Michigan Hockey Preview against BU and UMass-Lowell for the 2nd weekend series of the Big East/Big Ten Hockey Challenge.
Who: #13 Boston University/#18UMass-Lowell @ #4 Michigan
When: October 25, 7:00EST and October 26 at 7:00 EST
TV: Comcast Local 900. mgoblue.com for audio stream and 1050 AM for the usual radio Both nights.
Week 2 of the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge continues with BU and Lowell at Yost this weekend. Michigan hockey, despite it's hot start, is literally giving tickets away to see a top-5 team in the country. I blame John Belein. Or Al Borges. Wait. Who are we blaming this week? At any rate, a pair of ranked East Coast opponents come to Yost this weekend for a split series against the boys in maize and blue. Michigan will look continue to it's undefeated start after taking a win and draw away from New Hampshire in their barn. Michigan has been good and will look to press the home ice advantage this week.
David Quinn takes over for BU's legendary coach, Jack Parker, this year in what has been a tough season to read for the Terriers. Last weekend, BU dropped one against Rensselaer 3-1 and then absolutely pants'd Wisconsin 7-3 on Saturday night. BU started the season picked to meddle in the middle of Hockey East and should be a quality opponent.
- Soph. Forward Danny O'Regan has not only the most Boston name ever, but went for 16-22 = 38 in 39 games last season. He's the prototype sneaky 5'9" fast point machine and BU's best player. He was also a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie team last year.
- Junior Forward Evan Rodrigues is another smallish forward standing 5'10" and coming off a 12-13 season of 14-20=34 good for second team All Hockey East. He's gotten off to a slower start, but he put up enough results last year to be a concern for the Michigan D.
- Garrett Noonan is a 6'1" Senior Defensenman who is half of their #1 pair along. He's solid, not prolifically offensive, but a sturdy guy on the back end.
- Sean Maguire and Matt O'Connor are sophomores who split time so far this year. Maguire has been getting the first night of the weekend series so far this year, but was in net for the Rensselaer loss. Both goalies are large but not gigantic and are solid, but not Rick DiPietro. Then again, who is?
From SBN College Hockey
UML inexplicably lost to Sacred Heart on opening night, an opponent coming off a two-win season. The next night saw Norm Bazin's team bounce back with a victory over archrival UMass-Amherst.
The River Hawks looked lackadaisical as they were swept in a home-and-home series with Quinnipiac this past weekend. Both games were 3-1 defeats, but UML didn't have the jump or energy that fans and observers are accustomed to seeing.
The rough start is certainly not what Bazin or his team was hoping for, but it is far from the end of the world. UMass-Lowell started 2-5-1 last season before going on a hot streak that lasted much of the second half.
The talent is in place to recover from a slow start. Joseph Pendenza and Scott Wilson will get the offense going. There is a stable of adequate defenders to protect two very solid goaltenders. Sophomore Connor Hellebuyck and senior Doug Carr have just mediocre numbers so far, but both have shown they are capable of being difference makers.
Lowell is 1-3 so far and has not capitalized on the momentum they had from winning Hockey East (both regular and tournament) and hitting the frozen four. They're looking for the consistency and results from last year. It may be tough to find at Yost.
- Joe Pendenza, a senior undrafted Forward, he put up 15-23=38 in 43 games last year and has increased his point totals every year he's been there. He's the results guy for Lowell. No one skill is outstanding, but the package makes for a solid college hockey player.
- Senior Forward Scott Wilson is a 6 foot tall wing drafted in the 7th round by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last year he put up 16-22 = 38. Solid numbers for a solid forward
- The unquestioned strength of the squad is Connor Hellebuyck. Last year he put up a .952 save rate on his way to 20-3 record. Although Doug Carr was the starter at the beginning of last year and could very well see time in one of the games this weekend.
Michigan has been the hottest of the three teams playing at Yost this weekend and will have the home ice advantage. I think they'll finally drop a game to one of two quality opponent, but should win the other. Steve Racine is still out this weekend, so Freshmen tender Zach Nagelvoort gets the start and will be the guy. Go get em, Zach