Friday, March 25, 2011

West #1: Boston College

Boston College Eagles

1 seed vs. Colorado College, West Regional (Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO)
Friday, March 25, 2011
Hockey East Regular Season Champions
Hockey East Tournament Champions

Record: 30-7-1
Coach: Jerry York

It is a terrible, terrible idea to bet against Boston College and Jerry York in the postseason. The last four times BC has made the NCAA tournament, they've at least made it to the championship game. They've won it twice in the last three years: In 2008 over Notre Dame, then last year against Wisconsin. Neither game was close, and I was there for both of them. Goalie John Muse is a senior now and has never lost an NCAA tournament game. That's right: He's a perfect 8-0 (BC failed to make the tournament in '09). This year he's put up a .926 SV% and 2.13 GAA, better than both his freshman and junior years.

BC hockey thrives on magic midgets: Brian Gionta, Nathan Gerbe, etc. Six different Eagles this year are listed at 5'8" or shorter, including scoring leaders Cam Atkinson (30-21--51) and Brian Gibbons (18-32--50). I remember 5'6" Joe Whitney (5-26--31) as a problem for which Wisconsin couldn't find an answer. 6'3" Brian Domoulin is the exception – a big defenseman who's an assist machine (3-30--33). In all, nine Eagles have 20 or more points, and six have 10 or more goals.

Boston College has been rampaging through Hockey East this year. They've lost a total of two games since November 26: A 1-4 decision at Maine and a 1-2 loss at Northeastern. They won the Beanpot again this year, a 7-6 overtime game also against Northeastern. Weirdly, they followed it up on Friday night with a 7-7 tie against the Huskies, then the aforementioned 1-2 loss. Since then, they've won 8 straight games, their longest winning streak of the year (They've won 7 in a row two different times). There aren't a lot of teams out there that have played as well as BC at any time this year, let alone heading into the tournament. But it's one-and-done, so all it takes is one bad game to send you home. Still, it's BC vs. the field at this regional.

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