Showing posts with label NCAA Hockey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NCAA Hockey. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2007

Same Old Song and Dance?/NCAA Hockey Poll

All around, this was not a successful weekend for the Eagles of Boston College. Friday night, the Eagles blew a third period lead to tie a much weaker team. Saturday night, they might as well have been a high school team playing against an NHL team.

Friday night, the Warriors of Merrimack skated onto Kelly Rink at Conte Forum with nothing to lose. If they lose the game, it would be expected. That "nothing to lose" attitude helped them erase a third period deficit to tie the Eagles 3-3. The supposedly superior Eagles squandered many opportunities as they went only 2-for-10 on the power play. They also blew a 3-2 third period lead, a lead in which they had scored 3 straight goals to go ahead, with a little under 8 minutes left to play.

Squandering opportunities seemed to carry over to Saturday night's game in New Hampshire as the Eagles went 1-for-7 on the power play. The one power play goal actually could've sparked this team, but for some reason it did not. Four minutes into the third period, Ryan Hayes scored on a power play for the Eagles, tying the game at 2. Unfortunately, the momentum had not shifted as New Hampshire gained the lead back just over one minute later. Despite 11 penalties by the Wildcats, New Hampshire seemed in control almost from the get go, winning 5-2.

This clearly isn't the same team from the past couple of years, the team that has played its way into postseason after postseason. Or, maybe it is. Like past years, it is taking this team some time to gel. Give this team a little more time together and reserve your judgment until the end of January/beginning of February. Hopefully by that time we will see the same type of Eagles team as in the past.

For now, here is how the schools rank:
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll

November 12, 2007

1 University of Michigan (21) 9-1-0
2 Miami (Ohio) University (12) 9-1-0
3 Michigan State University (1) 8-1-0
4 University of Denver 6-2-0
5 University of North Dakota 5-3-1
6 University of New Hampshire 5-1-1
7 Colorado College 5-3-0
8 Clarkson University 7-3-0
9 Boston College 3-2-4
10 University of Wisconsin 5-3-0
11 University of Notre Dame 7-4-0
12 University of Minnesota 6-4-0
13 St. Cloud State University 6-2-2
14 University of Massachusetts 4-2-3
15 University of Minnesota-Duluth 4-3-1

Friday, November 9, 2007

"Heights and Lows" of Hockey East

The Boston College Eagles will prepare for back to back games this weekend, Friday vs. Merrimack and Saturday at New Hampshire. Merrimack is 4-1 against teams not named BC, while being 0-2 and outscored 11-3 against BC. New Hampshire was the preseason pick for Hockey East Champion.

Friday night's contest at Conte Forum features the Eagles against the bottom dwelling Merrimack Warriors. Throughout history, the Eagles have resided at the top of the Hockey East standings. They are always a preseason favorite to finish among the top few teams. Merrimack on the other hand has almost always been lodged in the depths of the conference. While Merrimack has gotten off to a decent start this season, expect the play of Eagles' freshman netminder John Muse to keep the Warriors at bay most of the night.

Saturday night's contest will have a completely different tone than its Friday night counterpart. The Eagles will make the trip up north to face the #7 New Hampshire Wildcats. Unlike Merrimack, UNH has been quite successful in the Hockey East. They were picked as the preseason favorites to win the league. This matchup pits two hard working teams against each other, both anchored by stellar golatending. Look for this game to be a low scoring affair, similar to the BC/Maine game last friday.

Check back Monday night for the recaps of both games and the updated rankings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Game Tainted By Controversy/NCAA Hockey Poll

The Eagles skated to a 1-1 tie Friday night in Conte Forum against the Maine Blackbears. What was an outstanding game by both teams' goalies was marred by controversy.

With a little over 5 minutes passed in the third period, and the score tied at 1, Maine appeared to have taken the lead on a goal by Blackbears center Wes Clark. The puck was deflected behind Eagles goaltender John Muse and the referee quickly signaled goal. The air seemed to be sucked out of the some 6,000 fans in attendance. Their joy would quickly be restored.

After a short period of time debating the goal with the linesmen, referee Dave Hansen declared that there was no goal. The ruling was based on a new rule that was implemented just this year. While last year a deflection off the skate without a distinct kicking motion would be a goal, this year any motion of the skate immediately negates the goal.

The controversy seemed to be the focus of what otherwise was an outstanding game by two top tier teams. The two stars of the game had to be the two goalies. The Eagles' John Muse (19 saves) and the Blackbears' Ben Bishop (26 saves) both turned into spectacular performances. Defenseman Carl Sneep scored for BC at 5:32 of the second period. BC's lead was short lived as just over one minute later, Maine forward Billy Ryan snuck behind the Eagle's defense and scored on a breakaway.

What is most interesting is how the two teams fared in the polls. #5 BC dropped a spot to #6 while #12 Maine gained a spot up to #11.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll

1- Miami (Ohio) University [34] 8-0-0
2- University of Michigan 7-1-0
3- Michigan State University 6-1-0
4- University of North Dakota 4-2-1
5- University of Denver 6-2-0
6- Boston College 3-1-3
7- University of New Hampshire 4-1-0
8- Clarkson University 6-2-0
9- Colorado College 3-3-0
10- University of Wisconsin 4-2-0
11- University of Maine 4-2-1
12- University of Notre Dame 6-3-0
13- Michigan Tech University 5-3-0
14- University of Minnesota 4-4-0
15- University of Minnesota-Duluth 4-1-1

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hockey Season Set For First Big Match Up

After a disappointing overtime loss to Michigan opened BC's season, the Eagles have gone on a tear worthy of their #5 National ranking. BC has gone 3-0-2 since their opening night loss to the Wolverines, a game that took place in St. Paul, MN as part of an Ice Breaker tournament. After an impressive offensive outburst in a home and home series against Merrimack, the Eagles are set to welcome their first big conference match up this evening.

The Maine Blackbears have been a tough opponent for BC in past years. They ended a run to the National Championship in 2004 with a win over the Eagles in the Frozen Four at the Fleet Center (now known as TD BankNorth Garden). In recent years though, BC's tenacious style of play has propelled them to the forefront of the Hockey East Conference.

Maine comes in as the #12 ranked team in the nation and are scoring an average of 3 goals a game. Like BC, Maine has faltered with their only test so far this season, losing two games to Denver.

Look back Monday for a recap of the game and for an update on the rankings.