Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Recap: Maine Brooms BU

Player of the Week
In a weekend where BU was
swept, hard to find one player who
played really well. This week is no
 exception. Ross Gaudet scored his
third goal of the season in
Friday's 4-2 loss. Gaudet's goal tied
the game at 2-2 as he banked a shot
off Sullivan's back and into the net.
 For his creative goal, and lack of a
better candidate, Ross Gaudet is
my player of the week.

(Photo by Matt Dresens)
After coming off their best weekend of the season, BU was swept by the University of Maine for the first time since 1992. A major factor in the teams two losses was losing both Max Nicastro and Alexx Privitera Friday night.

Privitera broke his wrist midway through the first period and Nicastro suffered a shoulder injury later in the game. Privitera will be out for four weeks at the least and Nicastro is unlikely to play this upcoming Friday night at Merrimack. Today, Coach Parker said that Max may be able to play in the opening round of the Beanpot, which starts Monday (wow the Beanpot is already here!).

Friday's game had some strange twists and turns. Maine looked to be carrying the play at the start, but after Privitera broke his wrist, BU was awarded a power play (the call was interference) and Alex Chiasson converted on a beautiful passing play that started at the point with Adam Clendening. Clendening found Chris Connolly along the boards, who dished to Wade Megan down low. Megan one-touched a pass to Chiasson, who put it past Dan Sullivan, making it 1-0 BU. The lead lasted the remainder of the frame, but Maine struck back in the second with two goals. Ross Gaudet tied the game heading into the third period, before Maine scored on the power play, which was the eventual game winner.

The game came down to three critical things, in my opinion. (1) Maine's second goal, scored by John Parker, was an incredibly weak goal to allow if your Kieran Millan. Parker looked to have just tossed a backhander high over Millan's blocker side shoulder. This goal completely shifted the game, not to mention the lights went out minutes after the goal was scored. (2) The play of the defenseman was not exactly stellar. Not to pick on one player in particular, but Garrett Noonan missed at least two open shots late down the stretch that would have tied the game, before Spencer Abbott buried the empty netter for Maine. (3) I never like to blame officials, but come on... BU had one power play the entire night. I'm not the only one saying this. Both Jack Parker and Chris Connolly were fed up with the refs after the series was over. (link)

I unfortunately was unable to make it to Agganis for Saturday night's game, but I did tape the game, so I have some understanding of what went on. Maine took a 1-1with just seven seconds left in the first period. BU countered with a power play goal in the second, Garrett Noonan's 9th of the season, but Maine's Nick Pryor Drilled home a slapper from the point later in the period. Matt Mangene added an empty netter, capping the sweep for Maine.

At The Polls
Despite being swept, BU dropped just one slot in the USCHO rankings, from 2 to 3. Minnesota Duluth is once again the Nation's number one team. Minnesota is ranked second, despite being in 9th in the PairWise (rankings don't matter!), BU is three, and Merrimack and BC rounded out the top five. That is also how the new Hockey East top three looks like: BU, BC, Merrimack.

BU fell from number one overall in the PWR, down to number two, behind, who but, Minnesota Duluth. The is no really good team out there. This year's NCAA tournament will be real interesting to watch, because anyone out there has the ability to beat anyone else.

Around Hockey East
Tuseday: Providence blanked Lowell 1-0 at home.

Friday: Northeastern rolled past Vermont 8-3 at Gutterson Fieldhouse, home to the Vermont Catamounts... Lowell skated past UMass 4-2 out in Amherst... Boston College snuck past New Hampshire with a last minute goal, final score: 4-3... Maine dropped BU 4-2 at Agganis.

Saturday: BC again found a way to beat New Hampshire, this time it was in overtime by a score of 3-2... Northeastern completed the sweep at Vermont, winning 4-2... Lowell agains beat UMass, 5-2 was the final... Maine swept BU, 3-1.

Sunday: Merrimack topped Providence 4-2 at home.

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