Friday, February 21, 2014

Previewing the UMass Lowell River Hawks

Tonight, The #1 Boston College Eagles will look to extend their unbeaten streak to 19 games as they face off vs the red hot River Hawks of UMass Lowell. The Hawks are currently second in Hockey East and 7th in the pairwise standings, their last loss was just under a month ago vs Providence College. Norm Bazin's team is unbeaten since that setback in Friartown. When we look at Lowell, you don't need to look at their record to know they're a real solid club. They win and lose off of their defense and goaltending. They don't have a lot of real high end skaters but they've got perhaps the deepest lineup in Hockey East. On defense, they got a few high end guys like Kamrass and Suter, both of whom rank among the top defensemen in the league. It remains to be seen whether star forward Scott Wilson, who has not played since January 24th, is in the lineup tonight.

As for BC, I think both of these games will be two really tough contest, especially without Mike Matheson (upper body injury). Look for Steve Santini, Isaac Macleod, and Ian McCoshen to play a ton of minutes. It seemed like McCoshen played the whole third period on Saturday night @ Vermont so it'll be interesting to see if he can keep playing at such a high level while logging so many minutes. Up front, I don't expect any changes, but I'd like to see the Gilmour, Calnan, and Silk line continue to play well. As we saw last weekend, when these guys are scoring, even if it's just a point per game, BC is one of the deeper teams in the country. Lowell, unlike Vermont, has some talent on their bottom two lines so it will be interesting to see how these guys match up.

All in all, I expect it to be a low scoring, defensive hockey game, much like we saw vs Merrimack. If the Eagles can stay out of the box, limit Lowell's transition game, and find a way to break the River Hawks' neutral zone trap, then BC should be able to win this game. Other than that, same old same old. Sorry for the short post, didn't get to it last night.

Keys for BC-

1. Break Lowell's trap

2. Stay out of the box.

3. Put them away early if given the opportunity. Vermont hung around for way to long last week, that can't be the case this time around, Lowell's one of the top teams in the country.


1. BC is 58-31-6 all time vs Lowell

2. Eagles are 26-13-2 vs Lowell at Kelley Rink.

3. BC is 41-9-2 vs Lowell under Coach York, 4-2 vs Norm Bazin's Hawks.

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