Friday, March 22, 2013

Previewing the Boston University Terriers

You know, it's very seldom that you have a chance to do something that no one will ever forget. Sure, winning Beanpots and NCAA titles will always go down as some of the great moments in BC Hockey history but what this team has in front of them tomorrow is just an unbelievable chance to make history. They have a chance to put coach Jack Parker and his Terriers away for good. When I look at this matchup, I see that both have a couple of "power" lines as you will see BU's big line of Nieto-Rodrigues-O'Regan. In the three pervious meetings this season, the Eagles beat the Terriers twice with BU getting a W during the second game of the series @ Agganis Arena. Here is the twist for tomorrow nights game. Combined, the Eagles and the Terriers will have lost a total of 5 starters from their final regular season meeting @ Conte Forum (a 5-2 victory for the good guys). The Eagles will obviously be without Kevin Hayes but it will the Terriers who may suffer the biggest hits as Yasin Cisse (early departure), Wes Myron (early departure), Matt O'Connor (injury), and Alexx Privitera (suspension) will all be absent from tomorrows contest. To go along with those injuries, defenseman Garrett Noonan is going to try and play with a separated shoulder (one he has had for just a week now).

Here is one thing I think BC has got to be able to take advantage of. BU is starting a freshman goalie (Sean Maguire) at the Garden in his first ever game versus Boston College, with his coaches' (and teams) future on the line. If that doesn't get you nervous, I don't know what will. If you're the Eagles, you just got to find a way to get everything to the net. Whether it's a grade A chance or a simple dump in outside the blue line, get every puck towards this guy. Force him to come up big in his first real big game. Another thing I'd like to see BC do is attack. During the second half of last Saturday's game, it was apparent that BC started to go on the offensive rather than play a conservative style of play that almost cost them a couple of goals. This BU defense is thin and beat up. One hallmark of Boston University hockey over the past couple of years is that they love to take penalties. In fact, they are the only Hockey East team that currently ranks in the top 10 nationally in penalty minutes. Of course, that won't mean anything if BC doesn't improve on their dreadful power play performance last weekend but if they can continue to force their opponents to take penalties and get on the man advantage, I think they have a great chance at winning this game.

In big games like this, getting out to an early lead is huge. In BC's two victories over the Terriers this season, they got out to sustainable leads through a period or two and really put the pedal to the medal in the third period.  The key is to just play some calm and collected hockey. No bad penalties, no bad defensive errors, and most importantly giving 100% on each and every play.

Listen, we all know that tomorrow night's game is not and ordinary Hockey East semifinal with a chance to get to the championship game of the toughest league in college hockey. No. A win tomorrow night would go down as one of the great victories in the history of BC Hockey.

Scouting the Terriers-

Pairwise Rank- 18th (they need to win to get in)

Leading scorers- Danny O'Regan (14-22-38), Matt Nieto (18-17-35), Cason Hohmann (10-23-33)

Best Wins- @ North Dakota, vs BC

Worst Loss- vs Northeastern (x2)


Johnny G captured player of the year today and was also named a Top 10 finalist for the Hobey. Steven Whitney was not named a finalist however. What a joke.

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