By: Brian DeAlmeida
Last Week In Review:
So I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but I did a pretty awesome job in my first week of picking hockey games, going 5-1 on the weekend. Just like I said, the Terriers came out and dropped game one of the Penn State series, but rebounded and came out with a win the following day. Boston College also poured 14 goals on St. Lawrence in just two games and Alex Carpenter DOMINATED, racking up 9 points off 4 goals and 5 assists. The only game that tripped me up this weekend was the opener of the Merrimack vs. Robert Morris series, as the Warriors are still searching for their first win in program history.
Last week was highlighted by absolutely zero Hockey East match-ups and will be the only weekend of its kind for the rest of the season. With that said, Hockey East was bested by its out of conference opponents, only going 4-10 on the weekend. The only winners were Boston University against Penn State on Saturday, Northeastern over Syracuse on Friday and two wins by Boston College over St. Lawrence. So all in all, it was not the best weekend, and aren’t we lucky to have 4 conference match-ups to guarantee (at the very least) the same amount of wins for Hockey East this weekend.
If there is one thing we learned this weekend, it is that BC is pretty decent. I mean they scored 14 goals in only 2 hours of play and had a clean sweep in the Hockey East awards as well, with Alex Carpenter taking home the Warrior Play of the Week award, Makenna Newark being named Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week and Megan Keller snatching the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. And want to throw more fuel on the fire that is the Boston College Eagles? Carpenter has amassed a measly 200 career points in what is just the 2nd weekend of her senior season.
The Terriers had some fire of their own on this side of Commonwealth Ave to. Despite dropping the first game to a hungry Penn State team 5-3, they bounced back Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Nittany Lions. BU was lead by sophomore forward Rebecca Leslie who tallied 5 points thanks to a goal and 4 helpers. The goalie war was also made a little murkier, as Victoria Hanson allowed 5 goals in the first game with only 21 saves and Erin O’Neil shut down the speedy Penn State attack by allowing only 1 goal with 27 stops.
What To Watch For:
After a rough weekend to begin the year, Hockey East as a whole is looking to bounce back and start to show the other conferences just how good they could be this season after sending 2 teams in the final 8 last year. With 14 games slated for the weekend with 4 conference match-ups, including one nationally televised game, there is a lot of hockey to watch out for.
The #9 Terriers (3-1-0) will welcome out-of-conference foe #4 Clarkson to Walter Brown Arena for a two day weekend series. The Golden Knights will enter the weekend 5-0-0 with wins over St. Lawrence (2), Syracuse and Vermont (2). In those 5 games, Clarkson has scored 18 times while allowing just 3 goals. So to say this weekend is going to be a tough one for the Terriers is putting it lightly.
This week will also feature 4 Hockey East games as Maine will visit Boston College and New Hampshire and ESPN will visit Merrimack on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday the teams will flip flop when New Hampshire takes on Boston College in Chestnut Hill and Maine will travel out to Merrimack. Merrimack is still in search for their first win in program history, and will have the chance to earn it under the spotlight of local cable on Saturday against New Hampshire. That game will be on WBIN Classics (that’s Verizon Fios Channel 466 if you are curious) as well as ESPN3 at 3:00pm. Boston College will also get its first Hockey East action of the year against the Wildcats and Black Bears.
Brian’s Red Hot Picks of the Week:
Current Record: 5-1
So for this week, and the rest of the season, the picking process will be a little different. I will attempt to select every single Hockey East game (and quite possibly go well below .500, as well as the good ol’ BU game as well. So after going 5-1 in week one, here is the second installment of Brian’s Red Hot Picks of the Week:
The Game: Maine @ #2 Boston College
The Black Bears of Maine (1-3-0)(1-1-0 HE) will travel down the Chestnut Hill to take on the RED HOT #2 Boston College Eagles (4-0-0)(0-0-0 HE). Luckily for Maine, they only have to play BC once this weekend before they move on to Merrimack because if they had a double header, it might have been a pretty sad weekend. That’s putting into perspective Boston College’s recent performance, as well as recent history when Eagles were not very kind to Maine last season, dismantling them 18-2 in only 3 games.
While Maine’s Meghann Treacy is a great goalie in her own right, let’s just say that I’ll be extremely surprised if BC doesn’t score more than 3 times in the opening period in this one. The 4 hour trip for Maine will be all for naught, because the Eagles will hit them early and often.
The Game: New Hampshire @ Merrimack
The Wildcats (0-3-0)(0-1-0 HE) will travel to North Andover to take on the Warriors (0-4-0)(0-0-0 HE) in the battle of the winless. UNH will look to find its first win of the season while Merrimack is still trying to find its first win of its short varsity program’s history.
If there is one thing that I can guarantee in this one, it is that scoring will come at a premium. UNH has scored just 4 goals in 3 games while Merrimack has scored 9 over 4 games. The major factor is this one will be the goalie play. Merrimack’s Samantha Ridgewell has allowed 22 goals so far this season, while the Wildcats’s combo of three different goalkeepers have allowed just 11. In the end, I’m a sucker for the underdog and hope that Merrimack will shine with coverage on cable and online.
The Game: New Hampshire @ #2 Boston College
We already talked about both of these teams, and I think you know the deal. Through four games, BC is steamrolling opponents, and UNH has yet to pick up their first win. Whatever goalie gets the nod for the Wildcats, it won’t really matter because they’re in for a rough night.
I always hate doing this, being from the school that’s actually located in Boston, but I got to give credit where credit is due. BC will take this one handily and we may even see all three of UNH’s goalies in the 60 minutes of ice time.
The Game: Maine @ Merrimack
If all goes well in Warrior land, they will come into this matchup with their first win in program history. Unfortunately, Maine will be looking to rebound after a shellacking they will most likely receive at the Conte Forum. The major difference in this tilt is the match-up in goal, where Maine’s senior Megann Traecy (last year’s First Team Hockey East goalkeeper) outweighs Merrimack’s freshman keeper Samantha Ridgewell on paper.
To the dismay of the crowd, the Black Bears will walk out of North Andover with a W. Yet I hope to see this one get extremely competitive and hopefully not be a blow out.
The Series: #4 Clarkson @ #9 Boston University
The Terriers are coming off a disappointing weekend where they split a weekend series with Penn State, while Clarkson is coming in off a 5 straight decisive wins. The one thing that worries me most for BU is yet they have yet to finish. They get 40+ chances a game at the net, but are only averaging 3 goals per game. That may not be enough off a strong Golden Knight team who not only is known for shutting opponent offenses down (only 4 goals against all season), but stopped all 14 of their opponent’s power play possessions this season.
As much as I’m going to hate to say this, the Terriers will be lucky to split this one. However, I’m going to be positive and predict that after a disappointing loss on Friday night, BU will come out firing and squeak one out on Saturday.
This Week’s Hockey East Schedule:
Thursday October 15
St. Lawrence AT Vermont 7:00pm
Friday October 16
Mercyhurst AT Northeastern 2:00pm
Clarkson AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY 7:00pm
Vermont AT St. Lawrence 7:00pm
Saturday October 17
Maine AT Boston College 2:00pm
New Hampshire AT Merrimack 3:00pm (can be watched on ESPN 3)
Mercyhurst AT Northeastern 1:00pm
Colgate AT Providence 2:00pm
Syracuse AT Connecticut 2:00pm
Clarkson AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY 3:00pm
Sunday October 18
New Hampshire AT Boston College 2:00pm
Maine AT Merrimack 2:00pm
Syracuse AT Providence 2:00pm
Colgate AT Connecticut 2:00pm
Hockey East Standing:
Hockey East Overall
GP W L T Pt GF GA W L T GF GA
Boston University 2 2 0 0 4 6 3 3 1 0 12 9
Maine 2 1 1 0 2 6 4 1 3 0 8 9
Boston College 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 22 10
Merrimack 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 9 22
Northeastern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 18 15
Providence 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 13
Vermont 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 13
Connecticut 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 1 1 3 4
New Hampshire 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 4 11