Games with Bucknell are very often season defining affairs and this weekend is no exception. Both teams face elimination from the post season depending on the Boston/Holy Cross match tonight, and the outcome of saturday’s contest. Bucknell is 1-3 in the league and most definitely will be eliminated with a loss. The Leopards are 2-2 and if Holy Cross finds a way to win tonight could still get to the PL playoffs with a win over Lehigh, and if American were to beat Boston in the last game.
To avoid all that, Lafayette needs the win tomorrow and against Lehigh to lock up their place in the playoffs.For a fan like me a look at the stats between the teams doesn’t help. On paper they look like twins. To compare apples to apples I looked at the Patriot League game alone. Each team has played a similar schedule with Lafayette yet to play Lehigh and Bucknell yet to play Colgate, in their final Patriot League games. Here are the on field statististics for league game only.
Lafayette goals -1.5 per game opponents 1.25
Bucknell goals- 1 per game opponents 1.25
Save percentage- Lafayette .8o8
Save percentage- Bucknell .80
Shots Lafayette- 46
Corners Lafayette – 38
Signature games Bucknell beat Albany, Lafayette beat Boston University.
Lafayette has very strong leadership in their senior class, and a strong young classes underneath. Bucknell has a young team who has contributed to some diverse scoring. Coach Cook from Bucknell noted their 56 entries into the attacking 25 without a result at Holy Cross last week, but he feels good about the game since both team are facing similar obstacles and both realize the importance of the game. He feels nerves will cancel each other out.
Senior Bucknell defender Emily Goodloe hopes the nervousness will go away quickly and they can concentrate on having fun and scoring. Bucknell has been good on their home turf, but Lafayette left early to get in a practice today to counter that advantage.
This game may well depend on how well both team’s young players perform. Lafayette’s talented young cadre could be the difference, and with US under 21 player Amanda Magadan drawing a lot of attention, we could see some key work by the young part of the squad. Senior Kaitlyn Arnold has been playing her best hockey of the year in goal and could also be factor.
Each coach will be planning to take advantage of the other’s weaknesses. Who executes better and shows the most heart could determine the end score. The weather will be a little raw by being cloudy and in the mid to low 50’s.
For all practical purposes this is a playoff game….Go Pards!!