Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Monday, March 31, 2008

DENVER

How do you start to describe a game like that?

How do you start to describe a moment like that?

When I write game stories for The Heights, I feel like I do a generally good job of capturing and describing the game. But there are times and events where it becomes obvious why some people get paid to write about sports and others simply can't do it.

I definitely fall into the latter category - because I am at a loss for words. Every time you think you've seen everything, it seems like something even more dramatic and more incredible happens.

The dizzying 1:58 span in which Petrecki, Gerbe, and Smith all scored to help BC roar back from an 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 lead right before the end of the 2nd period ranks up there with the Matt Ryan-led comeback over Virginia Tech for one of the most exciting 3ish minute spans I have ever experienced.

Like I said, I'm really at a loss, and I feel the need to use the words of a real pro. To paraphrase the great Nick Hornby, author of Fever Pitch (the book about soccer, not the lame Jimmy Fallon movie):

'You'll have to forgive those of us who pick sporting moments as some of the best in our lives. It's not that we live horrible, depressing, or boring lives - it's just that the real world is so much less exciting, and doesn't have nearly as much potential for unexpected delirium.'

Props to the townies and the alumni for providing a great home advantage for BC this weekend - that was the best, loudest non-student BC crowd I've ever seen for hockey.

What a weekend.

I can't believe I have to wait two weeks now. It's gonna be a long wait.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Survive and advance

Did you see the SIZE of Blake Wheeler (#17 on the Gophers)? The guy made Petrecki look like a midget. Minny's got a HUGE team - and it showed from time to time tonight.

It took a big explosion early in the 3rd, but BC got past Minnesota tonight, 5-2, at the DCU.

Too ecstatic to recall all the details clearly, but here are some of the concerning things I remember:
  • Muse left a number of really juicy rebounds out there
  • Minnesota physically manhandled us throughout the game
  • We spent almost the entire 2nd period in our end
But it worked out quite nicely in the end, as BC put up another 5 spot.

We also saw something really bizarre and rare late in the 3rd - something I was just recently discussing with a friend of mine, oddly enough.

With about 3:40 to go and the score 4-1 BC, the Gophers pulled their goalie. With 3:20 to go, they scored a goal that came quickly out of the net, and the officials somehow blew the call and didn't stop play.

No problem - next whistle, they'd go to the review booth and give them the goal.

But play proceeded to go on uninterrupted until :50 SECONDS TO GO, when BC buried an empty net goal.

The fans celebrated, the band played 'For Boston,' we all sieved 'empty net,' but we also all knew that the goal wasn't going to count. They had to re-set the clock to 3:20, take BC's goal off the board, and put one up for Minnesota. 4-2, 3:20 to go... 3:20 more of stress.

But the Eagles survived and Nate Gerbe potted an empty netter to set up the 5-2 final.

Onward & upward - Miami (OH) tomorrow.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Surprise, Surprise?

Two games into the NCAA hockey tournament, two upsets. But were they really upsets?

In the first game of the day, 2 seed St. Cloud State continued its NCAA futility, losing to #3 Clarkson, 2-1. SCSU is now 0-8 in NCAA tournament play and this first round flameout is yet another in a long line of embarrassing first round defeats.

And within the last half hour, #1 seed UNH got blasted by #4 Notre Dame, 7-3, in Colorado Springs. It's UNH's 3rd first round exit in 4 years and it ensures that UNH will be national title-free for another year. On USCHO, fans are already calling for Dick Umile's head.

To most college hockey fans, these results probably weren't all that surprising.

Also unsurprising: Michigan 3, Niagara 0 late in the 3rd. CC and Michigan State drop the puck at 10.

Update: 4-0 Michigan - a hat trick for Porter. He pretty much just locked up the Hobey.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Turnovers end BC's season

The achilles heel all year for the young, talented women's basketball team has been turnovers. Turnovers cost them the UVA game and, ultimately, a chance at an NCAA bid - and turnovers did them in against St. John's tonight.

It's 62-53 SJU with under a minute left, despite SJU shooting just 38.5% from the field.... BC has 20 turnovers to SJU's 10, and that (along with a number of clutch late offensive rebounds for SJU) tell the story.

I wish I could say more, but this game isn't on TV or radio, I only see the stats on gametracker... but it certainly seems to follow a trend from the year.

Murphy also got into foul trouble - she has 4 fouls at the moment.

Regardless, a great season for the BC women - they have a lot of potential and should be in the NCAAs next year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Three wins

BC women's hockey player Allie Thunstrom scored the winning run in the 5th as the BC softball team took game two of a doubleheader from Holy Cross, 4-3. It was part of a doubleheader sweep, which, combined with the baseball team's simultaneous 11-2 drubbing of the male Crusaders, added up to a very productive day for the maroon and gold.

Freshman Allison Gage was extremely impressive for BC in game two, coming in to relieve Savanna Lloyd in the 3rd and going on to pitch shutout ball for the rest of the game. Taylor Peyton got the job done (as usual) in game one. Renee Ramos cranked a home run in game 2 for BC.

The baseball game featured more heavy hitting by the Eagles. BC put together an 8-run 6th, including back to back dongs by Tony Sanchez and Eric Campbell, to put the game out of reach. Kevin Moran pitched 5 innings and gave up 2 runs to earn the victory.

I had far too much fun during the softball game, as my friend Grant had a very typical Grant moment.

Holy Cross rightfielder Elizabeth Foley had a little incident in the 2nd inning, as she crashed into (and knocked over) the fence along the first base line in a valiant attempt to catch a foul ball.

Our seats were probably about 15-25 feet from the right fielder, and Grant, forgetting this, later said in a very normal, conversational tone of voice, "hey fence girl, you crashed into the fence." Foley heard and looked over in our direction, and Grant immediately said "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that." She later gave a smile and a nod.

Maybe you had to be there.

Undefeated when I see games at Neutral Sites...

That's good news for the NCAA hockey tournament right?

Men's Beanpot vs. BU (win in OT)
Men's Beanpot title game vs. Harvard (win in OT)
Women's Beanpot consolation game vs. NU (2-1 win)
Hockey East semifinal vs. UNH (win in 3OT)
Hockey East final vs. UVM (4-0 win)

Softball got the win in game 2.....

I am so adding that to my tally. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First look at baseball

Going to the ballgame today was not nearly as relaxing as I'd hoped (I spent most of it pacing around, trying to get comfortable, and my hands are still defrosting), but it was fun to watch the Eagles cruise to a 7-1 victory over the Hartford Hawks, fueled by a 4-run 3rd in which Hartford's pitcher just couldn't find the strike zone.

Freshman John Leonard got the start and did an excellent job for BC, giving up a run in the first before pitching (I believe) six strong innings and earning the win. Then, Ted Ratliff came in and did the rest.

Two really basic observations:
-The team can hit the ball. They've got some players with nice looking swings, particularly Campbell and Belifori. Shaughnessy had a nice 2RBI single in the 3rd. They are going to continue to be fun to watch offensively.
-They run into a ton of outs on the basepaths. I noticed that this was a problem last year, as well, and it continued today - I recall three times off the top of my head that a BC player was thrown out for trying to sneak an extra base. There is nothing statistically worse in baseball than giving away free outs via poor baserunning (see: Emil Brown for the Oakland A's today). I hope this problem gets fixed before ACC play picks up.

The baseballers have Holy Cross at home tomorrow, then welcome the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to Shea on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'll be at the Cross game with camera in tow. I probably won't be at any of the GT games as I'll be watching hours and hours of college hockey. Next Tuesday, BC is at Northeastern, and I'll probably make an effort to be there.

While down at Shea, I also was able to run over and catch the last inning of the first softball game between BC and St. Peter's. BC edged St. P 3-2 to improve to 15-15; Taylor Peyton closed it out by forcing a pop out with the bases loaded and 2 outs. A narrow escape indeed.

When I left to get ready for intramural hockey, BC was up 2-0 in game 2, looking for its second consecutive doubleheader sweep over subpar competition (they swept Sacred Heart over the weekend).

Speaking of intramural hockey, I have to go get suited up now. Woo hoo.

Laura Georges update

I just heard from Laura Georges, BC women's soccer '07, and one of the best athletes in BC history. She's currently playing for Olympique Lyonnais, a club team in France. Her club won the French championship last year and is in the semi-finals of the UEFA Women's Cup, the most prestigious European women's club competition.

They will be playing a two-legged semifinal against Umea of Sweden, with the first leg coming Sunday & the 2nd being played on April 6. The final round will be on May 17 & 24.

She also said she was interested in coming back to the United States to play in the new women's pro league, which is starting up this summer.

There's definitely a place for her if she wants it, as she is one of the best women's players in the world. Best of luck to her.

.

I'm getting increasingly excited for this weekend's NCAA hockey tournament. I filled out my bracket. My frozen four: Michigan, Michigan St., Boston College, N. Dakota. I have Michigan winning it all, but nothing would surprise me. All it takes is a hot goalie and BC has as good a chance as anyone.

There's a real love fest between BC and Minnesota fans on USCHO. These two programs and fan bases have a lot of respect for one another.

.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will be attending the last few innings of today's BC baseball home opener between the Eagles and the University of Hartford. I have class from 3-4:15 but I should be able to hit up the end.

.

My intramural hockey team has a quarterfinal playoff game tonight at 7 PM at Conte Forum. Let's get it on!

BC shakes off rust, advances in WNIT

Early on, you could tell BC hadn't been on the court in a while. Vermont's conference tournament ended a week later than BC's, and they just came off of playing Dartmouth over the weekend, so they were a bit crisper in the early moments of the game.

Vermont was also aided by the fact that they were were shooting the lights out - they just couldn't miss in the first half. Additionally, they played lock-down defense on the inside, shutting down Swords and Murphy.

They challenged BC to knock down outside shots, and Brittany Johnson and Mickel Picco answered the challenge, scoring 20 and 16 points respectively, and helped fuel BC to a 12-point victory.

When I had to leave to go to work, it was a 6 point game, so it's encouraging to see that they pulled away at the end.

Next up: the round of 16, @ St. John's on Thursday night.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thoughts on the game.

Well, well, well.

I'm not going to lie - I didn't think BC had a chance to win this game. And nobody thought BC had a chance to win it after they went down 4-1. But what do you know, they won it.

Coming back from down 4-1 against the best team in the East, pouring 67 shots on goal, and scoring two winning goals in overtime shows a lot of guts. This team is ready for the stretch run.

The first period was atrocious and I really thought BC was going to get smoked.

Ben Smith scored on a fortuitous bounce early in the 2nd and from that point forward, BC carried the play. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, two bad turnovers led to two quick UNH goals, and despite something like a 22-13 shots advantage, BC was down 4-1.

The 4th goal especially hurt. After a period of sustained offensive pressure, BC drew a penalty and sent out the big guns for the power play. Right off the bat, Ferriero was stripped at the point, and the 'Cats broke down and scored. That one really looked like a backbreaker. I felt then (and continue to maintain now) that we need a real defenseman on the point like Brennan or Petrecki to prevent that from happening. Of course, Ferriero came back to redeem himself from the point in triple overtime, so what do I know?

The call of the game went, as usual, to Jerry York. Down 4 to 1 halfway through the 2nd, with his team about to start a 5-on-3, York called timeout to rally the troops and rest up his top power play unit. He sent Gerbe, Whitney, Ferriero, Bertram and Smith back out there for the 5-on-3, and lo and behold, Whitney rips one in from the point. Game on.

BC's 3rd goal was a result of tenacity by Gibbons who had the presence of mind to keep his stick down (god knows the refs look for any reason to wave off BC goals at the Garden) and swat the puck in past Regan.

I don't remember much about the 4th goal other than the fact that it bounced off of Bertram's skate and as such, we had to sit through an agonizing booth review. Thankfully, it was upheld and the game was tied. Good for Bertram to get the goal.

Overtime was incredible. I don't recall a sudden death period where both teams had so many incredible chances to score the winner - there were 3 or 4 times when I thought "well, that's it," only to see BC bailed out by Muse or the D.

BC's first winning goal was a result of a mistake by Regan. The puck squirted free past the blue line and Smith skated in toward it. Regan made the misguided decision to fly out toward the puck, he initiated contact with Smith, and his helmet flew off. The net was wide open for Greene to smash it in, but the play was (rightfully) called dead. It was the correct call,but it was a crappy way to have a game winner come off the board as the helmet coming off was entirely due to Regan's decision making.

BC persevered and Ferriero sniped home the winner a minute into triple OT to send the BC fans home happy, meaning that despite having an abysmal power play for most of the game, the Eagles managed to score two power play goals. Good stuff!

Gerbe didn't have a very good game - he looked like he was pressing - and he missed several chanecs, including one WIDE OPEN net with the score 4-3 UNH. He missed it wide. I couldn't believe it. He also went way too wide a few times on breakouts. But despite all of this, he still had three assists - meaning he is only one point behind Kevin Porter for the national scoring lead. Very, very interesting.

The 2nd goal Muse gave up was absolutely terrible- you learn when you're 5 years old that you have to cover the post on a play against the board. But from that point forward, Muse was solid, and he made a number of game-savers in overtime.

I must say, I saw Vermont against BU in the nightcap and they didn't impress me much. They are an all-out trap team. If we can get a lead, we should be okay... but getting a lead has been a problem.

See you at the Garden!

What a night

BC wins in triple overtime and is one win away from another Hockey East title.
BU loses to Vermont in a late night special.
UConn basketball loses to freaking San Diego.
And hey, how about Harvard and Princeton, they'll be playing for a spot in the big dance tomorrow.

I'm tired as hell and need to sleep. recap and maybe some pictures in the morning.

BC IS ALIVE AND KICKING!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random video post

Nothing makes me mass-upload pictures and videos like working on a paper. =)

BC-NC State Football 9-8-07
First Down
video
Steve-o adds 3
video
Alma Mater
video

Boston College @ UMass Lowell Hockey - Feb'08
Smith scores against UML. It's pretty rare that I actually capture a goal on camera. Half of my excitement was the fact that he scored on camera more than the fact that he scored. :)
video

The Beanpot
Harvard's infamous pep band reminding Brad Thiessen of NU that he allows things to pass through him in a manner similar to a kitchen utensil 0018
video

NU's fans unsuccessfully try to rally the team. "How did that not go in?," I ask my friend Pete. 0059
video

Richter also sucks.... notice my bewilderment when someone says that Petrecki scored the goal. little did I know he would become a scoring machine :) 226
video

Banner up! 260
video

MINNESOTA 2008
Gopher goalies play catch during pre-game warmups. hilarious. 188
video

Their pregame parade thing was a little bit cooler than ours. 193
video

The spelling of Minnesota - a goal came less than one minute into the game 212
video

Minnesota fans call out for a penalty on a clear non-call... Grant and I express our approval at the quality of hockey we are being treated to 238
video

Pictures and videos: Baghdad U vs. Lowest of the Lowell


Pregame


"Best fans in college hockey"




This was fun:


"Hey, I didn't know BC was playing in this game!! Sweet!" -me
"You're playing UMass Lowell!" - Grant

video

BU power play



That didn't take long...


This joke makes itself


Some dude from UML runs Bennett
video

Lots of penalties


Sweet view

Pictures and videos: UNH women's hockey NCAA quarterfinal vs. St. Lawrence

Pics and vids from Saturday's 3-2 UNH OT winner.


The Saints


The Cats




CONTROVERSY! UNH's game-tying goal is disallowed... but why?
video


Another one from the 'me with opposing mascots' series

The Kittens doing the Sieve song and yelling "GUCKIAN"
video


UNH wins in OT...


Post-game celebration
video

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Women's NIT bracket is up...

http://womensnit.com/photos/bracket.pdf

As expected, the Eagles secured a first-round bye in the women's NIT and will play the winner of Dartmouth vs. Vermont on Monday night.

The disturbing part? The venue is listed as "TBD." 90% of these games are being hosted by the higher seed, but schools can opt out of hosting based on venue availability, fan base, etc. If BC opts out of hosting this event, I will be very upset. There's nothing going on at Conte for quite some time, and it would be nice to give the girls another game or two (or three) at home.

As for the basketball itself - our part of the bracket is very survivable (is that a word?).

Dartmouth, one of two potential round of 32 opponents, was this year's Ivy League co-champ along with Cornell (the Red earned a #16 seed in the Big Dance and the death sentence of facing UConn in the first round). They were 15-15 on the year, 11-3 in the Ivy League.

Dartmouth's most impressive performance of the non-conference slate was probably their 80-73 OT loss to ACC foe Virginia Tech. Other BC opponents on their schedule: Holy Cross (the Crusaders topped them, 60-52) and Northeastern (57-50, Huskies).

Vermont, who will be hosting Thursday night's game, will probably win. UVM was 23-8, 13-3 in America East. They beat the Cross 54-44 and lost 69-68 to UMASS (probably BC's worst loss on the season). They should be beatable.

After that game, the Eagles would be in line to face the winner of St. Johns vs. Iona/Quinnipiac. St. John's (16-13) would be a tough matchup - they beat Notre Dame, a team that creamed the Eagles back in November, and lost by under 10 to Rutgers.

If BC emerges from that round, NC State would probably be waiting on the horizon in the round of 8, which would be very, very intriguing.

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What are we going to do with Bob Ryan?

In my communications classes, I have often researched my own personal theory that media members, in an attempt to cover up their own personal biases, often slant their reporting heavily against their own personal opinions. For years, I have thought that this might be the case with BC alum and Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.

But after today's anti-ACC diatribe in the Globe (seriously! get over it! it's been four years!), I'm convinced that the real issue here is that Mr. Ryan is simply stuck in the past. He's not plugged in to the exciting new era in the history of Boston College.

I don't need to repeat Ryan's column here - it's the same old, tired talking points: the move was a wash in hoops, BC is a geographic outlier, BC had more in common with Big East opponents, blah blah blah. I'm surprised he didn't mention travel costs.

Much like That Guy who thinks celebrating the mass in the local vernacular is a sign of the devil among us, Bob Ryan just can't accept that sometimes, changes can be changes for the better. Is New York better than Charlotte? Yeah, but Death Valley, Blacksburg, and Tallahassee blow away Storrs, Morganhole, and Pittsburgh.

My letter to him:

Mr. Ryan:

Since joining the ACC, Boston College has gotten more publicity, attention, and applications from new parts of the country than it ever has in the history of the institution. BC fit perfectly into the Big East when it was a commuter school for kids from Southie, but BC is striving to be a top-tier research university of the caliber of Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and the other fine schools of the ACC.

From a strictly athletic perspective, it was probably a lateral move at best in hoops, but the benefits to football are immeasurable (more exciting opponents, more stable conference, better bowl tie-ins, better revenue sharing).

And, as almost all people seem to forget, there are other sports besides basketball and football. BC’s non-revenue sports are far, far better off in the ACC, which has incredible leagues in women’s basketball, men’s & women’s soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and baseball.

BC soccer is already reaping the benefits of this, reaching recruits all over the world who are sold on BC’s message of combining an outstanding education, proximity to a great American city, and competitiveness in athletics. BC has been one of the top teams in soccer recruiting on both the men’s and women’s side in each of the last few years and it’s shown on the field with the men winning the ACC title and the women being ranked in the top ten.

Tradition is nice, but not when it stifles growth and development. It’s good to see that the Jesuits are one part of the Catholic Church that actually understands that message. For you, as a BC grad, to see this as anything other than a massive upgrade is extremely disappointing.


Joseph Gravellese
Boston College A&S 2010

It's UNH


Get ready, Wildcats - here comes Gerbe.

-

Thanks to BU's 4-2 win over UMass-Lowell and Vermont's 4-1 win over Northeastern, the Eagles will take on UNH in the Hockey East Semifinals at the TD Banknorth Garden. The game will be at 5:00 PM on Friday night.

There are a lot of downsides to this match-up - UNH is the best team in the east, by far.

But I will try to focus on the good things:

-Playing against UNH, even if we lose, will improve our RPI for tournament seeding purposes.

-We're going to have to beat them anyway, so we might as well do it now. It's cliche, but it's true. The road to the Hockey East title goes through UNH.

-UNH has a propensity for choking in big games at big moments.

-A solid performance against UNH - even if it results in a loss - will hopefully help convince the committee to pair us up with UNH in the Worcester regional. (They set up the re-match last year in Manchester, but UNH lost to Miami in typical UNH fashion)

It's not going to be easy - I think UNH will probably win the game - but you can't count out the Eagles. Going into the Hockey East tournament, all I wanted was to get to UNH, whether it be in the semis or the finals. There's no shame in losing to them. And if we beat them -- sweet.

Hopefully, we'll see a repeat of last year's BC romp over UNH at the Garden:


Around College Hockey

On a side note, I am very sad to see Northeastern's season end. As those of you who know me personally know (so, basically, everyone who reads this blog), I have a real soft spot for the Huskies - they are my 2nd favorite team.

This season was so promising for them at around December. Thiessen was looking like the best goalie in Hockey East and NU was up to #7 in the country.

I still think Thiessen is one of HE's best, but NU's offense failed to show up this weekend, scoring 4 goals in 3 games. Very sad.

They should be good next year as they are only losing one graduating senior, Jimmy Russo. Unfortunately, we've been hearing for years that next year is the big breakout year for NU, and it just hasn't happened. It looked like it was happening this year, but much like BC football, the Huskies took their stunned fans on a thrilling ride up the national polls only to come crashing back down to their usual level.

Hopefully, next year, they will add some offensive punch - and shake the roof of the great Matthews Arena with some real excitement.

Northeastern's season was all down hill after New Year's Day. The only bright side is that they won't be returning to their house of horrors, the Garden.

-
Another team that I have an affinity for, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, outlasted Minnesota State in an epic 3 game series that went to a combined total of 5 overtimes. The Mavericks topped Minnesota 1-0 in 2OT on Friday, but the Gophers showed heart to bounce back with a pair of OT wins over the weekend.


Goldy and I are BFFs. My team and his (her?) team are both turning it on at the right time.

It's tough to describe a Minnesota team as "workmanlike," as they get to basically pick recruits at will, but with all the team has been through this year, you have to give them a lot of credit. They lost a ton of talent before - and during - this tumultuous season, and for a while, they looked down and out. When I was in Minneapolis, their fans seemed defeated and dejected.

The ridiculous strength of the WCHA allowed Minnesota to creep back up into at-large contention in the PWR despite having a record hovering around .500 - but now, the Gophers have a chance to make a splash in the Final Five and prove that they belong in NCAAs .

Grant and I left our mark on the Mariucci Arena parking lot when we were in Minneapolis.
-
Speaking of the Final Five, the matchups are set:

5/4 game on Thursday: Minnesota vs. St. Cloud State - both teams need wins to solidify NCAA bids

Friday's semifinals:

Min/SCSU winner vs. Colorado College - whoever emerges from the play-in will probably lose to CC, but don't count out the Gophers with their home crowd behind them.

Denver vs. North Dakota - this will be one of the games of the year. NDak is loaded and I've got them as my WCHA champ.
-
The Final Five is always great hockey. Last year's OT game winner by Blake Wheeler of Minnesota over North Dakota was absolutely epic -



... of course, North Dakota turned the tables on Minnesota in the NCAA West Regionals, which just goes to prove that whatever you think going into the tournament is probably wrong. Who had BC in the finals in '06, or Mich. State as the champ last year?
-
Congratulations to Air Force and Niagara for punching their tickets to the NCAA tournament by winning the AHA and CHA championship games today.

Northern Michigan pulled the upset of the night, knocking Michigan State out of the CCHA tournament. Michigan Tech almost topped them, taking North Dakota to a game 3 in the WCHA playoffs, but the Sioux held on to win 2-1 tonight to advance to the Final Five.

Also, a shout out to Colgate for knocking Clarkson out of the first round of the ECAC tournament, meaning that there will be two ECAC teams in the NCAAs (bad news for BU and other bubble teams).
-
The Women's Frozen Four is set. The only upset in the quarterfinals was #5 Wisconsin edging #4 Minnesota, 3-2, in overtime. That wasn't really a surprise, as Wisco, the two-time defending national champions, had just beaten Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs.

The Wisco-Minnesota game was one of two quarterfinal matchups to go to OT, as UNH edged SLU 3-2 at Lake Whitt - a game I had the pleasure of attending (pics/videos coming later this week). UNH's Jenn Wakefield is probably the best freshman in the country.

UNH's Courtney Birchard takes SLU goalie Meaghan Guckian to school for UNH's first goal.

#1 Harvard predictably smoked Dartmouth to punch their ticket, while #2 Minnesota-Duluth squeaked past Patty Kaz frontrunner Meghan Agosta and the Mercyhurst Lakers, 5-4.

It was a rather tame quarterfinal round compared to last year. Last season, three lower seeds won, with #6 BC winning at #3 Dartmouth, #5 SLU beating #4 UNH, and #7 Duluth upsetting #2 Mercyhurst. Three of four quarterfinal matchups went to overtime, including 2 OTs between BC and Dartmouth and an incredible 4 OTs between #8 Harvard and #1 Wisconsin.

The matchups on Friday Night:
6 PM ET > #1 Harvard/#5 Wisconsin
9 PM ET> #2 Minnesota-Duluth/ #3 UNH

Those games will be streamed live on the internet at uscho.com. The final will be on Sunday afternoon, televised live on CSTV.

As much as I'd love to see an all-East Coast final, it ain't gonna happen. I think Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth will match up for all the marbles and Duluth will get the win in front of their home crowd.
-
Because everyone else is doing it: Basketball final four [Disclaimer: I know nothing about basketball]
UNC, Georgetown, Texas, sUeConn
UNC over sUeConn in the final.

Random, non-hockey update

Charlie Davies didn't really earn himself many supporters on Saturday night during the US's 1-0 win over Honduras in Olympic qualifying, as he missed a penalty kick late in the first half. (I wonder how anyone ever misses a penalty kick in soccer.)

Actual text message I received from a friend (obviously, not a BC fan): "Charlie Davies is fucking worthless, he just missed a fucking penalty."

He semi-redeemed himself later in the game, earning another penalty kick in the 2nd half which he wisely elected not to take, letting Eddie Gaven do the honors of stuffing it home instead.

It appears that Charlie has some sort of Swedish admirer, as whoever made this YouTube video chose Alicia Keys' "No One" as the background music to this compilation of Davies highlights from his club team, Hammarby IF. Hooray for the Boston College shoutout in Swedish!



Aren't BC's soccer jerseys sweet? I would buy one if they sold them at the bookstore.

On another non-hockey note, the baseball team took 2-of-3 from #24 Clemson this weekend. That's awesome for them. However, my rule of 'as long as I'm being pelted by sleet/snow/freezing rain, I can't really think too much about baseball' continues to apply here. I'm sure I'll get into it once the home ACC season cranks up.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

UPDATE: Gerbe goal video



And another angle:

What do you know - Things are suddenly looking up!

Forgive me for ever doubting a team coached by Jerry York. The Eagles responded to their slow finish to the regular season by coming out and pounding Providence 5-1 on back to back nights.

Each game was like a carbon copy: the Eagles came out swinging with 3 early goals on Friday and 4 in quick succession tonight. Then they were sort of sluggish in the second period, but recovered to do enough to get the job done in the 3rd. Not the best 60 minute performances in the world, but high-quality and encouraging.

A few things stood out in particular:
1) Gerbe's penalty shot:
Sadly, this crappy video is all we've got of Gerbe's ridiculous spin-move penalty shot to make it 4-0 in Game 2, but the crowd reaction tells the story:


The goal was practically a clone of Ryan Shannon's penalty shot last year in the NHL:


Yeah, it was nasty.


2) Muse
After a shaky month since the Beanpot, John Muse recovered to play two excellent games against the Friars including a 36 save effort tonight. He didn't have to make many spectacular saves, but it's the routine stuff that has been giving him trouble. No softies tonight.

3) Ben Ferriero
Ferriero got two goals yesterday including an absolute bullet for BC's 4th. He also tallied BC's 2nd goal tonight. He needs to heat up to help the PP and just improve our overall offensive output.

4) Bertram & Sneep scoring - self explanatory, thse guys don't get on the scoresheet often enough and I'm happy for them

5) Toughness
Nick Petrecki wasn't taking any garbage tonight when the goon from PC tried to elbow Muse in the face. It was nice to see the team sticking up for one another out there.

The only downer was the attendance, but that was to be expected.

Out of town, BU lost to Lowell, UNH smoked UMass, and NU topped Vermont.

Two game 3s tomorrow... should be interesting.

ON TO THE TD BANKNORTH GARDEN!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Catching up on some pics

My original intent for this blog was to post as many pictures as possible. For some reason, it hasn't quite happened (usually it's because I'm too lazy to upload my pictures). I did some binge uploading tonight and have a few to share.

BC-Lowell hockey series:

Before the game, staff members brought out the Beanpot so that the first few fans in the arena could take pictures with it. It was kind of like meeting a celebrity.

Did I ever mention that I'm not a big fan of the seats they stick students in? This is what most of the game looks like:

After the disappointing home loss, I made the trip with my father out to Lowell the next night to see BC win 5-2 at the Tsongas Arena.

I love Tsongas. I think it kind of pulls off the Conte effect (antiseptic, a little boring, but nice, aesthetically pleasing, and with modern amenities) with the added benefit of having much, much better sightlines for hockey, cheaper prices, and more comfortable seats.


UMass Lowell's 'student section' sucked, they only came up with one chant, 'BC sucks,' and it went away pretty quickly once the Eagles took a 5-2 lead


Action shot (I'm no Melissa Wade):




Much better




Men's Hockey senior night, BC vs. NU





Men's Basketball senior day vs. GT

Standing O for Oates and Blair:


Tyrese " BALLIN' " Rice handling the ball


The infamous a-hole ArenaCop (I'm not even going to go into it on here, not now)


GT having an easy go of it on offense (I can only assume they scored on this possession)


From there, I dashed through the rain (literally) to get to my FAVORITE VENUE IN SPORTS, Northeastern's Matthews Arena, for the BC @ NU regular season men's hockey finale.





Is this a sweet view or what?


Hey, the men's hockey and men's hoop teams are both on one-game winning streaks at the moment. Good vibes, right?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

WOW!!!!

So, my hunch was right - BC beat Maryland tonight to advance to the ACC men's basketball quarterfinals.

Sure, it probably won't mean much in the long run, but that was really exciting and satisfying to watch. It's those little things, those small victories, that make sports fun throughout the year.

I'd forgotten how much I love college basketball. I find it much more enjoyable on TV than in person and this was the first televised BC game I'd watched in a while.

Tomorrow, we play in the late game again - 9:30 PM against Clemson. Should be perfect timing unless tomorrow night's hockey game goes into overtime.

Weekend predictions

Baseball: Clemson takes 2-of-3 from BC

Men's Hoops: BC beats Maryland (just a hunch), loses to Clemson

Women's Hoops selection: Miss the NCAAs, high seed in the NIT

Men's Hockey: BC over Providence in 3

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thoughts on the NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament

With BC out of the picture, I'm not following the NCAA women's hockey tournament as closely as I was last season. Still, it's an exciting event, and I will be going to Saturday afternoon's game between UNH and St. Lawrence. I love tournament hockey.

The four conference tournaments yielded four very predictable champions: UNH, Minnesota-Duluth, Harvard, and Mercyhurst. The four at-large teams are Minnesota, Wisconsin, St. Lawrence, and Clarkson.

Here are my thoughts on the bracket:

1 Harvard 8 Dartmouth

I've seen Harvard twice and their puck movement is just by far and away the best in the country. I wasn't all that impressed with Dartmouth when I saw them and I don't think they belong in the tourney anyway. HU 5 DC 1

2 Minn Duluth 7 Mercyhurst

Minn Duluth is a buzzsaw. I regret not getting a chance to see either of these teams in person this year, so this is mostly going by reading the results and stats on the web, but I'll say UMD 4 MC 2

3 UNH 6 SLU

I was disappointed with what I saw out of UNH today in the HE final. (I was rooting for PC, but I want to see UNH win the national title, so I was hoping they'd look crisper). I think they'll definitely be ready to go for this one, though... Faber is a beast. I personally am underwhelmed by St. Lawrence. UNH 3 SLU 1

4 Minnesota 5 Wisconsin

My heart says Minnesota, my head says Wisconsin, the compromise in between says home ice will make the difference. UM 3 UW 2, 2-OT

Yeah, I know, boring - I picked all four top seeds. On we go:

1 Harvard 4 Minnesota

The classic east-west tilt. Having seen both teams I'm impressed each but they are very different, style-wise. Harvard is much flashier but I think Minnesota's players are harder to knock off the puck... this is a tough call but I'll say Harvard edges out the Gophers 4-3.

2 Minn Duluth 3 UNH

I was convinced up until very recently that UNH was going all the way and winning the national title, but for some reason I'm starting to doubt it. My main reason: the WCHA is so much better than HEA that it's hard for me to think UNH is better than UMD. UMD 4 UNH 2

1 Harvard 2 Minn Duluth

The same general rule applies about conference strength... UMD is the scariest team to me and I say they'll pull it out in a tight, low scoring affair. 2-1.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The cold spell ends

This afternoon, the basketball team lost to Georgia Tech to end their regular season in very disappointing fashion. I was one of the hardy two dozen BC students who bothered to show up. It was a fun game, but it became pretty evident early on in the 2nd half that Georgia Tech would win. The Jackets shot an astonishing 70% (!) in the 2nd half and pulled away for a fairly easy win.

This is totally based on my recollections from earlier in the day as I have yet to look at the box score or re-watch the game, but I thought Sanders and Southern played pretty well. Rice was off and Oates had a stiff-like final home game.

The loss continued a long cold snap for BC's marquee winter teams, men's hockey and men's hoops, dating back to Valentine's Weekend when the hockey team topped Lowell and the basketball team beat NC State.

The most disturbing part of the losing streak wasn't all of the losses, it was the lethargy that the teams seemed to play with. Both teams have looked down, defeated, and disinterested at times.

That trend didn't really change tonight as BC hockey slogged to a 4-1 win over an equally woeful Northeastern team. I'm happy to get the win - and happy that Gerbe scored two goals - but it wasn't a particularly inspiring performance. Just like last night, neither team seemed like they wanted to be there.

The Eagles got a 5-minute power play late in the first period and cashed in for three goals in a quick span including one that bounced off the back of an NU defender and past Brad Thiessen (who, as usual, was excellent between the pipes for the Huskies). NU pulled to within 3-1 in the 2nd but never looked like they were threatening at all.

It was another very boring game, to be frank. Neither team generated many offensive chances.

But beggars can't be choosers. It's been a tough winter season and I'll gladly take the two points.

The victory ensured the 4 seed for BC in the Hockey East tournament and we'll be taking on the Friars this coming weekend at Conte.

Matchups:
1 UNH - 8 UMass
2 BU - 7 Lowell
3 Vermont - 6 NU
4 BC - 5 PC

The hoopsters will take on the #6 seed which will be either Maryland or Miami on Thursday night at 9 PM.

Dogged by NU again

I have seen BC's men's hockey team play Northeastern in 5 regular season games during my 2 years as a student. We won the first, 5-2 - the season opener of my freshman year. Since then, things have gone downhill. In December of '06, we tied at NU after giving up a goal with 2 seconds left; in January of '07, we lost in overtime at Matthews Arena; and twice this season we lost to the Huskies in OT at Conte.

I think I taking on the character of the lifeless crowd around me, as I didn't get particularly emotional about the game tonight. When Mike Brennan's bullet goal whizzed by Brad Thiessen with under 5 minutes to go to force OT, I didn't really have much of a reaction. I was actually kind of stunned that they pulled even (but not at all surprised that they failed to gain any momentum from the tying goal).

John Muse had a fantastic game for the most part, except for the one shot by which his performance will be remembered. He gave up an absolute squeaker between his pads for NU's 2nd goal, which gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd period. Really heartbreaking for John after he made 3 or 4 spectacular saves in the 2nd period to keep the game tied.

After the Eagles' initial burst (Price scored at :11 of the first period), Northeastern semi-dominated for the rest of the first period and for most of the third period. I say 'semi-dominated' because although they had most of the puck possession and the Eagles had precious little time in the attacking zone, the Huskies didn't really look particularly threatening with the puck. A lot of meaningless passing around in the offensive zone, trying to set up plays that never developed.

It was, to be frank, one of the most uninspiring hockey games I've ever seen. Neither team looked like they wanted to be there. Northeastern finally found another gear in OT and BC did not match the Huskies' momentum. NU outshot BC 6-1 in overtime and knocked in the winner on a second chance effort... voila, game over, season further damaged.

*

As expected, the women's basketball team lost to Maryland tonight. But there was much to be proud of: the Eagles lost 93-81 (not bad) and Mickel "THREEEE-Co" Picco knocked down seven three pointers en route to a (of course) 33 point total for the night. That's really impressive. Congrats to her and good luck to the (most likely) NIT-bound Eagles.

*

The baseball team lost 10-7 to #2 Miami, which wasn't a surprise, but it finished off a nice little trifecta. Is it football season yet?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

ACC WBB Tournament

Okay, we're kind of screwed by virtue of seeding.

BC, Georgia Tech and Florida State all finished the season tied for 5th at 7-7 in the ACC, but due to the ACC's tiebreaking rules, which I don't totally comprehend, the Eagles are seeded 7th for the ACC tournament. That means we start tonight at 6 PM against Virginia Tech.

If BC is fortunate enough to beat VT tonight, they will face (gulp) Maryland tomorrow night in the round of 8. That loss to Florida State in the season's penultimate game is looking really big, now.

BC needs to win 2 games in the ACC tournament to make the NCAAs, and obviously, it's probably not going to happen. But this VT game is a big one. Making the last 8 is an accomplishment in and of itself, but this game is also important for NIT seeding.

The game can be seen at www.accselect.com.

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!

Visitors