Monday, November 15, 2010

Ties Are Good But Not Great and Can't Keep BU In Top Slot In The Nation

Wade Meagan Scored his first goal 
of the season and all the BU players
should take not of this goal.
(explanation farther down the 
Photo By Matt Dresens
Coming into last weekend, BU was ranked #1 in the Nation. Because of this, they might have thought they were going to walk right over unranked Merrimack.Wrong. The Warriors gave BU all they could handle and the Terriers should be thankful that they came away with two ties and there are still no "L's" on the schedule, yet.

Merrimack was up 3-1 going into the final period of the weekend. BU showed a sign of a good team and did not just mail it in being down two. Chris Connolly and Corey Trivino both scored and assisted on each other's third period comeback goals.

Things That Caught The Eye 
Kieran Millan stayed very sharp over the weekend, stopping all but 4 shots.

Adam Clendening, at the start of the season showed signs that he could really be something special on defense. Over the weekend that was not there. Clendening made some huge mistakes in the defensive zone, seeming to take a very long time to make a decision on whom to pass to. This led to turnovers and good scoring opportunities for Merrimack. Luckily, Millan was there to get Clendening off the hook. I also think that he, along with the rest of the team, need to shoot more. He had some good set ups for one timers that he just didn't attempt. Instead, he passed to the other defenseman on the blue line.

BU's penalty kill in Friday nights game was exceptional, killing off all ten Merrimack power plays. Game two was a different story. The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on the power play. A slap shot was tipped in front of the goal and into the upper twine. Merrimack grabbed another man advantage goal late in the first period. This was a result of nice passing which caused Millan to be out of position. These two man up goals were only the third and fourth power play goals scored on the Terriers this season. Two came in the first weekend of the season.

While the PK shined, the PP sucked. BU's power play went a dismal 0-13 on the weekend. Its not that the setups where bad but there were no real good shots to the front of the net. Blind passes to the goal mouth made it easy for Merrimack to clear, because there was just no one there for BU. They need to take smarter and many, many more shots, instead of continuing to try and set up the perfect shot with a ton of passes. Case in point, Wade Meagan. Meagan took a pass from Sahir Gill late in the first period and skated directly to the goal and stuffed it home. He did not try and go back to Gill for a better percentage shot instead, he went right to the net and scored. BU needs to do more of this.

At The Polls
For the first time all season, BU fell in the USCHO poll, from #1 to #2. The two ties were not enough to  retain the Nations top spot as last week's #2, Minnesota Duluth flipped places with BU and became the fourth team to reach the top of the poll. The last three Mondays there had been a new #1, Miami, BU and now Duluth. Rounding out the top five was Maine, Nebraska Omaha, and Yale respectively. BU picked up 11 first place votes. 

Duluth also leapfrogged the Terriers in Inside College Hockey's Power Rankings

The Terriers are also slotted #2 in the USA Today poll.

BU still finds themselves in first place in the Hockey East standings with 12 points. The closest competitor is Maine at 9 points. 

BU also finds themselves in second in the Pair Wise Rankings, the most important off all the polls because it determines the NCAA tournament field. 

What Happened around Hockey East. 
Vermont and BC split a series up at Gutterson Field House. Providence swept Alabama-Huntsville, the nations only independent school. UNH upended UMass Friday night, while UMass was able to come back and tie up the Wildcats the next night. Maine swept away a struggling Northeastern team, who has not won a game since the 23rd of October. As you already know BU and Merrimack tied both games they played over the weekend. 

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