Thursday, November 15, 2012
Previewing the Merrimack College Warriors
When was the last team Merrimack beat the Eagles @ Kelly Rink ? Well, you'd have to go back to the 1997 season. For BC, well, they've got to love the way they match up vs a team like Merrimack tomorrow night. BC is deeper, quicker, more skilled, and gets better goaltending night in and night out. The one worry for BC however will be the way they handle Merrimack's neutral zone trap. The Warriors will basically have all their forwards in the neutral zone with their sticks in passing lanes while the defenseman back up behind their own blue line. It will be up to the forwards to get open tomorrow and the defenseman to make clean passes in between the blue lines in order to avoid turnovers. From game on until now, the biggest improvement in my mind, has been the way BC has broken the puck out of their own zone. Tomorrow will present a little bit of a different look with Merrimack's style of just sitting back and letting the opponent get out of their zone but take it to them in the neutral zone with their trap.
Every game in this league is a must win but with this being the only league game between now and November 30th at BU, two points is crucial in order to maintain a big lead in the league standings. What I look for is for guys like Quinn Smith, Mike Sit, and Danny Linell to start scoring the puck. While the first two lines have been more than enough in each game this year, as the season grows older, guys like these three are going to have to step up and score. Their play has been much, much better as of late but tomorrow, them scoring a goal or two would really be a nice confidence booster heading into Turkey Day. The play of the top six forwards has been absolutely phenomenal and for Merrimack to win tomorrow, they will have to pull a rabbit out of their hat in order to stop them. The last thing that BC needs to do in order to get two points tomorrow is score on the power play as they were 0 for 12 last weekend vs ND and BU. I thought they had some good chances both nights but at times, it seemed like they were trying to make the perfect play by passing through numerous opposing sticks. If the Eagles are able to get their PP going like it was up until last weekend, they should beat a Merrimack team that hasn't scored more than three goals vs BC in the last four meetings.
Keys for the Eagles-
1. Figuring out MC's trap. Generating odd man rushes and scoring chances vs a neutral zone trap like MC has, can be tough. Hopefully BC's speed and skill will be able to help them crack the trap of which they have not faced this year.
2. Scoring on the power play. BC is a better team 5 on 5 but on the man advantage, they really could do some damage. The Eagles faced two good PK's last weekend so hopefully they learn from their mistakes a week ago and start potting a few.
3. Getting scoring from the fourth line. Linell, Smith, and Sit need to start scoring. It's been nine games and not one of them has a goal on the season. In order to keep winning, these guys need to score.
Best Opposing Wins- @ Union, @ Northeastern
Worst Loss- Vs UConn.
All Time Series- BC is 57-20-5 all time vs MC and is 23-0-2 in the last 25 games @ Conte Forum vs the Warriors.
Best Opposing Line- Collins-Scotti-Toomey
Prediction- BC 4 MC 1
GO EAGLES !