Monday, December 6, 2010

Thoughts on a Lackluster Weekend

Although I already posted my weekly rankings, I felt I had a little more to say about BU's home and home with BC from this past weekend. You'll have to excuse me here, as there's little doubt this post will turn into an uninformed diatribe...

We went into this weekend with some high hopes. People had started whispering about BU, that we weren't as good as the polls represented, that we only had 1 win in November and that we belonged outside of the top 5 in the country. Well this was our chance to show the doubters wrong. To at least put up a good fight against BC and get a split or maybe a win and a tie. We needed to show that we could hold our own against the defending national champs, a top ten ranked team, and most importantly - our cross city rivals. Needless to say, it didn't exactly go as planned.

Friday night was easily the worst loss of the season to that point. Some people might think that only losing by 4 isn't cause for grave concern, but that game was. The game was never as close as the score represented, and giving up 9 goals is never good regardless of circumstances. BC wreaked havoc on our entire squad, leading to what most certainly could only be called a beat-down. Their forwards pressed our d-men at the points, leading to poor passing all around and many unnecessary turnovers. I think the area this was most evident was when BU went on the power play - BC's forwards gave our point men no room to breathe, and any BU player who touched the puck was instantly greeted with a BC defender right in his face. All together, it was no good.

But those of us here at the BSRSB felt that maybe BU would go headhunting Saturday at Conte. Maybe the lesson would be learned, maybe our guys would come out burning and tear the place down. Unfortunately, that's not exactly how it turned out. A good first ten minutes led to a BU goal early, but the lead was quickly forfeited and from there it was BC all the way. When they scored two goals in less then a minute part way into the second period, there was no doubt that BC was scary good at scoring at will. A good Joe Pereira goal a few minutes later couldn't stop the bleeding, and BC took Saturday's game as well.

*A quick side note about the fans at Conte on Saturday. It was easily their biggest crowd of the year if I had to guess, and so I'll forgive you for having maybe 50 people in jerseys and the rest in those abominable "superfan" shirts. But here's where I take issue - literally almost every single chant was a BU sucks chant in some variety. I'd say 7 out of every 10, with the other 3 being "Let's Go Eagles/BC Rejects". Look, we get that you think we suck and that you're better than us etc. etc. But couldn't you guys think of anything else besides "Sucks to BU"? For a school that supposedly is superior to BU academically (according to any BC student/alum), you'd think they would be clever enough to think of something. Anything. There's so much material: a Vinny Saponari chant, a Beanpot chant, a National champs chant, anything. They even chanted "Jesus Love Us" at one point. Congratulations? Last time I checked, believing in a particular religion didn't make you superior to anybody else, but hey what else would you expect from BC students?

Anyways, back to hockey. Look, does this weekend kill our season? Not a chance. Is there a good chance that our guys use it as a learning experience? Absolutely. Losing two games to BC in December doesn't make us dead in the water. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence, but it doesn't kill us. Personally, I think you can mark this weekend's losses up to a couple of things: 1.) BC pressured our guys all game long both nights, forcing turnovers and causing general uneasiness on all parts of the ice, 2.) Our team is still pretty young, with 17 of 26 players being underclassmen and therefore lots of required growing time, and 3.) BC flat out just had the superior will to win for all 60 minutes of both games. It's too early to tell if this weekend will be the mark of our team this season, but I would certainly doubt it. We split with UNH and tied Maine already, both top ten teams. Losing two to another top ten team doesn't put us out of contention. It just certainly doesn't help.

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