Monday, November 28, 2011

A Closer Look: The Cornell Game

Ross Gaudet is my player of the
week for obvious reasons. Gaudet
scored his first goal of the year in
overtime of Red Hot Hockey take
three, giving BU the win 2-1.

Runner Up goes to Cason
Hohmann, who I thought played
his best game of the year, and he
nearly won the game in OT,
before Ross beat him to it.

(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU's lone game of this past weekend will go down as one of the most exciting and controversial games played. BU defeated Cornell 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,200 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

BU's Adam Clendening scored the contest's first goal on a five on three power play about half way through the first period. BU carried the play for most of the first frame, but that completely changed in the second.

Cornell did not score in period number two, but it was BU's bend but don't break defense that held CU off the board. The Big Red had 11 shots on goal in that stanza, but none could find their way past Kieran Millan who made 23 saves in the 2-1 victory.

Cornell finally tied the game in the third, as Locke Jillson scored his first goal of the season on a rebound. For Cornell, it looked like they took the lead with exactly four minutes to go as a shot deflected off the end board, bounced up towards the MSG roof, and fell in the net. The only thing that prevented this goal was the fact that everyone in the rink (including the refs) lost sight of the puck before it descended from the sky. The whistle clearly blew before the black rubber disk plopped into the net.

The end of regulation saw the longtime rivals knotted at one. Something had to give. With 2:12 left in the overtime session, Ross Gaudet redirected Max Nicastro's shot from the point into the baggy MSG net. The net exploded and so did the BU fans, who made the trip down.

All in all, it was probably the most exciting and intense game I've been to since the 2009 National Championship game. More on that later in the week as I will post the top ten most memorable BU games I've been to.

At The Polls 
BU moved up two spots from 15th to 13th in the USCHO rankings. Merrimack remained the Nation's lone undefeated team and stayed number one in the land. Boston College jumped up three places from number five to second. Notre Dame fell one place from second to third and Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota rounded out the top five. In two years, the top three will all belong to Hockey East.

BU also was slotted at 13th in the USA Today poll. The top five looked exactly the same, except Duluth and the Gophers were flip-flopped.

PairWise. Finally, we can actually start to look at this and get some kind of idea of who will be headed to the NCAA tournament come March.  Following BU's win over Cornell, the Terriers jumped all the way from 22nd to 16th. Now there is some rhyme and reason for that. Neutral sight games and non conference wins play a huge roll in the PWR.
The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament. The PWR compares Teams Under Consideration (TUC), those with a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) of .500 or more, judging them by four criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, record against other TUC if a team has played 10 or more games against TUC, and the RPI.                                                             -From USCHO.Com
Take for instance, Miami.  They are ranked 18th in the National Polls, but are currently in a tie with Western Michigan for 10th in the PWR. They have notable wins at Colgate (PWR 14), Michigan (PWR 20) and won the Denver Cup in Denver, dropping Providence and Denver (PWR 17). Tournament wins are also important and can really gain a team a ton of PairWise points, especially if the tournament is in a neutral sight or better yet, away.

Not to keep making examples, but BU's 2009 final PairWise was so high because they won three in-season tournaments, including that Denver Cup I just spoke of. The Terriers also went 9-0-0 in non conference play including all the wins in those three tournaments.

Around Hockey East
Tuesday Night: Vermont picked up their first league win, dropping UMass 2-1 at home... UNH lost a crazy game to Harvard 7-6 at the Crimson's barn.

Wednesday Night: Merrimack blanked Alabama Huntsville 6-0 at Lawler Rink.... Maine got by the USA U18 team 6-4 in an exhibition game in Orono.

Friday Night: Northeastern nipped Michigan 4-1 in Michigan... Miami drubbed Providence 6-2 in the first round of the Denver Cup... Colgate got the best of Vermont at Gutterson Field House, 4-1... Lowell blanked Alabama Huntsville 3-0 at home.

Saturday Night: BU snuck by Cornell 2-1 in overtime... BC came back and beat Yale at the Whale 3-2... Quinnipiac defeated UMass 4-2 at home... Princeton got the best Providence, 3-1 in the Denver Cup Consolation game... Maine was victorious against Clarkson 4-3 at home... New Hampshire slaughtered Alabama Huntsville 9-1 at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment