Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekend in review and looking ahead

For the third straight year and the 11th time overall, your Boston College Eagles were crowned Hockey East tournament champions via a 4-1 victory over Maine. I thought Saturday's win was not just a great win, but a great team effort. I thought it was the best effort the Eagles have put together over the course of this fifteen game winning streak. The best part about heading into the NCAA's, is the fact this team looks as solid as it has all season long. Whether it's the special teams, the play of the defenseman, or the scoring up front, this team is hitting on all cylinders. While everyone likes to talk about the Johnny G's, Brian Dumoulin's, and Barry Almeida's of the world, I think there are a ton of guys that have really stepped up their games the last couple of weeks. I thought the fourth line of Danny Linell, Quinn Smith, and Mike Sit had a great weekend as Coach York really seems to have a lot of confidence in his young all freshman line. Going up against Providence's and Maine's first lines at some points during the games, I thought they held up very well in their own zone and even created some offensive chances of their own. Another group of players I though played well were the defenseman. Yes, Tommy Cross and Brian Dumoulin are always going to log their minutes and play well for this team but guys like Isaac Macleod, Edwin Shea, and Pat Wey all played much better this weekend. On Both nights, especially vs a high powered Black Bear team on Saturday, I thought the defenseman did a great job of keeping the puck away from the front of the net and limiting opponents' chances to the outside where Milner can easily make the save.

Going into this weekends NCAA tournament regional's, I think BC just needs to keep doing what they have been doing the past two months in order to keep winning. It all starts with great goaltending from Parker Milner and over the last month and a half, the team has gotten that from him. The second thing this team was struggling with prior to this winning streak was goal scoring. Well, ever since the staff has put together these lines, BC has yet to have one game when they have scored less than two goals. The one ingredient that I think has to do the most with BC's success as of late however, is their depth up front. Sure, Air Force's or any other team for that matter, first line may be able play with BC's but when it comes down to the bottom three lines, a lot of teams have trouble figuring out how to stop BC's deep lineup (Especially with the third line playing like it is playing at the moment).

This is by far and away the most exciting time of year to be a player, coach, or fan of BC hockey because it's play well or your going golfing. This is why kids chose to come to Boston College and play hockey. Every year, you will have a chance to win a lot of trophies like the Beanpot and Hockey East, but none is bigger than the one the team will start their quest for this Saturday. People say BC will run over Air Force by five goals, not true. You don't qualify for this tournament unless you are a quality hockey team. Not only is Air Force a quality hockey team, they are a hockey team that won their league just last week. I wouldn't be the least bit shocked to see the Falcons give BC a run for their money come Saturday because they to, want to make it to Florida. I really like the way the Eagles are playing right now but in the NCAA's, one off night and your going home thinking about what could have been. There's almost no better time of year than right now so let's hope this team makes the most of it and makes yet another run at an NCAA Championship.

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