Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 National semifinal: Boston College vs. Miami-OH

Now we get to the good part.

Boston College is back in the Frozen Four, and to win the 2010 national title, they'll have to get through two more teams: Miami of Ohio and either RIT or Wisconsin (probably Wisconsin).  Getting to that title game, however, will not be easy, as Boston College has drawn in this round the number one overall seed in the tournament.

The Miami Redhawks are a very, very good hockey team.  As you can see in the stats I've provided below, they don't score as much as the Eagles do, but their defense and goaltending are exceptional.  They don't even allow two goals per game and have an 87% penalty kill rate.  Don't kid yourselves, though, Miami can put goals up on the board as well.  John Muse will need to bounce back from a few sub-par efforts in recent games.  He is, of course, championship-tested, so that works to his favor.

The matchup of Boston College's offense vs. Miami's defense will be an interesting one.  Miami's goaltenders, Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp, rank 1 and 2 in the nation in GAA, respectively.  They are also, respectively, 6th and 5th in save percentage.  John Muse is 24th in GAA.  Boston College has the second best offense in terms of goals per game of any team in the Frozen Four, a few mere ten-thousandths of a point behind Wisconsin. (Wisconsin's GPG is 3.9756, BC is 3.9750)  If BC and Wisconsin both make it to Saturday, that should be an interesting comparison itself.

This is a very tough matchup for the Eagles. The Redhawks have had their last two tournament losses come bitterly in overtime; last year's was particularly bad as they had the national title within their grasp. They also lost one of their team managers, Brendan Burke, to a car accident just two months ago, so you can bet this team has more than enough emotional motivation to win now. With that said, Boston College is an excellent team and can beat most anyone in the tournament.

Showtime is tonight at 8:30 on ESPN2.

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