Thursday, October 25, 2012

Previewing the UMass Lowell River Hawks

This weekend the first place and #1 team in the country, Boston College, will head north to face Lowell at the Tsongas Center tomorrow night and will then host Lowell on Sunday @ Kelly Rink. So far this year, Lowell is 1-1-1 with a win @ Colorado College, a loss @ Denver, and a tie versus Vermont which is their only league point. Thus far, UML is fifth in the league and is currently three points back of first place BC. Last week was a tale of two very different games for the River Hawks as they got trounced by Denver in a game in which they allowed three goals in less than three minutes during the third period. On Saturday, Lowell defeated Colorado College 3-2 and tallied their first win of the year. Unlike the past where they have always been underdogs in the league, many Hockey East writers and followers picked Lowell to actually win the league this year. Sure, Lowell had a great year last year and return some good players so maybe they do deserve a preseason top ten selection and the Hockey East #2 ranking. However, so far this season, Lowell has just one player (Josh Holmstrom) that has more than one point.

It's pretty fair to say that this weekend will show a lot about BC and definitely a lot about the opposition .   You learn a lot about your team every week in this league, I mean look at last week, the first two periods on Friday were a complete disaster and suddenly something clicked in the locker room and the team played unbelievable the rest of the weekend. As more games pass, we are seeing guys start to improve and that is a huge step in the right direction, especially for guys like Sullivan, Doherty, and Matheson. We saw a second line, that has the opportunity to be great, really shine and dominate when they were on the ice last weekend and when they are rolling, this team is hard to beat. We have seen very good goaltending out of Parker Milner in all three games this far, especially last Saturday when he shutout a pretty high powered Northeastern squad. In order to win two this weekend, all three of these things must continue to take place for BC.

In terms of scouting Lowell, well, they are led up front by forwards Riley Wetmore, David Arnold, and Scott Wilson. For Lowell to be able to compete with BC this weekend, they will need these guys to step up for them. Another key guy in Lowell's arsenal is goalie Doug Carr. Last year, Carr was second  in pretty much every major statistical categories behind Parker Milner. If Carr can play like he did in the third BC UML game last year in which he made 23 saves in the winning effort, Lowell has a chance. It should be a great weekend and it will certainly tell us which of these teams is ready to make a run and which one is not.

Keys For The Eagles 

1. Starting out well on the road. It didn't happen @ NU and it didn't happen @ UMass. Scoring the first goal tomorrow would be huge.

2. Staying out of the box. Lowell's power play hasn't been great so far so if BC can stay out of the box, limit Lowell's PP chances and capitalize on the man up, BC could have a nice weekend.

3. Sustaining Pressure. In the third period @ UMass and the game on Saturday, BC did a really good job of keeping the puck in the opponents end and limiting their chances and odd man rushes on Parker Milner.

Opposing Players To Watch-

1. Riley Wetmore (F)

2. Scott Wilson (F)

3. Doug Carr (G)

Top Line- Wilson-Wetmore-Arnold

Predictions- BC sweep.

Until next time,


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