BC vs. Alabama-Huntsville like Goliath vs. David, but don't expect upset
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- December 29, 2012 - 2:42 PM
Better hurry, there is less than two hours left to see history at Mariucci Arena.
No. 1-rated Boston College played the University of Alabama-Huntsville at 4 p.m. Saturday in the first game of the Mariucci Classic. And barring all the Eagles being stricken with the flu or them showing up a half-hour late for the game -- and the Chargers starting on time -- this should be a laugher.
UAH is probably the worst team in the country, BC is considered the best in the polls. So Eagles could Jerry York should get his 925th victory and become the all-time winningest college hockey coach. If it's closer than five goals, UAH will have a moral victory.
The Chargers are college hockey's version of the Washington Generals, the team that always loses to the Harlem Globetrotters. UAH has three wins, but two are against Division III Finlandia. Never hear of them? Me neither.
Last season the school told the team the program would be folded for this season -- and several key players left. Then it was resurrected and the team had to scramble to get games again. That is why it has only TWO homes games this season.
It is playing 20 other games against Division I foes on the road or at neutral sites. A big part of UAH's problem is that it is an independent and nobody wants a school not close to anybody in its conference.
BC is at the opposite end of the college hockey spectrum. York's Eagles have won three of the past five NCAA titles, including last season when they beat the maroon and gold 6-1 in the Frozen Fout semifinals in Tampa.
The Eagles are only 1-1-1 in their last three games -- a major slump for BC -- so that is why York is going for a milestone in a warm-up game to the Gophers vs. Air Force at 7 p.m. It is the mismatch of the season, no doubt.
It could get out of hand. Wonder if they have running time in the third period?
Mike Russo's story on the Mariucci Classic is here.
The Boston Globe story on BC is here.
But on to my predictions in games involving WCHA teams:
Air Force vs. Gophers at Mariucci, 7 p.m.: Both teams are well-rested after long breaks. The Don wants to see more from his top forwards and the Gophers could be looking past this game to BC. Shame on them if they are. The Falcons are loaded with Minnesotans and will make it interesting for a while. But ... Gophers win.
Ferris State vs. UMD in Estero, Fla., 3 p.m.: The Bulldogs got beat by Maine 1-0 on Friday, now they play a team that was in tne NCAA title game a year ago. UMD has been playing better lately and will bounce back ... Dogs win
Minnesota State Mankato vs. Brown, 3 p.m.: Mavs have won seven of eight. They are the surprise team of the WCHA so far. ... Mavs win
Michigan vs. Michigan Tech, 6 p.m.: Neither of these teams are living up to their expectations. But the Wolverines should be able toi exploit Tech's problems in the net. ... Michigan wins
Boston University at Denver, 8 p.m.: The Pioneers have not won a game in ages, it seems. They are in total free-fall. BU is one of the better teams in Hockey East and beat BC not long ago. ... Terriers win
One score is already in and the WCHA continues to take a beating over the holidays. Quinnipiac beat Nebraska Omaha 5-4. That makes the WCHA 1-3-0 since Thursday. Ouch.
The PairWise rankings, as far as the WCHA is concerned, could look ugly if this keeps up over the weekend.
As of this minute, North Dakota is No. 10, the Gophers No. 12 and St. Cloud State No. 14 in the PairWise ratings, which mimic how the NCAA fills out its postseason field. So if the NCAA tournament was starting right now, only the Final Five champion, UND and the Gophers would be in for sure and the Huskies probably in.
And no WCHA would get a No. 1 seed.
© 2013 Star Tribune