Friday, November 19, 2010

Game Day - BU vs UNH


Tonight, your BU Terriers (6-0-4, 4-0-4 HE) take on the Wildcats of UNH (5-1-3, 3-0-2 HE) in a matchup of nationally ranked squads up in New Hampshire. Your BU Terriers sit at #2 in the national polls this week, while the Wildcats moved up to #7/8. All time, BU holds a decided advantage against UNH, going 94-45-19 in 158 matchups. Last year, BU went 0-2-1 against UNH in their season series - 4-2 loss, 3-3 tie, and a final 4-1 loss (in our defense, UNH was on a regular season tear last year).

This season, UNH has continued its regular season success from last season. Within Hockey East, UNH has already beaten BC, UMass, and UMass - Lowell, while they were pushed to ties against the same UMass team as well as hapless Northeastern. Out of Hockey East, they split a series with Miami of Ohio, tied Michigan, and beat Cornell.

UNH has been the benefactor of some great goalie play by junior Matt Digirolamo. Making all 9 starts for the Wildcats, he has a 2.38 gaa and a .924 save percentage. One has to wonder if he will begin to tire soon, however, as making every start every weekend begins to take a toll on a goalie's sharpness and awareness. Offensively, UNH is led by a pair of seniors - Paul Thompson and Phil DeSimone. The two senior forwards have the same exact offensive numbers this season - 10 points on 3 goals and 7 assists.

UNH seems to have their best chance at winning when they jump out to an early lead. They have not lost this year when leading after the first or second period. However, they also haven't come back to win when being down after the first or second. The key for BU tonight will be to pot an early goal or two and put UNH away early. If UNH jumps out like Merrimack did last weekend, BU will have to just weather the storm.

For BU, look for the Connolly/Trivino/Chiasson line to continue its success offensively and defensively tonight. They provided both 3rd period goals in the dramatic comeback at the Mack last Saturday, and are often paired against our opponents top offensive line (i.e. DaCosta's line last weekend). My guess is that Millan will make the start tonight on the road, and depending on that outcome Parker will make the decision for tomorrow night (yeah I know Parker said he is going to start Rollheiser regardless on Saturday. I don't buy it). Also look for a new second line tonight, which emerged in the middle of last Saturday's contest - Nieto/Coyle/Gill. The all freshman line worked well when together, and because of this Parker will come them together at least for tonight. The third line is now Gaudet/Megan/Pereira, and the fourth line is Glass/Rosen/Santana.

If you can't make it to NH tonight (like we can't), NESN will be televising the game. If you don't have access to a TV, the Boston Hockey Blog will have their usual live blog of the game.

As always, GO TERRIERS!

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