Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting to know Merrimack

Boston College hockey will spend this weekend engaged in Hockey East battle, partaking in a home-and-away series with Merrimack.  Tonight's game will be the home opener for the Eagles where their championship banner will be raised, and tomorrow's game will be on the road in North Andover.

The Warriors are 1-0-2 to start the season, skating to a 4-4 tie at Niagara, pounding Connecticut at home 7-1, and tying the Catamounts in Montpelier 2-2.  Despite the record, Merrimack (though they've only played three games, as opposed to almost everyone else in the conference) has managed to score goals and hold their opponents to low totals.  One of their obvious issues early on, however, is the inability to convert on the power play: Merrimack has scored 2 PP goals in 15 tries, and allowed as many short-handed goals in that time.  BC, on the other hand, has scored 3 PP goals and allowed none short-handed.

Don't let Merrimack's 100% penalty kill stat deceive you: though the Warriors have stopped all opposing power plays, there were only 13 of which to speak.  BC has killed off all but one of 32.

The Hockey East website has featured their goalie, Joe Cannata, in their "Five Minute Major" segment, in case you're interested in learning a little more about BC's next opponent. 

Last season, the Eagles went 2-1 against Merrimack, or 2-0 at Conte Forum vs. 0-1 at their place.  As for this weekend, I think the Eagles will claim at least one win, but would not be shocked to see two.  Merrimack is OK, nothing overly great, and BC are still the defending national champions who had notched three dominant wins before falling in a one-goal contest to Notre Dame.  The Warriors have some talent, but not as much as we do.  Look for another reasonably good weekend for the hockey team.

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