Thursday, November 28, 2013

Previewing the Holy Cross Crusaders

The Eagles will look to continue their impressive streak of not having lost back to back games yet this season when they play host to ancient rival, Holy Cross, on Friday evening @ Kelly Rink. This will be the first meeting between the Eagles and Crusaders since November of 2004, which was a 5-0 BC victory. A handful of fans have questioned the decision to schedule Holy Cross, especially on a Friday after Thanksgiving but I think they need to take a step back and look at the broader picture. Outside of Boston University and Notre Dame, Holy Cross is BC's biggest rival and is perhaps the schools oldest rival in football. While their hockey program may not be up to the standards of BC's, I think it's a classy move to schedule them because they don't always get a chance to play top notch competition. Also, it wouldn't be smart if BC just loaded up on playing teams like Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin every month. I don't know if I would like to see these two teams play every year, but I hope that BC continues to schedule home contest vs Holy Cross in the near future.

So far this season, the Crusaders have amassed a 3-9 record, with all of those wins coming in the Atlantic Hockey league. They are 2-6 on the road. They have played three games vs Hockey East teams (Northeastern twice and BU), they are 0-3 in those games and were outscored by a 11-5 margin in those contest. They actually played BU really tough, only losing by a goal on the road. Their three wins have come over Army, Robert Morris, and Sacred Heart. Two players from Holy Cross, Mike and Joey McNamara have a father that played @ BC in the late 80's and they grew up literally right next to BC's campus. Their mother was also BC's tennis coach for a period of time. So yea, there are a couple of connections between these two teams.

As for the Eagles, it should be business as usual as they have not lost a non-conference home game since they fell to Denver in October of 2011 by a 5-4 margin. I'm not sure of any specifics but I would expect some line changes, especially on the first two lines. I'm not sure the staff is going to keep the Johnny G, Arnold, and Cangelosi line together after they went -9 up in Orono. Coach York normally doesn't like to switch lines after one bad game so I would surprised if there is anything real dramatic but look for some changes. In goal, it will most likely be Thatcher Demko. Expect an official announcement tomorrow morning. This is will be his first game since November 8th @ Boston University. Let's be honest for a second here. BC is probably going to win by a large margin tomorrow. They are just too talented for a team like Holy Cross. The biggest thing that they have got to find a way to do is play for a full 60 minutes. It's been three weeks since they played a really good, full 60 minute hockey game. Hopefully that will change in front of the home crowd tomorrow night.

Scouting Holy Cross- 

RPI Rank- 55th

Record- 3-9, 7th in Atlantic Hockey

Leading Scorers- Tim Driscoll (2-5-7), Mike McNamara (2-4-6), and Adam Schmidt (2-5-6)

Team Offense- 2.00 goals per game, 53rd in country.

Team Defense- 3.08 goals per game, 38th in country.

Power Play- 13.16 %, 51st in country.

Penalty Kill- 80 %, 36th in country.

Keys for the Eagles- 

1. Put them away in the first forty minutes. Don't let this be a one or two goal game in the third period.

2. Capitalize on the power play. For some reason, BC's power play is a heck of a lot better at home than on the road. They have 17 power play points @ Kelly Rink. They have just 6 on the road.

3. Need some good goaltending. I think it would be a real confidence booster going into a big series next weekend if Demko can go in and play outstanding.


1. The game starts @ 4 PM.

Go Eagles !

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