Monday, November 14, 2016

Michigan Lookback

Player of the Week
Jordan Greenway, 1 goal, 2 assists
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Unfortunately, I was not able to make the trip out to Ann Arbor this weekend as I was on my own hockey road trip in New Hampshire. I was, however, able to watch most of Friday’s game and the third period of Saturday’s game, so I have a few thoughts on the weekend.

Game one was a disaster. In the first period, Michigan capitalized on both of their power play chances to get off and running. The BU penalty kill that looked solid against Northeastern just a week ago was anything but on Friday night.

Unlike Michigan, the Terriers were unable to get anything going on their own power play, despite getting six opportunities on the man advantage. Jake Oettinger allowed three goals on 20 shots, and overall the team just didn’t have the spark they have shown in games earlier this season, as they dropped game one 4-0.

Saturday saw a huge shake up to the lineup. Two defensemen, Shane Switzer and Brian Diffley were slotted in as forwards. Switzer played right wing alongside Patrick Curry at center and Tommy Kelley on the left side, while Diffley played left wing on the fourth line with Gabriel Chabot in the middle and Oskar AndrĂ©n on the right. It was a much-needed shuffle for a team that hadn’t scored a goal in four periods going into game two.
Like I said before, I was only able to see the third period of this game. With the score tied 1-1 midway through the final frame, the two teams scored four goals in less than six minutes. Charlie McAvoy gave BU their first lead of the series, only to see Dexter Dancs score a weak angle goal less than two minutes later.

Finally, BU got their offense into gear, in large part to Jordan Greenway, who tipped in a JFK shot to regain the BU lead before adding an assist on Patrick Harper’s insurance goal a couple shifts later.

It was encouraging to see them finally take off in the third, but injuries are starting to mount up. Clayton Keller, Ryan Cloonan, and Nik Olsson can't come back soon enough. BU is lucky in the sense that they have two “extra” offensive defenseman who can slide in and play forward in a pinch.

Clearly, the team is better off with Cloonan, Keller, and Olsson up front. BU essentially played this weekend with two viable lines and the offensive productions shows that. They picked up two goals from defenseman, one on the power play by Dante Fabbro and the other by McAvoy when he pinched down and slammed home a centering pass from Greenway. BU scored four goals this weekend and only six players had points; two defenseman and four forwards, all from the top two lines.

Harper Named Rookie of the Week
Patrick Harper was named Hockey East Rookie of the week. He scored a goal and added two assists in Saturday's 4-2 win. He now has a team-leading 14 points in nine games played by way of five goals and nine assists.

At The Polls
BU fell down one peg in the USCHO rankings from 4th to 5th. For the first time this year, someone other than Minnesota Duluth or North Dakota sits atop the rankings. Denver leapfrogged Duluth to take the number one spot, picking up 28 first place votes. Duluth slid down to second, but still picked up 18 first place votes, while Boston college received the final six first place votes and is ranked third. Quinnipiac and BU rounded out the top five.

Hockey East Scoreboard
New Hampshire 3, at Boston College 5
Lowell 2, at Maine 5
Mass 3 at Merrimack 1
UConn 4, at Ohio State 7
BU 0, at Michigan 4

Notre Dame 5, at Northeastern 2
Vermont 2, at UMass 1
UConn 3, at Ohio State 3 (OT)
Arizona State 5, at New Hampshire 4 (OT)
BU 4, at Michigan 2

Maine 1, at Lowell 4
Merrimack 3, at New Hampshire 3 (OT)
Arizona State 1, at Boston College 3
Notre Dame 0, Northeastern 0 (postponed after two periods due to Zamboni failure/poor ice conditions)

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