Well, who saw that blowout coming?
A few days ago, a friend of mine saw the hockey team come out of Conte after practice. She said that they all linked arms and skipped across the street, arm-in-arm, to the Plex. While this leads me to believe that our hockey team is probably a little batty, I think it speaks to the team's chemistry right now.
This chemistry is reflected on the ice, as BC is not just dangerous on odd-man rushes - they are deadly on odd-man rushes. The feeling I get when watching BC break in 2-on-1 isn't just excitement, it's anticipation. BC scored 2 goals each on Minnesota and Miami on odd-man rushes, and opened the scoring last night when Orpik scored on a 2-on-1 bid. Ben Smith capped off the Eagles' 6 goal outburst on a 2-on-1 with Gerbe in the 2nd.
Right now, BC's passing is the best I've seen it since the glory days of '99, '00, and '01. All year, one of BC's biggest problems has been that they seem to want to pass it into a general area on the ice where they think their teammate is going, rather than to another player. For some reason, this problem seems to have been rectified in the postseason.
That's going to need to continue tomorrow night, as Notre Dame often employs a neutral zone trap, particularly against high-flying opponents like BC. In order to break it, BC is going to need precise, smart passing.
Pinpoint passing was what got Michigan back into the game last night on the power play. Notre Dame likes to really spread out on the penalty kill, leaving a lot of space in the middle which Kevin Porter exploited to set up a one-timer goal that I believe made it 3-2 at the time. Look to see if BC can do the same.
Two concerns from last night that worry me going into tomorrow's game:
1) Penalties. BC took a lot of penalties last night - 12, to be exact. I think the refs were calling everything extra tight to make sure the game didn't get ugly after BC went up 5 and 6-0, so that might explain the rash of penalties BC took. However, the bright side was BC's penalty killing, which held the Sioux to 0-for-8 and has been a real strength for BC during the postseason. Still, I wouldn't want to tempt it - a special teams game is one way for Notre Dame to slow it down and prevent BC from opening it up into a track meet, which is what we want.
2) The last goal on Muse. When Muse gave up a goal to "South Dakota" (thanks Ray Ferraro) late in the game last night, he looked pissed. At first, I figured it was because he lost the shutout, but when I saw the replay I realized that he probably was upset that he once again got beat high on the glove side. Once again, he went down too early, and once again, he dipped his glove down before bringing it up. It was like a replay of the Beanpot. You know the Domers will be gunning up high - let's hope Muuuuuse is up to the task.
I'm downright giddy in anticipation of this game. I kind of want to pull a Cartman from South Park and put myself in suspended animation until tomorrow night. It's going to be a long 31 hours.
On a total side note, BC beat Northeastern to advance to the finals of the Baseball Beanpot on Wednesday, and will take on UMass next Wednesday afternoon [UPDATE: UMass site says the game is next TUESDAY afternoon... stay tuned] at Fenway Park. It will be a blast to go to Fenway for $5, relax, and watch BC play. Hopefully, we'll be still basking in the glow of a title. We shall see.
Game Day: BU hosts Vermont; Bach a Kazmaier finalist - Terriers begin the final weekend of the regular season with a pair of homes games against Vermont and an opportunity to clinch fourth place in Hockey Eas...
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