BC women topped UNH at the Whittemore Center for the second time ever on Wednesday - via Mike Lee
This week, we kick Jack Parker while he's down, laud BC women's hockey's winning streak, recap the weekend against BU, look forward to Providence, and talk NCAA tournament.
Joseph Gravellese: Happy Thursday and welcome to the Banter. As we type this on Wednesday night, the BC women's hockey team has just exploded for three goals in the third period to take a 4-1 lead at UNH with just over six minutes remaining.
This will be their second EVER win at UNH, and will extend the ladies' unbeaten run to 12 games. While UNH isn't the power they've been in years past, it's still a big challenge to beat them on their home ice.
As for the men... well, we've all had time to digest what went down over the weekend in an absolutely scintillating series against BU.
But... just because we've had time to digest it, doesn't mean some people still don't need a ride home from the whaaaaaaaaambulance.
At his press conference on Wednesday night, Jack Parker named BC and Maine as the mysterious "two teams" he accused of being the "diving teams" in Hockey East, which is just comedy gold.
Grant Salzano: He can't get out of his own way. Honestly, he needs to crack open a nice cold bottle of shut the hell up. He's embarrassing his alma mater.
Actually, no. He should keep right on going.
JG: It was a pretty classic presser for Angry Jack last night. Clearly the combination of this year's stock of Jack Daniels and York closing in on #925 has made him angrier and loopier than usual.
In the same presser, he accused BC and Maine (why kick Maine at this point?) of diving, ignored his team's league lead in flopping penalties, threw several of his players under the bus and bragged about making Escobedo "do a 20 mile bike ride" for taking "stupid penalties," and responded to Yasin Cisse's departure from BU with all the class you'd expect from Jack Parker, saying "he had one foot out the door for the past two years."
Dude is CRANKY.
GS: Cranky is right... why would anyone want to go play for the guy at this point?
JG: Honestly, if he makes his players do 20 mile bike rides every time they do something stupid, they should have an award winning Tour de France team by the end of each season.
Nobody specializes in stupid penalties and dumb plays (not to mention moronic off-ice incidents) quite like BU. Makes me think that mayyybe the coaching might have something to do with it.... Nahhhh.
GS: Well to give BU fans credit, most of them want him out the foor at this point.
JG: The smart BU fans, anyway. All 6 of them on USCHO.
GS: Which would be sad for everyone else, especially those of us who take pleasure in his hilarity.
JG: I mean it's just embarrassing. I'm wondering if he even watches the game film at this point. He also complained about Steve Whitney "encroaching" on faceoffs and mentioned a specific play in which the dearly departed Cisse, on video, is just as far in from the circle as Whitney. Hilarity.
Speaking of Cisse, for those who didn't catch the news, BU's winger departed for the QMJHL this week -- yet another BU midseason departure. You can set your calendar by them at this point; I think this means it's time to check the batteries in my smoke detector.
JG: I'm pretty stunned that a QMJHL team wanted Cisse, honestly -- maybe he's better than I think , and maybe it was ParkerBall holding him back. We'll see.
GS: Angry Jack had him on the first line, so I mean, he must have some kind of talent. Or something.
JG: Like I said, we'll see. Now that he's gone, best of luck to him.
GS: Hell no. I hope he flounders uselessly in that league and makes nothing whatsoever of his career. Goon. He had like 42,624,724,672 penalties against us this weekend.
JG: We will miss those free power plays in the Beanpot, that's for sure.
Thankfully, BU still has Noonan and Escobedo. For now. But if we can count on BU for one thing it's their affinity for the penalty box.
Because they take a lot of penalties, and for no other reason.
GS: Speaking of which, are we booking our next BC Interruption event at Agganis?
JG: Oh, that ought to be seriously discussed. I know Favat has the big bucks, so it shouldn't be a problem.
GS: All that INTERNET MONEH
JG: As for the games themselves last weekend, there's been plenty of time to dissect and discuss them at this point, but I do have a few things I want to bring up:
Firstly, how's about me with the Grant-esque throw crap at the wall optimistic prediction working out, saying Silk would score? He had himself quite the game even before he scored. He looked like a natural playing alongside talented linemates. Before suffering a major injury in high school, he was considered a high end prospect -- we saw some flashes of that on Saturday. He's got size and speed and a nice shot. Let's hope he continues to develop.
GS: You also predicted a split I believe. Jerk.
JG: I did, though like most people I had the order wrong.
GS: I blame you for #York925 having to be on the road.
JG: I'm glad it worked out as it did, though -- Saturday was just an amazing day. You and I had the pleasure of participating in the Boston College GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) alumni reception at the new Cadigan Alumni Center on brighton before the game -- it was a fabulous time, mad props to Steph St. Martin and the other GOLD committee organizers for putting together the event. We got to schmooze, reconnect with friends, and even stop by the GOLD luxury box for food and drinks.
Then to head into Conte and witness the absolutely electric atmosphere -- has Conte seen atmosphere that great anytime in recent history??? -- and to see Jerry win 924...
That was awesome.
JG: Every seat was PACKED, the students were ROCKING, the whalepants were pretty in to the game by BC standards, and the roof felt like it was coming off after BC goals. Just a great time.
GS: That was seriously a great time.
Now I guess BC has an extra home game this weekend apparently.
JG: Indeed. The BC @ Providence game has sold out -- presumably on the strength of BC fans flocking to Providence for King Jerry's coronation.
GS: There are SO MANY PEOPLE going down to PC
JG: There will be a student bus to Providence, plus the regular BC allotment is completely sold out. Not to mention, we hardy souls from section OO will be in the house as well.
It's going to be Conte South. It's going to feel so much like being in Conte that I'll expect a fog out, and a poorly-attended basketball game the next day.
GS: HA you are on fire today.
What are the chances we have to wait a month to see #York925 against Huntsville?
JG: Zero. I have lots of love and respect for Providence, but their job is to be the Washington Generals this week.
GS: Oooh a shootyhoops reference in the Banter this week!
JG: Honestly the BC team is going to be ready to run through walls on Friday night. They've played in enough big games on huge stages that they're probably pretty immune to the effects of atmosphere and circumstances, but I just don't see them losing in front of a de facto home crowd with a chance to make history. PC is a good team but they're not BU at Agganis playing in one of the biggest games in Agganis Arena history. This one will be a win.
Mark it down. If there's a Providence SBNation blog, feel free to come troll us if BC loses. But I'm standing by it. 5-1 or 6-1.
GS: I have to agree. Love ya, Providence, but hopefully we can just lay a nice, solid beatin' going into the break.
JG: More stuff to discuss from Saturday: SECONDARY SCORING! Everyone knows it's the key, but what a dramatic example of it. ALL goals coming from beyond the top line.
GS: I LOVE IT. Sad that Gaudreau's point streak ended (though he did have a goal and an assist waved off) but the fact that we won a GIGANTONORMOUS GAME without the top line getting on the scoreboard is just huge. We need more of that.
JG: Yes we do. It's the key to this season, ultimately.
GS: Which reminds me -- Matheson not getting picked for Team Canada in World Juniors is just such a big deal.
JG: It's HUGE.
GS: It's a snub and it's really unfortunate for him, but hopefully he uses it as a motivator and just goes off... like, as much as he already is.
JG: First of all, just a giant raspberry to Canada for continuing to put blinders on such that they can't see anyone playing in the U.S. Obviously, they're Canada, so Mike Matheson wasn't going to make or break their team either way. They've got a stacked team. But he would've helped them out. Dude was the #1 overall pick in the QMJHL draft.
If he went to the Q there is ZERO DOUBT he would have been on Team Canada. ZERO DOUBT.
GS: Not to mention he might be the most NHL ready freshman in the entire NCAA.
JG: Secondly, with #GaudreauGoingGlobal , BC is going to need all the firepower it can get for the three game stretch during world jrs consisting of Huntsville, Minnesota, and Yale.
GS: Eff Canada, honestly. You're right, if he was in the Q he would be on the team and the fact that he isn't is just so... CANADA.
I think I'm more nervous for the Yale game. How did that happen?
JG: Suddenly Yale has joined the ECAC swarm of the top 10 in the PWR.
GS: They are a run & gun, up and down the ice team. Missing Gaudreau is going to hurt our chances of keeping pace with their scoring.
JG: At this point we have to take them seriously until proven otherwise.
GS: The fact that there is so many of them suggests they may actually be for real.
JG: And they've won a bunch of big non-conference games - with Yale alone sweeping DU and CC.
GS: That was NUTS. And AWESOME.
JG: Really quicky, how do you see York doing the lines during World Juniors? Obviously Straight will be out, so we'll presumably see the debut of McMullen.
GS: Really interesting question. What to do with that Gaudreau slot.
JG: I guess the big question is, do you just straight up bump someone up to replace Gaudreau or do you shuffle everything? Given Jerry's track record, you'd think he might shuffle things up a bit, just to experiment.
GS: I think you want to keep the 2nd line as it is honestly. Look at how they lit the lamp against BU. I would bring up a lower line guy and say "alright chief, here's your chance to shine with the big boys" and see what happens.
JG: Which guy? I think the semi-obvious choice is Linell. He has speed and keeps up our Smurf Line reputation.
GS: Yeah I like the choice of Linell. Make it so.
JG: And just maintain as much continuity as possible on the lower lines. Thanks to Canada sparing us, we'll be in good shape on D- unlike the gophers, who lost two D-men to world juniors.
Another quick hit because I know this is getting long:
There were more rumblings last week about potential changes to the NCAA hockey tournament, including making the first round a best 2-of-3 on top-8 campus sites. This probably deserves its own article at some point, but, quick thoughts?
GS: I don't hate it, but I think the one-and-done nature of the NCAA hockey tournament needs to be preserved. The regionals should be at campus sites. Simple as that.
HOWEVER -- the question comes up of what do you do with the quarterfinals if you make the first round best of 3 at campus sites?
I propose putting the entire Elite Eight in one weekend.
JG: Well it's a tough question. A weekend-long elite eight would be a fun pipe dream but it would be a logistical nightmare for the NC$$ and would ruin their much-loved "____ Four" brand.
I'm not sure what the solution is in this case. I think that in theory, having a pair of SuperRegionals for the elite eight would be better attended, since the main reason for this is attendance/atmosphere concerns.
With only two regionals happening, with one day of action in each, you could probably do one in Greater Boston and one in Minneapolis or whatever and get a good crowd.
One of the hazards right now is if you're, say, an Air Force fan, you clear your weekend and fly to Worcester and get a hotel for the potential/likelihood of losing in round one and having the whole rest of the weekend be a waste.
GS: Yep. So why don't we just make the regionals be at the #1 seed campus sites?
JG: They could do that, I suppose. That works. But then say the #1 team loses and you have a neutral site game at someone else's campus on day two.
I dunno, this deserves a more in-depth discussion.
GS: Even so, you'll still have people going to the games from campus even if the #1 seed is out.
JG: Maybe. Guess it would depend on the campus. Let's discuss this in great detail during the impending depressing three week layoff.
How the eff do we survive the summer? Like, seriously. I don't know how I do it.
GS: By buying national championship gear. The season doesn't end when you're national champion.
JG: Thanks Jerry. Anyway, one last quick topic from me:
NO MORE STUPID OUTDOOR GAMES. THAT IS ALL.
I want another outdoor game as much as I want more shootyhoops against Harvard and more old Italian head football coaches.
GS: I think that's a good note to end on.
JG: Sounds good.
GS: Good luck to Jerry and the team in the quest for #York925.