Thursday, January 23, 2014

UVM Preview: They came to play hockey...and then they got high

The BU Terriers host the UVM Catamounts for two games this weekend at Agganis Arena. BU looks to get back on track and pick up some much needed Hockey East points while UVM does the same. UVM is coming off a split last weekend with Northeastern at Matthews Arena. The Catamounts are 2-2-2 in their last 6 and are fighting for an at-large berth in the pairwise rankings. They are lead offensively by  forwards senior Chris McCarthy(11-14-25) and freshman Mario"I look like I need to shower" Puskarich(10-12-22) along with defenseman Chris Paliotta(3-14-17). They also have two capable goaltenders as freshman Mike Santaguida and sophomore Brady Hoffmann both post save percentages north of .915 and GAA sub 2.4.The Terriers took 2 out of 3 matchups from the Catamounts last season.

The biggest key for the Terriers success this weekend is health. They need Evan Rodrigues and Jake Moscatel to get back in the lineup after both suffered injuries on 1/4 at Harvard. This is even more important as it is evident that Dillon Lawrence is less than 100% and Coach Quinn alluded to Danny O'Regan being less than 100% as well in press conference after Lowell on Saturday. Ahti Oksanen went down in what looked like an ugly injury at Lowell but there is always a chance, it could just be a bad bruise or something minor.  I would expect to see both goaltenders get a game this weekend but Maguire could possibly get both starts if he performs well Friday night. He was an absolute stud in net last weekend and will be huge for this team going forward if he continues that play.

Regardless of the injuries, the Terriers need to perform as they did in the first and third at BC. The performance at Lowell wasn't as bad as indicated by some media members. They need to play with that physical edge that they came out with vs BC. It doesn't matter if they have 12 or 22 healthy skaters, they aren't going to win games unless they play with that physical edge. The keys this weekend are the freshmen. Since they make up over 50% of the healthy skaters, they need to contribute. Nick Roberto, Robbie Baillargeon, Brendan Collier and others up front are crucial to success this weekend as they fill top 6 roles. While on defense, freshman Doyle Somerby may be your #2 dman behind captain Garrett Noonan. He needs to be able to log big time minutes and limit those mistakes while making clean break out passes.

The other big factor at play here is how high UVM is when they play these games. It's reported that 44% of UVM students smoke weed so I am going to assume 44% of the team will be high during the games. I don't care if they are on the bubble for the NCAA tournament or not, if they look disinterested one night, we will all know why.

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