Wednesday, December 5, 2012

UNH Preview- Taking on #1 Round 4

For the fourth time this season, BU will take take on the #1 team in the country. This is the first time that it will not be Boston College though. Thanks to a Terrier win over BC on Friday, UNH jumped BC in the polls this week and is the new #1 in the weekly polls. This is a typical UNH start where they race out of the gate and will most likely suck by February and March. That is just how Umile runs things up there in New Hampshire.

They do have the stats to back up the #1 ranking so far this season. They have beaten BU twice already by scores of 4-1 and 3-1. The second game was very close after BU came out flat in the first and were down 2-0 quickly. They were only able to put one past UNH goalie Casey Desmith the rest of the game and UNH added an empty netter for a 3-1 win.  UNH's only loss of the season came at UMass on an overtime powerplay goal. This game is critical for BU to stay in the hunt for the Hockey East regular season title as the first half of the season concludes. You simply can't get swept by any team in conference, especially all in one half of a season.

UNH leads the conference in scoring at 3.71 goals/game and also leads in goals against/game at 1.71. I would say that is a pretty good trend for success. They also have a 96% penalty kill this year and are a +10 on special teams which is quite significant. They have only allowed 5 goals all year in the third period or overtime which is half the amount of the next best team. They jump out to leads and play tough defense to close teams out. The only exception to this was @Colorado College where they blew a 4-0 lead to eventually tie 4-4. They bounced back the next night with a comeback 6-4 win over Denver.  Their only other tie was a 0-0 tie with Northeastern back in October when Northeastern was playing decent.  UNH forward Kevin Goumas(7-16-23) leads the league with 23 pts in 14 games played. He is easily their leading scorer this year but fellow forwards Austin Block(9-3-12) and Grayson Dowling(7-6-13) have put up decent numbers along with dman Trevor van Reimsdyk(5-8-13). DeSmith has also posted stupid numbers in goal with a .943, 1.72 GAA line. This is a tough team to beat especially in Durham.

BU must get the first goal and play from the lead against this team as they are very difficult to beat coming from behind(unless you're Colorado College). The first goal and coming out to a good start is key to this game. The first period will tell the story as BU cannot be trailing after 1 period or it will be a tough climb back into the game if DeSmith is on. UNH is coming a fresh sweep of Lowell this past weekend. BU will need to bring the intensity and execution they brought Friday night against BC. You need to limit UNH to 1 or 2 goals to win the game in my opinion. That will fall on whichever goalie gets the start tomorrow night. The goalies are both going to get a game this weekend, that is for sure. This is as big of a game that you could really face in the first half outside of a BC game.  I expect a big game from the upperclassmen on this team and a full 60 minute effort with good execution. This team hasn't executed the way it can against UNH yet this season and if it does, they win the game tomorrow night. More importantly, I don't want to have to listen to toothless hicks chirp me about their #1 ranking in December. That's just unbearable. Go BU!

Projected lines
Megan- Hohmann- Rodrigues
Nieto- O'Regan- Gill
Lane- Myron- Kurker
Moran- Rosen- Santana

Escobedo- Privitera
Noonan- MacGregor


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