Well, They're not that old... But they're close
I'm going to take a break from the football recruiting wrap up to point out that your last chance to see the UB Men play hockey this season, unless you plan on going down to the ECHLChampionship, is this weekend.
From Coach Sal Valvo , per Facebook "You are invited to the University at Buffalo Men's Ice Hockey team's final home game of the 2009-2010 season for our annual senior night. Please join us in honoring 10 seniors and their achievements both on and off the ice.When: Saturday,Februaury 6th 2010 8:00 PM vs. University of RochesterWhere: Amherst Ice Centerwe look forward to seeing you there."
So why should you make it a point to go to the UB Mens hockey game this Saturday night rather than listen to the Basketball game on the radio? Well firstly have you seen the Mens basketball team try to play defense lately? Secondly senior night for any sport, scholarship or not, should be front and center. The seniors who take the ice this Saturday at the Pepsi center have been putting on the Blue and White for UB nation without even the benefit of a scholarship. Finally because, as always, if you're a UB student it's free and it's only 5$ if you're not.
After getting savaged by Niagara last week UB will, likely, end up seeded fourth in the championship and have to face off against Mercyhurst. There is an outside chance that the Bulls can still steal the three seed from Niagara if they sweep their two conference games this weekend (and Niagara Trips up against SU when those two team play on Saturday).
1) Who does UB have to watch out for?
Syracuse: Syracuse is a team that has multiple players who can hurt you. Alex Lichorat, Mike Dillane, and Chris Leykam are the teams leading scorers while Mike McConney, and Wes Rene lead the team in Assist. Last week in Syracuse they again spread things out, netting only two goals but having five players register a point.
Rochester: Ryan Williamson is the big goal scoring threat, but he is complimented nicely by Mike Collins. Usually when Williamson Scores a goal Collins is somewhere to be found.
2) How good are their goalies?
Syracuse: The orange have effective goal tenders Rich Carlston is respectable but of late he has only been facing 25 to 30 shots a game. Last week UB faced Andrew Collinham who only faced 28 shots. (While UB netminder Nichols Edson was peppered with 52).
Rochester: Their 'leading' goal tender Mark Ingram is giving up more than five and a half goals per game. In his last outing he was shelled for twelve goals by Robert Morris.
3) How are they on the Power play?
Syracuse: Power play goals have not been easy to come by for Syracuse, the Orange are netting a goal just 10% of the time over their last five games. Alex Lichorat is the teams season leader with three goals on the power play this season. Wes Rene managed to get one late in the third last week, sending the game to overtime.
Rochester has been decent in short handed situations, really the one way I see RU taking it to Buffalo is if the Bulls end up in penalty trouble.
4) How are they Short Handed?
Syracuse: On the season the Orange are giving up goals about 20% of the time (over their last four games), Last week against Buffalo the prevented UB from getting a power play goal mainly by staying out of the Box (Buffalo only had two chances)
Rochester: This is probably the biggest strength that Rochester has, when they are down a man they give up a goal only about one out of ten times. As bad as Rochester looks on paper they are excellent when someone is in the box.
5) What to expect form the game?
Syracuse: The Orange should be over matched in this game, but then again they should have been over matched last week and the Bulls needed overtime. If Syracuse stays out of the box and managed to nearly double us up in shots again this game will be closer than it should.
Rochester: If UB can stay out of trouble in terms of penalties they should have a good chance of taking this game, right now the Bulls have a game in hand and they cant waste this opportunity.
Bull Run Note: I had initially had R.I.T. as the game for senior night, in fact its against Rochester, this post has been corrected..