#13 Boston University Terriers (2-2-0, 1-1-0 Hockey East)
Massachusetts Minutemen (1-2-1, 0-2-1 Hockey East)
The BU Terriers come stumbling into Amherst this Friday to start a home-and-home weekend series with the Minutemen. After managing to fell Denver, that’s number two in the nation Denver, two weekends ago, the Terriers were stunned by a huge upset loss to Holy Cross at home last Saturday. Starring in this loss was senior BU goalie Kieran Millan. Starring for the Crusaders, that is. Millan gave up five goals to the Crusaders last weekend. His up and down performance thus far this season has been a bit of a microcosm of his entire career at Boston University. His stats this year (2-2-0, 3.28 GAA, .903 save%) have been pretty terrible. Unfortunately for the Minutemen, the Terriers can still score goals and they have been scoring them at a rate of four a game. The team is still packed with talented offensive forwards, with guys from Alex Chiasson (4G/3A/+7) to Matt Nieto (4G/1A/+5) to Corey Trevino (3G/2A/+1) to Sahir Gil (1G/4A/Even) to Wade Megan (2G/1A/-1). The team is packed with 10 NHL draft picks, six of them forwards. The Terriers have yet to score less than three goals in any single game this season and have scored four or more in all but one.
The key to beating the Terriers is to contain their offense. Let’s face it, on the defensive side of the puck there are not nearly as many recognizable names. Gone is David Warsofsky and the only really impressive D-men the Terriers have left are Adam Clendening and Garret Noonan. That leaves four defensemen for the Mass Attack to pick on. Hopefully, Toot will go back to the star-studded top line of TJ Syner (1G/6A/+1), Danny Hobbs (3G/2A/+1), and Franchise Pereira (3G/2A/+1) this weekend and stop fucking with an offense that has been great, minus the BC game where he did fuck with the lines. If the offense has its chemistry right, it should be able to exploit some of the lesser BU defensemen and put a few past Millan, who will hopefully continue to be iffy.
Now to the real question. If the offense does play up to its ability, the game can certainly be won with some solid, fundamental defensive play. Unfortunately, this is a defense featuring The Mike Marcou Show Starring Mike Marcou and that can be problematic. Minus the aforementioned Show and some lapses in discipline from Mountain Man Олэг Евэнко, I think the defense has been okay. The issue has been that okay defense only clears rebounds away some of the time when goalies leave them in the slot. We have to assume that Tegs will be in net for at least one (hopefully both) of these games, so the rebound issue shouldn’t be too bad. The defense just has to deny BU any golden opportunities and hopefully Teglia will be able to stop the shots he’s supposed to and won’t leave any juicy rebounds. Denying BU golden opportunities is definitely easier said than done, given how strong the Terriers’ offense has been this year, but if the Minutemen stay disciplined and stick to the fundamentals it should not be a particularly difficult task.
That’s really it. These two games could certainly be high scoring shootouts. If that’s the case, I don’t know how I feel about the Mass Attack’s chances this weekend. The keys are to minimize the damage the high octane Terrier offense does and put a decent amount of shots on Millan and hope they find their way through screens or drop in front of the net for easy rebound opportunities. I think it’s really key that the Minutemen compete in both these games and come out of this weekend with AT LEAST two points. If the Minutemen do that, it’s a weekend we can all feel good about. If they don’t, well we’re going to start seeing some fan apathy and a lot more questions about how strong this team, and its coaching staff, really is.
On a personal note, I’m quite excited. This Friday will mark my first return to the Bill as an alumnus, which will be quite a bittersweet experience for me. Hopefully the result will make it more sweet than bitter. I say this with the utmost joy and anticipation. Is it Friday yet?
Welcome to the second installment of my new weekly feature, “Max Outsources The Labor of Writing of His Blog to his Readers.” In today’s episode, Jarod gives his own account of the student section experience from the Bentley game, which I thought was a solid crowd but nothing compared to what it’ll look like Friday. There’s also some actual hockey talk sprinkled in there, along with a few of my own italicized thoughts. Give it a read and start getting amped for a weekend with
Scoops Mazurik’s Jack Parker’s Terriers.
Off the Glass – by Jarod Hendrickson
It’s a privilege to now be a contributor to a blog I’ve read religiously since freshmen year. My main focus is hockey, as football is in CAA purgatory for a year while we undergo the transition to D1, and I will refuse to acknowledge the clusterfuck that is UMass basketball. [Editor’s note: But…but…there’s no more dribble drive!!!1 – Max] I’ll try and keep this column updated on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, while dealing with the “sack up and raise your GPA this year” period, which is also referred to as junior year in college. Anywho, down to my recap of the first four games and some thoughts (rants).
Well so much for that eh? Just when this team offers you a small glimmer of hope, they quickly piss it away less than 24 hours later. Maybe this is just a drunk, knee jerk reaction, but seriously. I’ve always been a glass half full of whiskey kind of guy, and Friday’s home opener, “good enough for 2 points and a W” performance was enough to offer me hope that this team was headed in the right direction. Sure freshmen backstop Kevin Boyle let in a couple of questionable goals, but keep in mind he’s a freshmen and would hopefully learn the ropes sooner than later. On Saturday however, he took a step back from that development, and was chased from the game in favor of sophomore Jeff Teglia after giving up 5 bad goals. Why it took Toot so long to pull him nobody knows, the kid obviously didn’t have it from the opening drop. UMass then gave us the usual “valiant effort but still falling short in the end” comeback that we’ve become accustomed to, and dropped 2 points to (lowly?) Providence in the empty cavern that is Schneider Arena. [Also dark. It’s very dark. – MB] In two games against Northeastern and Providence, UMass has only come away with 1 point. Honestly, that sucks. We really needed those points against two lower tier Hockey East teams. The following weekend, UMass dropped a 4-2 loss to #1 BC. Teglia got the start, and stood on his head and played extremely well, despite the score (which could have easily been 34-2). UMass now sits at (1-2-1), good for 7th in Hockey East.
Friday’s home opener vs. the high flying Falcons of Bentley has been well recapped and is old news, so I’ll point out what I saw from the student section from halfway up section R (due to a sober driver who missed the exit on rt. 116, thanks bro). Fans were loud and supportive, but some of the chants died off way too early. Remember kids, we do the whole “fuck ‘em up fuck ‘em” routine again after the faceoff after a goal. I’m kind of glad we got stuck up a ways in the seats, as everyone soon followed along after they saw our group chanting again. No worries, the new faces in the stands will learn soon enough. During intermissions (which I’m pretty sure are primarily for cigarettes and Yukon Jack outside while avoiding eye contact with security) some people left early and others were still showing up. The thing that really got me were the loud cheers after a Bentley goal. Cheers for Bentley? No. Cheers for some douchebag in a Hawaiian shirt who couldn’t hold his alcohol and was slumped in his seat for half the game, then finally dragged out by his friend? Yes. Pathetic. Fuck him and watch the game. We’ve all had those nights, but there are much better things to focus on than the lightweight. Overall, I’ll give the student section a B- for the night, because I’m nice and it was Bentley after all.
Back to the road ahead…a home and home with #12 Boston University this weekend. This Friday should easily be a sell out. A big name like BU coming to town, a NESN telecast, Halloween weekend, no excuses. The campus is buzzing over the upcoming weekend, and what better way to start it than with everyone’s beloved UMass hockey. So get there early (doors open at 5:30), be loud, and stay for the whole game. You’ve got all night for Halloween weekend shenanigans, what’s a couple of hours? [No, but seriously kids…get there early. Even if the game doesn’t sell out, there’s only so much room in the student section, and at some point they cut that off and make students buy general admission tix. Even if your friends are saving your seats, don’t expect to get in if you stroll up to the Bill after 6:30 or so. – Max]
Grabbing two points this weekend would be out-fucking-standing. Hopefully they can look back at this start of the season and call it a “character building experience” and say these first four games proved to be a shot of reality that shoved them in the direction that we’d like to call progress and success. You can see the potential is there. It’s no doubt they could hang with the top teams in Hockey East. The offense (primarily the first line) is lighting it up, defense is solid, the question now is between the pipes, something we’re not used to saying. This team is on the cusp of something, and they are starting to gel right before our eyes. But we can only use this excuse for so long before they have to take the ice night in and night out and get the wins. There are no moral victories anymore. Last year was rebuilding, this year needs to translate into a higher seed in the hockey east tournament and maybe a key upset and advancement into the second round. But we’re not there yet, no not even close. It’s only October..much more hockey to be played, and the toughest stretch of the season coming up. This team needs a couple of good; solid wins under their belt. With the confidence from said wins, who knows what can happen. What better place to start than against BU? Oh and is it Friday yet?
Alright kids, there you have it. I will stress one more time for those newbies out there: get there early. BU and BC games are always near-sellouts, and like I said, the student section has a maximum capacity that normally gets reached before the ticketed seats go, and likewise, the cheaper general admission seats go before the assigned (and more expensive) seats do. UMass has been playing Providence for Halloween weekend for several years now, so to be playing a much better draw of an opponent means expect chaos. Oh, and enjoy – Halloween (with the costumes and such) is one of my favorite times of year in Amherst. I’m excited to get to return after spending the holiday in Orlando last year. See you all at the Bill.
No.8 Boston University Terriers (2-0-1(0-0-1HEA)) vs. UMass Minutemen (0-2-1(0-0-1HEA))
For the second time in as many games, the Mass Attack will face off against Boston University and its high powered offense tonight. Last weekend, BU scored two early goals and peppered freshman netminder Jeff Teglia (0-0-1, 3.25GAA, .895save%) with 35 shots. However, third period goals by Darren Rowe and Marc Concannon forced an overtime that ended in a draw. Tonight will have the same concerns as last weekend.
First of all, goaltenders. Fear The Triangle is reporting that Teglia will start tonight. Although I have seen nothing to corroborate this, we all know that his information is solid so I will have to assume Teglia will be the starter. Teglia was pretty fantastic last weekend, saving 33 out of 35 shots, making Hennessy yell out of excitement numerous times in the process. Unfortunately, the reason Hennessy had to yell was that the Terriers had a lot of good scoring chances. This is the same problem the Mass Attack had in Minnesota; the defense needs to tighten up. This is a team problem, not just a problem with the defensemen. Paradoxically, there is both too much and not enough movement. At times, everyone seems to be watching the puck and aggressively pursuing it while the one or two skaters not pressuring the puck are just standing still and not covering the offensive players they are responsible for.
To not cover BU’s skaters is to make a huge mistake. Had Teglia not been out-of-his-mind-on-fire last Saturday, the Minutemen could have easily given up four or five goals. I don’t think I need to remind anyone about the existence of Chris Connolly (1G/2A/3Pts/+2), Joe Pereira (3G/1A/4Pts/+1), or David Warsofsky (2G/3A/5Pts/+2). And I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the 6 and 7 goal embarrassments BU handed out to the Minutemen last season (Although those were both at Agannis).
Other than Jeff Teglia’s sparkling performance last weekend, the bright spot on this year’s UMass team has been the offense. Averaging three goals a game may not be a fantastic statistic, but it will keep you in games and the Mass Attack could easily have more if they could just fine tune their passing a little and finish their chances. The most impressive offensive players thus far have been TJ Syner (2G/1A/3Pts/+2), Darren Rowe (2G/1A/3Pts/+2), Michael Marcou (1G/2A/3Pts/-2), and Mike Pereira (1G/1A/2Pts/even). Pereira, in particular, could have had more goals if he finished his chances, which have been many.
The offense does, however, need work on the powerplay, where they are just 2 for 16 (12.5%) on the season. The PK needs work too; The Mass Attack penalty killers have only managed to kill nine penalties out of thirteen (69.2%), although they did go a perfect 4-for-4 against BU last weekend. BU’s powerplay has been better than the Mass Attack’s (23.1%) and their PK has been much better (88.2%), so scoring on the powerplay tonight may prove difficult.
So the game plan should be the same as last week. The defense needs to be tighter, they can’t give up early first period goals, and they need to pepper whoever’s in net with lots of rubber. Kieran Millan, while not as spectacular as Teglia was, had very good night last Saturday, stopping 28 of 30 shots. Saturdays numbers boosted him to very respectable 1-0-1, 2.40GAA, .912 save% numbers. However, Millan has been known to have off nights in the past and he certainly isn’t an Alex Beaudry or a Carter Hutton (Although, so far this year Alex Beaudry doesn’t look like an Alex Beaudry, either).
Hopefully, the crowd is a positive factor. Tonight’s game is televised on NESN (UMass has been 0-4-0 on NESN in the last two seasons), and it’s the home opener, and it’s against BU. So, everyone will be there. Here’s a tip for you hockey neophytes out there. If somebody who looks like they know what they’re doing starts a chant and you don’t understand it, just go along with it anyway. As fun as it is to yell it, there are more hockey chants than “Fuck BU!” You gotta trust me on this one.
Other Hockey East Teams in Action this Weekend:
Providence @ UMass Lowell
No.7 UNH @ Northeastern
No.2 North Dakota @ No.12 Maine
Northeastern @ UMass Lowell
Providence @ No.8 BU
Merrimack @ Vermont
No.2 North Dakota @ No.12 Maine
No.1 BC @ No.17 Notre Dame
All you need to know about tomorrow night’s game is that Jeff Teglia is starting in net for the Minutemen… Wait, is that how I’m supposed to start these?
UMass Minutemen (0-2-0 (0-0-0HEA)) vs. No.10 Boston University Terriers (2-0-0 (0-0-0HEA))
Freshman netminder Jeff Teglia will get his first start tomorrow night for the injured Paul Dainton. He gets to enjoy this start against a team that just put up a total of nine goals in two nights against two ranked teams. This is a team that also has 11 NHL-drafted players, including five forwards. To say it will be tough sledding for Teglia is a massive understatement. Threats come from everywhere on the BU squad; in only two games, thirteen BU players already have points. Special teams-wise the Terriers have been outstanding (in an obviously small sample). Three for nine on the powerplay last weekend while allowing only two goals in twelve opponents’ powerplay chances. BU is a fantastic passing team, as is evidenced by the fact that eight of their nine goals had two assists, with the ninth having one.
If the Terriers do have an Achilles heal right now, its in net. Neither Kieran Millan nor Grant Rollheiser looked particularly good last weekend. Millan will probably start tomorrow night, and he carries a .905 career save%. That’s more of a keep the team in the game number than evidence of a great goalie. However, when the offense is playing like this, keeping the team in the game is really all the goalie needs to do.
This doesn’t mean that UMass doesn’t have a chance. The snipers have been hot for the Minutemen, who scored seven goals of their own last weekend against a ranked team. Those seven goals were scored by six different players, and among those who looked really good were Mike Marcou, TJ Syner, Darren Rowe (what?! really?), and Michael Pereira (although that last one needs to work on finishing the great chances he gets).
Unfortunately, the defense has been ATROCIOUS. I don’t know if they haven’t been standing around too much and watching the play happen or if they’ve been overpersuing the puck carrier and leaving men open, but I know they haven’t been moving the right amount. Conor Allen was a –4 last weekend. A MINUS FOUR!!! And the PK gave up four goals on nien chances (although one of them was on a five minute major)! If that defensive performance didn’t cut it with Paul Dainton in net, there is no chance for Teglia, whose career save% now stands at .818.
There seems to be a confluence of fail surrounding tomorrow night for our beloved Mass Attack. There have been so many injuries, including to their captain netminder. They have to face a ranked team whose offense is white hot at the moment. And they have to do it all in the generic splendor (read: heavy sarcasm. That place is an awful, stupid “multi-purpose” arena that has no business hosting hockey games.) of Agganis Arena, which, incidentally, has been a house of horrors for the Minutemen of late. So if the defense doesn’t show up, expect a big loss. I’m talking anywhere from eight to twelve goals for BU. If the defense does decide to show up, then we’ll see. Maybe we’ll have a hockey game.
Other Hockey East teams in action this weekend:
On Thursday, No.8 Maine drew No.20 Michigan State 4-4.
RPI @ Northeastern; UMass Lowell @ Niagara; Providence @ No.7 Minnesota-Duluth; No.8 Maine @ No.20 Michigan State; No.1 Boston College @ No.6 Denver
No.3 Michigan @ No.9 New Hampshire; Connecticut @ Merrimack; UMass Lowell @ RIT; No.1 Boston College @ No.6 Denver; Providence @ No.7 Minnesota-Duluth
Hey, let’s start with the good news! Lacrosse downed Providence 17-3. Now for something a little darker…
Dick Baker reports (it’s too depressing of a story, so I won’t even worry you with a link) that Jimmy’s going pro, too, although where has yet to be determined.
You heard that right: he gone. (Or as good as gone. But you know how agent-speak works, since I presume you are a Red Sox fan. By the way, you should be a Red Sox fan if you’re a UMass fan. I make no exceptions to that rule unless your weird cross-dressing uncle happens to be A-Rod.)
I’ll get this all out of the way now: James Marcou is the best hockey player I’ve had the privilege of watching (aside from the two Bruins games I’ve attended). His creativity, passing skills, and heart have been unmatched, and he’s been a joy to watch since my second-favorite player, Quick, left early after my freshman year at UMass.
So where do we go from here? Well, I hate to say it, and I will have a lot more to say in the near future, but the words “rebuilding year” keep popping into my head right now. It’s one thing to lose a pure scorer like Wellman, but he was the beneficiary of so, so many of the brilliant setups of Jimmy’s. That is a hell of a lot harder to replace.
From the “glass-half-full-but-still-sort-of-empty” department: where, exactly, did James Marcou get the team? In Jon Quick’s triumphant year (sans-Marcou/Wellman), UMass went to the Elite Eight. In Jimmy’s three years? Three straight second-half collapses, three straight first-round exits in the HEA tournament.
Simply put, the offense last year was far too reliant on Jimmy and Casey, to the extent that, at one point, someone (Lecomte I believe) said in the Collegian that they were just waiting for the top line to get it going. Did anyone else notice a recurring theme for the teams that are playing at the Garden right now? They don’t rely on one line for all their offense. Even with two of NCAA’s leading scorers, the Minutemen were 8th in Hockey East in goals scored. That’s not getting it done. (Don’t even get me started on the defense, because damnit, I’m tryin’ to be optimistic here!)
Now, in no way am I saying I expect the Minutemen to be better at the start of next season. They just lost their top 5 scorers…duh. But I could see a team with a lot of young talent and some promising freshmen that will improve as the year goes on, and maybe surprise people in the Hockey East Tournament while setting up for a run the following year. And yes, it has been extraordinarily painful to write that last sentence, especially considering that it reminds me of the basketball situation. (So, basically,
I don’t mean to cut-and-run, but I’m not exactly devastated that this is all happening after my final season as a UMass student. Rebuilding sucks, especially if your head coach isn’t named Jack Parker, Jerry York or Dick Umile. Just remember, when Marcou and Wellman came in, like any touted recruits, nobody knew they’d immediately become contributors. Now it’s up to this year’s freshman class to step up and fill the void. Could it get ugly? That’s always a possibility, especially if the injury bug bites what’s left of the team, or a good number of the prospects don’t pan out. But this team’s still got plenty of unsung talent and guys who underperformed or battled injuries last year.
It might not be immediate, but life moves on without #7 and #19. We could wallow in self-pity…but optimism’s a lot more fun. Now I don’t know about you, but I intend to get out there today and let Guinness and Irish car bombs wash away the sting.
Oh, and godspeed, Mr. Marcou. As with Wellman, we will support you wherever you go. (Hopefully, if you DO make it in the NHL, you and Casey will end up with Boston somewhere down the line. …Please?)
Those of you who follow UMass hockey may have noticed that the Minutemen are currently holding on to fourth place in Hockey East. You may also know that fourth place is the last slot for home ice in the Hockey East tournament. Given the precarious position that the Minutemen are in, I decided to review all the other teams in Hockey East whose slots are up in the air. I’ve omitted BC and UNH because they will, almost definitely, finish in the top two spots. I’ve also omitted Merrimack and Providence because, well, they’re bad and should feel bad. I’ll wait until next week to make my predictions, as I’m still not sure of how good some of the more schizophrenic Hockey East teams (UMass, BU, Northeastern) are.
3. Maine Black Bears 14-9-3 (11-6-2 HEA) 24 Points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/12 @ Boston University
2/13 @ Boston University
2/19 vs. Lowell
2/20 vs. Lowell
2/26 @ Merrimack
2/27 @ Merrimack
3/5 vs. UMass
3/6 vs. UMass
Since the return of Scott Darling, the Black Bears have been terrific. They have gone 3-0-1 in these four games including a sweep of Hockey East leader UNH last weekend. They have a high-powered offense that has averaged 3.73 GPG in Hockey East play this season, and when you combine this with the play of Scott Darling (.916 save%, 2.40 GAA in conference), the Black Bears are a team to be reckoned with. Their remaining schedule may be the most balanced of any team’s in Hockey East. They go to play the schizophrenic Terriers next weekend, who have played very well lately. They then go to play the impotent Jeremy Dehner-less River Hawks and the Merrimack Warriors (who play like a NCAA-tournament team when at home). Their season comes down to a final weekend with our Minutemen. By this time, they may have a spot locked up, but the Minutemen will probably still be fighting for home ice.
4. Massachusetts 16-11-0 (11-9-0) 22 Points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/12 vs. Northeastern
2/13 @ Northeastern
2/19 @ Merrimack
2/20 vs. Merrimack
2/26 @ Boston College
3/5 @ Maine
3/6 @ Maine
Here we go again. After going 11-6-0 (6-4-0 in Hockey East) in the first half of the season with a goal differential 0.70 goals per game, the Minutemen have begun their patented Cahoon Swoon. They have gone 5-5-0 since the mid-season mark (all Hockey East games) and are actually losing the goal differential by 1.71 goals per game. (I’d say these results were skewed by some massive losses, but let’s face it, when you lose a lot of games by a lot of goals, the results are not being skewed, that’s just how bad you are.) The offense has been bad, the goaltending has been questionable (although Dainton has certainly not played as poorly as the numbers would seem to indicate), and the defense has been beyond horrendous. The team also misses savvy defense-oriented role players Mike Lecomte and Doug Kublin. The next four games are key for the Minutemen. They have a two-game series this weekend with a Northeastern team that is getting healthier and better, but these are two games the Minutemen should take. The Mass Attack then faces lowly Merrimack. Merrimack has been very good at home, but UMass cannot afford a split if it is to stay in home ice contention. UMass then goes to BC (I’m not even gonna touch this one). The fate of their playoff run could hinge on the final series of the season in Maine
5. Boston University Terriers 11-12-3 (8-9-2) 18 Points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/12 vs. Maine
2/13 vs. Maine
2/19 @ Providence
2/20 vs. Providence
2/26 @ Vermont
2/28 @ Vermont
3/5 vs. Northeastern
3/6 @ Northeastern
Jack Parker owns Hockey East. Apparently, he decided he wanted a little more drama in his tournament run this year. After going a horrid 4-9-3 (2-7-2 in Hockey East) in the first half, the
Jack Parkers Terriers have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten games, including a record of 6-2-0 in Hockey East. They have an offense that spreads the puck around, with no single superstar, but eleven skaters who have double-digit point totals. Kieran Millan is steadily improving. He is by no means a top-flight goaltender, but he is no longer the reason the Jack Parkers Terriers lose games. After Maine, BU does not have to face a legitimately good opponent this season, meaning they could make a serious run at home ice if they continue to improve.
6. Lowell River Hawks 14-12-2 (8-9-2 HEA) 18 Points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/12 vs. Boston College
2/13 @ Boston College
2/19 @ Maine
2/20 @ Maine
2/26 vs. Providence
2/27 @ Providence
3/5 vs. Vermont
3/6 vs. Vermont
At this point, the River Hawks appear to have played themselves out of home ice contention. After appearing to right the ship with wins over Boston College and Merrimack, Lowell was dealt a crushing blow. Their elite defenseman Jeremy Dehner (a +16 on the season) was diagnosed with a broken hand. Since this massive loss, the River Hawks have gone on to drop their last three games, including losses to Northeastern and Merrimack. Things don’t get better for UML this weekend; they will play the BC Eagles who have been rolling of late, and look unbeatable. Next weekend they’ll have to go to Maine for two games to play a team in the Black Bears who look to have a strong grasp on the no. 3 spot. Even a home-and-home with Providence is doubtful to save UML’s season now.
7. Vermont Catamounts 13-9-4 (7-8-4 HEA), 18 points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/12 vs. Merrimack
2/13 vs. Merrimack
2/19 @ New Hampshire
2/20 @ New Hampshire
2/26 vs. Boston University
2/28 vs. Boston University
3/5 @ Lowell
3/6 @ Lowell
Don’t let the good out of conference record fool you, Vermont is a bad team. The only thing that holds this team together is its defense. The offense is mediocre, at best. Their goaltending is very poor. Rob Madore is the better of the two Catamount netminders and he only has a .902 save% in conference! Their out of conference record has been boosted by wins against the like of Dartmouth and Alabama-Huntsville. The team’s results have been consistently mediocre, and i can not imagine them making a run at home ice. They should get a temporary boost against Merrimack this weekend (although, they couldn’t get four points against lowly Providence last weekend), but I’m not sure this team can muster even a single point over their next four games.
8. Northeastern Huskies 13-12-1 (8-10-1 HEA) 17 Points
Remaining Hockey East Games:
2/13 @ UMass
2/14 vs. UMass
2/19 vs. Boston College
2/21 @ Boston College
2/26 vs. New Hampshire
2/27 @ New Hampshire
3/5 @ Boston University
3/6 vs. Boston University
I thought I’d put Northeastern on this list because they were improving. Chris Rawlings has played really well down the stretch. In fact, he has only given up more than two goals once (to Vermont on January 29th) since he gave up six in an overtime to Lowell on January 9th. He’s boosted his save percentage to over .900 in conference play. This is a team that could get itself together and move up the standings, I thought. Then I saw their remaining schedule. Two against BC, two against UNH, two against BU. No chance.
…Is it Friday yet?
There’s alot of hate in my heart. The contempt I feel for my peers is unhealthy, and the hate I feel for rivals can be likened to Glenn Beck’s hate of black people.
So, as I sat, still fuming from the weekend (Basketball team, I am disappoint) and annoyed by the prospect of the prostate massage given to the 3 very average teams in tonight’s overhyped Beanpot (zomg, meaningless games) I tried to decide what Hockey East team I hate the most. The three teams to choose from are obvious. BU, BC and our ugly sisters at Lowell. There is no clear winner or loser in this group, as there is a plethora of reasons to hate every one of these teams. So, in the interest of fairness, lets do a pros and cons list.
Every times I see Jack Parker I want to slap him. In fact, when discussing the possibility of a BU/Umass Hockey East playoff game at the Bill, I seriously considered throwing an overpriced drink at him. My hate is that deep.
Their students overwhelmingly have authentic jerseys that retail for about $100. Really? Why not just wear polos and sweater vests? Yes, it can be argued that maybe that just means they have good fans but I just say they have wealthy fair weather fans, and Player Hatin’ my friends comes down to despising the wealthy. Remember to send daddy the receipt.
Fuck Jack Parker
They have one sport, and not in the adorable Lowell sense, but more in a “you suck at everything else and won’t admit it” way. I got in a argument with some BU bitch and her response to this was “we don’t need other sports, we are good at hockey”. No, shitty argument, you are bad and should feel bad.
So smug in their “we are awesome at Hockey” that they charge $26 to get in to their “family friendly” arena. When you are charging nearly $30 to watch college hockey, then you really need a slap in the face. I guess they are recouping the losses for all the other sports they both suck at and no one watches.
They brag about Beanpot titles, like they mean anything.
Did I mention how much I hate Jack Parker?
Not a Hockey reason, but I despise how everyone sees BC as the college that represents Boston. Ummmm, Its a CATHOLIC PRIVATE SCHOOL! It doesn’t speak for the average Massachusetts kid as the local media shoves down our throat. This is why Umass needs a D1 football team, we can’t let BC speak for the great state of Massachusetts. In North Carolina the locals root for UNC, not Duke. guess what, BC IS DUKE! Privileged Private school kids, not the average, blue collar, Massachusetts kid. I know no one who goes to BC, and I’m from Medford with three kids in my graduating class that got into Harvard. Not one went or talked about going to BC
I think those “Super Fan” shirts are dumb (yes I’m a hypocrite, welcome all “Minutefans” uggg)
I’m not going to get overly political, but I am against any religious education. Schools founded on the premise of a religious education (grade school and up) make me sick. I despise Notre Dame for this and I will not spare BC. To be honest, BC was my 3rd most hated school until I factored this in. I can’t not hate them for this.
I would hate them for hockey reasons, but It seems like their fans can’t argue because they don’t exist in large numbers.
Umass (Lol, not happening) Lowell
Our natural rivals, being state rivals, but the fact is they suck at doing this because they are not a worthy rival. I respect the hockey rivalry because it is passionate, intense and by the end of my first year of Lowell games, I have alot of mutual respect for their fans. We are in the same boat, being in an under-covered state school surrounded by pompous asses. That being said, this can’t ever be a true rivalry because, out of the gate, it is no contest. Umass is The University Of Massachusetts, the flagship campus, the only UMass that doesn’t need a city tagged on the end. Lowell is Lowell, they are a smaller sister school who has one D1 sport (and only because there is no more D2 hockey) If we did a tale of the tape between the two schools, it wouldn’t be a contest. Size, Academics, Alumni, Location all go our way. If Lowell was larger, independent and called “Massachusetts State” or something of the sort then maybe it would be a rivalry. Untill then, you are the ugly sister and you will like it.
No fight song. Hahahaha, maybe they can play Heroin by the Velvet Underground.
Worst. Scoreboard. Ever.
Who Do We Hate Most?
I don’t have an answer for this. I hate them all for different reasons, and devoid of an obvious rival I guess we will just have to sing during “sweet Caroline” BC Sucks” then add “Lowell sucks, Lowell sucks!” after spilling a jar of piss on Jack Parker.
Now If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and put some water in Jack Parker’s momma’s dish
Well, once again, a visit to Agganis Arena resulted in a blowout loss for the Minutemen, almost as if to mock my pregame predictions of a much closer game.
To be fair, from all accounts, the Minutemen played a hell of a lot better than in their previous four-goal defeat at BU, dominating the first period but trailing 1-0 as the Terriers got the first of many timely goals. Alas, regardless of the Jack Parker influence on this game (i.e. whenever something didn’t go BU’s way, it was argued extensively to the point where a makeup call was a foregone conclusion), the Minutemen simply didn’t capitalize on their early chances, and, as in games like the 4-2 home loss to UNH and the Bentley loss in the UConn tournament, appeared to let their frustrations derail their play down the stretch.
Not a good sign, and not a good showing by the defense (which, we must add, continues to miss Doug Kublin, who was so good in those Lowell games and the “turning point” Northeastern game), but a loss is still a loss, even if it throws UMass into the negative as far as their Hockey East pythagorean is concerned. If it’s any consolation, UNH got edged at Lawler by Merrimack, which basically just never wins on the road and never loses at home this season. Also, Lowell got the smug wiped off their faces with another 2-1 loss to Northeastern, this time one which counts in Hockey East play (and, it must be said, where the Huskies had a significant shots-on-goal advantage for the entire game – Carton Hutton continues to stand on his head in vain for the Eastern Mass. State-Lowell River Rats). The “consolation from elsewhere in HEA” parade ends with Maine throttling Vermont (we love seeing Lowell drop out of home ice, but we’re not particularly fond of Maine jumping back into it either) and BC making PC their bitch tonight as well, grabbing sole possession of 2nd place back.
So, umm, yeah, as long as the games are being played at Agganis Arena, we’d love to not see the Terriers again this year, though if the season ended today Jackie and his crew would be in Amherst for the quarterfinals. Even in that first game at the Bill, where the Minutemen severely outplayed BU for most of the game, the final was a narrow win for UMass. This is a team that simply matches up well with the Mass Attack, unfortunately. That said, shots on goal were 41-37 in favor of UMass, and if Millan doesn’t stand on his head for the first period, this game would have taken a different direction. UMass didn’t play nearly as bad as they did a month ago, and so let’s hope that tomorrow night we draw the same Alex Beaudry who let up 5 first-period goals to the previously-floundering BC Eagles tonight.