Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekend Preview- BU prepares for Lowell, Harvard

The BU Terriers prepare for a pair of games this weekend against in-state opponents.  Tonight, the Terriers take on the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks at Agganis Arena. BU dropped a 3-1 contest in late January at the Tsongas Center in beautiful Lowell. The biggest key to success tonight is getting an early lead. Lowell has had trouble scoring at times this season so if you can get out to a lead, it makes them take more chances they normally would.  Any fan of hockey in general should root for BU to get out to a lead as well or for the game to remain tied because as soon as Lowell gets a lead, everyone know what they will do. Clog up the defensive zone and play the most boring type of hockey known to man. The Terriers need to prevent an early Lowell lead and the best way to do that is to take the pressure off of Matt O'Connor and take it to Lowell.

Lowell is coming off a sweep of Merrimack which surprised approximately 0 people because Lowell plays Merrimack's style of play, but they're a lot better at it and have better players for the system. BU needs to be aggressive with Lowell as they were only able to get 12 shots on goal in the last meeting leaving the team frustrated throughout the matchup. I look for the keys to be Evan Rodrigues on that top line as he can change a game with his shot and Cason Hohmann on the second as he has shown the ability to beat Lowell's D in the past(He hit a crossbar late in the last matchup). The third line of Kelley-Moran-Duane was the one who put a puck in the net earlier this season versus Lowell and if they can do that again, then BU will be in good shape to get points from this conference matchup.

BU plays Harvard Monday in the Beanpot consolation game. Harvard got beaten 6-0 by Northeastern in the first round and have been in a nosedive as of late. There are rumors about coach Ted Donato's job security and uncertainty around the program. With that being said, BU wants to continue to play better and improve as they enter the stretch run for the Hockey East playoffs. BU has already dropped a contest to Harvard this season and cannot afford to drop another. Containing Jimmy Vesey should be priority #1 for the Terriers as he always seems to find a way to contribute when the two teams meet up. This game will be a big tell to see how far BU has come since the beginning of the semester.

In another Beanpot related note, director of official Dan Schachte called Coach Quinn on Tuesday(as reported by the Boston Hockey Blog) to inform him that the Doyle Somerby hitting from behind major in the Beanpot first round matchup against BC was the incorrect call. Schachte said that BC's Kevin Hayes should have been penalized for diving. This was blatantly obvious but I am surprised that Hockey East would admit the error. BC fans have predictably gone silent about the incident after calling for suspensions at the time. I would be quiet too if my "legendary" coach was still resorting to teaching his players to dive. Pretty pathetic move but hey this is the same coach who has covered up felonies('07 Ice Breaker) in the past so no real surprise here. The over/under on reporters that ask York's take on the Hayes dive is set at 0.5 because why ask him the hard questions when you can just drool over Gaudreau again?

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