Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Previewing the Harvard Crimson

For the first time since December of 2009, the Boston College Eagles will travel four miles down the road to faceoff against cross-town rival, Harvard, tomorrow night at the Bright Hockey Centre. The Eagles and Crimson faced each other in the first round of last seasons Beanpot, of course, Boston College came away with a 4-1 victory. Before we dive into all the numbers and stuff, I love it that these two teams have restarted their regular season series. Back in the 50's and 60's, believe it or not, Harvard was BC's chief rival. If you haven't seen the Eagles make the trip the Cambridge, I would highly recommend it because it's a pretty cool place to watch a hockey game, especially when BC is in town.

Anyways, Ted Donato's club is off to a bit of a rough start as they're 3-4-1 on the season with wins over RPI, Princeton, and Bentley. They have lost to Union, St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and Quinnipiac. They also tied RPI. I'm sure none of those teams jump out at you as a powerhouse but Clarkson, Union, and Quinnipiac are all really good hockey teams that could be contending for a spot in the Frozen Four come April. I wouldn't call any of those "bad losses". The one common opponent between the Eagles and Crimson is RPI, whom the Eagles trounced 7-2 in October.

Up front, Harvard is led by Nashville Predators draft pick Jimmy Vesey, who has recorded six goals and two assist thus far this season. Also leading the way for the Crimson are Brian Hart (6 points), and Kyle Criculuo (7 points). On the blue line, Harvard is relatively young as they have two freshmen, Clay Anderson and Kevin Gulilitian who have played in all eight games. Aiding the young guys are seniors Danny Fick and Dan Ford. Whether their numbers are good or not, the Crimson have a bunch of really talented guys that can skate well and put the puck in the net. Some of these forwards like Vesey and Kerfoot could cause some major problems for BC if the Eagles allow them a lot of space.

As for the Eagles, the biggest thing they have to do is finish their chances in the offensive end. They garnered a lot of high quality opportunities against UMass on Friday night but they just were not able to pull through. BC is at it's best when Johnny G is flying around the ice, making out of this world passes, and scoring goals. Even though he had two points this weekend, he was not as big of a factor as he normally is in the offensive end. I look for him to have a "bounce back" game tomorrow night. As I noted on Monday, Santini will be out due to his suspension which means Teddy Doherty will be back in the lineup. Hopefully he can continue to play at a high level like he did Thursday @ UMass.

Lineup Notes- 

1. Calnan will be back in. Matt Gaudreau will not play. Expect Billett in net.

Scouting Harvard-

RPI Rank- 38th.

Leading scorer- Jimmy Vesey (8 points)

Best win- vs RPI

Projected starter- Raphael Girard (1.52 GAA) could also be Steve Michalek (2.72 GAA)

All time series- Boston College leads 70-44-5 and currently holds an eight game winning streak vs Harvard.

Keys for Eagles-

1. Capitalize on good chances. Get Johnny G the puck in space.

2. Stay out of the box. We would have had four points last weekend if it wasn't for so many penalties. This team won't lose a lot of hockey games if they stay out of the box.

Go Eagles.

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