Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend In Review: Exceeding Expectations

Player of the Week:
Alexx Privitera/Kieran Millan
I'm split this week. Millan had a
very strong game against MC.
He turned away 42 shots,
 including 20 in the third frame.
Privitera (photo), on the other 
hand, had the game winning goal in
the best game of his BU career. 
Both make a great case, so I'll go 
with co-players of the week.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The start to Friday's 4-2 win over Merrimack was less than favorable, as MC scored on the power play under five minutes into the game. 14 seconds later, BU answered right back with a pair of goals just 45 seconds apart. Justin Courtnall struck first and Alex Chiasson added the other. Freshman Alexx Privitera banged home a power play goal off a great pass from Matt Nieto. In the words of BU announcer Bernie Courbet, "Privitera was staring at a soccer net".

Merrimack cut the lead in the third on the power play, as Kyle Bigos beat Millan high blocker side. Sahir Gill drilled a one-timer off the post and in at the 17:23 mark, closing the scoring for the night.

The win did more than put BU in first place in the Hockey Standings. It gave hope to many fans (myself included) and even the team, that they can still play well and still win games even without Coyle and Trivino.

The most notable observation was the return of Adam Clendening. Clendening makes the defense very solid when he is out there. There is no questioning that he is 20x better than Ryan Ruikka, who was exposed on a number of accounts against Notre Dame. Clendening looks much more confident with the puck and his skill level really showed Friday night. The World Juniors made him a better player, regardless of how poorly the USA played.

At The Polls
In the USCHO rankings, BU moved up four slots from 10th to 6th. Minnesota Duluth was the overwhelming number one, receiving all 50 first place votes. Ohio State was two, Notre Dame three, Boston College four, and Minnesota rounded out the top five.

In the ever changing PairWise, BU currently finds themselves in fifth.

Around Hockey East
Wednesday Night: Maine skated past Vermont 3-1 at home.

Thursday night: UMass and Providence tied 4-4 at Schneider Rink, home of The Friars... Lowell defeated The Russian Red Stars 6-4 in an exhibition game at Tsongas Center.

Friday Night. BU slipped past Merrimack 4-2 at home.

Saturday Night. UMass upended Vermont 3-2 in the first game of Frozen Fenway part two... Maine knocked off New Hampshire 5-4 in the nightcap of the double header at Fenway Park... Northeastern fell 7-4 to the USA U18 team at Matthew's Arena.

Sunday Night: Boston College held off Merrimack to salvage a 2-2 tie at home. MC scored the game tying goal with 1:10 to go, then had a goal taken away in overtime... BU tied the USA U18 Team 3-3 at Agganis.

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