Monday, December 14, 2015

Weekend Lookback: Solid

Even though BU split two games in Connecticut between Yale and Quinnipiac, to say the weekend wasn't a success would be utterly wrong.

Player of the Week
Jordan Greenway: No goals, two assists
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
On Saturday night, BU out played Quinnipiac in pretty much all aspects of the game, but non more prevalent than goaltending. Sean Maguire, who had a sub .900 save percentage for the majority of the year was far better than Qpac goalie Michael Garteig, who was in the .950 range before the game. 

Maguire backstopped the Terriers with 17 third period saves, including a number of big stops on the PK, late. Maguire's play resembled his performance stretch in 2013 on the way to the Hockey East Championship game. What makes his effort all the more impressive is that he did it without arguably the team's best two defenseman on the ice against the best team in the country.

I'm not the only one to notice his standout play on Saturday as Maguire was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, earlier today. This one game, has reopened the goalie competition between Mags and Connor LaCouvee. 

The Greenway
Jordan Greenway was, without a doubt, BU's best player of the weekend. Although he didn't score, he did register two assists that set up two pretty big goals. On Friday at Yale, he used his strength to ward off a Yale defender before hitting Ahti Oksanen in the slot for a one touch goal. "Using his strength" seems to come up again and again when talking abut the 6-5 winger, but it is easily the strongest part of his game. 

The amount of times this year he has won a battle in the corner and then protected the puck and set up a play in front, is astounding. That second line of Oksanen-Lane-Greenway was a force all weekend long. They bullied Yale with their size and tripped up QU with skill. 

Greenway set up Matt Lane to tie the QU game 1-1 with a sexy pass from behind the goal-line. He won a battle in the corner then skated behind the net, drawing a defender and taking Garteig off the post. From the middle post behind the goal, he rolled his wrists and found Lane uncovered in the low circle. It was an incredibly skilled play yes, but to have the presence of mind to throw it back against the grain was another thing all together. 

A Big Boost
Following the loss to Yale, BU dropped to 18th in the PairWise Rankings. After they dropped Qunnipiac from the ranks of the unbeaten, they moved all the way up to 12th. That is what happens when you play a strong schedule: A loss to high ranking opponent doesn't drop you all that far and a win against a high ranked team, in their barn, can catapult you. Currently, BU has the 8th hardest schedule in the nation.

BU faces Harvard at Harvard, who is ranked sixth in the PWR in their first game back from break.

At The Polls
BU jumped up from 12th to 11th in the USCHO poll. Providence was again number one, North Dakota slid up from fourth to second, with Quinnpiac, Boston College and St Cloud rounding out the top five in that order.

Around Hockey East
Thursday: Notre Dame handed BC their first conference loss, 4-3 at Conte… Providence topped Brown 4-1 at home to reclaim the Mayor's Cup.

Friday: Merrimack and UConn skated to a 3-3 tie in Hartford… Union took down UMass 4-3 in overtime at the Mullins Center… Vermont blanked St. Lawrence 4-0 at the Gutt… UNH doubled up Dartmouth 6-3 at the Whitt… BU fell to Yale 3-2 at the Whale.

Saturday: St Lawrence rebound to roll UVM 4-1… BU handed Quinnipiac their first loss, 4-1 in Hamden.

In Other News
- Brandon Hickey made it past the first round of cuts at the Canadian World Junior Camp.

- USA WJC camp takes place this week at BU and then Team USA will play against UMass at the Mullins Center on Friday night.

- This will be my last post for a while, probably before the Harvard game. I have to wrap up my own finals and everything at school.   

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