Boston University Terriers look to get back on track against UMass

In my short time I have have been writing for The Hockey Writers, I have been critical of the Boston University Terriers

Boston University (flickr/Tekka England)

for their slow start. Part of the reason for my criticism is because they were supposed to be challenging other schools for the Hockey East regular season title. I still think they can overcome their slow start, but I haven’t been this critical of the team and coach Jack Parker.

First off, the writer is a general columnist for the student run Daily Free Press — but he doesn’t cover the team on a daily basis.

To say Parker should retire after the season is an off-base comment. He’s still one of the best coaches in Division I and has earned to go on his own terms.

The statement in the article baffles me the most, though, is that NHL draft picks are more concerned about their potential professional career than this current season and that Boston University should recruit more four-year players. While it is true that in the back of their minds, those players are looking forward to their careers, but they chose Boston University because Parker will help them get to the pros. All the players are still concerned about the current season right now and worry about when to go pro after the season.

I am sure Parker would love all his players to stay all four years, but in this age, that’s not going to happen. While there are schools that do well in recruiting players that complete their four years like Miami (OH) University, BU also has successful recruiting classes every year where they are competitive year in and year out.

Maybe the article in question could have been written later on in the season if the losing trend continues — however, three weeks into the season is too soon.

The Terriers have a home-and-home series with the University of Massachusetts this weekend. While Terrier Kieran Millan needs to be more consistent because the veteran forwards have been doing their job, six players are averaging a point per game and the offense is getting four goals a game, which is second in the conference.

Even though the Minutemen have also been able to put the puck in the net, as they are getting 3.50 goals per game, they are weaker on defense, allowing four goals a game. My prediction is Boston University sweeps the series.

Other Weekend Series

Merrimack at Vermont

The Warriors are coming in with four games under their belt and are playing solid hockey right now. Vermont has only played last weekend the jury is out on them Merrimack is the total package right now with their offense and defense is second to one. Conventional wisdom says Vermont splits at home, but I will go with Merrimack in both games.

Providence at Maine

This is a very intriguing series as both teams are still finding where they stand in the Hockey East hierarchy. Maine has been resting for nearly the last two weeks, so they should be ready to go. It will interesting to see which goalie they go with for both games, or if they will give Martin Ouellette or Dan Sullivan a start each. Will Providence be able to do shutdown Brian Flynn or Spencer Abbott? Can Maine find secondary scoring? I think Maine wins Friday as the Alfond should be rocking, but Providence earns the split on Saturday

UMass-Lowell at Boston College

This is another home-and-home series. The number-one ranked Eagles should continue to roll as the Riverhawks haven’t played quality opponents like a Boston College. This will be their first two games on the Hockey East schedule of the year. I have this as another sweep in favor of the Boston College Eagles

Friday’s Game

Union at New Hampshire

It doesn’t get any easier for the Wildcats. The Union Dutchmen are ranked 11th in the latest top 20 poll. I can’t see the Wildcats winning this game because they haven’t played a complete game yet this season. They have the talent to beat Union, but I will take the Dutchmen.

Saturday’s Game

Northeastern at New Hampshire

This is the game where the Wildcats get their first win of the season. They will already have a game under their belt on the weekend and I think it will help them against Northeastern, who will not have a game on Friday. A win against another Hockey East opponent will spark the team. Northeastern can absolutely win this game, but something has to give for the Wildcats.