Sunday, January 14, 2007

The view from Orono

After catching Friday nght's game the way most BU fans did - on NESN - I made the trip up to the North country for Saturday night's game. And needless to say, I was glad I did. That's two trips to Orono in two years for me, and both times I've come home happy. Here are some thoughts.

- Alfond must be among the most unique venues in collegiate athletics. From outside, it looks more like a college cafeteria than a hockey arena. Once inside, you realize they have seats in every nook and cranny available. I am always amazed that the building holds over 5,000 people. At first glance, it seems more like 3,000. Anyway, the building and the atmosphere were once again a treat.

- Maine's "experimental" jerseys - really not sure why new material requires such a change in design, but if nothing else, enlarge the player names on the back. The lettering looks horrible.

- The net fiasco - despite all the talk in the past, it had been my impression that ever since Fields left, the net dislodging had dropped dramatically. Certainly wasn't the case Saturday. I'm not sure what the issue was with getting the pegs into the holes, but my gut tells me that it contributed to the frequency of the dislodgings. Tom Morrow was lucky that he didn't get called for delay at one point.

- Maine players - Purcell looked good - no surprise he's the top freshman in the country. However, the senior leadership lacked on Saturday with Levielle and Soares taking unneccesary penalties. Bishop looked better Saturday, but still gave up a bad rebound that led to Gilroy's goal.

- BU - as a team, they looked excellent in the second period Saturday, and carried it through the rest of the game. Their passes in the defensive zone were crisp. Other than Sully's slapshot from the point that led to the Ryan breakaway, they made good choices with the puck. The center on every line was in position to intercept passes into the slot, and the backchecking was inspiring.

- My unsung hero for the weekend - Kevin Schaeffer. He was robbed of a goal and an assist by the refs/scorekeeper on Friday night and played solidly on Saturday. He pinched and pokechecked the puck to Yip who fed MacArthur for his second of the night, and he scored the 5th goal, not Lawrence.

- My weekend MVP. Curry is an easy choice, but for the second year in a row, MacArthur picked a 2-game series with Maine to lift his game to another level and helped them take 4 points. Scoring 15 seconds after Maine did on Friday was huge, and his SH breakaway goal was the goal that really put BU in command (the late collapse notwithstanding). There is no question in my mind that he is the inspirational leader of this team. If he can continue to play at that level, BU will win games down the stretch and will make the NCAA's without having to worry on selection day.

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