Wins over BC, BU have Providence back on track

After a 4-0 road loss at Clarkson that capped off a weekend where Providence allowed 9 goals to the opposition, the Friars might have had some concerns about their overall defense. Those concern should be eased for now after a banner weekend. That leads the three things I learned this weekend.

1. Friars sweep was based on defense

Providence beat Boston College and Boston University this weekend and allowed just one goal in doing so. And after averaging more than four goals against the previous three games, that’s a positive sign for the Friars. Most importantly might be the Friars ability to limit chances. Boston College had just 25 shots in a 2-1 loss on Friday and Boston University managed just 22 shots when Providence shutout the Terriers, 3-0, on Saturday. All positive signs for the Friars.

2. Northeastern proves it can win in many ways

The Huskies regained form this weekend with a two-game sweep of UMass Lowell and did so in different fashion. Friday’s game was tight defensively and the Huskies had to rely on special teams. The 3-1 win featured two power play goals and a third goal scored just seconds after a power play ended. On Saturday, Lowell’s penalty kill improved (and had to as the team was forced to kill four extended 5-on-3s), but the Huskies offense still found a way. Not only did they find a shorthanded tally, Northeastern got secondary scoring, proving they don’t always have to rely on the Sikura-Gaudette combo to score.

3. Attendance against defending national champs a bit disappointing

Sure, maybe the provincial New England hockey fans can’t appreciate just how good a team that Denver is, not just the defending national champs but the current #1 team in the nation. But half-to-two-thirds full buildings at Boston University and Boston College over the weekend certainly disappointed this college hockey diehard. BU wasn’t awful, filling 4,369 of the 6,221 seats at Parker Rink, or about 70% capacity. But Boston College managed just to fill just 4,788 or the 7,884 seats at Kelley Rink, or 60% capacity. I’m not pointing blame and know there are tons of excuses for the not-so-great turnout. I just feel bad that this region of supposed hockey lovers missed seeing great college hockey.

7 COMMENTS

  1. You are right on with your attendance statement, Jim. I watched the game on ESPN3 Saturday night, and the empty seats were noticeable. Maybe crowds will improve as BC gets better through the year. At least, let’s hope so. Love the Halloween weekend and there’s lots going on excuses.

  2. Halloween weekend or not, BC community doesn’t seem to care about any hockey game that isn’t against BU. I went to Conte on 2/23/17 to see Lowell play BC. Friday night, last week of regular season with the Hockey East Championship on the line. BC wins or ties the game and they win the regular season outright. Official attendance was only 4306 or 56% of capacity. Lowell went up 3-1 with 7 minutes left in the 3rd and the crowd cleared out leaving their team to be serenaded by the 500 or so Lowell rabble in attendance. Frankly, I was embarrassed for BC and the next night they had to go to a raucous, sold out Tsongas center for the final game of the season which Lowell won to steal the top seed in the Tournament and knock BC down to #3. Maybe they should sell beer at Conte?

    • I began going to BC men’s games when Coach York was in his first year and the team was virtually a last-place team, being second-to-last only because UMass was in its first season in HE and won only three league games (the first coming at BC). In those first few seasons I could walk up to the ticket window on any Friday afternoon and buy a ticket for almost any seat I wanted.

      A few years later BC was in the NCAA championship game and I began buying a season ticket to ensure that I could get into the games.

      It’s been some time since I moved from the area so I don’t know what the ticket situation has been over the last few years, but I am not terribly surprised that the arena isn’t full for an October game that’s not against Notre Dame, or even for the February games last year. The team wasn’t very good last year and it’s not good this year. The first-place tie last season is deceiving: BC won only three games against ranked opponents last year prior to the HE tournament, and one was an early season win against Denver when neither team was playing at its best. The first-place tie was built on wins against the bottom half of the league standings.

      At the end of the day, BC remains a football school even though ice hockey is its best sport. For the first time since 1993 the football team (AP #13 with Glenn Foley as QB) is better than the hockey team; and on Saturday Florida State was in town for football. So while it may be disappointing that Conte isn’t selling out, it is not surprising.

  3. Attendance at BC and BU has been disappointing for a long time. Pretty sad as both schools have a large on campus population and both have a great history. Add to that the amount of top talent on both teams for decades it is hard to accept any excuses. I go to the Lowell games and for a school that is mostly a commuting school, the Tsongas Arena packs them in. Attendance at UNH is still disappointing as they used to sell out almost all their games. Overall Hockey East seems to be down and interest is dipping….

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