Saturday, March 12, 2016

Have A Little Faith

So it's do or die in the Hockey East Tournament for BU, tonight. Historically when BU has been down 1-0 in these types of series, they almost always find a way to force a game three.  Since the turn of the century, BU has dropped game one five times (2012, 2011, 2007, 2005, 2001) and forced a game three every time. They ended up winning three of those five series and both game three's were one goal decisions. The Terriers were last swept in a Quarterfinal series in 1988 by Providence. They were bounced from the QF's in 1992, but it was only a one game set vs Boston College.

Matt Lane had BU's best chance to get the lead in the third
period last night.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

What does any of this have to do with tonight? Probably not much, seeing how no one on either of these teams were even in the league in 2012. What it does show is that BU isn't going to go away easily. Jack Parker used to say that who ever won game two usually would win the series.

If you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. Obviously if you win the first two games you win the series. The kicker is if you can grab game two and avoid the sweep, you have all the momentum headed into a decisive game three.

Just take the Merrimack-New Hampshire series in the octo-finals of example. UNH won game one, Merrimack responded with a win in game two and then territorially dominated UNH in game three, winning 2-1.

Find A Way To Finish
Lets switch gears back to last night's game and really the end of the season. BU has had a tough time scoring as of late. Last night there were a number of chances and rebounds for BU to put home, but every time they were unable to capitalize. You have to give credit where credit is due. Lowell played a very strong defensive game and Kevin Boyle controlled and placed rebounds in the right places. That's not to say BU shouldn't have scored more. They have to find a way to bury one or two of those chances tonight.

Getting A Two Goal Lead
BU has only had a two goal lead twice since February 5th. That was the game between the Beanpot at UMass and the Terriers won 6-3. The killer instinct and the inability to put teams away has been an issue for the team all year. In the two games since February 5th that BU has had a two goal lead, they won both. BU went up 3-0 on UNH and won 3-2 and 3-1 on Notre Dame and also won 3-2.

That will be the key to tonight's game. If BU can get a two goal lead, they should win the game. Lowell has beaten BU twice this year. In both games, they had multi goal leads and it payed off. Lowell is a much stronger team when they play with the lead. BU has to make them play from behind and get them back on their heals.

Last night would have been a totally different game if the Terriers could have extended their 1-0 lead.

Have a little faith. With the chances BU generated last night and with a little more finish, BU should extend this series, like they almost always do in this situation.

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