Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Midweek Column

Johnny G and the Eagles are flying high before a date with Lowell
After a weekend of fantastic hockey from the defending National Champs, BC will look to keep it's position atop Hockey East as they approach a weekend date with the Lowell River Hawks. Unlike previous years, Lowell was predicted by some to finish in first place by years end and were also a USCHO preseason top ten selection. After a cinderella type finish to last year when they made it all the way to the NCAA second round, second year coach Norm Bazin is looking to get his Hawks back to the tournament and maybe even further. However, it has been a little bit of  rocky start to the season for Lowell as they have tied a lowly Vermont squad and got trounced by a talented Denver team last Friday. On the other hand, Lowell does have a nice road win on their resume as they defeated Colorado College in Colorado Springs on Saturday. This weekend is going to tell us a whole lot not just about BC but probably more about the competition in this league. We have seen a UMass team that played so well for 3/4 of the game on Friday but had a complete letdown late in the third that propelled BC to a must needed first win. Two weeks ago we saw a Northeastern team, led by their insane home crowd, dominate BC from start to finish en route to a 3-1 victory. Then this Saturday we saw NU come down to Earth and play like they normally do outside of Matthews Arena. Anyways, like every weekend in this league, this one is important but mainly because this will really show us how two teams that are supposed to be pretty high up in the national and league standings match up against each other.

As for BC, wow, what a different feel this week has than last. A week ago tonight I was writing about how concerned I was about this team and the ability to put the puck in the net. Of course the team goes out and scores eight goals in two games. With the first line playing as well as any line in college hockey right now and guys like Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold turning up their games, the Eagles really look like they could be a good club this year. The freshman defenseman look better, especially Teddy Doherty who I thought was one of BC's top defenseman last weekend. I think as time goes on we will see Sullivan and Jeke (if and when he plays) become adjusted to the speed and style of play but for now, they just need to keep improving and playing hard.

As for the offense of which I alluded to earlier, I think that the first line has the potential to be absolutely outstanding. One thing I have not addressed either this year or over the summer are my thoughts on Johnny G's Hobey Baker chances. Many BC fans believe he is the perennial favorite, even making shirts that say "Gaudreaubybaker" on the front. To be honest, I don't like making Hobey predictions nor think about it very much but I will say this...if BC keeps getting a bunch of power plays and continues to play him (and the #1 line) a lot of minutes, then he could amass A LOT of points. Anyways, it's a big weekend for the Eagles starting with a game @ Lowell on Friday. Hopefully the play from last week continues and BC is able to get four crucial points.

Lowell preview coming tomorrow.


Hitting The Links-

Johnny G captured Hockey East player of the week last week (of course)

BC #1 for a second time in the USCHO Polls

The Guys at BCI have their hockey stuff up for this week

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