Thursday, December 27, 2012

Denver Preview

The 10-5-0 BU Terriers starts off the second half against the 9-6-3 Denver Pioneers. Denver has plenty of talent but has struggled at the end of the first half. They are winless since a sweep of Colorado College in mid November. This game has huge pairwise implications for both teams and will have an impact where both teams are placed in the NCAA tournament and might decided if one makes the tournament at all.

Denver has been ranked as highly in the USCHO poll this year as #2 and they now sit at #14 due to their winless streak. This bad streak does not mean they have a bad team though. They still 2nd in the WCHA and have two forwards with atleast 18 points in 18 GP.  They also have 3 goalies/sieves that they trust to win games(though they haven't lately) in Juho Olkinuora(from Finland but nowhere near as cool as Ahti), Sam Brittain, and Adam Murray. Their scoring is lead by forwards Nick Shore(7-13-20) and Chris Knowlton(10-8-18). Their third leading scorer is dman Joey LaLeggia(7-9-16). They will be a tough test as Denver jumped out to a 4-0 lead on UNH earlier this year before blowing the lead to a 6-4 defeat. This will be a tough test without Matt Grzelcyk who is away at the WJC in Russia representing his country. Grezlyck is returning from Russia as he was the final cut for the USA squad. He obviously has a long flight ahead of him but if he can get to Denver sometime on Friday, don't rule out him playing Saturday night. He will be back for the game against RPI on 1/4 now as a result of this.

The game will be picked up by NESN and begins at 9:07 eastern time. Tune in for the broadcast from ROOT sports which will most likely be extremely western-biased and just suck all around but it is better than not watching it at all.  Should be another case where East>West and  Boston>everywhere else. BU beat Denver 4-3 in last year's meeting at Agganis Arena. I'm predicting a BU 4-2 win with goals from Nieto, Megan, Noonan and Oksanen.

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