East Regional Final Preview

Saturday March 25 8:30pm Air Force Academy Falcons vs Harvard University Crimson

A trip to Chicago and the NCAA Frozen Four is on the line tonight when these two teams face off @ the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. For the Crimson it will be just another step in a season of reaching goals. For the Falcons it would be a miraculous achievement in any season. Last night each team won their opening games in convincing fashion. Harvard beat Providence 3-0 & Air Force outlasted Western Michigan 5-4.

AF is a sneaky good team, playing in the Atlantic Hockey Conference they don’t get the coverage or recognition they probably deserve. They have had solid goaltending from So. Shane Starrett all season and great team defense. Last night they had  more of an offensive night than a defensive night from the defensemen. So. Matt Koch had 2 assists, Jr. Phil Boje had a goal, & Jr.Kyle Mackey had an assist. While Jr. Dylan Abood was -3, So. Dan Bailey -2, & Mackey & Sr. Johnny Hrabovsky had the only 2 penalties for the Falcons. They’ll need to tighten up their defensive play if they want to slow down the Harvard attack. Offensively Air Force will count on big games from Kyle Haak, Jordan Himley, Tyler Ledford, & Evan Giesler.

Harvard will look to continue what its been doing all year. Using their speed & skill to wear down opponents. The Crimson are a physical team, and I don’t think some teams realize how physical they are. Harvard will look to get 200 ft games from both forwards & defensemen alike. Last night Sr. Tyler Moy & Fr. Adam Fox had multiple point nights, proving that Harvard can use the O & D to score on you. And Jr. Merrick Madsen’s shut-out shows they can shut down your offense. I can see Harvard’s D having a big offensive night tonight in a up & down the ice affair. Both teams are fast.

This is the first ever meeting between the 2 schools. This season they’ve had 3 common opponents, Bentley, Arizona St. & Boston College. Harvard beat all 4-0 vs all 3 by a combined score of 23-6. Air Force went 7-2, losing to Bentley and ASU once each, in a 39-14 combined score. I picked Harvard vs Western Michigan to be here and having Air Force here doesn’t change my overall prediction. Harvard wins.

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