Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Women's Hockey at Harvard Preview

Tonight in Cambridge the women's hockey team has its biggest game of the year to date, a matchup with #3 Harvard. Last year, the Eagles beat Harvard 4-3 in the women's Beanpot semifinal in an incredible, 3OT game. I'm hoping for a similar result this year, but Harvard is better this year than they were last year. This one is going to be a challenge.

I made a few posts on USCHO looking toward the game:

"I've been looking up lots of stats and info for Harvard, trying to figure out just what it is that's made this year's version better than last year's.

They are outscoring their opponents 46-12 and only give up 1 goal per game on average. That's unreal.

They outshoot opponents by an average 34.7-19.0, but BC typically gets outshot so that stat doesn't really worry me; if Harvard only gets 35-40 shots I'm sure Schaus would consider it a relief after last year

It sounds pretty obvious, but BC is going to have to stay out of the box as Harvard's PP rate is 27.4%.

A few things encourage me: despite getting outshot badly, UConn hung with Harvard, not giving up a goal until more than halfway through the 3rd and losing 2-0. Also, Providence lost 4-1, which isn't exactly a slaughter. I think that BC will definitely be in the game and have a chance, which is all you can really ask for.

Also, in the Harvard thread, Skate79's (rightfully) glowingly positive analysis also included one sign of trouble - Harvard made many bad passes and gave up a lot of odd man rushes to Cornell, who did not convert due to a lack of offensive firepower. BC is kind of the hockey equivalent to basketball's fast break offense - if the Eagles get '8-10' odd man rushes as Cornell apparently did, I expect a few to end up in the back of the net.

BC definitely won't be afraid going into the game, having beaten Harvard twice in a row. That's really important from a mental aspect.

Something else interesting I've noticed is that BC has done pretty well against the teeth of the ECAC in the last three seasons:

1/4/08: WIN vs. St. Lawrence, 5-2
1/3/08: LOSS vs. St. Lawrence, 3-1
3/10/07: WIN @ Dartmouth, 3-2
2/6/07: WIN vs. Harvard, 4-3
1/5/07: TIE vs. St. Lawrence, 4-4
12/31/06: LOSS @ Dartmouth, 2-1
2/14/06: WIN @ Harvard, 2-0
11/8/05: LOSS @ Dartmouth, 3-2

4-3-1 against three of the powerhouses of women's hockey, with two losses coming by just one goal. 3-1-1 in the last 5.

The moral of the story?

Harvard's really good, but I'm not fearing a blowout or anything of the sort. It's going to have to be the same predictable script if BC is going to win: tons of incredible saves by Schaus, really hard work in the defensive zone, and opportunistic offense - but I don't mind predictable scripts, as long as the movie has a good ending. "


Just a few rambling thoughts watching video of the HAR-DAR game from earlier this year:

-I hope coach King skates the Fardelmann line against the Vaillancourt line whenever possible. I think Fards has the speed and two-way ability to keep up with her. We also need our faster d-men on the ice against that line.

-I'd love to see a pairing of Kurth and Taverna on the blue line. A nice juxtaposition of one of BC's better defensive players with a great offensive defenseman.

-Quick shifts, quick shifts, quick shifts... it's going to take a high intensity, 60 minute effort to skate with Harvard. I hope the 3rd line is ready to carry their share of the load.

-Harvard is an incredibly skilled team, but I don't think they are dominant in the way UNH is. I get this sense from the three times I saw them in person last year + the video this year. They don't smother the life out of you the way the 'Cats do. I think the Eagles will have their share of chances in the offensive zone, I really do.

-Harvard's penalty kill is just ferocious. Power play is going to need to continue the good work they did against SLU. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to switch Stack and Taverna's spot on the power play, putting Taverna on the point and Stack on the wing... Taverna is a stronger puck handler and has a better shot. I think the only way to crack the Crimson PP is shots from the point. Even the Big Green, who are better on paper than BC, had trouble getting anything going down low.

-Way too obvious, but NO STUPID PENALTIES. Harvard PP is lethal.

-The Crimson create a lot of turnovers and just feast on dumb passes so BC needs to be careful. No hanging Schaus out to try.

-Decent shots become low percentage shots against Molly Schaus. Don't be deceived by the shot totals. I'm sure BC will let Harvard get a lot of shots off, but as long as she can see the shot and it's not coming on an odd man rush, I feel good about Schaus's chances of turning it away.

This is going to be fun. Harvard is much deeper, faster and stronger on paper (and they are much better at handling the puck) but they are definitely beatable.


Prediction: Harvard 3, BC 2

No comments:

The Trophy Case: BC's honors during my years at school

  • Men's Basketball
  • 2006 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
  • 2008 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
  • Women's Basketball
  • 2008 - Caribbean Challenge Winners
  • 2008 - Blue Sky Classic Winners
  • Sailing:
  • 2008 - ICSA Women's National Champions
  • 2008 - ICSA Co-Ed National Champions
  • Football:
  • 2006 - Meineke Car Care Bowl Winner
  • 2007 - Ireland Trophy
  • 2007 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
  • 2007 - Champs Sports Bowl Winner
  • 2008 - Ireland Trophy
  • 2008 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
  • Men's Soccer:
  • 2007 - ACC Regular Season Champions
  • 2007 - ACC Tournament Champions
  • Women's Soccer:
  • 2006 - Sweet Sixteen
  • 2008 - Sweet Sixteen
  • Women's Hockey:
  • 2007 - Beanpot Champions
  • 2007 - Frozen Four
  • 2009 - Beanpot Champions
  • Men's Hockey:
  • 2007 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
  • 2007 - Frozen Four
  • 2007 - Mariucci Classic Champions
  • 2008 - Beanpot Champions
  • 2008 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
  • 2008 - Frozen Four
  • 2008 - National Champions

Games I Attended in '07-'08

  • Overall: 51-30-11 + 12 non BC + spring football = 105 games
  • Home: 40-25-6 + spring game
  • Away: 4-5-5
  • Neutral: 7-0
  • Non-BC NCAA Games: 12
  • Men's Hockey: 13-6-5
  • Women's BBall: 8-2
  • Football: 6-1 + spring game
  • Baseball: 5-1
  • Softball: 4-0
  • Men's BBall: 6-4
  • Women's Hockey: 8-11-5
  • Men's Soccer: 1-2-1
  • Field Hockey: 0-1
  • Women's Soccer: 0-1

Stadiums/Fields Seen 07-08

  • Total: 20
  • Conte Forum [BC] - (49)
  • Alumni Stadium [BC] - (8)
  • TD Banknorth Garden - (7)
  • Shea Field, Baseball [BC] - (6)
  • Newton Soccer Field [BC] - (6)
  • Walter Brown Arena [BU] - (4)
  • Shea Field, Softball [BC] - (4)
  • Matthews Arena [NU] - (3)
  • DCU Center [Worcester] - (3)
  • Schneider Arena [PC] - (2)
  • Ridder Arena [Minnesota] - (2)
  • UConn Hockey Arena [Conn] - (2)
  • Agganis Arena [BU] - (2)
  • Tsongas Arena [UML] - (1)
  • Whittemore Center [UNH] - (1)
  • Mariucci Arena [Minnesota] - (1)
  • Bright Arena [Harvard] - (1)
  • Harvard Stadium [Harvard] - (1)
  • Newton Field Hockey [BC] - (1)
  • Houston Field House [RPI] - (1)

Games I attended in 06-07

  • OVERALL 67-27-3 = 97 games
  • Football 6-0
  • M Hockey 17-6-1
  • M Basketball 14-4
  • W Hockey 13-6-2
  • W Basketball 6-3
  • Softball 3-1
  • W Soccer 3-1
  • M Soccer 3-1
  • Baseball 2-4
  • W Lax 0-1

Best Moments

  • Men's Hockey, 4/12/08 - National Champs.
  • Football, 10/26/07 - BC rallies with two touchdowns in the last 2:11 to win at Virginia Tech and maintain their #2 ranking. Students spill out of the dorms and have an impromptu celebration all over campus. What a night. WOW.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - BC scores 3 goals in 1:58 to come from an 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd against Miami in the NCAA regional final.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - Joe Whitney's ridiculous diving goal sends BC to the Frozen Four, beating Miami 4-3 in OT.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/21/08 - Benn Ferriero's 3OT goal caps a comeback against UNH in the Hockey East semifinals at the Garden.
  • Men's Hockey, 2/11/08 - Nick Petrecki's OT goal wins the Beanpot for BC!
  • Football, 9/1/07 - BC scores a touchdown to tie the game at 21 right before half time against Wake. BC wins 38-28
  • Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BU goalie Karson Gillespie gets sent to the box by Benedetto for a swan dive... piss-your-pants laughter follows
  • Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - Nate Gerbe's amazing penalty shot goal makes it 4-0 BC over PC in Game 2 of the HE QFs
  • Men's Hockey, 2/4/08 - Gerbe slays BU in overtime
  • Men's Hockey, 3/22/08 - BC cruises to another Hockey East title, beating UVM 4-0
  • Men's Hockey, 3/29/08 - BC gets past the Gophers 5-2 in the NCAA tournament.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - BC sweeps the Friars with a pair of 5-1 wins in the HE QFs to advance to the TD Banknorth Garden.
  • Women's Hockey, 2/29/08 - Eagles top PC 4-2 in the season's penultimate game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Stack with the ENG to ice it with 4 seconds left.
  • Women's Hockey, 1/4/07 - BC kills off a 5-on-3, Lindsay Wright aka CANADA scores a sick goal, and BC upsets #4 SLU 5-2
  • Women's Basketball, 1/6/07 - BC stuns NC State with a thrilling 1 point come-from-behind victory
  • Men's Soccer, 11/9/07 - BC clinches ACC reg. season title with a win at home against VT.
  • Women's Hockey, 01/12/08 - MN native Allie Thunstrom's goal with 1:30 to go gives BC a tie @ #4 Minnesota
  • Men's Hockey, 3/14/08 - BC blitzes Providence early and often en route to 5-1 win in Game 1 of HE QFs at BC
  • Men's Basketball, 12/23/07 - Tyrese Rice knocks down a floater with less than 5 seconds to play to give BC the 57-55 win over Northeastern.
  • Men's Hockey, 1/19/08 - Carl Sneep's goal in the 3rd ties BU 2-2; pandemonium in the student section
  • Football, 11/24/07 - BC finally snaps the long losing streak against the U.
  • Women's Hockey, 2/10/08 - BC's Stack scores in the 2nd to tie UNH 1-1. We lost, but that was a great moment.
  • Women's Basketball, 12/31/07 - Picco nails back to back three pointers as BC wins a thriller against NU
  • Baseball, 5/13/08 - BC rallies from big early deficit to beat UConn.
  • Softball, 3/26/08 - Fence Girl crashes into the fence, Thunstrom scores winning run, BC downs HC 4-3
  • Women's Hockey, 11/29/07 - A clutch goal with under a minute remaining by Stack gives BC a much needed point @ UConn
  • Women's Hockey, 3/15/08 - UNH tops St. Lawrence 3-2 in OT to give Hockey East a representative in the Frozen Four.
  • Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BC explodes for a 3-0 1st period lead en route to a 6-2 win over BU
  • Football, 10/7/07 - BC scores 31 points in the 2nd quarter against Bowling Green and rolls to 55-24 win - up to #4 in the country!