Sunday, February 19, 2012
Weekend Recap- BU, Lowell split
BU and Lowell came into the weekend only one point apart as they battle for one of the top seeds in Hockey East and leave the weekend in the same place as they split the weekend series with the road team taking each contest. First, Friday BU jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one and continued to score, eventually running Doug Carr on their way to a 7-4 victory and taking a share of first place in Hockey East. The team was lead by the top line which contributed 10 points in the game while the fourth line also contributed 2 goals in a victory that we will gladly take even with some defensive breakdowns throughout the game. Kieran Millan made 38 saves in the victory and the Terriers were sitting in a t-3 in the pairwise rankings. The Terriers took advantage of every opportunity presented to them on Friday night to win in one of the weirdest games I've witnessed. At one point, there were 3 BU defensemen in the box at one time.
Saturday night was quite the opposite where Lowell was the one taking advantage of every opportunity despite being outplayed most of the time by a determined Terrier effort. Lowell scored first after BU dominated play and then took the lead for good late in the 2nd 2-1 when they scored a power play goal during a 5 minute powerplay, the result of a Sahir Gill 5 minute major penalty for hitting from behind. BU eventually went down 3-1 on another shot from the point and BU couldn't cash in on their ample opportunities in the 3rd. Lowell would win the game 4-2. It was just one of those nights where you play well but can't put the puck in the net. There are some positives to draw from the game and certainly a performance to build off of as they head up to Vermont for 2 next weekend.
Those 2 games next weekend are must win games in the standings to stay in the ideal 1-3 seeds and home ice. The top 4 seeds will have home ice in the HE Quarter final series but ideally, you will want to avoid that 4-5 matchup with Maine,Merrimack, Lowell, or BC. The possible 6-8 seeds of PC, UNH, UMass, and NU are much more appealing for the QF series. BU now sits at 6 in the pairwise rankings and would be a 2 seed if the tournament began today. BU's last 4 regular season games are against the 9th and 10th place teams in the league and really there is no reason all 4 games should be end in wins and 8 points. Here is how the rest of the schedule looks for the top 5 in the conference fighting for home ice
1. BC 23gp - 31 pts @PC, vs PC vs UVM, vs UVM
2. Lowell 23gp -30pts @MC, vs MC, @PC, vs PC
3. BU 23gp- 29pts @UVM,@UVM, vs NU, @ NU
4. Maine 24gp -28pts @NU, @NU, vs UNH
5. Merrimack 23gp - 26pts vs UML, @UML, @UMass, UMass
BU, BC and Maine all have fairly easy schedule avoiding one another which will give them the advantage in the race for top 4 seeds (home ice). Lowell and Merrimack play each other twice next weekend which could knock one out of the race with a sweep or knock them both down with a split. Maine is also in a predicament as everyone else has a game in hand over them so they need to seize every point they can in their remaining three games.