Thursday, October 31, 2013

Previewing the Northeastern Huskies

Tomorrow night, Boston College will faceoff against long time Hockey East foe, Northeastern, to open conference play. NU comes to Conte for a special 8 PM game on national TV tomorrow night while the Eagles will go to Matthews on Saturday night. So far, the Huskies are 5-1 on the season with wins vs Alabama-Huntsville (x2), Holy Cross (x2), and St Lawrence. They also lost to St Lawrence last Saturday. Leading the Huskies up front are sophomore Kevin Roy, last seasons Beanpot MVP, and freshman Michael Szmatula, a highly touted recruit out of Dubuque. They have 12 and 11 points, respectively, this season. Not unlike BC, the Huskies will rely on scoring from freshmen such as Szmatula, Zach Anston-Reese, John Stevens, and Dalen Hedges.

On defense, NU is just OK. They have some talented guys like Saucermann and Manson but both of those guys were exposed in three of the four meetings between NU and BC last season. They are only allowing 2.50 goals per game this season but lets be honest, we aren't Holy Cross or Alabama-Huntsville. Tomorrow is their first real game of the season. Welcome to the big leagues. Sure, their defense is a bit thin and inexperienced but it is nothing compared to the situation between the pipes. Madigan has been rotating between sophomore Derrick Roy and  senior Clay Witt, neither of which have faced off against BC in their careers.

As for BC, I want to see a continuation of the things they built up last week. Now, you might ask what the heck I mean because we got blown out of the water on Sunday. Like I said, it was a tough loss but I thought a lot of guys played some really good hockey. I don't have the full chart yet but expect there to be some pretty drastic changes in the lineup. I'm also not 100 % on the goalie but I would assume Demko.

Look, this is a big weekend. I respect the heck out of Northeastern but it's the first relatively light portion of the schedule so far. Basically, if BC plays fast, smart, and disciplined, they should get four points. If they don't, anything can happen.

Scouting NU- 

USCHO Rank- 20

Record- 5-1

Leading Scorers- Kevin Roy (12 points), Mike Szmatula (11 points), Braden Pimm (9 points)


1. Boston College is 158-47-14 all time vs Northeastern, they're 46-17-5 under Coach York, and 11-3 since 2010 vs NU. All losses have come @ Matthews Arena.

2. NU has the 20th ranked defense in college hockey along with the being the top scoring unit in the country (tied with Providence).

3. NU senior and former BC commit, Cody Ferriero, is OUT for this weekends games due to a suspension for slashing last weekend vs St. Lawrence

Keys for the Eagles- 

1. Contain Roy. Many would say it's impossible but Matheson and Santini (or McCoshen) should be out there EVERY TIME he touches the ice. Under no circumstances should Roy's line touch the ice without one of BC's top defensive units out there.

2. Test this goaltender (whomever it may be). Whether it's Derrick Roy or Clay Witt, BC has to pepper the net with shots. These guys aren't Adam Wilcox. They won't save everything they see. Shots will lead to rebound which will lead to goals.

3. We need to get things going early. Besides the Wisconsin game, each first period this year has been horrible. You can't allow Northeastern to come in here and score the first goal tomorrow night. Get the crowd into it by scoring early.

4. Get something on the power play. To put it nicely, the power play has been in shambles the past two games. Too much passing, trying to make the perfect play. It's a simple formula....get the puck to #13 and get open. No need to try anything else.


Will be posted either late tonight or tomorrow.


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