Thursday, October 18, 2012

UMass Preview

For the first time this year, the Boston College Eagles will play two games on a weekend, the first leg coming against a UMass team that beat us twice a season ago. This year, things are a little bit different in Amherst (to say the least) as John Micheletto takes over for Don Cahoon and the Minutemen also lost their two best players from a season ago in Hobbs and Syner.This season, UMass is led up front by speedy forwards Connor Sheary, Steven Guzzo, and Braden Gracel who all had productive years last season and are off to a good start. Compared to BC, I think UMass might have a little bit less up front but on the blue line, it's advantage Minutemen. UMass returns Conor Allen, Joel Hanley, and Colin Shea from last years team. In the crease is where UMass is going to need it's best effort as goalie sophomore Kevin Boyle will most likely start in between the pipes. Last season, Boyle was 1-3 vs BC but did have a win in UMass' 4-2 victory over the Champs in November.

I don't know what to expect tomorrow...I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit worried. Here’s what we know we're probably going to get: We know that Milner will probably be pretty solid because he was real good last week vs NU besides that one mistake in the third. The other thing we're sure of is that the Johnny G line is going to bring a lot of the offense for BC. Say BC scores three goals tomorrow, I would bet a lot of money that all three came from either that line or the power play. That's what this team is lacking...Guys like Sit, Linell, Hayes, Arnold, and Straight need to start generating some offense and putting the puck in the net. On paper, BC is a better team than UMass and if the Eagles play the way they're capable of, then they will get their first league victory. If some guys sit around and watch UMass skate all over them (like the NU game) then BC will lose. It's all about the bottom six or seven forwards and the freshman defenseman getting adjusted in a short amount of time..hopefully tomorrow is the first of many good games for this team.

Keys for the Eagles-

Someone not named Johnny G, Mullane, or Whitney is going to need to have a good game tomorrow. Second line needs to start to become an offensive force.

The power play- UMass took eight penalties last week vs UConn so look for the Eagles to try to capitalize on the man advantage in order to start putting the puck in the net.

Breaking the puck out- Like I said yesterday, good breakouts lead to a smoother offensive transition more often than not.


BC is 52-12-3 all time vs UMass including a 22-6-1 record in Amherst

BC is 8-2 in the last ten games vs UMass including a 3-2 win in the Hockey East playoffs last March.

Eight of ten UMass sellouts (tomorrow will be one) have come versus BC.

Best Opposing Line- Sheary-Power-Pereira

Prediction- BC 2 UMass 1

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