Thursday, November 8, 2012

Merrihack Preview

The #11 BU Terrier hockey team will travel to North Andover this Friday night to take on the 4-3-1(3-1-1)Merrimack Warriors. Merrimack currently sits tied for 2nd in the conference with 7pts in 5 games played. BU sits 4th with 6pts in 4 games played. The two teams battled out all 3 games last season with BU taking 2 of the 3 games, including the last 2. This will be a big test for a young BU team as it would be easy to overlook this game with a certain game on Sunday looming in the near future. We're not blogging about that game until this one is over though and I don't see any reason to overlook Merrimack, who is coming off a sweep of Northeastern and is as hot as they have been all season.

Merrimack has had a good amount of turnover since last season especially at goalie where sophomore Rasmus Tirronen and junior Sam Marrotta have split starts. Marrotta has put up better numbers(3-1-0, .927, 2.26 GAA) to date but Tirronen(1-2-1, .888, 3.23 GAA) has been much better in his last 2 starts. This is most likely due to shaking off some rust after being suspended for most of last season for NCAA regulations.  They are lead offensively by junior Mike Collins who has posted a 5-7-12 line in 8 games thus far and has put the Merrimack offense on his back. Junior d-man Jordan Heywood and sophomore Josh Myers have put up 8 (4-4) and 7 (3-4) points respectively. The offense depends on Collins though. He leads the league in scoring by 3 points over the nearest competitor.  Forward Justin Hussar is their leading freshman scorer with a 1-3-4 line thus far.

This game will come down to BU's execution level. The Terriers will have more talent on the ice than Merrimack at almost all times but Merrimack teams have always worked hard to get goals and block shots of their opponets. Lawler is never an easy place to win(not because of the crowd) and will be another strong road test for the Terriers. They will have only played 2 of their first 7 games at home after this contest and need to continue to play how they played in the third against North Dakota Saturday in Grand Forks. Coach Parker has not named a goalie for the weekend yet but you would have to guess that Maguire and O Connor get a start this weekend. It will be interesting to see who gets which game but I would have to guess OC gets the unspoken game on Sunday and Maguire gets the start tomorrow night at Merrimack.

It will be important that the freshmen continue to develop and put up points. This is even more critical on the third and fourth lines where Matt Lane put up the first goal of the year from that line in Saturday's win. I would expect Yasin Cisse, Wes Myron, and Lane to continue to develop as a line as the season goes on. The fourth line seems like it will be continue to be a rotation of Ben Rosen, Ryan Santana, Mike Moran, and Sam Kurker. If you can get some scoring out of that line as well, especially Kurker that would be a big boost for the offense.

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