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What you need to know for 01/23/2018

Intriguing matchup in Philly

Intriguing matchup in Philly

Spring cleaning means cleaning out the notebook and starting a new one that likely will get Philly c

Spring cleaning means cleaning out the notebook and starting a new one that likely will get Philly cheesesteak spilled all over it next week.

The burning questions include Pat’s or Geno’s, and Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau, without hesitation, endorsed Geno’s on Tuesday during a teleconference.

From near Philadelphia in Carneys Point, N.J., Gaudreau leads the nation in scoring, so perhaps his cheesesteak opinion carries a little extra weight, but in the name of journalistic integrity, I might have to test this myself (and happily carry a little extra weight).

Union College gets Boston College in the Frozen Four semifinals next Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly, and one of the contrasts between the teams is how much the Eagles rely on one scoring line, especially when compared to the balance up and down for Union, which rolls four lines and has gotten production out of all of them at various times.

Can the Eagles get away with this against a Union team that has been praised repeatedly for the discipline in its stick positioning and closing speed to keep teams from getting comfortable in the offensive end?

Gaudreau plays on a line with Kevin Hayes centered by Bill Arnold, and they’ve accounted for almost 50 percent of Boston College’s goals this season. Gaudreau and Hayes are 1-2 in the nation in points, and Arnold is sixth.

The Dutchmen’s top line — Daniel Carr, Daniel Ciampini and Mike Vecchione — have scored 36 percent of Union’s goals, followed by Matt Hatch-Kevin Sullivan-Max Novak at 24 percent.

In six postseason games, the two lines each scored 10 goals, with Carr-Ciampini-Vecchione hot in the early games and the other line lighting it up in the last three games for eight goals and 17 points.

Union coach Rick Bennett called the Eagles’ top line “extremely dangerous,” but believes that the Dutchmen have the system and talent to counter it.

“There won’t be any big adjustment,” he said. “We’ve faced some very dangerous lines, so hopefully, that helps us and we can use that experience.”

Another question for Union is how junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will handle the extra attention he faces as a draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers.

It may not be long before Gostisbehere calls Wells Fargo his home ice.

Gostisbehere isn’t the type to let much rattle him, and Bennett’s lack of concern about the added media hype is consistent with the central theme of Union’s approach to its second Frozen Four in three years. The Dutchmen are comfortable in their own skin this time around.

“Shayne Gostisbehere plays for Union College; Shayne Gostisbehere doesn’t play for the Philadelphia Flyers,” Bennett said. “So it won’t be a big issue.”

Pat’s or Geno’s, on the other hand, will not be so easily resolved. At least I hope it won’t.

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