Thursday, October 11, 2012
Preview Week 1 PC @BU, NCAA screws Oksanen
Here we go for the first game of the regular season this year. First off, we have some negative news. According to multiple sources including the Boston Hockey Blog, Finnish freshman dman Ahti Oksanen has been suspended or forced to "sit out" two games for playing two games with a professional player while in Finland. He was never paid but his teammate was so he is forced to sit out. The rule is one of the many bullshit rules the NCAA decided to enforce on its players. They haven't had a good week as the NCAA also suspended incoming freshman forward Nic Kerdiles of Wisconsin for interactions with an agent. Kerdiles was suspended for the year however and is most likely heading for the CHL even though he wants to play college hockey, which is just a shame. The NCAA sucks and needs to get it together before the product on the ice is diminished and disrupted more.
Now, on to the game. BU opens the regular season Saturday night at home against Providence College. Providence finished last season 14-20-4 (10-14-3). They are replacing their goaltender as is BU. PC landed big time recruit Jon Gillies after he decomitted from Northeastern. Gillies will be the starter right away. Their leading returning forwards are Ross Mauremann(10-15), Derek Army(11-11-22), and Tim Schaller. Schaller(14-7-21) led the team in points per game. The defensive corps is lead by senior captain Myles Harvery (7-10-17). Second year coach Nate Leahman has really changed the culture down in PC and it is certainly a program heading in the right direction.
The key to this game, however, is how BU plays. If BU plays a "thorough game of hockey", then PC will not have a chance on Saturday night. Either Sean Maguire or Matt O'Connor will get the start in net and hopefully will avoid any opening night jitters so one of them can pick up their first victory as a collegiate athlete. The keys to BU offensively are Matt Nieto, Sahir Gill and Wade Megan. Other guys will need to step up as well but Nieto and Megan are going to be counted on for a good amount of points this season as the top two left wings in this lineup. BU last year was very very good when Gill recorded a point(18-1-3 or something like that) so that indicates how much of a role he plays in the BU offense. I would expect to see solid efforts from Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann, and Yasin Cisse as well. I am really high on Cisse this year who finally seems healthy.
Defensively, Garrett Noonan and Alexx Privitera are important running the powerplay along with freshman Matt Grzelcyk. Sean Escobedo, Pat MacGregor and Ryan Ruikka will be responsible for protecting the young goaltender, whoever it is. Here are my projected line for tomorrow night
Megan- O'Regan- Rodrigues
Rosen- Hohmann- Kurker
Lane- Myron- Santana