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Weekly Hockey Primer: Lowell, BU Next

Catching up on some hockey news ...

1/9/2009 - BC 3, Vermont 3 (OT) – 9-5-3, 5-4-3 Hockey East
1/10/2009 – BC 2, Vermont 4 – 9-6-3, 5-5-3 Hockey East

Yikes. Probably not the 2009 opening the Eagles would have liked. On Friday, Vermont’s Brian Roloff scored with 0:01 left on the clock in the third period to give Vermont a point.

"There are good ties and bad ties," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "Usually when you're the team that scores the last goal to make it a tie, it's a good tie."

In this case, for the Eagles, this was certainly a bad tie.

Kucharski lit the lamp twice and frosh Cam Atkinson scored on a power play late in the second period.

On Saturday, while watching the BC-Miami basketball game on ESPNU, the Eagles hockey score kept flashing across the Bottom Line. I saw the score at 2-0 Eagles for the entire first half and thought we’d finally get a much needed 2 points on Saturday night. And then, out of nowhere, Vermont decided to start playing in the second and third periods, scoring 4 unanswered goals on 21 shots.

Is the Sky Falling? 5-5-3 in Hockey East?? Possibly. Muse is slumping, Hobey hopeful Brock Bradford has 1 point in the Eagles last 3 games, and the Eagles are now 8 points ... 8! ... be hind first place Northeastern.

I think Eagles fans are nervously waiting for the patented York second-half surge to start soon! The talent is certainly there. Although it seems like the rest of Hockey East has certainly closed the gap on the Eagles.

Northeastern is 10-2-1 in Hockey East play, Vermont has looked impressive behind the play of two Hobey hopefuls (Stalberg and Lenes), Boston University has improved, New Hampshire again looks solid, and even Providence has started off 2009 with a bang. The Friars – having gone winless in Hockey East entering the New Year – replaced their starting goaltender with Alex Beaudry and have since knocked off Lowell and Boston University. With a bad break in the schedule, B.C. didn’t face Providence in 2008 and has three games left with the Friars.

Next Up. Two games against Hockey East foe. The first going down tonight at Conte Forum against UMass-Lowell. A Lowell weekend preview can be found over at The River Hawk hockey blog.

"A loss to Boston College would be understandable and not unexpected, regardless of their so-so performance last weekend at Vermont. Certainly, the Eagles offense is explosive and well-constructed. Their breakout in the Friday game against Vermont was particularly impressive and obviously if Lowell has gotten itself into the habit of giving up four to teams like Providence, then Brock Bradford and Co. could dissect Lowell on the counterattack as the Friars more or less did (which is embarrassing to the nth degree)."

On Saturday, the Eagles travel down the Green Line to wrap up the Hockey East regular season series with Boston University. BU is coming off a loss to Providence that snapped an 8 game winning streak (7-0-1). BU faces Merrimack tonight. The Eagles really need 2 points from their game with BU as the Eagles are 0-1-1 against BU on the season.

A full Hockey East weekend preview can be found on Their weekend predictions?

Boston College 3, Lowell 1
Boston University 3, Boston College 2 (OT)

Bracketology, Hockey Style. Could there really be 6 teams from Hockey East in this year’s tournament? I say highly doubtful. Of the six teams from Hockey East currently in the Top 16 PairWise rankings, Maine’s resume looks the least impressive (tied-14). They haven’t beaten many impressive teams (other than BC) and haven’t won a game since before the break, sweeping Union at home on December 12-13.

Having said that though, the Eagles aren’t in the best of positions either at this point. Obviously this will change between now and March, but the Eagles would currently be a 3 seed and face a strong #2 seed in Michigan.

Eagles in the NHL. article on Orpik the elder (Thanks to Christian for the link).