Monday, February 27, 2012

BU sweeps UVM, back on track

The BU Terriers improved to 9-0 on the road in 2012 with a pair of wins, 5-0 on Friday and 3-2 OT win Saturday at the University of Vermont. I made the trip up to Burlington for the first time so you all are lucky enough to get a first hand recap of both games. First, on Friday night BU came out flying despite all the haters out there all of last week. The team didn't let the PR problems off the ice affect them on the ice as they beat Vermont 5-0. They broke out after a long review of their first goal which was a wrist shot that hit off a UVM d-man's leg past Madore barely. The review by my favorite referee Bunyon took several minutes but it was eventually ruled a goal. In Bunyon's defense, I was right on the goal line and couldn't tell if the puck fully crossed the line. It apparently was very close as it took the referees several minutes to figure out the call. These reviews make you appreciate the NHL system that much more where one phone call is the whole review. That was Escobedo's first goal of the season. BU poured it on from there as Cason Hohmann scored on a great low wrister that beat Madore 5-hole due to a great screen by Justin Courtnall. Escobedo scored his second of the game during a 5 minute powerplay on a questionable call on UVM. Either way, we will take the call as it put BU up 3-0 heading into the third. Wade Megan added a goal in the third and Courtnall made a great move to fool Madore on a break away. It was great to not only win easily, but also get scoring from some from unusual places. Sahir Gill and Ryan Ruikka added 2 assists each and BU sailed to a win behind senior Grant Rollheiser who made 18 saves for his second career shutout, his first of this season. Rollheiser looked solid throughout the game and had great rebound control and I wouldn't be surprised to see him this Friday on Senior night at Agganis Arena. The highlights from Friday night are below.

On Saturday night, it was a total different hockey game. Kieran Millan was in net for BU and he let in a soft goal early when Connor Brickley beat him five hole. UVM stretched the lead on a powerplay goal by Sebastian Stalberg who beat the whole Terrier defense backdoor. UVM would then play well to finish out the period and keep the 2 goal lead. In the second, the only scoring was Sahir Gill on a spectacular diving goal on the pass from Wade Megan. Gill layed out full extension and pushed the puck past Madore, who played well in his senior night. BU continued to buzz and had a goal called back after it was ruled that a rebound was kicked in the net which was a questionable call at best since it seemed the puck just came out of a scrum in front of the net. I never got a chance to see the replay so maybe I was wrong, but that is highly unlikely. The Terriers continued to play hard into the 3rd but couldn't get one past Madore until the final 2 minutes when Millan was pulled for a 6th skater and Wade Megan banged home a greasy, rebound goal which is what he does best for this team. The goal was Megan's 17th of the year and sent the game to OT even as Sahir Gill hit the post in the waning seconds of regulation. BU kept the momentum going into OT and crushed the UVM crowd's spirit as freshman Alexx Privitera sent a low slapper 5 hole on Madore and completed the gutsy comeback.

This team showed some heart this weekend taking 4 points with all the controversy heading into the weekend including the tough comeback on Senior night. Privitera played outstanding in his first games back from a broke wrist and showed some guts playing through some pain after he blocked a shot on Saturday night. This team continues to battler through adversity and prove they have what it takes to win games. They return home Friday for the final weekend of the regular season for a home and home with Northeastern. I'll get to that tomorrow or Wed though. I will leave you with the updated standings and playoff picture here. BU has clinched the 3rd seed in the conference at worst case and can still win the regular season title with a little help from UVM this weekend. BU needs to gain 2 points on BC this weekend to win the regular season title. BU also reached the 20 win plateau for the first time since 08-09 and are currently sitting 4th in all three polls(Pairwise, USCHO, and USA Today). Sean Escobedo, Sahir Gill, Grant Rollheiser, and Alexx Privitera were all named Hockey East Top Performers which is great to see heading into the playoffs. Alex Chiasson was also recognized for playing his 100th game as a Terrier. Chiasson seems to be the emotional leader of the team right now in what could be his last season if he turns pro, which seems likely at this point. He set up the game-tying goal Saturday night so be sure to recognize Chiasson on senior night as well as he is also most likely playing his last home regular season game for the Terriers.

P.S. if you're not going to the game Friday night for the return of Vinny Sap to Agganis and Senior night then you have no life and no friends. That is all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Polls: Where Do We Go From Here?

New national polls came out yesterday and after the Terriers' went 1-2 against top 5 opposition this past week, they fell in the polls as expected. They now sit at #5 nationally in the USCHO poll and #6 in the USA Today poll. They also sit #6 in the Pairwise rankings, which determine the field for the NCAA tournament. The rest of the top 10 is summed up below.

1. Ferris State- Ferris stays #1 for the second straight off a weekend sweep
2. BC - Newton University is on a hot streak, winning 7 straight hopefully right in time to fizzle out for the post-season
3. Michigan- Michigan has been a different club in the second half climbing from the land of the unranked to #3 is quite the feat.
4. Minnesota-Duluth- The defending champs seem ready to give the NCAA tourny another strong run
5/6. BU
6/5. Minnesota
7. Lowell- They are hanging around in the top 10 and still in serious contention to win the regular season league title
8. Union
9/10. Denver
10/11. Maine- Maine is still one of the hottest teams in the country despite only splitting with UMass at home this weekend
11/9. Cornell
12. Merrimack- Merrimack can't seem to be able to find the back of the net right now but I just can't imagine this team not making the NCAA's.  Right now they seem destined for a big time HE QF matchup at Maine, which will be no easy task.

BU lost another player from the roster this week as junior d-man Max Nicastro was suspended after being accused of sexual assault over the weekend. You can follow Boston Hockey Blog for all the information on the case. Nicastro will not be back this season which leaves the team with 5 healthy regular d-men once again as they had when Nicastro was injured a few weeks ago for the Merrimack game. That lineup beat one of the top teams in the league 4-1 and that is most certainly the one we will see this weekend at UVM for 2. I would expect the regular 4 forward lines to remain the same with "Bod" Matt Ronan being dressed for both games to provide a breather for the regular 5 d men when needed against the cellar-dwelling Vermont. As for the media circus around BU this week, the best way for a fan to handle it is to focus on the hockey and let the trial play out before coming to any conclusion. Keep supporting the guys that are still playing and have come together as a team this semester and don't let one guy's mistake (who is no loner enrolled in school or an active member of the team) stop you from supporting your school. As always, GO BU!

Monday, February 20, 2012


So, to keep our minds off the mess on Comm Ave, (Read: Max Nicastro and NCAA player entitlement) I decided to write about the most uplifting thing in sports right now Jeremy Lin. If any of you don't pay attention to sports in general or the NBA here is a brief run down on him: Asian-American from NoCal, went to Harvard(not 1st choice), played basketball there all 4 years. Went to play in the NBA but didnt make it in Golden State, came to the Knicks, slept on brothers couch and Landry Fields as well, used as a hope and prayer, worked out, beat Kobe, hit a 3 with little time left to win a game against the Raptors, went on a 7 game winning streak in about less than 2 weeks and beat the defending champs, Dallas Mavs, today. So thats sums up, LINsanity, or To LINfinity and Beyond, Super LINtendo etc (puns (L)intended). A lot is made of this kid (23) cause well he isnt your prototypical NBA player. He's Asian-American that went to Harvard. But what I love about him is he kept getting after his goal/dream and he reached this one, starting for a NBA team, the Knicks, and in the biggest sports market in America, NYC. A lot of people make his case about his race, yes Ill admit this does have a factor in his story but the magical story about how this became captivates me. He singlehandly made the Knicks into a contender. He was the Scotty Pippen to Jordan, Malkin to Crosby, Brady to the Emperor, etc. If anyone of you dont watch the NBA, I highly suggest just follow him through highlights or stats or twitter cause he is a great pleasure to watch and always seems to show up on cue to continue his raise to fame. The true test for Lin will come when Carmelo Anthony returns from his injury. Will Lin, Stat, Chandler, Melo, Fields, Shump, Davis, Jeffries, Smith, Novak, Walker all integrate and play as a solid unit with no egos getting in the way. Only time will tell.

PS- I personally will not comment on the issue for the Mens Ice Hockey team since I follow the team from afar (take a guess from the story). I am pretty sure once more facts come out about the situation the rest of the crew will handle that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend Recap- BU, Lowell split

BU and Lowell came into the weekend only one point apart as they battle for one of the top seeds in Hockey East and leave the weekend in the same place as they split the weekend series with the road team taking each contest. First, Friday BU jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one and continued to score, eventually running Doug Carr on their way to a 7-4 victory and taking a share of first place in Hockey East. The team was lead by the top line which contributed 10 points in the game while the fourth line also contributed 2 goals in a victory that we will gladly take even with some defensive breakdowns throughout the game. Kieran Millan made 38 saves in the victory and the Terriers were sitting in a t-3 in the pairwise rankings. The Terriers took advantage of every opportunity presented to them on Friday night to win in one of the weirdest games I've witnessed. At one point, there were 3 BU defensemen in the box at one time.

Saturday night was quite the opposite where Lowell was the one taking advantage of every opportunity despite being outplayed most of the time by a determined Terrier effort. Lowell scored first after BU dominated play and then took the lead for good late in the 2nd 2-1 when they scored a power play goal during a 5 minute powerplay, the result of a Sahir Gill 5 minute major penalty for hitting from behind. BU eventually went down 3-1 on another shot from the point and BU couldn't cash in on their ample opportunities in the 3rd. Lowell would win the game 4-2. It was just one of those nights where you play well but can't put the puck in the net. There are some positives to draw from the game and certainly a performance to build off of as they head up to Vermont for 2 next weekend.

Those 2 games next weekend are must win games in the standings to stay in the ideal 1-3 seeds and home ice. The top 4 seeds will have home ice in the HE Quarter final series but ideally, you will want to avoid that 4-5 matchup with Maine,Merrimack, Lowell, or BC. The possible 6-8 seeds of PC, UNH, UMass, and NU are much more appealing for the QF series. BU now sits at 6 in the pairwise rankings and would be a 2 seed if the tournament began today. BU's last 4 regular season games are against the 9th and 10th place teams in the league and really there is no reason all 4 games should be end in wins and 8 points. Here is how the rest of the schedule looks for the top 5 in the conference fighting for home ice

1. BC 23gp - 31 pts @PC, vs PC vs UVM, vs UVM
2. Lowell 23gp -30pts @MC, vs MC, @PC, vs PC
3. BU 23gp- 29pts @UVM,@UVM, vs NU, @ NU
4. Maine 24gp -28pts @NU, @NU, vs UNH
5. Merrimack 23gp - 26pts vs UML, @UML, @UMass, UMass

BU, BC and Maine all have fairly easy schedule avoiding one another which will give them the advantage in the race for top 4 seeds (home ice). Lowell and Merrimack play each other twice next weekend which could knock one out of the race with a sweep or knock them both down with a split. Maine is also in a predicament as everyone else has a game in hand over them so they need to seize every point they can in their remaining three games.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lowell Preview

There are two giant series in Hockey East this weekend as 2 points separate 1st from 5th place. The first between Merrimack and Newton University (BC) is a key home and home between two clubs that tied in their first meeting back in January. The good news for the rest of the teams in the league especially BU, Lowell and Maine is that one of those teams has to lose both of the games and gives an opportunity to gain ground in the conference standings. Maine hosts UMass for two which smells strongly of a Maine sweep which means UMass will probably split including blowing a 3-0 lead on the second night because "the Zoo" is easily the most consistently inconsistent team in the league. The rest of the Hockey East games don't really mean shit because those teams suck and are more likely listening to their coaches go on a Jim Mora like rant "Playoffs?! We can't even win a damn game".

Now to the important series of the weekend. Lowell(19-8-0) and BU(17-10-1) face off in a battle for first in HE. Lowell took the first game of the series way back in November in what was the low point of the season for Terriers thus far. Lowell pounded BU 7-1 in a game in which Kieran Millan might have had his worst start of his career while two upperclassmen(NiCastro and Gilroy) sat for skipping classes and not a single Terrier really played well besides maybe Cisse who showed some energy in his first game back from a 2 year injury. Leading up to that game we were well less than cordial to our friends up in Lowell. The result was less than the victory so we are going to adapt and adopt a new strategy. It is officially "Pump Lowell's tires week/24 hours"!

Let's talk about how great of a city Lowell is now then we will move on to their hockey team. First, they have their own commuter rail named after them. Ask BC fans, if you have a line named after you, then you are the best! Think about it for a second..Lowell, Providence, Worcester, and BC. All great places to travel to and all have a line on the MBTA as is deserved for such high quality vacation weekend hangout spots. Do you want to hear more great facts about Lowell? Of course you do! Lowell has a 446.8 crime rating index as opposed to 320.9 for the average in the US. Lowell is owning everyone in the crime department for sure! I could go on for years but overall let's just say that Lowell is a great city and one of my favorite places to spend a Friday night in February for sure.

Now on to the team. Lowell just has a great a hockey team. They lead Hockey East by 1 whole point despite playing the least amount of TUCs in the conference meaning they have played the easiest schedule thus far but don't hold that against them. They can only win the games on the schedule. Doug Carr is having one of the best seasons by a Lowell goalie ever and seems to have a shutout a weekend. They will have the best freshman in the league with Scott Wilson and his 28 pts so far this season. They have beaten great teams like RPI and UCONN out of conference in a vigorous non-conference schedule that will surely bode well for them come NCAA tournament time. Also, their great fan blog up in Lowell wrote a great preview on the game with the perfect title " The Lowell River Hawks vs the Merrimack Warriors" I think they are confused to who they are playing. Apparently Chiasson is leading Merrimack in scoring. Anyway if you look past that "small" blemish, then check out their summary of our last three games where we played BC, UMass and Northeastern..I guess Northeastern and Harvard are the same now, which is actually an insult to Harvard. Don't call them the last place team in the Beanpot like that.

In non "Tire pumping" news, Yasin Cisse will be back in the lineup for BU with Coach Parker still unsure of who he will sit according to Boston Hockey Blog. This weekend proving a pivotal point in the season for the Terriers where they will finish in the race for home ice in Hockey East and the pairwise rankings which determine the NCAA seedings. They have bounced back everytime from adversity and I would expect nothing less this weekend where you have to split in a worst-case scenario. I would expect big performances from Kieran Millan and the rest of the team to bounce back from Monday's well you all know what happened. Go BU and Lowell sucks...I mean they are nice people and I can't wait to travel up there Friday night!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BU Loses Heartbreaker in Beanpot Final; Time to Get Back on the Horse

Man it feels like forever since I've posted on here. Thanks to QuackQuack and Mister Worldwide for picking up the slack while I focused on making you all laugh on twitter.

As you're all aware by this point, BU lost to BC in overtime last night, 3-2.  Billy Arnold scored the game winner with 6 seconds left in OT.  BU was paced by two goals from Garrett Noonan, his tenth and eleventh of the season.  BC received scoring from Pat Mullane, Chris Kreider, and the aforementioned Arnold. 

There's a lot that we could discuss from the game last night.  BC's penalty kill, BU's power play, refereeing, taking stupid penalties, giving up shorthanded goals, etc.  But at the end of the day, it all evens out.  It was a great hockey game.  Fans on both sides probably have things that they'd like to see their teams improve upon.  Both sides have stuff to be happy about (although admittedly there's more there for BC). 

If you're anything like us, you suffered no less than 3 minor heart attacks during the game last night and sunk into a deep state of depression at its conclusion.  But we woke up this morning and remembered this: it was only one game. A non-conference game at that. We're still 3rd in the Pairwise rankings, 2nd in Hockey East, 2nd in the country.  We have two huge conference games against Lowell this weekend, including a 7:30 pm tilt at Agganis on Saturday.  It's time to get back on the horse ladies and gentlemen. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Watching the Game in NYC

Sick turnout for the game tonight in NYC.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

BU loses to UMass 3-2

The #1 BU Terriers lost to the UMass Minutmen 3-2 last night in a let down game for BU. Kieran Millan was the best player on the ice for the Terriers but it was still not enough. The loss drops the Terriers to #2 in Pairwise rankings with Umass Lowell jumping up and taking over the #1 spot. They also remain tied for #2 in the Hockey East standings with Boston College(Newton University) as Lowell is in first with one more point and one game in hand which they will catch up with tonight when they host Maine at Tsongas Arena.

BU got goals from Chris Connolly to tie the game early 1-1 and got a late goal from Alex Chiasson to make it a one goal game after UMass had opened up the game with an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining. BU now sits at 17-9-1 overall and one conference win away from clinching a conference playoff berth. Here are some other scores from last night in the conference

Lowell 3 MC 0

BC 6 UVM 1

PC 4 Maine 3

UNH 3 NU 2

- The Terriers return to action Monday night in the 60th Beanpot final where everyone and their mother will be picking the Eagles because of their winning streak against UNH, NU, and UVM. Sounds like some quality opponents right there with a nice 28-49-6 combined record. Should be a great game Monday night against those diving girls from Newton.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BSRS sniping at the Women's Beanpot Final Intermission

Yes, I am still listening to all D-1 offers. I know someone needs a shot like that for the stretch run. York was already calling me but I told him to jump off a cliff because BC sucks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

BU beats Harvard 3-1 in Beanpot Semifinal

BU beat Harvard 3-1 in the first round of this year's Beanpot in an all-around sloppy game. I'll take the W's any way we can get them though. BU jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a great play by sophomore winger Matt Nieto who had great patience before scoring on a wrap -around of a Harvard d-man's leg. I think the whole crowd(which at the time consisted of BU students and media members) thought he was going to shoot the puck short-side there. BU's second goal was a greasy powerplay goal by Wade Megan on the assists from Sahir Gill and Sean Escobedo. Megan also scored the 3rd goal of the night, walking in all alone and scoring on a backhanded flip. Harvard added a powerplay goal at the end of the second but could never get any closer than that.

BU advances to play Newton University(BC) aka Chestnut Hill Community College. BC extended Northeastern's Beanpot-less streak to 24 years as they still have not won one since 1988. Sucks to suck Northeastern. You were an embarrassment to hockey in general tonight not just yourselves. BC literally was given the game but I guess we shouldn't expect much else from a team with Vinny Saponari on it. BU returns to action this Friday as they host UMass"riot-city" Amherst. BC takes on UVM in their game Friday before the 60th Beanpot final next Monday which should be a thriller.

BU beats Merrimack; Harvard preview

The BU Terriers broke their two game losing streak with a convincing 4-1 win over Merrimack in North Andover on Friday night. The Terriers got a first period goal from senior captain Chris Connolly and two second period goals from Sahir Gill and Alex Chiasson. Connolly added another in the third which sealed the game for the Terriers. Senior goalie lost the shutout with 1:48 remaining which sucks but hopefully gives him some motivation to shut out Harvard tonight at the Beanpot.

The newly appointed #1/2 BU Terriers take on Harvard today at 5 in the first round of the 60th Beanpot. The 16-8-1 Terriers are also #1 in the pairwise rankings while 7-6-9 Harvard comes in at #23 one spot ahead of Northeastern. Northeastern takes on BC in the nightcap at 8pm(I hope they play a 5ot thriller so the teams are just gassed for the rest of the season). Harvard has one of the best powerplays in the nation(30%) which can be a problem for BU who is the most penalized team in the nation. The Crimson tested BU at a game 3 weeks ago in Cambridge before the Terriers took home a 4-3 OT win after trailing 3-1 going into the 3rd. The Terriers look to win their first beanpot since 2009 and take back control of the "BU Invitational". The student sections are sold out so it should be a great atmosphere there tonight.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mister WorldWide is 7 for 7 IN THE PLAYOFFS

Start putting money on me, but seriously what an awesome game!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl: Pats vs GMEN

So we all know this years Super Bowl is is match up from the infamous Super Bowl 42 (I dislike Roman Numerals so deal with it). But these teams are totally different from that game. The Giants transformed to a ground and pound team to an exciting passing offense. The Pats transitioned from a passing offense to a more efficient overall offense. Also each team are a lot different from when they played each other in the regular season. The Giants were pretty much banged up on both sides of the ball and the Pats were coming back from a humiliating defeat in Steel City. Now, each team are pretty much 100% (I know Gronk is hurt but the Giants have said numerous times they are expecting 100% healthy Gronk) healthy and have been playing good ball as of late. Usually when I look at a Super Bowl game I don't get into the numbers quite often cause its the Super Bowl and you can throw those numbers right out the window but since I love you all I will look at some interesting facts.


Giants D-Line vs. Pats O-Line: I think this is will figure out which team will have the upper hand in the game. I like the Giants D-line more so cause they have 4 extremely good pass rushers but I'll say this since the Pats line up in a lot 2 TE formations this will help nullify the abilities of the Giants pass rush. (+1 Giants)

Giants O-Line vs. Pats D-Line aka Vince Wilfork: Wilfork has played his best stretch of games I ever seen him play. The Giants O-Line was manhandled by the 49ers and do shows signs of letting up at times which endangers Eli Manning. But Manning is a gamer (hit over 20 times in the NFC Champ. game) and I call this split. (split)

Eli(TE) vs. Pretty Boy Tom: My opinion is that if you look at both careers I'd give to Tom everyday and twice on Sundays but if you look at right now, meaning in the last month and half, Eli has been playing out of this world. I give Eli on slight edge. (Giants +1)

Giants Secondary vs. Pats TEs & Welker (other WR dont exist in NE offense): I give the upper hand to Pats if with a banged up Gronk. Giants can't cover big athletic TEs at all (ie Davis, Witten, Celek etc et al). Welker is small and fast and disappears and shows up at the right time for a 1st down (probably one of his many in this game). (Pats +1)

Giants Passing Offense vs. Pats Secondary: Giants got this battle. Arguably the best 3 young WR in the game plus two TEs that catch and 1 RB that I can catch the ball out of the backfield (Bradshaw). Pats secondary sucks this year. (Giants +1)

Giants Running Game vs. Pats Running Game: the Pats have been running the ball well of late and the Giants have been playing OK against the run. The Giants haven't running the ball all that well but they are consistent with running the ball in their game plan. (Even split.)

 I usually put my money on the hottest team entering the game. Last year it was the Green Bay Packers and the year before that the Saints, both teams were on fire entering the playoffs. So this leads me to pick the Giants in this years Super Bowl.

#3 BU- #5 Merrihack preview

The 15-8-1 (12-6-1)BU Terriers and 14-5-5(10-4-3)Merrimack Warriors will square off Friday night in a pivotal Hockey East matchup in North Andover at Lawler Arena. The game has already sold out and the tickets are in high demand online some going for as much as triple the face value. The Terriers look to rebound from a sweep at the hands of the Maine Black Bears(and Bunyon) last weekend. The Warriors are coming off a hard fought win over the PC Friars at home on Sunday afternoon. Both teams are in a dog fight for the top spot in Hockey East as the Warriors currently sit 4th but have two games in hand over all competitors. The Terriers are tied for 1st with Boston College and have one game in hand over the Eagles.

This matchup will certainly be a physical one as the Terriers lead the nation in penalty minutes(498) with Merrimack not far behind(443). Merrimack's d-man/headhunter Kyle Bigos leads the conference in individual penalty minutes with 30 penalties for 74 minutes. The teams split the first 2 games at Agganis Arena with Merrimack winning the first 3-2 in OT back in November while BU took a 4-2 win in January right after the inter-semester break.

Both teams have injury concerns entering the game as BU will be without freshman d-man Alexx Privitera for the next 4 weeks and will also most likely be without junior d-man Max NiCastro with a shoulder injury. Merrimack has its own injury problems as forwards Quinn Gold and Elliot Sheen have injury concerns after their physical win over PC.

BU will most likely have to shuffle their lineup to deal with the injuries, most likely double shifting their d-men at various points throughout the game unless the coaches feel comfortable enough to move Ben Rosen or Matt Ronan to defense for a significant portion of a game against a top 5 team. I would be willing to bet 13 forwards will dress once again(unless Cisse is benched) in which case the "bod" Ronan would have to be the next man in line. Should be a great game and atmosphere either way. There is no way this isn't a one goal game or tie with how even these two teams have played in their two previous matchups this year.