Friday, March 13, 2009

Game Day— Hockey East Quarterfinal Previews and Prognostications

Five months of preliminaries are over. The partners have been determined for the first post-season dance. Top-ranked BU puts its regular season achievements in the rear-view mirror and sets off on the road to pursue its two final goals: the Hockey East championship and the NCAA title. Tonight, BU takes on Maine, beginning a best-of-three-games quarterfinals at Agganis Arena.

There’s a bushel of previews and prognostication on the Internet to get you ready for tonight’s games:

●From, we have links to game notes, game tracker, the audio broadcast and the Webcast on B2 Network. To watch on B2 Network, you must sign up ten minutes before tonight's 7 p.m. start. Maine game notes.

●In his final weekly Hockey East column, USCHO’s Dave Hendrickson predicts a Terrier sweep of the Black Bears, but sees a few matchups that could go to a third game.

●INCH’s Jeff Howe provides both quarterfinal capsules and his own picks for league all-stars and individual awards, which go heavy on the Scarlet.

●The Boston Globe also has quarterfinal thumbnails, while Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at difference-maker Colin Wilson’s standout season and his future plans, which may not be the foregone conclusion that many people assume.

●The Boston Heralds’ Jim Connolly previews the four matchups and examines the added pressure of playing on the road in the quarterfinals.

●We also more previews from Hockey East Online, Inside Hockey and The Kennebec Journal , while USCHO college hockey analyst and broadcaster Dave Starman takes a stab at picking the teams that move on to their league semi-final in Hockey East, the ECAC, CCHA and WCHA.

WBUR’s Doug Tribou spoke with Boston’s two college hockey coaching legends, BU’s Jack Parker and BC’s Jerry York, tracing their long and frequently connected careers. (Audio link)

►Terrier defenseman Brian Strait, who sprained a knee two weeks ago, remains questionable for tonight’s game.

►Does playoff experience make a difference? Maine’s current roster has only five players who have previously played in the Hockey East playoffs. The Black Bears missed last year’s playoffs.

►BU has earned the top seed in the Hockey East playoffs seven times in the league's 25 year history. The Terriers last won the conference championship in 2006, their sixth title.

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