Thursday, February 25, 2016

Weekend With The Irish

It's hard to believe this is the final weekend of the regular season. BU heads west to South Bend to wrap up Hockey East play and there are four critical points on the line with the Irish.  

If BU sweeps Notre Dame, the Terriers will finish third, the highest they possibly can. If both BU and Lowell are both swept, BU finishes fourth. Finally, if both teams sweep or both split, Lowell wins the tie breaker because of their head to head record vs Boston College. 

Now that we got that confusing mess out of the way, let's look a little closer at the series itself. Both BU and Notre Dame are currently tied at 8th in the PairWise and that gives a great national scope as to how close these teams are. What hasn't been close is the head to head results in recent years. 

BU has just one win in their last nine games with the Irish dating back to October 2009. The lone Terrier win came in the 2010 Icebreaker Invitational Final in St. Louis. BU has never won at ND's Compton Family Arena. They are 0-4-0 in the barn, including a loss in the first ever game in the building, 5-2 on New Year's Eve 2011. 

Last weekend, ND was swept in a two game road series at Providence. Friday night's game was a 3-2 overtime loss and Saturday 3-1. ND has been on a roll since the break. In their last  19 games, the Irish are 13-3-3. The only other loss in that stretch was a 4-0 blanking at home by Boston College. Notre Dame beat up on some lesser teams during the stitch with wins over UMass (x2), Western Michigan (x2), Merrimack (x2), New Hampshire (x2), and Maine (x2) to name a few. 

It's hard to put a finger on how this weekend will go. BU has played Providence really close, but that was way back in November. The blow out loss to BC stand out because BU has played the Eagles about as close as you possible can without getting a win. ND and BU feel like the same team and the PWR shows that. They both "held serve" against some weaker teams in the league and won some games against high ranking teams earlier in the year. It will make for a very entertaining series. 

Scouting the Irish
Sophomore Jake Evens leads the team in scoring at 32 points (8 goals and 24 assists). Anders Bjork and Thomas DiPauli, who were both members of the USA WJC team at one point, come in as the 2and 3 ranked scorers on the Irish. DiPauli leads the team in goals scored at 12. ND has five players with double digit goal totals, but no one with more that 12. Other players to watch include: Mario Lucia, Sam Herr and Steven Fogarty. 

In goal, Notre Dame has one of the best in Cal Peterson. He comes into this game with a .930 save percentage and a 2.19 goals against. Peterson will be BU's biggest issue this weekend. The guy can straight steal a game. Hell, he owns the NCAA record for saves in a single game with 87. 

Out of Conference Common Opponents
Harvard 4, @ Notre Dame 1 (November 27, Shillelagh Tournament)
BU 6, @ Harvard 5 (January 7)

Denver 4, @ BU 5 (OT) (October 31)
Notre Dame 1, @ Denver 1 (January 1)
Notre Dame 2, @ Denver 2 (January 2)

BU Notes 
Coach Quinn said earlier this week that things were looking good on Robbie Baillargion (upper body) and Brandon Hickey (right leg) injures and Sean Maguire (broken finger) was "day to day". This all according to Scott McLaughlin's College Puckcast.  

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