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Hockey: Icers travel to BC for rematch

Joe Meixell | Friday, November 7, 2008

Rivalry weekend in Boston starts tonight when No. 12 Notre Dame hits the ice to take on No. 2 Boston College in a rematch of last year’s national championship game.

The Eagles got the best of Notre Dame when they met in Denver last April, but Irish coach Jeff Jackson said the team has moved on from the loss.

“I mentioned it to the team today. It’s really not about that, that’s in the past and we have to focus on the present,” he said.

The last time the two teams met in Boston was also a memorable game in Irish hockey history. Notre Dame surprised the No.1 ranked Eagles with a 7-1 blowout victory in 2006. The win put Notre Dame on the national map and the Irish went on to hold the No. 1 ranking for nine weeks that season.

“We were highly motivated to prove that we were a program on the rise,” Jackson said. “I don’t think that BC respected us that year, it’ll be quite a bit different going into Friday night.”

Boston College is undefeated on their home ice so far this year with a perfect 4-0 record, the team is 5-1 overall.

Like many Jerry York coached teams, the Eagles are getting it done with offense so far this season. The very quick offense is averaging four goals a game in a tough Hockey East conference.

Senior captain Brock Bradford their attack, with six goals through six games. He had two including an overtime game-winner against Merrimack last Friday.

Bradford along with rest of the BC offense will test Irish goalie Jordan Pearce early and often.

“[Pearce] is generally good in games where he sees a lot of shots. I expect him to be motivated, he’s played pretty for us so far this year but he’s only as good as the team in front of him.”

Notre Dame (4-3) broke out of a mini-slump to start the season with a pair of wins over Northern Michigan on the road last weekend. Pearce picked up his fifth career shutout on Friday night.

The Irish have started off with a very strong schedule with all three of their losses coming to top ten so far this season.

“This is another one of those statement games for us,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately our two big statement games have been on the road, but this is a good test for us.”

Notre Dame also started the season by playing No. 6 Denver in Colorado.

One bright spot for the team thus far has been the quick start for freshman Billy Maday. Maday has scored three goals including one on the first shot of his career against Denver. He also has notched three assists already.

Maday played junior hockey with Irish sophomore Calle Ridderwall. The two have reunited along with linemate Kevin Deeth and quickly established a good chemistry.

“He’s started off about as we expected him to do. It’s been good to see him reconnect with Calle,” Jackson said.

Notre Dame is also slated to play Providence Saturday night to round out the east coast trip. The Friars (2-4) are not quite as intimidating as Boston College, but should be another good test for the Irish.