Monday, February 28, 2011

NCAA Hockey Tournament predictions -take 4

Here goes attempt number 4 to predict the NCAA Tournament Field for Mens Ice Hockey. The first three are linked up here(1st-12/19,2nd-2/11,3rd-2/21 so you can see how quickly things can change with the Pairwise System. So here is my "expert" opinion of how things shake out now. This will probably seem mathematically impossible by next monday but it is worth a shot. Here goes nothing. Here is how I see the Pairwise ending today...

1. Yale- Once again they don't play anyone tough so they won't lose enough to lose the number one spot overall.
2. North Dakota- I think they win the WCHA and get rewarded with the second best #1 seed.
3. Michigan- This team is hot right now behind legendary coach Red Berenson
4. Boston College- The superfrauds get their wish and #1 seed in the tournament despite losing the HE final to an undecided team(Choose from BU, Merrihack or Maine)
5. Denver- They take a #2 seed and prepare for a run in the tourny
6. Union- They are the second most overrated team in the country behind Yale but simply are playing ECAC teams down the stretch and therfore will continue to win
7. Merrimack- They will bounce back after getting trounced up in Maine and still get a 2 seed.
8. Notre Dame- They are getting hot at the right time of the year
9. Nebraska-Omaha- They are so damn streaky but I think they end the year hot enough to grab a tourny at-large bid
10. Miami- This team is too skilled to not get in and will be one of the toughest outs once they get there
11. Minnesota-Duluth- ChrisCo's brother puts the team on his back and gives them a good chance to make a run this year
12. BU- The Terriers make a deep run into the HE tournament racking up TUC wins against Maine and UNH along the way to solidify their playoff berth. Yeah I m a homer
13. UNH- The University of No Hardware knows they need wins this weekend to solidify their positioning along with a good conference tournament. They seem bound to face UMASS in the first round so that should not be an issue.
14. RPI- I hate this team that is all
15. Colorado College- They sneak in with a few clutch wins coming down the straight
16. Robert Morris- They get Yale in the first round after winning the great Atlantic Hockey conference tournament

Here is what the brackets would look like
1 Yale vs. 4 Robert Morris
2 Notre Dame vs 3 Nebraska Omaha

1 BC vs 4 RPI
2 Denver vs 3 BU

Saint Louis
1 Michigan vs 4 Colorado College
2 Merrimack vs 3 Minnesota-Duluth

Green Bay
1 North Dakota vs 4 UNH
2 Union vs 3 Miami (OH)

Bracket winners here
Manchester- Denver
Bridgeport- Notre Dame
Saint Louis-Michigan
Green Bay- Miami(OH)

Championship- Michigan over Denver (5-3)

Looking Down the Stretch Run: Part III

Well folks, there is just one weekend left in the Hockey East regular season. It's been a long and trying road to this point, but there's no time to rest now - as the second season is about to begin. That's right ladies and gents, it's almost playoff time. The only thing standing in the way for 8 teams in Hockey East is one last weekend and two more games. With that, let's get to it.

BU picked up 3 out of 4 points this weekend against Vermont, a result that on the surface seems pretty good. Vermont had been playing better as of late, and 3 points against most teams in HE is pretty solid. But when you consider that BU had been up 3-0 on UVM part way into the 3rd period and only came out with a tie, you have to be disappointed. Regardless, those 3 points and two Merrimack losses but BU in third place in Hockey East with 34 points. The Terriers final weekend pair comes against Northeastern, a team who has been playing some good hockey as of late - they took 3 points from BC and 1 point from UNH the past two weekends. I'm predicting that BU takes 2 points from NU, to give the Terriers 36 points on the season.

BC and UNH square off against each other in a heavyweight battle for first place in Hockey East. If UNH takes more than 1 point out of the series, the regular season crown is theirs. However, if BC can take at least 3 points then they would be HE regular season champions (either by tiebreaker or outright points). I predict that they probably split - 2 points a piece, giving UNH the league crown and BC second place by a nose.

Maine is coming fresh off two wins against Merrimack, arguably the hottest team in the conference until this past weekend. They absolutely pounded the Warriors all weekend, outscoring them 11-1 between the two contests. Maine finishes up their season with two games against UMass - Amherst, a series I think they win easily to give them 34 points in conference. Merrimack will look to bounce back from their awful weekend with two against PC. I highly doubt Merrimack loses either of those games, especially considering DaCosta should be back in the lineup. If they take all 4 points like I think they will, they will take 3rd place in Hockey East with 37 points.

So, the top 5 spots would look like this:
1. UNH - 40 points
2. BC - 39 points
3. Merrimack - 37 points
4. BU - 36 points
5. Maine - 34 points

And the bottom 3 would look like this:
6. Northeastern - 27 points
7. Vermont - 19 points
8. UMass - A - 15 points

This would mean BU would take on Maine in the HE quarterfinals at Agganis. If BU fails to register a point on the weekend, they would still end up in 4th place against Maine at Agganis (barring some ridiculous scenario involving Merrimack only taking 1 point from PC). If BU manages to sweep NEU and UNH somehow sweeps BC, BU would sit in second place and as such would take on Vermont in the quarterfinals. Definitely a more favorable option, but highly unlikely.

I'll be back next week with a preview of the HE playoff picture for real. Until then, stay classy BU.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

From the 108: BU Hockey Weekend Recap vs. UVM

“We tied a game that we should have won,” senior co-captain Joe Pereira said. “That hurts. We can’t sit here and keep making excuses that we’re young or that we’re this. We just have to get over it.”

Talk about a tale of two games. After choking up a 3-0 lead and settling for a tie on Friday night against Vermont, the IceDogs recovered to pick up a complete 3-1 victory at the Greek on Saturday. After 47 fantastic minutes on Friday night, several major defensive mistakes led to 3 Vermont goals in rapid succession. Unexpectedly, however(at least in the eyes of this blogger), Coach Parker praised the efforts of the team, saying that effort was really not an issue, but rather execution in his presser after the game. In retrospect I really can't fault the team as much as I did when I stormed out of Agganis into the snow that night. Having Warso in the stands I'm sure hurt them a great deal and might've accounted for at least one of the goals. Who knows. But still, I felt better about the game by the time I got home. If not for that heroic effort by Madore, that game's a BU win.

Saturday night was a much different story. The Terriers controlled pretty much the entire game until Vermont got their extra skater out for the last minute, and although it took Kieran robbing a couple great H.T. Lenz opportunities, the team carried a shutout into the last 5 seconds. It certainly helped BU that Vermont's Connor Brickley and Jack Downing both received game misconducts and 5 minute majors that led to power-plays and Terrier goals, as well as leaving the Cat-mounters down a couple men for good chunks of the game, but I think that was far from the deciding factor. BU's offense once again clicked and forced Madore to make some tough saves to keep his team even remotely in touch during the game.

Once again, Sahir Gill and Adam Clendening proved to me why they're the two best freshmen Terriers on the team this year with their play all weekend, so I declare them my team co-MVPs for the week.

BU Links:
Boston Hockey Blog/Daily Free Press
Grading The Terriers: 2/25 and 2/26
Photo Albums: 2/25 and 2/26

Rock Chalk Terriers/America BEasts: Season Finale(s)

With little to lose or gain (except perhaps confidence), our Boston University Terriers head into their regular season finale against the Vermont Cat-mounters Catamounts at Burlington's Patrick Gym. Unfortunately, the Terriers may be without the services of team leader John Holland as he injured his ankle in the recent game at Binghamton, leading to the rest of the Terriers having to barely gut out a 53-51 victory. Given Holland's absence, tomorrow's game won't really be an adequate preview of the possible AE title game as one of the best players for either team will almost definitely not make an appearance.

Prediction: Vermont 68-58. Neither team has much to gain and Patrick is a tough place to play, especially with not John Holland. With him back it could be a very different story if the teams meet in the conference championship game, though.

Elsewhere in the AE tomorrow:
Albany at Maine: Maine and Albany are locked in at the 3 and 4 seeds in the tournament so neither really has anything to gain or lose no matter the outcome other than as perhaps with BU and UVM, confidence. That being said, Maine is still looking to recover from their massive tailspin that they only recently ended against UNH so perhaps the Black Bears will feel the have more to prove tomorrow Verdict: Maine 65-57

Binghamton at Stony Brook: Stony Brook has 5th locked up and will be playing Albany no matter what happens whereas Binghamton is gonna be playing UMBC in the 8-9 opening round game at the AE tournament with or without a win. Neither team's been good lately but SBU has been at least good enough to pick up a couple wins lately against decent AE teams (Maine @ UHart). Verdict: Stony Brook 65-55

New Hampshire at Hartford: Given their injury situation this year the Wildcats could've been forgiven for falling to the conference cellar but they've hung tough to fight their way to what could be an almost-.500 record for the conference season. (Plus Binghamton and UMBC set the bar very, very low for the cellar) UNH also hasn't been terrible on the road while Hartford has done a terrible job defending their homecourt despite home wins against Maine and BU. However, both teams will be playing very intensely as they fight for 6th and 7th place in the conference and matchups against either Maine or BU. Verdict: UNH 65-60

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Warso out this weekend...Megan questionable

BU Terriers junior defenseman and assistant captain Dave Warsofsky is out this weekend with a concussion suffered in the last few minutes against PC last saturday. Sophomore wing Wade Megan is questionable for the games this weekend as well. This is all according to Boston Hockey Blog so follow this link and learn more as it comes out. Kevin Gilroy(for Megan) and Patrick MacGregor(for Warso) will take their places in the lineup.

Trades, Trades and More Trades

The NBA is back to the crazy part of the season. First, Melo to the New York Knickerbockers, secondly, Williams to the New Jersey Nets, thirdly, Perkins to OKC ... say what. Kendrick Perkins, the deep rooted beast himself, is leaving Boston to go to OKC. In return, Jeff Green comes to a Celtics team looking to win NOW. This trade is a 50/50 win. If the Celtics think they can be competitive without Perkins and get younger in the process (2 years) and get a relative big man in Nenad Krstic so be it. On the other hand Perkins is a beast, strong and powerful and can stand tall against the best big men in the league so I can see this trade go either way.

Melo, Carmelo, Melodrama, Welcome Home Melo. I am getting annoyed by that so much thank god it is over. This is the trade of the NBA season with the Knicks acquiring a star in return for just about there whole line up. I think in long run this great for the Knicks since they will probably get a point guard in next few seasons maybe CP3 or Williams, but right now this great for the Nuggets. They get the chip off their shoulder (Melo) and in return get Gallo, a stud shooter, and Chandler, another stud shooter and get younger at point with Felton. The Nuggets will raise again soon enough.

D. Williams so it ain't so... Sorry Williams you just got moved to one of the crappiest team in the NBA. This is the shocker. The trade was to rash and fast. The winner is the UTAH cause Williams isn't going to sign for them. If you have a chance to play with Stat and Melo, you most likely will play with them cause it just increases your chances of winning a title.

So here is my list of winners and losers (Baron Davis) of the trade season:

Winners: Knicks, Nuggets, Clippers, OKC, Blazers, Hawks, Utah
Losers: Celtics, Rockets, Baron Davis,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do You Believe in Miracles?


31 years ago yesterday, a group of scrappy U.S. hockey players went out and played the most important game of their lives, a game that they most surely would lose. After all, nobody thought a bunch of ex-college hockey players would stand a chance against the Olympic squad that the Russians had (who were all basically pro hockey players in a time when it was supposed to be an "amateur" event).

I'm talking, of course, about the 1980 Olympics and the "Miracle on Ice" as it came to be known. BU guys Mike Eruzione, Dave Silk, Jack O'Callahan and Jim Craig were part of one of the most important non-government events of the Cold War era - and one of the most important hockey games to ever be played.

With that, I leave you with highlights from that unforgettable game - enjoy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

NCAA Hockey Tournament predictions -take 3

Ok so here is round 3 at my shot at the NCAA tourny field. I plan on to keep taking shots until the field is announced on March 20th 11:30et. Ok so as of today here is how I see the field shaking out for field of 16...

1-16 seeding
1. Yale- just don't see them losing enough games against the ECAC teams. Their only two remaining regular season games are against #27 Cornell and #53 Colgate. They move into the ECAC tournament with only four losses in conference so I don't expect enough for them to fall out of the #1 seed.
2. North Dakota- I think the Fighting Sioux win the WCHA tournament and lock up the #2 overall seed.
3. Boston College- I hate these bastards but they still have a solid chance at winning HE regular season along with the HE tournament.
4. Denver- I know Merrimack is here now but I just see them dropping one this weekend up at Alfond and one again at some point in the HE tournament.
5. Merrimack- read above bitches
6. Minnesota-Duluth- I see ChrisCo's brother and company finishing #6 overall and a 2 seed in the tourny
7. Michigan-
8. Nebraska-Omaha- These streaky bastards get hot at the end of the season and grab the last 2 seed.
9. Notre Dame
10. UNH- The University of No Hardware takes #3 seed in the tournament for the third year in a row.
11. Union
12. Miami- The runners up in 2009 try once again to find that title. With any goaltending they have a great chance of getting there.
13. Wisconsin- The runners-up from last year get a second shot at the title but as a 4 seed this year after losing two to Nebraska-Omaha late in the year
14. RPI- I hate this team. They think they are so much better than they are for winning in the EZAC.
15. BU- Our Terriers run the table in the regular season and the HE quarters before losing in the HE semis and grabbing the last at large bid.
16. RIT(Atlantic Hockey Winner)

This would result in the following bracket:
East Regional(Bridgeport,CT)
1. Yale(1) vs. 4.RIT-Yale takes the number one overall seed and gets the cupcake Atlantic Hockey Champion

2 Nebraska-Omaha vs. 3. Notre Dame - Streaky Nebraska-Omaha get Andy Lee and co in the first round before a possible showdown with Yale

1. Boston College(3) vs. 4 RPI -Good news here as one of the teams I hate has to lose and go home and cry

2. Minnesota-Duluth vs 3 UNH - Good news is UNH once again gets the home regional...bad news is BC is in it and there is no way those choke artists up in Durham beat BC.

Midwest(Green Bay, Wisconsin)
1. North Dakota(2) vs. 4. BU- Out Terriers sneak in and as a result get the very good Fighting Sioux in the first round

2. Michigan vs 3 Union- Michigan puts Union away here easily...
West(Saint Louis,Missouri)
1 Denver(4) vs. 4 Wisconsin- This should be quite the showdown in the first round

2 Merrimack vs 3 Miami- Miami's offense lights up Merrihack in their first ever NCAA tournament

Frozen Four Predictions- I am feeling daring enough to take my predictions a little bit further today...

West - Miami(OH)
East- Notre Dame
Northeast- Minnesota-Duluth

Final- Minnesota-Duluth vs. Michigan

Champion- Michigan wins to get legendary coach Red Berenson his 3rd career NC in his record 21st straight tournament appearance.

Looking Down the Stretch Run: Part II

After this weekend's action, I decided to run my numbers again and review my predictions from part 1 of this post. In some cases I was right, in some cases I was wrong. But mostly right, let's be serious...

Let's start with BU. The Terriers took all 4 points from PC this past weekend, as I had predicted they would. While it can certainly be argued that we didn't play our best hockey, there were some bright spots. For example, Kieran Millan was phenomenal all weekend, only giving up 1 goal and making 68 saves between the two games. BU also got great performances from some freshmen (Clendening and Nieto both had a goal and an assist on the weekend, while Garrett Noonan picked up an assist), a trend that needs to continue if this team has any hope of making it in the postseason. BU is next in action this weekend with two at home against Vermont. Last week I said that I thought they would take 3 out of 4 points from UVM, but I'm going to change that to all 4 points. With the way Millan is playing, this team only needs to score 2 goals a night to be competitive, and since Vermont struggles to score I have to think we win both. My prediction for Northeastern is staying the same, a split - probably the home team winning both. If both of those hold true, BU will sit at 37 points in conference.

BC lost and tied to Northeastern this weekend, which was worse than my prediction of a win and a tie. The Eagles finish out the season with two each against Amherst and UNH, and my predictions for those two series have stayed the same - two wins against UMass and a split with UNH. That would give BC a total of 39 points in conference - only two ahead of BU.

UNH beat and tied UVM this past weekend, and although I didn't offer a specific prediction for that series, it more or less fits into my overall scenario for UNH. I originally said that UNH would have a 3-1-2 record down the stretch, which would mean they beat and tie Northeastern this weekend and then split with BC the last weekend - a very likely scenario. If that holds true, UNH would sit at 40 points in conference, 1 ahead of BC and 3 ahead of BU.

Merrimack took care of business with 2 wins against UMass - Amherst this weekend, although the games were rather close (which was a surprise, considering the Macks 11-2 shellacking of this same squad only a week earlier). They have two left with Maine and Providence each, and I very much see them winning all 4 of those games. There is a possibility that they tie or lose to Maine, but for now I'm going with all 8 points for Merrihack - good for 41 points and an undisputed league title.

To recap, the top 4 teams would look like this:
1. Merrimack (41 points)
2. UNH (40 points)
3. BC (39 points)
4. BU (37 points)

The bottom 4 teams look the exact same as last week, although a couple teams have more/less points
5. Maine (30 points)
6. Northeastern (27 points)
7. Vermont (18 points)
8. UMass - A (15 points)

Given this scenario, the quarterfinal round match-ups would only change for UNH/BC and Northeastern/Vermont. A BC - Northeastern quarterfinal could be very interesting, especially given the 3 games they played this past week. If BC were to sweep UNH on the last weekend, however, UNH would fall all the way to 4th - as they would tie us in points but lose the season series tiebreaker. In that case, BU would see Northeastern for 5 straight games - two at the end of the season, and the 3 quarterfinal games. Not exactly an ideal situation for BU, so to be honest I'm actually rooting that we stay in 4th place unless by some miracle we are able to move up to 2nd (which could only happen if both BC and UNH were to take fewer than 3 points in their last 4 games).

I'll be back next week for some updated numbers and more predictions - until then, GO TERRIERS!

Rock Chalk Terriers: BU Beats Canisius For Fourth Straight Bracketbusters Win

Photo by Junhee Chung, Daily Free Press

The BU men's basketball team overcame a 3-point halftime deficit and a slow shooting start to defeat the Canisius Golden Griffins on Saturday in ESPN's yearly Bracketbusters event. Down 32-29 at the end of the first, the Terriers pulled away to a 70-62 victory on the shoulders of (once again) 48 combined points by John Holland and Darryl Partin. Solid defensive efforts in both halves allowed the team to take over once they found their shooting stroke and for much of the second half it seemed like the Terriers would be in good shape. This win makes six straight for the Terriers and is encouraging in that it showed the team's ability to play from behind as well as take care of business against the teams it should beat, which will be very important both against Binghamton and in the first round or two of the AE tournament. All in all it was a much more composed team than the one that lost in the fairly recent past to Hartford, UMBC and Quinnipiac. Still though, Coach Chambers called the win "ugly" and said that the team failed to keep Canisius from executing the game they wanted to play while crediting Partin ad Holland with carrying the team to the W. The Terriers are putting themselves in a good position to beat Binghamton and perhaps Vermont in their last two games of the season. This may be a team capable of making an AE tournament run and qualifying for the NCAAs.

Elsewhere in the AE, Vermont got crushed by Charleston 85-70, Hartford beat UMBC 64-57, Manhattan squeaked by Stony Brook 64-63 in overtime, Siena beat Maine in Albany 71-60 and UNH suffered an embarrassing 58-49 loss to Marist. Overall a bad weekend for the AE as at least SB and New Hampshire should have been able to pull off wins, with SB playing at home and both teams facing horrible opposition. The conference really showed itself deserving of it's 29th place Pomeroy rating (out of 32 conferences and the independents) with only one BB win and the marquee team suffering a blowout on ESPNU. Not goo for my predictions record either as I now move to 5-4 by splitting on the weekend (I got the BU, Vermont and Hartford/UMBC games correct)

Also yesterday's game that I didn't get a chance to preview/predict went to Albany over Binghamton by a score of 57-54 in Vestal. Makes me feel better with BU paying the Bearcats a visit in the next few days to know that the lesser bu (lower-case intended) is eminently beatable at home. I don't think anyone's arguing that Albany is a better team than the Terriers.

ESPN recapped the BU win on Saturday, while Full Court Press grades the Terriers against the Griffs, posts some cool pictures and put up video of PChamb's presser. They also break down the state of the AE, prior to some games this week with immense conference tourney implications. (Albany/Maine, BU/Vermont, Hartford vs. UNH/Stony Brook)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Millan Gets First Shutout as BU Squeaks By PC 1-0

It only took him 32 games, but Kieran Millan finally got his first shutout of the 2010-2011 season, and his first overall since last springs HE Quarterfinals against Merrimack. After taking multiple shutout bids into the 3rd period numerous times this season (including a couple against PC), the junior netminder was finally able to complete the job last night at PC's Schneider Arena. Of Millan's 32 saves, none was bigger than one that came with little time left and PC with an extra attacker on. A PC defender fired one into a pack of bodies from the point, and the puck somehow ended up on Tim Schaller's stick who put one on net that Millan was somehow able to pick up in the scrum and stop.

BU's lone goal on the evening came from senior Joe Pereira. Freshman defenseman Garrett Noonan put a puck on net that was tipped by Pereira, and as the puck slid slowly behind Beaudry, Pereira knocked it into the empty net for his 13th goal of the season.

It was an odd game for the Terriers from the get-go, as Parker sat both Alex Chiasson and Ryan Ruikka for the night. Chiasson's benching stems from his mini-fight in Friday nights came that Parker felt "had no place in the game". Ruikka's benching is a little more difficult to understand, but it probably has to do with poor play more than attitude issues.

The Terriers are next in action next weekend, with a pair at home against Vermont. Look for a HE playoff rundown later today or tomorrow with updated points and further predictions for the rest of the regular season.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Odds and Ends

Former Terrier Kevin Shattenkirk was traded by the Avs to St. Louis last night, in a deal that will send himself and Chris Stewart to the Blues for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement. Shattenkirk, who has 7 goals and 19 assists in 46 NHL games this season, will be looked upon to replace the gap in the Blues D-core left by Johnson...

The Bruins were busy on the trade front yesterday as well.  They dealt former UDenver forward Joe Colborne, a conditional pick and a first round pick to Toronto for D-man and power play specialist Tomas Kaberle. They also dealt Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik.  They also acquired forward Chris Kelly from the Senators earlier in the week. Both Kaberle and Kelly played for the Bruins in their 4-2 win over Ottawa last night...

BU travels down to PC tonight to finish off their home and home with the Friars. As QuackQuack already reported, the Terriers beat the Friars 2-1 at Agganis last night behind a two point effort (1g, 1a) from Matt Nieto. Coach Parker was less than pleased with his teams effort, however, and he let his displeasure be fully known in his postgame press conference (you can find it below). He said that he wasn't sure who would be dressing tonight due to some "stupid plays", which of course is a reference to the scrum that took place towards the end of the game and resulted in 4 penalty minutes each for Alex Chiasson and Wade Megan. Our  guess is that either Megan or Chiasson will sit and and sophomore Ryan Santana will play. There's a chance Parker sits both players, but that would mean playing freshman Matt Ronan, who's only seen time in exhibition games. Dave Warsofsky also had a less than stellar game last night, but unless Parker is REALLY pissed off, he'll probably play over freshman Patrick MacGregor...

America BEasts: BracketBuster Saturday Preview

So I'm 2-1 so far picking AE games so here's my go at trying to see how the BEasts will do this weekend in their ESPN BracketBuster matchups against teams from other mediocre conferences this afternoon and evening:

Stony Brook vs. Manhattan: The Seawolves have been a disappointment after last year's great regular season run (mostly due to injuries) but Manhattan is just godawful. Their only road wins on the way to 5-22 are against equally horrible NJIT and Marist.
Verdict: Stony Brook, 62-55

Vermont at Coll. of Charleston: Two teams that are 13-2 in conference and putting together really great seasons, both rated in the Pomeroy top 100 (UVM 100, Charleston 71...higher than BC!) Vermont's won 15 of 17 and 9 in a row, but Charleston has performed similarly in a somewhat tougher conference. Also CoC has a quality win against Tennessee earlier in the year. Vermont's best win, on the other hand is Iona. The Cougs always put up a good amount of points, but Vermont seems to not give many up. In the end, I gotta go with the more proven home team, but I don't think they blow out the Cats.
Verdict: Charleston, 75-67

UNH at Marist: Marist is just so so bad and UNH has won enough by overcoming injuries to be a midpack team in the AE with the potential for a .500 finish. Roll 'Cats!
Verdict: UNH, 67-59

Maine at Siena: Talk about steps back! Since Fran McCaffery flew the coop to go coach at Iowa the Saints have gone downhill in a hurry, and are likely not to finish at 500 in the MAAC final standings. Penn State trumps Georgia Tech in the battle of best NC win between these two teams. Both teams come in riding four-game losing streaks and are in need of a win to get back on track. Maine has given up 70 in all of their last 5 games (going 1-4) after riding good defense to a 8-1 conference record. Siena has proven to be beatable at home and Maine can win on the road.
Verdict: Maine, 68-63

And in the only conference game of the day:
Hartford at UMBC: Both teams are just so, so bad. Buckle up, this is gonna be an ugly, ugly game.
Verdict: Hartford 58-53

RCT Links 2/19

From the Full Court Press Blog:

Terriers sneak past PC with half-ass effort

BU took the first of six must-wins coming down the stretch with a 2-1 victory over Providence College. BU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on Matt Nieto's first goal in 49 days. The Terriers later made it 2-0 half way through the second with a PP goal from freshman D-man Adam Clendening on a wrister from the point. After that goal, the Terriers got outplayed and relied heavily upon junior goalie Kieran Millan. The first half of the game was owned by the Terriers and could have been 5-0 easily if not for the efforts of PC netminder Alex Beaudry. Beaudry made 32 saves on the night while Millan made 36.

Coach Parker dug into his team in the postgame presser for being selfish and stupid among other things. The lone PC goal was with two minutes remaining on the end of a pp where junior D-man David Warsofsky jumped up to steal a past and got burnt badly leading to a goal. It was another poor play by the junior who after being benched at UMASS last week hasn't improved. He took some solid shots tonight but made some poor decisions as well. Those have to stop if this team wants to make a run in the postseason.

Coach Parker was especially upset at the penalties of Alex Chiasson and Wade Meagan in the third period after a scuffle that resulted in eight minutes of penalties assessed to the two. Parker clearly chewed Meagan out before he got to the penalty box. Parker said there he was contemplating changing up the lines for tomorrow's game at PC for guys being stupid. It would seem Meagan and Chiasson would be those guys but the second line of Trivino Nieto and Chiasson produced both goals tonight so I would be shocked if Chiasson is benched. Meagan has been playing better as well so it will be interesting to see who Parker benches. I would guess possible Meagan for Santana/Gilroy depending on who plays on what line. There is no way he benches Chiasson for untested freshman Matt Ronan though. Sorry Matt.

I also wouldn't be surprised if MacGregor gets a game at d tomorrow night. Overall, the defenseman played well besides Warso and I don't see Parker benching him again. He has liked what he has seen from MacGregor though so the lines will be interesting. Hopefully, Warso gets his head out of his ass soon though and plays the way everyone knows he can. He is making some people wish he would go pro at the end of the season which is never a good thing. He needs to be the player we all know he can be and be an example for the young defenseman. Instead recently, the d-pairing of Noonan and Clendening has clearly been the best pairing out there. We will see what happens tomorrow.

In other HE News:
-Merrimack beat UMASS 4-3 on OT at the Mullins Center without Frenchie(read Da Costa)
-Maine took care of Lowell 4-0 at Tsongas to stay five points behind BU
- Northeastern and BC skated to a 7-7 tie? Is this football? Anyway don't expect to see little pussy Parker Milner anytime soon. He gave up 4 goals on 9 shots tonight before being pulled. He is too busy running away from the scene of accidents to practice goalie. But hey life could be worse you could be Greg Cronin(NU head coach) suspended indefinitely for recruiting violations.
NU showed some fight though I give them props.

- UNH shit on UVM's face in a 6-1 blowout on national TV. Nice job UVM.

Rock Chalk Terriers: Bracketbusters BU vs. Canisius

BU played one of their best games of the season last Tuesday against UMBC at the HAA, and riding a 5-game hot streak there is utterly no reason to think that they shouldn't run train on the Golden Griffs, or at least pull out the victory tomorrow (well, today at this point). The teams are very close in Pomeroy Ratings (BU at 173, Canisius at 175) and Canisius has played a mildly tougher schedule, but the Terriers are just too good at home. The UMBC game pushed their winning streak in Boston to 7 games. Although they are the 311th team in division 1 basketball for FG% and that has proved their undoing at times, this BU team has had far less trouble finding their stroke at home. And when they do, the team just ends the game, boasting a 10-1 record in conference when they score more than 60 points. I just don't see Canisius being good enough to hold the team back on such a hot streak, especially given the multiple threats that BU possesses. BU also has not given up more than than 55 points in 6 of their last 8 games, so the Griffs probably won't beat them by putting up a ton of points.

My Verdict: BU beats Canisius 70-60

Friday, February 18, 2011

BU Starts Home Stretch with Pair Against PC

Our Terriers will attempt to bounce back from this past Monday's loss to Harvard against Providence College in a pair of games this weekend. Tonight's contest will be at Agganis, and tomorrow the two teams will face off in PC's Schneider Arena. These two games are a very important litmus test for this young team, as they need to prove that they can handle adversity coming down the stretch. Anything less than 4 points out of this weekend has to be considered a disappointment, especially against a team such as Providence (who has only won 3 HE games all season).

According to the Boston Hockey Blog, the lines for the Terriers will look a little different tonight. Captain Joe Pereira will move down to wing on the 3rd line alongside Wade Megan and Ross Gaudet, while freshman Sahir Gill will move up and center the first line with Chris Connolly and Charlie Coyle on the wings. The move, according to Parker, is to take a little bit of stress and pressure off of Coyle, who had been playing center on either the first or second line for almost the whole year.  This also gives Pereira and sophomore Ross Gaudet a chance to re-unite, as the tandem produced solid numbers in the second half of last season. After all the moves, the lines will look like this:

Connolly - Gill - Coyle
Nieto - Trivino - Chiasson
Megan - Gaudet - Pereira
Courtnall - Rosen - Santana/Gilroy

The defensive pairings have not been announced, but you can assume that they will involve Dave Warsofsky and not Patrick MacGregor, as Parker seemed pleased enough with the co-Captain's progress against Harvard after being a healthy scratch against UMass the game prior.

If you can't make it to Agganis tonight, the Boston Hockey Blog will be live blogging as usual.
The Terrier Hockey Blog has a preview of the game, as well as a bunch of links. has their picks for this weekends Hockey East games.
Hockey East has quick write ups of all this weekend's action.

As always, GO TERRIERS!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Evening Rant

Since I'm sitting at work-study with nothing better to do, I decided earlier to read up on the hockey blogs I had missed throughout this week - and I came across this article over at WTBU Sports. Feel free to read it real quick, as the rest of my article will be mostly based upon that...

Okay, let's straighten this out. There is no way this is the low point of BU hockey - not even this season. The women's team is ranked 4th in the nation, and on most nights completely dominates even the best teams in Hockey East. The men's team is ranked 15th in the country, 4th in Hockey East, has beaten UNH, Maine, Notre Dame and Wisconsin this year (all in the top 20), and is looking to be a lock for home ice in the HE playoffs. And you want to tell me that this year is the low point of BU hockey? Considering the women's program has only been around really for this part of the last decade, I don't have much to compare it to. But the men's program? How about the entire 1980s, where we only won 3 Beanpots, didn't make it to a single frozen four, didn't win a league regular season title, won one league postseason title, and didn't have a national championship. Want to compare those numbers to our numbers since 2000? How about 7 Beanpots, 3 regular season championships, 1 post season championship, 1 frozen four appearance and 1 national championship. But yeah, THIS is the low point.

Even if you want to say that it's only the low point of this particular season, fine. That's at least more reasonable, but still wrong. How about back in December, when BC routed us two nights in a row? Or when we lost to Brown in the beginning of January? Or when we lost to BC in the first round the Beanpot to go 0-4 against our crosstown rivals on the year? Losing to Harvard was bad, but it wasn't the worst. And it certainly doesn't constitute the lowest point of the season. Up until that game, BU had been playing well - took 3 points from Maine, beat UMass, beat UNH and beat Lowell. Losing to Harvard is a setback, but not enough to keep this team out of the Hockey East playoffs, and maybe not even enough to keep them out of the NCAAs.

So to the writer of that article over at WTBU, get your act together. There's a lot of hockey left to be played.

America BEasts: Vermont, Binghamton Lay Waste To Foes

Two blowouts that I really did not see coming took place in AE action tonight. First, the one that surprised me more was to see Binghamton absolutely annihilate UHart in Hartford tonight by a score of 77-47. With wins over BU and Maine, as well as on the road at Binghamton, I really didn't see Hartford having much of a hard time tonight. Clearly I was incorrect as this game was more or less decided by halftime with the Bearcats shooting 55% from the floor and 62% from behind the arc. Having four players score over 12 point just proved too much for the Hawks on a night when they just couldn't buy a basket. With a solid defensive effort though, I see UHart as a potential spoiler for a careless favorite in the AE first round.

Although I expected the Vermont win against Maine, I thought we'd see a much closer game there in Orono. Instead the Cats pulled out to a 16 point lead over the course of the second half and coast on down to a victory. Evan Fjeld and Brendan Bald combined for 36 to lead their team to victory and further establish themselves as the team to beat this year in the AE. It's hard to beat a team shooting 60% when you only are making 41%. At this point I'd just say stick a fork in the Black Bears, because they are done. This is good news for Terriers fans as it more or less locks up the 2 seed in the conference tourney for our Dogs.

Next stop Bracketbusters: Preview to come later this week! Blogger out.

AE 2011 Predictions Record: 2-1

RCT: BU vs. UMBC Links

Forgot these at the bottom of my article--all good reads esp. the DFP/FCP ones


The Daily Free Press/Full Court Press

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rock Chalk Terriers: Terriers Victorious Over UMBC

BU basketball took a huge step last night towards securing the #2 seed in the America East conference tournament by soundly defeating UMBC and their obnoxious asshole fiery coach Randy Monroe at Agganis Arena, 85-53. The Terrier defense was certainly more than adequate holding UMBC to such a low point total (both a function of UMBC's ineptitude as well as BU's coverage), but it was their offense, particularly that of Darryl Partin and John Holland, who combined for a total of 47 points, which won the game. The team played a fast-paced game game marked by quick, sharp passes and transition points that are the essence of well-executed Pat Chambers basketball. They also penetrated well, outscoring the Retrievers 40-14(!) in the paint. Finding open shot after open shot, the hallmark of their game last night can't have helped but spread the defense and make the paint way more accessible. Solid leadership at the point by D.J. Irving helped find the open man again and again, for 17 assists in all. Like BU's hockey team, this squad looks like one which will only get better next year. But for now with the hot streak they're on, this could very well be a tournament team for the AE. All in all a great and encouraging night for the Terriers.

My 2010-11 AE predictions record: 1-0

America BEasts: Vermont vs. Maine 2/16

If the Catamounts only lose one conference game the rest of the season, this will probably be the one. Maine, who started conference play 8-1, desperately needs a win in order to not lose touch with last night's victorious Boston University Terriers. (more on them later :-)...) The Black Bears are in a situation where their backs are against the wall and they've proven they can beat Vermont, winning 72-58 on the road earlier this season. If they can win this game, coming off 4 straight losses, Maine remains in the hunt for the second seed in the tournament behind BU.
Vermont on the other hand can close the book on the AE regular-season championship with a win over Maine at Alfond Arena. They have 2 chances in their last 2 conference games to beat Maine and BU, the only teams in the AE that have beaten them so far this season, and thus prove that they can beat the league's upper echelon, as it were, before the tournament. As a BU fan, if you believe the Terriers can win out, including a victory over Vermont on the road to end the season, you definitely want to see Maine win, because otherwise BU's best chance is to finish 2nd. If Vermont loses and BU can beat Binghamton and Vermont on the road, they will win the America East and get the #1 seed in the tournament.

Prediction: Vermont over Maine 67-60

Elsewhere in the conference Hartford is taking on Binghamton at home. Hawks have a lot of bad losses and have been very up and down but wins over BU and Maine (twice) make me think...

Hartford over Binghamton 65-55

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Happy Mike And I'm Proud To Be A Terrier

You know what struck me most about the Harvard game yesterday? The fact that this was only really one of the few games this year that I can think of where our Terrier hockey team really failed to put forth a winning effort on the ice. Not to say its the first time they've lost, but compared to last year's team where I really felt that many of the players on the ice were not cut out to be in the jersey they wore, I am immensely proud of how far this young team has come this year.

Think back to this time last year? How did you feel about that team? Disappointed? Frustrated? I know I did. Seeing guys like Kevin Shattenkirk and Vinny Saponari go out on the ice night after night and seemingly not put forth the effort needed to win games was just about as bad a situation as I can imagine the year after a national championship.

This year, even after Monday I feel nothing but optimism and good things about this team. Players like Alex Chiasson have stepped up hugely compared to last year, and others like Joe Pereira, David Warsofsky and Chris Connolly have proven to be much stronger leaders than last year's team possessed. Maybe we're not a tournament team this year. But looking to next year, with almost every player coming back from a team that has shown immense amounts of promise throughout the year and our usual heralded BU recruiting class coming in, I am incredibly excited to see our team take the ice. And make no mistake, this is a team that could make a run in HE and get into the NCAAs. But even if that doesn't happen, I'm still so impressed with this year's team and am proud to be a BU fan. Bravo, men.

Haters gonna hate, but our skaters are gonna go on and skate.

Rock Chalk Terriers: BU vs. UMBC @ The Greek 2/15

Yes, they beat us once at home. Yes, they're coming off a win against Maine in Orono (a win that looks less and less impressive by the day). Still, this game is all the Terriers' to lose. I just do not see the Retrievers shooting 10% better than the Terriers from the field and hitting 47% of their threes again. Beyond Chris de la Rosa, the Retrievers boast no other scorers averaging double figures on the year, whereas the Terriers have two clear scoring threats in John Holland and Darryl Partin, as well as numerous complementary pieces around the two of them. Remember, the Terriers would have won that last one save for a late scoring drought in the final five minutes, so it's not like they got blown out. I say the Dogs (our Dogs) easily win this game to put themselves in great position to lock up the two seed after UVM beats Maine tomorrow (more on that game later tonight/tomorrow as well as a game recap of the Terriers).

As usual, a good preview of the game also can be found at the Daily Free Press' Full Court Press blog.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Hate the Beanpot

We're just going to pretend it didn't happen. If you want to read about the game, check out:

The Boston Hockey Blog
Terrier Hockey Blog

The Terriers broke my heart on Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Looking Down the Stretch Run

Instead of going back to the old power rankings format, I decided this week to do a sort of playoff outlook from BU's perspective. QuackQuack has already taken a stab at the NCAA tournament, so I'm going to focus strictly upon Hockey East and the HE playoffs.

With Merrimack's sweep of UNH this past weekend, the top 4 spots in Hockey East have all been thrown into a jumble. The rankings look the same - UNH and BC tied for first, with Merrimack in third and BU in fourth. To give you an idea of how close these 4 teams are, 4th place BU is 5 points behind co-leaders BC and UNH - which is the same point margin that BU has on 5th place Maine. In the coming 3 weekends, anything really can happen.

I'll lead off with BU first, then delve into what can happen depending upon how the rest of Hockey East pans out. BU plays its final 6 Hockey East games against 3 teams (2 a piece) - Providence, Vermont, and Northeastern. This is a pretty favorable end of the season for BU - those 3 teams comprise 3 of the bottom 5 teams in HE (NU - 6, UVM - 8, PC - 9), and BU has already won their first game against each of these teams earlier in the season. Compared to some other schools, this is a cake walk.

I'm going to lowball us here and say that of these 6 games, we probably go 4-1-1. I see two wins against PC, a win and a tie against UVM, and a win and a loss against Northeastern. I think BU could certainly do better than this, in fact I am really, really hoping that they do. But I think this is a fair baseline for ourselves, so let's start here. This would put BU's conference record at 15-6-6, good for 36 points (compared to 28 I believe from last year). If we can end the season with around 35-6-7 points, I think we are in good shape.

Now, on to the rest of the top 4 teams. BC plays Northeastern, UMass - Amherst, and UNH all twice. I think they probably go 4-1-1 here as well - win and a tie with NU (as that will be three games in a row for those two teams, NU has to steal a tie somewhere), two wins against UMass and a split with UNH - good for 41 points. UNH has 2 with UVM, 2 with NU and two with BC. That's probably good for a 3-1-2 record, and besides the split with BC I'm not quite sure how that plays out, I just think it comes to something like that, giving them 40 points. To round out the top 4, Merrimack has two each with both UMass squads as well as two with Maine. Honestly, the way that Merrimack is playing right now, I can't see them losing a game down the stretch. Maybe one loss at Alfond against Maine, but with the way both teams are going right now that's probably a stretch. So I'm going to give them 6-0, which would give them 41 points and a league regular season crown (under my scenario this would tie them with BC, who they own the tiebreaker with). To recap, top 4 spots would look like this:

1. Merrimack - 41
2. BC - 41
3. UNH - 40
4. BU - 36

I won't spend as much time with the rest of the schools, so here's how I think the final 4 playoff spots will shake out -

5. Maine - 29 (3-2-1)
6. N'Eastern - 25 (1-3-2)
7. Vermont - 19 (1-2-3)
8. UAmherst - 16 (0-5-1)

Given this scenario, the first round playoff match-ups would be:
UAmherst (8) at Merrimack (1)
UVM (7) at BC (2)
NEU (6) at UNH (3)
Maine (5) at BU (4)

Certainly interesting 4-5 matchup there. If the home teams were to hold serve, BU would face Merrimack and BC would face UNH in the semifinals at the garden. Those are a looong way off, however, and for now this is all just speculation. I'll hopefully be doing similar (shorter) posts in the weeks to come, as games get played and the playoffs draw closer. Until then, GO BU!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Noonan, BU Defeat UMass in OT

Just pretend it says "Noonan"

First off, I'd like to thank the guys/girls over at The Boston Hockey Blog for linking us on the sidebar of their homepage. Appreciate the recognition, guys. We'll try to keep it clean for ya.

Moving on, our Terriers managed to keep pace in Hockey East last night with a sloppy but necessary 4-3 win in overtime over UMass. Freshman defenseman Garrett Noonan scored the game winner off of an Alex Chiasson pass, which Noonan managed to slide by UMass net minder Paul Dainton. It was definitely not the best win we've had this season, but it was a game that we absolutely needed two points out of in order to stay competitive in the race for home ice.

BU got the scoring going early, when Matt Nieto channeled Wayne Gretzky by holding the puck behind the net and finding Corey Trivino in the slot for a quick wrister. UMass answered literally seconds later, as Millan came off of the post a little quick the puck got by his outstretched pad. BU would cap off the first period with a play very similar to their first goal, except Nieto hit Chiasson with the pass this time.

The Terriers would then go out in the second period and hack it up. There's really no other way to put it. UMass scored two goals early on in the frame and for the most part controlled play for the whole twenty minutes. The single bright spot for BU came when Wade Megan forced one by Dainton's pads to knot the score at 3-3 heading into the final period.

BU came out firing in the 3rd period, outshooting the Minutemen 13-3 and knocking on the door multiple times. Dainton held his ground, however, and forced the game into overtime, which is where Noonan and Chiasson went to work.

BU managed to worsen their power play numbers on the year by going 0 for 6 with the man advantage last night. In fact, BU and UMass combined to go 0 for 12 on the evening. While this may be somewhat more expected for a very, very young UMass squad, it's certainly not what a nationally ranked team can be doing and still expect to win. Whatever they are doing on the pp, it needs to change. Quick.

BU is next in action against Harvard Monday night in the consolation game of the Beanpot. If you're looking for some hockey to follow tonight, cheer on UNH as they head to Lawler Arena to take on Merrimack - we desperately need UNH to win.

As always, GO TERRIERS (and Wildcats)!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why BU makes the NCAA tournament...updated field projections round 2

So this week sucked after Monday night am I right? I don't know about you guys but I personally just wanted to punch a baby after that game. I was there and had to hear it from those alter boys all the way to the T and on the T for two stops before the MBTA took our train out of service. Apparently the fanboys were too rowdy. I hate BC kids more than well...anyone but even I didn't understand what they were doing by stopping the train. How about the MBTA gets out of a billion dollar debt then takes my train out of service whenever they want.It isn't like all the kids pouring out of the garden is a big surprise. It happens twice every year you idiots. I guess it has to do with those idiots down in Newton driving drunk and crashing into the T last spring. Anyway...moral of the story we walked the three miles home from Government Center scaring the shit out of a superfraud on the way.

Back to the point of this post...there is now less than a month left in the regular season and I figured it would be a good time to make my second crack at predicting the field on the NCAA tournament and breaking down what BU needs to do to get in without winning the HE post-season tourny. I took my first crack at this in late December and it looked like this.
My seedings are a wee bit off but the only total miss is having Maine in the field as they are sitting at a not-so-pretty T-22 in pairwise right now and would be left out in the cold for sure as of now. So here is my second shot at it and my analysis of what our Terriers need to do coming off this loss to those Newton Cupcakes.
-Based off of current Pairwise rankings

Overall Seedings:
1. Yale
2. Newton University
3. Minnesota-Duluth
4. North Dakota
5. Merrimack
6. Denver
7. UNH
8. Michigan
9. Wisconsin
10. BU
11. Notre Dame
12. Western Michigan
13. RPI
14. Union
15. Nebraska-Omaha
16. Robert Morris

These seedings would lead to a bracket that looks like this...

East Regional (Arena@HarborYard Bridgeport,CT)

1 Yale(1) vs. 4 Robert Morris- I just don't see Yale losing enough down the stretch to lose their #1 overall seed as they play cupcakes in conference. I think they are really only like the 10th best team in the country though. They will still roll Robert Morris but so would our Intramural hockey champs.

2 Michigan vs. 3 Wisconsin- Battle of two highly talented teams..I think the winner here owns Yale and goes to the Frozen Four in St. Paul

Northeast Regional( Verizon Center, Manchester, NH)

1 North Dakota(4) vs 4 RPI
- The Fighting Sioux own these ECAC low lifes in the first round.

2. Merrihack vs. 3 Western Michigan- Merrimack surprises everyone with the highest #2 seed and #5 seed overall. I don't see them losing to Western Michigan either so they make it to a showdown with North Dakota for a chance at the frozen four.

Midwest (Resch Center, Green Bay,Wisconsin)

1 Minnesota-Duluth(3) vs 4. Union- The Connolly brothers make the clowns look silly in their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.

2 Denver vs. 3 Notre Dame- Denver makes Notre Dame look like the catholic team they are and knocks them out easily. Denver and UMD is a quite a showdown coming out of this bracket.

West( ScottTrade Center , St. Louis Missouri)-Lets get drunk!

1. Newton College(2) vs 4 Nebraska Omaha- BC gets in and gets the streakiest team in the country in the first round.

2 UNH vs 3 BU- This is a game where both teams hate BC and will do anything to get get the chance to end their season. This should be a highly contested battle but I see our Terriers sneaking it out.

Now to break down our Terriers chances to get in and what seed. I have them as a 3 seed and facing Wisconsin in the first round which isn't an ideal situation at all but it is better than being on the couch like we were this time last year. I think BU can pull together a nice run though and make it to be a 2 seed in the tournament. The only problem with this theory is it requires other teams to lose. RPI, Union, and Yale all play in the ECAC which is a joke of a conference and there are many games where they are not even challenged. That is why I see the 3 or 4 seed as a likely destination.

Many BU fans were down on the team this past week after the OT crushing to loss on Monday. It still hurts to think about. It is going to hurt when I go back to the Garden Monday to watch us play Harvard with no one in the stands. This is a defining point in BU's season though. The team can come together and play angry the rest of the way on the way to the tournament...or they can pack it in. I think last year's team packs it in. This year I am in agreemenent with Jim Connolly's article on USCHO that BU is a team to be reckoned with for the rest of the season. This is an extremely young team with enough talent to win it all. Not necessarily this year but in years to come. They are learning how to use that talent to win games right before our own eyes. They have the easiest remaining schedule in the conference with only #7 UMASS, #9 PC, #8 UVM, and #6 Northeastern remaining on the schedule. This is why we take the 3 seed in the conference.

This team will not overlook bad teams. That starts tonight with a UMASS team that got outscored 16-2 last weekend. They will be ready to play but I think our guys come out flying and bury them early. I think our Terriers finish theregular season 20-8-8 which ain't that bad despite what some of the haters on Boston Hockey blog will tell you. Those are pretty high expectations I know. Yes, I am predicting 7 wins in our last 8 games. I am giving Northeaster a tie at their place. This is because the team has no choice. Losing to the bottom of the conference is not an option. This schedule allows the Terriers to solidify third place while BC, UNH, Maine and Merrimack beat up on one another. This is a young team with a chance to get hot and make some postseason noise. I think we get to the HE tourny final by beating BC in the semifinals and then beat UNH in the finals because they ain't called university of no hardware for nothing.Mark this shit down. BU wins the HE tournment. This team has promise. In Parker we trust bitches...if you don't believe any of this shit...move to Newton you 'schmuck'(* That is trademark phrase of GW. Any other use of this phrase without his consent is prohibitied).

BU Travels to Amherst for a One Night Stand

Joe Pereira goes "Slapshot" on UMass Goalie Jeff Teglia

Our Terriers are heading to to western Massachusetts tonight to take on the lowly UMass-Amherst. Being the weekend between the Beanpot Mondays (speaking of which, did we win on Monday? I didn't watch the game, just assumed Northeastern would lose to Harvard and we would beat BC. I guess that's what happened?), BU only plays once - aka the "One Night Stand". No, stereotypical slutty UMass girls, I'm not talking about that one night stand. I'm talking about the hockey equivalent - the kind that I hate. Why do I hate it? Here's a quick list...

1.) If there's only one game that weekend, what do I do on the other night? 
2.) If the game isn't at home, what do I do on both nights?
3.) It gives the rest of the teams in HE a chance to catch up since we've played more games. Bunch of crap.
4.) Seriously, what am I supposed to do without BU hockey on a Friday or Saturday? Damn you Hockey East.

Regardless, it's what we've got for this weekend. BU definitely needs to pick up both points tonight in order to keep pace with Merrimack (who's facing UNH twice this weekend, let's go Wildcats!). In fact, BU really needs to basically win the rest of their games this season in order to reasonably have a good shot at third place in Hockey East/making the NCAA tournament without having to win the Hockey East tournament. 

UMass-Amherst is fighting for their own playoff dreams right now as well. The Minutemen currently sit in 7th place, two points ahead of 8th place Vermont and 3 points ahead of 9th place Providence College. If they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they need to get hot real quick and win some games against a whole bunch of higher ranked teams (Merrimack, BU, etc.). Don't be surprised if UMass really comes out firing tonight, with a chance to split their season series with us and pick up an all important two points in the playoff race.

In a funny bit of coincidence, both teams are being led by a Pereira. BU has Joe (older brother) and UMass has Mike (younger brother). Each Pereira is leading their team in goal scoring - Joe with 12 and Mike with 10. If you're wondering, and you probably weren't, those 12 goals match Joe's total output in his first three seasons with the Terriers. Not sure what to account for his recent goal scoring touch, but I have to say I like it.

Anyways, I predict a BU win in this one. They have already beaten and tied this same UMass team, and BC/Merrimack completely owned both UMass goaltenders last weekend - my guess is their confidence might be a touch low.

Score: BU 5 - UMass 2

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Horton, B's Pound Montreal

Entering last night's contest with Montreal, the Boston Bruins were 0-3 against their Northeast Division rivals thus far this season.

Make that 1-3.

The Bruins put 8 goals and 85 penalty minutes on the board against their conference rivals and walked away with an 8-6 victory in a wild game at the TD Garden. Nathan Horton had 5 points (1g, 4a) and both Lucic and Michael Ryder had 2 goals to lead the Bruins.

The game got off to a relatively calm start, with the Canadiens and Bruins going back and forth equally until the Bruins put two goals on the board in 12 seconds. The first was the result of a beautiful Recchi to Bergeron to Marchand play, and the second was an impressive mid-air snipe from just outside the crease by Dennis Seidenberg. The play picked up in the second period, as the Canadiens scored two quick goals to tie the game before Adam McQuaid but the B's back up on top with his first goal of the year.

The two teams then went back and forth in this same manner for much of the rest of the game - Ryder and Lucic scored back to back goals for the Bruins before Montreal got another to put the game at 5-4. Milan Lucic and Michael Ryder each scored again for Boston, with Nathan Horton capping off the scoring with an absolute rocket that rang the post and dove into the net.

The real story of the night, however, was the fighting. The game itself was a rough and tumble sort of contest, with heavy hits being handed out left and right. I was especially impressed with Nathan Horton, who was absolutely giving it to that punk P.K. Subban all night. Too bad Subban was too scared to fight, it would have been a good one for sure. I remarked to QuackQuack, while watching the end of the game, that what made the Bruins so special was that every single guy on the squad would drop the gloves for his teammates. That fact was clearly evident in the fights of David Krejci and goalie Tim Thomas, both guys who literally never fight yet engaged last night. I think you would be hard pressed to find another team in the NHL who could claim this, with the exception of maybe the Flyers (who have always been a little nuts).

Regardless, the Bruins are back in action on Friday night against the Red Wings in an original 6 battle. For now, I leave you with some hard hitting action from back in the day...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rock Chalk Terrier: Basketball Beanpot?

In the immortal words of Indians Red Sox Dodgers Rays Outfielder Manny Ramirez, I'm happy to be back, I'm here to play. After a semester student teaching I'm ready to jump back into the fray of blogging BU and Boston sports by introducing what I hope to keep a regular feature on the blog: Rock Chalk Terrier, featuring discussion of our dearly beloved BU men's basketball team, which I eventually plan to spin off into game previews and recaps.

Imagine my surprise Monday when I read a piece in the Boston Herald online that I actually did not think was stupid. (Unsurprisingly it was not the product of Dennis or Callahan or whichever one of WEEI's morning monkeys writes there) This article posited the idea of a Basketball Beanpot tournament similar to the one played among the Boston hockey schools every February. In addition to BU, BC, Harvard and Northeastern, the tournament could potentially include other Massachusetts D1 programs UMass and Holy Cross, both schools with substantial tradition in the sport.

The coaches at the schools all seem to think this is a great idea, but simply a logistical issue that needs to be solved as far as how to pull it off. At least initially I feel that the best approach the schools should take toward this tournament would be to take a similar approach to how the Philadelphia Big 5 is run. those 5 schools (La Salle, Penn, 'Nova, St. Joe's and Temple) All play one another each year on their home courts and the team with the best record in those games against each other is declared champion. I think this would be fine in the case of this tournament as well since these teams typically play 3 or so games a year against other Beanpot schools in their non-conference schedule. Playing everyone every year would build rivalries at all of these schools, which can in the long run give fans a compelling reason to come out to the games. Plus the teams haven't been as unbalanced against each other recently as you might think given their vast differences in conference prestige (ACC vs. A-10 vs. CAA vs. Ivy League vs. AEast); BU is 3-5 against Beanpot schools since the 2008-09 season, Northeastern is 3-3, Holy Cross is 1-8 (but 9-3 in the 4 years before), UMass and BC are 4-3 and surprisingly enough, Harvard is 7-2 (they'd have been this and least year's champs, BU and NU would've tied for 2008-09). Given this kind of parity I think it'd make sense to pull the trigger on making it happen. ARE YOU LISTENING, COACHES?

Here's who would've won the last few years (Based on best record, which admittedly is skewed since BC often doesn't play the lower level schools like BU, Northeastern and Holy Cross)
2010-11: Harvard (2-0)-2
2009-10: Harvard (3-0)-1
2008-09: BU-1 & Northeastern-1 (2-1)
2007-08: Holy Cross (2-0)-2
2006-07: BC (2-0)-5
2005-06: BC (3-0)-4
2004-05: BC (3-0)-3
2003-04: BC (4-0)-2
2002-03: Holy Cross (2-0)-1
2001-02: BC (3-0)-1

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yip Yip Yip's first pro fight

I had to blog former Terrier Brandon Yip's first career fight in the NHL, especially the day before the Beanpot - a tournament in which Yip was so good (3 Beanpot Titles).

Now here are a couple Gryba fights from the past couple months to get the juices flowing on this boring day before the Beanpot.

-I have no clue what this little guy thought he was doing by fighting Gryba here but you can tell by the refs reaction they knew it was going to get ugly if they didn't stop it.

-Down goes Kurtz! That is what you get for taking a cheap shot while Gryba is taking his helmet off. You knew as soon as the jersey got taken off this one was over.

59th Annual Beanpot - Preview

Since the Beanpot starts tomorrow, and I've got nothing better to do this afternoon (I'm told there's a football game on...I thought the season ended once the Patriots went 14-2, no?), I figured I'd bring you guys a quick preview of the 59th Annual Beanpot...

First Round
Boston University vs. Boston College
It's the first round matchup that nobody wants to see. BC-BU is easily the most storied college hockey rivalry east of Michigan, and nobody likes seeing these two teams play before the Championship. However, it has to happen every three years, so there you go. BC comes into this game flying high: number one in the country, winners of 11 of their last 12 games, and has beaten BU all three times they've met this season. BU comes in a little quieter: undefeated in their last 4 games (3-0-1), ranked 14th in the country, but have proven to be slightly unpredictable some nights. Both teams feature stellar goaltenders: BC's John Muse and BU's Kieran Millan have been two of the best in the country this semester. Both teams feature talented penalty killing squads (BC is 1 in the nation in PK, BU is 10). I personally think that this game will be somewhat of a defensive battle, as BU certainly does not want to get blown out and BC by habit will limit BU's scoring chances. Overall, I see BU getting the edge - I'm pretty sure neither team has ever swept an entire season against the other, and I'd like to see that trend continue. Plus, Millan's been hot lately, and BU has to have a major chip on their shoulder after getting beaten 3 times straight by these guys.
The Pick: BU 4 - BC 3

Harvard vs. Northeastern
Ahhh yes, the clash of the welterweights. While BC and BU fans hate matching up in the first round, both of these teams must love it - it means at least one of them is advancing to the championship game.
This season has been tough on both teams - but especially Harvard. The Crimson have a less than impressive 4-17-0 record this season (3-13-0 in conference), and are sitting next to last in the ECAC. Certainly not the season they expected, but it's what happens when some of your best players (Louis LeBlanc comes to mind) jump ship after their freshmen year. Northeastern is in a rebuilding year of its own, having lost some great players in the past two years. They sit 8-11-6 overall (7-8-5 in HE), but are somehow finding a way to battle for a middle of the road playoff spot. More likely than not it's because of the play of goaltender Chris Rawlings, a sophomore who all BU fans remember from his out of this world play at Matthews last season. In the end, I think Northeastern wins this one for sure. Not because they are playing so great, but mostly because Harvard is plain awful.

The Pick: Northeastern 4 - Harvard 2

That's all I have for you right now. Check back here next weekend for a preview of the Championship and Consolation games. Until then, GO TERRIERS!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BU, Defensemen Take Down Lowell in Beanpot Tune-Up

It was the quintessential trap game. Last place UMass-Lowell coming to town three days before the Beanpot, a little less than a week after BU came out of Maine with an impressive 3 points. And according to Coach Parker, the team's practice on Thursday gave little reason to assume this wouldn't be a scary trap game: "We just had the worst practice of the year," Parker told the Boston Hockey Blog. "I'm real concerned about where our heads are at" (to see the full article, click the link above).

And for the first period against ULowell last night, Parker's fears were realized. Lowell hit a couple of posts, and the only real good chance BU had was a Coyle to Chiasson rush that resulted in a Marc Boulanger save. If not for Kieran Millan in the first period, BU is probably down 1 or 2-0 instead of the 0-0 tie it actually was. The Terriers found their sea-legs in the second period, luckily, and put up 2 goals in a matter of 4 minutes. The first resulted from a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play: Joe Pereira hit Chris Connolly with a pass, who then delivered a strike to charging Max Nicastro, who buried the puck top shelf to give BU the 1-0 lead. The second goal came on the powerplay (for a change), when Corey Trivino found Garrett Noonan through all 4 Lowell penalty killers with a pass, and Noonan just tapped it in for his second of the year.

BU expanded their 2-0 lead in the third period, again on the power play. Adam Clendening fired one on net that Pereira deflected past Boulanger for his team leading 12th of the year. On the night, Clendening had two assists and Joey had a goal and an assist. Lowell got the last goal of the game on a 6 on 3 advantage, as they pulled their goalie after Nicastro and Escobedo each committed penalties. The goal ended a 120 minute shutout streak that Kieran had going, dating back to the Maine game last Saturday.

The story of the night, besides the incredible Kieran as always, was the defensemen scoring. Clendening's two assists as well as Noonan and Nicastro's goals were a welcome sight for BU. Nicastro explained it to the Boston Hockey Blog after the game: "Coach Bavis always emphasizes on getting a fourth player on the rush,” Nicastro said. “Tonight we just tried doing that as much as possible. They weren’t back-checking as hard as we thought so we were open most of the time.”

BU is next in action Monday, against BC in the first round of the Beanpot. Here's to hoping we don't go 0-4 against them this year...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bruins Have 4 Fights and 6 Goals, Beat Stars

If you thought that last night's Bruins-Stars contest was going to be like the last time the Stars visited Boston, you were right. The Bruins and Stars had 3 fights in the first 4 seconds, and while they didn't compile 144 penalty minutes like they did back in November of 2008, the game was still plenty physical. The fighting began literally as soon as the puck dropped, as Gregory Campbell challenged that douchebag Steve Ott (paying him back for this hit when Campbell was still a Panther), a player who had delivered cheap hit after cheap hit back in '08 but refused to fight any Bruin who challenged him. Once that fight was over, Shawn Thornton challenged Krystofer Barch to make it two fights in two seconds. After Thornton pummeled Barch, Adam McQuaid literally destroyed Brian Sutherby to round out the early fighting. Three faceoffs, three fights, four seconds - quite a start.

But the Bruins weren't complacent with battering the Stars in fights - as proven by the two goals that followed. Milan Lucic potted his 21st of the year from David Krejci and Nathan Horton, followed by a beautiful Patrice Bergeron goal set up by Mark Recchi and a sick pass from Brad Marchand. Bergeron wasn't done in the first, however, as he scored again just about 8 minutes later to make it 3-0 Bruins (again from the Ageless Wonder and Marchand). Shawn Thornton rounded out the first period for the Bruins by scoring on an absolute bomb that rang the post and into the net. That made it 4 goals and 4 fights (Ference fought Adam Burish in there too) in the first 20 minutes. As Mad Jack Edwards said, "Are you having fun yet?"

After getting embarrassed in the first, the Stars put together a nice little comeback to rain on the Bruins parade as they scored the next 3 goals of the game to make it 4-3. Luckily for the Bruins, Tyler Seguin was looking to break his scoreless streak - and did so on a nice little turnaround snipe that found its way by Lehtonen's pads and into the goal. From there, the Bruins controlled play and capped off their scoring on a Brad Marchand empty netter (assisted by Patty Bergeron and the Ageless Wonder again).

Six goals. 4 fights. 91 combined penalty minutes and a victory for the Bruins. Does it get any better?

Hockey East commisioner suspends Maine forward Diamond

The Hockey East Commissioner has suspended Maine forward Joey Diamond for his actions in last Friday's 4-3 loss to Boston University.

The press release states that: "The suspension resulted from a review of contact with the goaltender in last Friday's game against Boston University at Alfond Arena." Diamond will miss the game tonight at rival UNH.

Here is a story from Boston Hockey Blog about BU's poor practice yesterday and why it concerns Coach Parker with the upcoming trap game tonight against cellar dwelling UMASS-Lowell. Hopefully the Terriers will remain focused for the game tonight before moving their attention to the Beanpot on Monday night against BC.

Here is another link to USCHO's HE picks for the weekend. The "experts" have BU winning tonight and losing to BC on Monday in a close one.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goalie fight...down goes (former Terrier) DiPietro!

-Poor old Rickie DiPietro gets knocked down in one punch here. I love the effort from the former BU Terrier and #1 overall pick. He gets the A for effort and F for execution. It did not take much for the 29 year old in the middle of a 15 year contract with the Islanders to go down. Just another case of Matt Cooke being a douche though. Between him and former Bruin Matt Hunwick, Savard might never came back from his Canadian home.