Sunday, January 10, 2016

The BU wagon rolls along: sweep pair with Harvard and UMass

The BU Terriers swept their first two games of the second half of the season with 6-5 and 7-2 wins over Harvard and UMass. The first period of the Harvard game was their worst period of hockey this season but they got some very good play out of senior goalie Sean Maguire to keep the deficit to 1-0. The Terriers would begin to play better in the second as they got two goals from senior Matt Lane but unfortunately they were matched by two goals from Harvard's Sean Malone. The Terriers were forced to fight back from two separate two goal deficits in the third period but they found a way to continue to battle and fight back. The Terriers scored three goals in just over two minutes late in the third to come out a 6-5 victor against another top ECAC team on the road. Their last win of the first semester was a road win at Quinnipiac who is still the #1 team in the country with their only loss coming to BU.

This was a comeback and win fueled by seniors as all of the goals were scored by seniors. This is what the team needed as they had four underclassmen returning from Finland in the 24 hours leading up to the game as they returned from World Juniors. They also had a recent new addition to the team making his collegiate debut in Oskar Andren. Andren played in both games this weekend and was productive in both. He has a similar style and game to Chase Phelps who happens to be playing on Andren's opposite wing currently.  The seniors on this team continue to carry the team in big moments which is what all successful teams need to have. The Terriers had it last year with Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues and they certainly are getting it again this year.

The Terriers then beat UMass like a drum Saturday night to a 7-2 final. The game was close through two periods but it seemed like a matter of time before BU would pull away partially because of the way the game was going and partially because it's UMass playing at Agganis. The Terriers offense is certainly clicking on all cylinders right now with Matt Grzelcyk scoring his first collegiate hattrick Saturday night to make it 4 goals in two games this weekend. They are definitely a different team with him in the lineup as now rank tied for 3rd in Hockey East with 3.55 goals per game. They certainly aren't going to get 6.5 goals a game the whole second half but it is a great start to the half and encouraging for the rest of the season.

The Terrier return to action this weekend against their rival from down the street for a home and home. Friday's game is out in the suburbs in Chestnut Hill while Saturday's game is back at Agganis Arena. Both game should be high energy as they always are in this rivalry. BC is coming off a win and a tie over Providence which was their first win over a top 16 pairwise team so far this year. They are currently fighting through some injuries as goalie Thatcher Demko is suffering from a concussion. Even if Demko doesn't play both games will be close contests as always but it is crazy to not be confident as a Terrier fan with the way they have played against as strong of a schedule as they have played. They have played a much tougher schedule than BC and also the rest of Hockey East.

At this point in the season you can begin to look at the HE standings more closely as well as the pairwise rankings and things are looking good for the Terriers who sit fourth in Hockey East and 9th overall in the Pairwise. BU is ranked second out of HE teams in the Pairwise and is playing the best out of any team if not the country right now. Even when they play terrible for periods of time, they find ways to win games. Media members and national polls may put teams like BC or Lowell ahead of BU still based on talent or whatever incorrect logic they may apply to their voting theory but those teams have one win each against tournament teams and have done nothing to convince me that they are as good as BU. That's not bias. That's just a fact. When Lowell and BC beat more than one team that would be in the NCAA tournament as of today then I will be the first twentieth person to give them credit for finally getting a good win.

No comments:

Post a Comment