Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weekend Preview: BU Hockey vs Bankrup...I mean Michigan and Michigan State

This weekend #12 ranked BU hockey will host Michigan State and Michigan for a pair of out of conference games at Agganis Arena. Michigan State comes into this game 1-1 after splitting a pair with UMass last weekend. Michigan comes into this game with a 1-2 record after splitting with UNH at home last weekend. They lost game 1 5-1 before bouncing back to win 2-1 in the game Saturday night.

These are two games that BU should expect to win and dictate the pace of the game. Michigan State struggles defensively where BU's deep forwards should have a field day against a defensive corps who gave up not 1 but 2 Top 5 plays of the week to UMass last weekend. This year's UMass team certainly isn't the '93 Maine team either so there should be plenty of opportunities for BU's forwards to take over this game.  Up front they do have some guys who BU will have to pay attention to in Matt Berry(4-2-6), Michael Ferrantino(1-3-4), and Mackenzie MacEachern(1-3-4). They all torched UMass' D last weekend and will need to be kept in check to avoid the game from turning into a shootout. Sparty has Jake Hildenbrad as their main goalie again this year and he is nothing to be afraid of. Michigan State beat BU 2-1 in a game in East Lansing last season but official prediction here is 6-2 BU. Eichel is the King Xerxes to Sparta's 300 except now they only have 6 so they have no shot.

Michigan has struggled so far this season with losses to UNH and Ferris State already in the books. This team can gel at any moment and go on a tear as they are loaded with talent per usual for Michigan hockey. They are lead up front by Tyler Motte, JT Compher and Andrew Copp among others. Defensively, they have the youngest defenseman in college hockey in Zach Werenski who is highly touted for the coming 2015 NHL draft. It will certainly be fun to watch him go up against Eichel as both are underaged highly regard freshmen this season.  BU wins this one 5-3.

David Quinn told Bernie Corbett on Inside Terrier Hockey that Matt O'Connor practiced this week. This means that he could play this weekend if all goes well this week but I wouldn't be surprised either if Connor LaCouvee gets both starts to give OC more time to heal. Overall thoughts heading into the weekend is that the Hohmann-Baillargeon- Erod line could have a huge weekend. Everyone is talking about the OREO(O'Regan-Eichel-Oksanen) line and rightfully so but that second line is going to sneak up on a lot of teams that are geared up to try to stop that first line. The third line of Olsson-Lane-Greer showed its potential during the UMass game with two goals. The fourth line of Phelps- Roberto-JJP is too talented to stay off the score sheet much longer as well.

5 Fun facts for the weekend:

1. BU has scored 8 goals in it's one regular season game this year. Michigan has scored 6 goals in 3 regular season games. Michigan State has scored 8 goals in 2 regular season games. Advantage BU.

2. Michigan's unemployment rate is 7.2%. The national average is 5.9%. Massachusetts is 5.6%. Advantage BU.

3.  Michigan beat the U-18's 7-4 team earlier this month. BU beat the same team 6-4 last weekend but looked better doing it. Advantage BU.

4. Michigan State split with UMass last weekend in a 2 game series at home. BU beat UMass 8-1 on the road on October 10th. Advantage BU

5. Michigan State plays in a dungeon called Munn Arena. BU plays in a palace called Agganis Arena. Advantage BU

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