Thursday, February 16, 2012
There are two giant series in Hockey East this weekend as 2 points separate 1st from 5th place. The first between Merrimack and Newton University (BC) is a key home and home between two clubs that tied in their first meeting back in January. The good news for the rest of the teams in the league especially BU, Lowell and Maine is that one of those teams has to lose both of the games and gives an opportunity to gain ground in the conference standings. Maine hosts UMass for two which smells strongly of a Maine sweep which means UMass will probably split including blowing a 3-0 lead on the second night because "the Zoo" is easily the most consistently inconsistent team in the league. The rest of the Hockey East games don't really mean shit because those teams suck and are more likely listening to their coaches go on a Jim Mora like rant "Playoffs?! We can't even win a damn game".
Now to the important series of the weekend. Lowell(19-8-0) and BU(17-10-1) face off in a battle for first in HE. Lowell took the first game of the series way back in November in what was the low point of the season for Terriers thus far. Lowell pounded BU 7-1 in a game in which Kieran Millan might have had his worst start of his career while two upperclassmen(NiCastro and Gilroy) sat for skipping classes and not a single Terrier really played well besides maybe Cisse who showed some energy in his first game back from a 2 year injury. Leading up to that game we were well less than cordial to our friends up in Lowell. The result was less than the victory so we are going to adapt and adopt a new strategy. It is officially "Pump Lowell's tires week/24 hours"!
Let's talk about how great of a city Lowell is now then we will move on to their hockey team. First, they have their own commuter rail named after them. Ask BC fans, if you have a line named after you, then you are the best! Think about it for a second..Lowell, Providence, Worcester, and BC. All great places to travel to and all have a line on the MBTA as is deserved for such high quality vacation weekend hangout spots. Do you want to hear more great facts about Lowell? Of course you do! Lowell has a 446.8 crime rating index as opposed to 320.9 for the average in the US. Lowell is owning everyone in the crime department for sure! I could go on for years but overall let's just say that Lowell is a great city and one of my favorite places to spend a Friday night in February for sure.
Now on to the team. Lowell just has a great a hockey team. They lead Hockey East by 1 whole point despite playing the least amount of TUCs in the conference meaning they have played the easiest schedule thus far but don't hold that against them. They can only win the games on the schedule. Doug Carr is having one of the best seasons by a Lowell goalie ever and seems to have a shutout a weekend. They will have the best freshman in the league with Scott Wilson and his 28 pts so far this season. They have beaten great teams like RPI and UCONN out of conference in a vigorous non-conference schedule that will surely bode well for them come NCAA tournament time. Also, their great fan blog up in Lowell wrote a great preview on the game with the perfect title " The Lowell River Hawks vs the Merrimack Warriors"...um I think they are confused to who they are playing. Apparently Chiasson is leading Merrimack in scoring. Anyway if you look past that "small" blemish, then check out their summary of our last three games where we played BC, UMass and Northeastern..I guess Northeastern and Harvard are the same now, which is actually an insult to Harvard. Don't call them the last place team in the Beanpot like that.
In non "Tire pumping" news, Yasin Cisse will be back in the lineup for BU with Coach Parker still unsure of who he will sit according to Boston Hockey Blog. This weekend proving a pivotal point in the season for the Terriers where they will finish in the race for home ice in Hockey East and the pairwise rankings which determine the NCAA seedings. They have bounced back everytime from adversity and I would expect nothing less this weekend where you have to split in a worst-case scenario. I would expect big performances from Kieran Millan and the rest of the team to bounce back from Monday's well you all know what happened. Go BU and Lowell sucks...I mean they are nice people and I can't wait to travel up there Friday night!