bruins.
On the flip side, the Friars welcome Jake Walman back to the lineup after missing four games with a shoulder injury. The sophomore defenseman still leads the Friars with 11 goals and 19 points on the season and leads all Division 1 blue liners with 1.36 points per game and six power play goals.
Sophomore Zach Sanford has posted 11 points in his last nine games for BC, including three multi-point efforts. He and junior Ryan Fitzgerald have each scored twice shorthanded this year, making the Eagles one of just two teams in the country (also Sacred Heart) with two players having reached that mark.
Here are tonight's lines:
FRIARS (13-2-3, 4-0-2)
Erik Foley - Mark Jankowski - Trevor Mingoia
Brandon Tanev - Brian Pinho - Nick Saracino
Steven McParland - Kevin Rooney - Ryan Tait
Niko Rufo - Bryan Lemos - Alex Cromwell
John Gilmour - Vincent Desharnais
Tom Parisi - Kyle McKenzie
Jake Walman - Josh Monk
EAGLES (13-4-1, 6-1-1)
Matthew Gaudreau - Colin White - Ryan Fitzgerald
Miles Wood - Austin Cangelosi - Chris Calnan
Adam Gilmour - Zach Sanford - Alex Tuch
Travis Jeke - Christopher Brown - J.D. Dudek
Ian McCoshen - Casey Fitzgerald
Teddy Doherty - Steve Santini
Michael Kim - Scott Savage