Hockey Banter, Week XI: Hockey's Back!

Lorianne DiSabato

After rolling through the Three Rivers Classic, BC looks ahead to Fenway and a big league contest against the Fighting Irish

Joseph Gravellese: If you like searching for omens -- and I do, if they're good ones -- BC won its in-season tournament in the 2011-12 season, winning the IceBreaker. Last year, the Eagles did not win at the Mariucci Classic.

Last week, the Eagles took home the Three Rivers Hockey Classic trophy. It's not exactly the most prestigious competition in college hockey, but it's a trophy -- another one for Jerry York's pile of hardware -- and it was a good sign to see BC dominate teams they should after the Holy Cross fiasco.

Grant Salzano: It was indeed, especially after Providence managed to pull off yet another Hockey East lost to the AHA after falling to Air Force.

Both of our wins were pretty dominant over the weekend but I'm happier with the result over Bowling Green more than Penn State. The Nittany Lions are just awful... worse than Holy Cross in KRACH. But Bowling Green is a pretty respectable opponent.

And we pretty well dominated them.

They're ranked quite a bit higher than BU anyway. *Snicker*

JG: Heh. Yes, not only did BC cruise in that game, they did so without Steve Santini, Ian McCoshen and Thatcher Demko. So that's a good sign. And shutting someone (anyone) out is a good sign given that defense has been a continuing concern.

You can't take too much from the weekend, obviously. But as long as you take it for what it was, it's okay to look at it as a positive sign. The real work resumes this weekend.

Well, sort of, as this weekend will have the outdoor game sideshow element. But it's a Hockey East game against a rival and a game that will probably matter quite a bit in the pairwise.

GS: Yep, lost in the "OMG FENWAY" of it all is that this is quote a big league game. A little (well, ok, a lot) frustrating that this should be at Conte... But no use whining.

Fortunately I don't think the ice will be terrible. The snow will be long gone and it will be very cold.

Second game of the night, but still.

JG: The ice reportedly has been pretty good, by previous years' standards, for the games thus far -- and will only be improved by the frigid weather.

Yeah, the conditions will be ideal. Especially ideal if you're indoors watching on TV.

GS: I will be indoors. You?

JG: I'll be indoors as well.

GS: We are smart.

Notre Dame has had kind of a back and forth first semester. They beat Minnesota pretty good, but got swept by a resurgent Lowell, tied Merrimack, and lost Northeastern and UMass.

LOST TO UMASS??

JG: Yes, the Hockey East schedule has been a tough sled for them. I suspect they'll improve in the second half, making this a big pairwise game.

GS: UMass tho...

JG: Assuming all of the WJC players are not back and able to play on Saturday, I think it's a slight upper hand to BC. Jeke and Doherty have stepped in and performed admirabiy. Hinastroza and DiPauli are dynamic forwards for Notre Dame who they'll surely miss.

I'm sure both teams would be more than happy to have their full contingent back, though. We'll see.

GS: We've debated whether or not they will be back enough offline... But I think you're right on it favoring BC if they aren't back. We should definitely outgun them and the D has been pretty "plug & play" lately, with good results.

***EDIT: According to @BCHockeyNews, the players will be be back as long as their plane is able to land in Boston***

JG: Overall I think BC is a better team. That doesn't necessarily count for much given that it will likely be a string of fluky goals that wins this thing, because outdoor hockey, but that's why, when our predictions post later today, I'll be picking BC to win.

Other topics:

Air Force beat Northeastern and Providence at the Ledyard Bank holiday tournament over New Year's. Providence didn't have Gillies. What's Northeastern's excuse?

(And yes, I know Air Force is a good team. It was still surprising to see them knock off those two teams back to back.)

GS: "We were supposed to suck anyway"

JG: "It's a four team tuornament, that's not exactly our strength"

GS: LOL

JG: Their 8-8 tie against Dartmouth (LOL) is along the lines of what I would have expected from Northeastern this year. They're usually good for a few barnburners each year (defined as games without any defense).

GS: One thing that is interesting is this year seems to be returning the standings to more of a semblance of normalcy. Other than Ferris State in 3rd (??) and Quinnipiac holding strong after losing 84 players to graduation (wtf?) you've got a lot of expected names at the top.

JG: That is interesting, especially given that every time you look at the scoreboard it seems like there's another big upset happening.

Other agenda items:

Hooray for Stack, Carpenter, and Schaus making the women's Olympic team. 3 BC reps -- most of any Hockey East program. Good times.

GS: More than the rest of Hockey East combined, even.

JG: Boo for the US's early departure from the WJC. But congrats anyways to the three BC representatives. Invaluable experience for them to take back stateside.

Next year, Demko has a good chance to be the starter. Santini and McCoshen will be eligible to return. Sonny Milano will also probably be on the team.

Let's hope the scheduling is light over winter break next year.

GS: We often liken playing in World Juniors to swinging with a batting donut upon returning to Hockey East. Hopefully that's the case once again.

Any chance Eichel decommits from BU?

JG: Well, maybe. Just because there's always a chance. But there have been no such rumblings.

Dude is legit.

He would almost make BU hockey worth the inflated $28 cost of admission.

GS: I think it might take more than just one big-time recruit to turn that train wreck around.

JG: Enjoy the weekend everyone. Back to hockey we can actually watch in real life this weekend. Rejoice. Go Eagles.

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