Honestly… If it’s ever going to happen, I think this is the year it could.
First with Bryn Athyn. assuming BA goes 2-0 and faces a 2-0 Oakland on Thursday, Oakland still has the best goalie in the country and with that being said, that the only reason I would call them the early favorites. Can BA score enough on Oakland to win? Without Rosales, Oakland still very very strong, but not as dominant as last year. This is stylistically a pretty even matchup, great puck moving teams. Discipline will be the key. Both teams are lethal on the PP and have older rosters, so the game itself should be great. I’d say the favorite is Oakland (because of their goalie), but they are definitely beatable and BA does have more than a puncher’s chance. As I always say, at this time of year, the team that doesn’t have to go to war before Thursday typically has the advantage. Stylistically this is the matchup closest to a toss up
As for Calvin and Farmingdale, assuming FD goes 2-0 and faces a 2-0 Calvin on Thursday, this is the match-up of match-ups. The tactical, methodical style of Calvin, vs the fast, physical high octane offense of Farmingdale. Calvin is the bigger and more disciplined team, but make no doubt, Farmingdale will challenge them. Calvin is clearly the best team in the country and the odds-on favorite in this matchup, but there are a few things to point out. There is no team in the North that is similar to how Farmingdale plays, and by that I mean the combination of physicality, offense, and speed, so that alone will be interesting to see. Also, Calvin’s record vs teams that score more than 5 goals a game isn’t great. Aquinas, Oakland, and Central Florida, so I think Calvin get’s the benefit of the doubt as the number 1 team and favorite, but Farmingdale can be a handful if they are disciplined.
Should be interesting… But I’d be remised if I didn’t say I hate that the Atlantic 1 and 2 have to play the North 1 and 2… Thursday’s games may be better than the semi-finals…