Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Previewing the Union Dutchmen

We all remember it. We all recall the feelings of utter disappointment, sorrow, and sadness that came with seeing one of the great senior classes in our programs history exiting the ice one final time after being embarrassed 5-1 in the semifinals of the East region last season. It was a Shakespearian tragedy, if you ask me. It's been close to 365 days since that dreadful night but guess what tomorrow brings ?

A chance. A chance to make another National Championship. A chance for a group of freshmen to show their talents on the game's grandest stage. A chance for a once and a lifetime talent to show the world why he is the greatest college hockey player of all time. A chance for this group of young men to end the season of the team that ended the careers of some of the best guys to ever put on the maroon and gold. What do you think Pat Mullane would do to play in this game ? Pat Wey ? Parker Milner ? They'd jump off a bridge to get an opportunity. Tomorrow night, this Boston College Hockey team has a chance to do something special.

Do I sound pumped ? Well, that loss last season was something I won't forget. That along with Colorado College, Michigan State, and 07 Beanpot are the ones that won't ever escape my mind. But, a win tomorrow night would make the memories of last years stunner a distant memory. The problem ? We're facing a heck of a hockey team. Union is really, really good. They're deep, they're big, they're experienced, their extremely well coached, and they've got the top defenseman in the country. In fact, if you told me I could have any player on my team other than the big three, it would be Shayne Gostisbehere. The guy can flat out play. But, like every other team that plays at this time of year, they've got a bunch of other guys that can skate. Basically, they have four lines that can score. Let's take a look at their forward lineup

Daniel Carr (22-26-48)-Mike Vecchioni (12-19-31)-Daniel Ciampini (19-17-36)

Matt Wilkins (6-14-20)-Eli Lichtenwald (8-11-19)-Nick Cruice (6-1-7)

Matt Hatch (13-8-21)-Max Novak (14-15-29)-Kevin Sullivan (8-27-35)

Cole Ikkala- Sam Coatta (5-6-11)- Mike Pontarelli (10-13-23)

So obviously, you can tell these guys are deep. I mean, their fourth line right wing has 23 points this season, outside of Minnesota, I don't think we've played a team that has a fourth liner with those types of numbers. Their first line is as good as advertised, I'd say Carr is one of those guys that is as underrated as anyone in the country. He's certainly a top notch talent that BC's D is going to have to look out for. The bottom line is however, it's not really about what Union does. When BC dictates the tempo of the game, they can outplay/beat anyone. We saw that vs Lowell two weeks ago. That wasn't the best of matchups but the Eagles still found a way to make it happen, playing an excellent third period.

BC's got to be able to forecheck somewhat well. Their defenseman are very good skaters. They move really well and they can get up and down the ice as well as any team in the country, because their D men get the puck to the wing so quickly. I don't expect it to be but both teams have very good penalty kills and power plays, so a penalty-infested game could favor either team. I like the way BC's power play looks but the penalty kill certainly hasn't been what it was in January/early February. If BC takes more than four penalties tomorrow, they probably aren't going to win. This team isn't like the 2012 team where all 12 forwards could kill a penalty. There's a handful on this team but it's not up to that level. I think we can all look forward to an amazing hockey game filled with a lot of ups and downs but hopefully in the end, we'll be playing for a National Title.

Scouting Union- 

Record- 30-6-4...haven't lost since January 31st

Leading scorers- Dan Carr (48 points), Daniel Ciampini (36 points), and Kevin Sullivan (35 points)

Team offense- 3.70 goals per game (2nd)

Team defense- 2.05 goals allowed per game (4th)

Power play- 21 % (9th)

Penalty kill- 83 % (24th)

Penalty minutes- 11.75 minutes per game (39th lowest)

Keys for BC- 

1. Just got to go out there and give it everything. Seriously. Just go get it.

2. Get the puck to #13. Just get it to him.

3. Don't let these guys break it out like their playing my sister's team. Pressure them. Force them to turn the puck over. Cause turnovers and capitalize on them.

4. Get the puck to #13. Can't stress it enough. Just find him. I don't care if someones got to dive. Just get him the puck.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the analysis...very excited about tonight's game! Obviously Union is a force and will be a difficult opponent, but the one area I disagree with you on is special teams. I think the Eagles have the clear advantage here. That Union penalty kill is mediocre and I could definitely see BC's 5th ranked power play do some damage there. And while the Eagles have had some hiccups on penalty kill, it is still the best in the nation. That area is where I think BC pushes its advantage and wins this one tonight.