|What do we know about BC and BU after their first meeting of the season?||11.09.13 at 12:18 am ET|
Because it’s such a great rivalry, Boston College vs. Boston University will always be seen as a measuring stick. The Eagles and Terriers had both played good teams prior to Friday night’s showdown at Agganis Arena, and we already knew quite a bit about both squads. But BC-BU just feels different, so now seems like the perfect time to take a look at where both teams stand.
For this post, it’s pretty convenient that Friday’s game — a 5-1 Eagles win — confirmed a lot of what we already suspected about these teams. Most importantly, it confirmed that BC (5-2-1, 3-0-0 Hockey East) is simply a much better team than BU (4-5-0, 2-2-0 HEA) right now.
The Eagles dominated the first period, outshooting BU 16-5 en route to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Terriers played better in the second, outshooting BC in the frame and providing the home fans a little bit of hope heading into the third. But then the Eagles completely took over again. They outshot BU 16-6 in the frame and put the game well out of reach before the period was half over.
The most impressive (or mind-numbing if you’re a BU fan) aspect of the game was the insane discrepancy in 5-on-5 play. We don’t get exact 5-on-5 stats in college hockey, but what we do know is that eight of BC’s 40 shots on goal came on the power play, while that number was 17 of 23 for BU. So do the math. That means shots on goal in non-power play situations were 32-6 in favor of the Eagles. Furthermore, BU’s only goal came on the power play, while BC did not score on any of its man advantages. So the Eagles outscored the Terriers 5-0 in even-strength play.
That’s ridiculous. Unheard of, really. Sure, you might see that kind of dominance against some stumblebum Atlantic Hockey team, but not against your archrival. Not against a ranked team.
While this was the most glaring example of it, struggling to possess the puck is nothing new for the Terriers. They’re now being outshot by more than 10 shots per game, the worst mark in Hockey East by nearly six shots and the ninth worst mark in the entire country. It doesn’t take a hockey mastermind to figure out that if your opponents consistently have that many more chances than you, you’re going to struggle.
“We had zone time [early on]. We just never got a puck to the net,” said BU coach David Quinn. “I thought it got too easy for them in our end. I just thought our d-zone coverage… a lot of puck-watching, a lot of turn-aways. Against a team like that, you’re going to pay. And we paid.”
Quinn later expanded on the offensive-zone struggles as well.
“We find a way to fire it into pads. We miss the net. You’ve got to be paying attention before the puck comes to you and be ready to shoot it. That’s just a mentality. If you’re staring the play down and just paying attention to what’s going on around the puck and you’re not aware of the people around you, you’re not going to create any offense. … We’re not there yet.”
When you listen to Quinn, it’s easy to see that he knows what he’s talking about. He knows what his team’s problems are, and he’s obviously doing everything he can to try to fix them. The guess here is that eventually the Terriers will improve at both ends of the ice. But until they do, they’ll continue to struggle against really good teams like BC.
Here are a couple other things we had confirmed Friday night:
Johnny Gaudreau is an absolutely ridiculous player Read the rest of this entry »
|BC turns away Northeastern to win Beanpot||02.11.13 at 10:12 pm ET|
Northeastern made Boston College work harder than the score implies, but the Eagles skated away with the Beanpot championship with a 6-3 win Monday night at TD Garden. It was BC’s fourth consecutive Beanpot title.
Johnny Gaudreau scored twice, including a finish off a nice pass from Michael Matheson late in the third period to give BC a two-goal lead after NU had fought back from a 4-1 deficit to make it a game.
Northeastern’s Kevin Roy was named tournament MVP after scoring twice against BC to go with his hat trick in last Monday’s semifinal vs. Boston University.
BC coach Jerry York said he’s not surprised to see this senior class graduate with four straight Beanpot wins, but that it’s not the only class that could have pulled it off.
“We’ve had some very, very good teams,” York said, citing the late-1990s squads featuring players like Brian Gionta as an example. “Luck plays a certain amount [of a role] in winning this many Beanpots in a row for sure, and I think our players understand that.”
No current Northeastern players were born the last time the Huskies won a Beanpot championship, in February 1988. They’ll have a chance to end the school’s drought in the final on Monday, but they’ll have to go through a Boston College team looking to win its fourth straight tournament title, something BC has never done.
Both teams are led by diminutive young forwards: BC by sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, who leads Hockey East with 33 points in 22 games, and Northeastern by Kevin Roy, the highest-scoring freshman in the conference with 30 points in 24 games. Roy, at 5-foot-10, practically towers over the 5-foot-7 Gaudreau, but both have the speed and skill to erase any disadvantages of their size.
Roy outscored Boston University by himself in the semifinal round last Monday, recording a hat trick in Northeastern’s 3-2 win. Northeastern had not beaten BU in the Beanpot since 1988, the last year the Huskies won the tournament, before Roy buried a goal in each period of the semifinal to knock No. 13 BU out of contention.
“I think when the pressure’s higher, I get a better performance, so I was just excited to see what it was like,” Roy said after win.
It’s nothing new for Roy to be the most dominant Husky on the ice. He has 30 points on the season — 10 more than the second-highest Northeastern scorer, Vinny Saponari — and 15 goals, seven more than Cody Ferriero‘s eight.
That lack of balanced scoring might partially account for the fact that Northeastern sits in last place in Hockey East, 4-11-3 in conference play. But the Huskies have beaten BU twice and BC once, playing above their usual threshold when faced with local rivals.
|BC, BU primed for another Beanpot showdown||02.13.12 at 2:21 pm ET|
In the grand scheme of a college hockey season, the Beanpot means very little — it doesn’t improve a team’s place in the conference standings and it doesn’t ensure a good seed or even a berth in the NCAA tournament. But good luck trying to tell that to players on the Boston College or Boston University teams, as the game presents another layer of intensity to a rivalry that can seemingly not have much more venom.
The Eagles and Terriers, who combined have won three of the last four national championships, will look to add to the rich history of the Beanpot and their rivalry Monday night as they take the ice at TD Garden in the Beanpot championship. The game will mark the 41st time the schools have faced off in the Beanpot and the 21st time they have met in the Beanpot title game. In those championships matchups, BU holds a 12-8 edge.
While the Terriers have the overwhelming advantage in all-time Beanpot titles with 29, they have not won the four-team exhibition tournament since 2009, their longest drought since 1994. To add insult to injury, the team primarily responsible for BU’s drought has been the Terriers’ most bitter rival. BC beat BU 4-3 in the 2010 championship game and eliminated BU in the 2011 semifinals.
The Terriers, ranked No. 2 in this week’s USCHO.com college hockey poll, know that they cannot be considered a great team unless they can win a tournament sometimes referred to as the “BU Invitational.”
“You judge a team at the end of the year by what they’ve accomplished and by what they’ve won,” BU coach Jack Parker told the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. “BU teams aren’t real good teams unless they win some championships. You could be No. 1 in the nation or the No. 1 seed in your league. You can get to the Beanpot final.
“You can do all those things that make you look like you’re about to win a championship, but if you don’t win something, it’s just an OK year no matter what the record is. This team will be judged on what happens from now until March and April. We’ll see who is going to get a chance to win championships in March and April. This is the first one that is available.”
As should come to be expected from two schools that have combined to win nine national championships, BU and BC enter the game ranked among the top teams in the country this season, as the Terriers are ranked No. 2 by USCHO and the PairWise rankings, and the Eagles are slotted third by USCHO and are tied for fourth in the PairWise rankings.