First off, I'd like to start of by saying Providence won last night?! WAT I DON'T EVEN...
Second off, after that long, in-depth post last night about the women's hockey tournament, it's nice to be able to write a more moderate-depth post about just one series instead of an entire tournament. That took a while.
So, we have a Boston College team that is number one in the nation (and our hearts) playing its best hockey of the season. The target is squarely on our backs! UMass seems to like that this year. They've been more bipolar than a magnet this season (HA, get it?!). They lost to Vermont, but are a perfect 2-0 against number one hockey teams this year, and were 2-1 in the season series against ours truly.
So let's break it down.
Why UMass Will Win: UMass is a pretty scary team when they play focused hockey. It's been beaten to death, but they've beaten a lot of very good hockey teams this year. As our friend Fear The Triangle pointed out, consistent effort has been the difference between good UMass and bad UMass this year. UMass certainly has the talent, and they can score goals. That's not the case with the other bottom-of-the-barrel Hockey East teams we were hoping to face.
Why Boston College Will Win: We have the best goalie in the conference (crazy, right?). We have an NHL player on our team. We have the best freshman in the conference. We have the best defenseman in the conference. We have the best coach on the planet. We have been playing lights out hockey. Where do you end the list?
How about aside from the obvious? UMass has struggled with consistency for 60 minutes this season, let alone 180. If they are going to beat Boston College, it won't be in two games. UMass will need to play the best team in the land for three games and play well enough to win two of them. That's just not going to happen. Even worse for UMass is that this game is not taking place in the friendly (what?) confines of the Mullins Center. UMass has won a grand total of *two* (that's *dos* for our Spanish friends... buenos tardes, amigos) games on the road this year, and hadn't even gotten their first until mid-freaking-February. Yikes.
Alright, let's cut to the chase. Who will advance to The Garden? Just look two inches higher... which has a longer answer? Boston College will sweep UMass, winning on aggregate 11-2. And boom will go the dynamite.
How about a "BC Hockey Awful Theme Song Of The Week"?
Keep on rollin', baby.
Predictions for the rest of Hockey East, because I can:
UML sweeps PC, 2-0. So much for that. I'm changing my answer, so sue me. Now I'm going all out. PC sweeps UML, 2-0.
BU defeats UNH, 2-1. Damn it.
Maine sweeps Merrimack, 2-0. Merrimack is tanking. Remember when they were #1 in the country?
Game one is tonight at 7:30pm at Conte Forum, and on NBC Sports Network (formerly known as Versus). Go Eagles!