Of all the storylines heading into tonight’s Boston University versus University of Vermont Frozen Four semifinal matchup, one has been overwhelmingly ignored: the fact that UVM’s Viktor Stalberg and BU’s Jason Lawrence are currently tied for fourth in the country in goals at 24 a piece, and are the last two players still playing this season from the top five in that list.
Whoever wins the battle tonight will have the opportunity to move into either second or third on that list, seeing that both MacGregor Sharp (26 goals) and Brock Bradford (25 goals) and their teams are no longer in the tournament. (Air Force powerhouse Jacques Lamoureux’s 33 goals might be a tough target to hit for either Stalberg or Lawrence, but hey, stranger things have happened in two games.)
So who’s going to win the battle tonight, come out ahead on the goal statistics and have the opportunity to add more goals to their stats on Saturday? To figure this out, I consulted with Cameron Frye, fellow hockey blogger, and professed fan of “The Swedish”, and we each took our own positions on the topic. I will let Ms. Frye go first:
Cameron Frye on “The Swedish”
There’s very few players that can go by one name and even less who’s name can make a man shake in his skates. Viktor Stalberg is just that man. The junior from Sweden will be on the ice for the Frozen Four with his team mates from UVM and playing against the fancy lads of Boston University.
Through out the first two rounds of the tournament, players were doing whatever they could to get out of the way of the on coming Swedish Train the call Stalberg. He scored one goal and an assist against Yale and assisted on Lawson’s OT game winner against Air Force. Add that goal and two assists to his totals and that will give him 24 goals, 21 assists, 45 points and 32 mins in the box. On Thursday, Stalberg and the rest of the Cats will be taking on the Terriers(could there be a less intimidating animal?), a team where he’s scored 2 goals and 3 assist against. BU’s Jason Lawrence and Stalberg are the last two top goal scorers left in the tournament and granted, Lawrence looks like a fancier version of Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys (back during License to Ill and before they became hypocritical old men), has great facial hair and has 24 scored goals and 13 assists this season, but let’s be honest….he’s got nothing on Stalberg.
Stalberg is a 6’3 and 191lbs (or 210 depending on what you read or how frightening you want to make him) and his team, the UVM Catamounts, have already beat BU 2 out of the 3 times they’ve met this season. So that got going for them and figure the Canadian Ken Doll and the Bruins Hating/Bagel Loving, Matt Gilroy will be too busy showing off for those last minute pushes for the Hobey Baker trophy to even be concerned with winning the game. Where as Stalberg will be there to win and look damn good while doing it too.
Kat on “The Saugus”
Ooh…them’s fightn’ words, Ms. Fyre. I’ll admit it: Stalberg scares me. A casual Terrier hockey fan said to me the other day, “You know who scares me? That Stalberg guy on Vermont. He looks like he’s going to hurt you.” And you know, The Swedish did put the hurt on the Terriers back in November, sweeping them on their home ice.
Remember that The Saugus, for some reason, has absolutely grand out-of-conference games. As in, they may be against Hockey East teams, but if they are non-conference games, he runs around like he’s the Hobey Baker Hat Trick member, not Wilson or Gilroy. Sure, The Swedish is consistent – as in he consistently scores goals and mows other players over – but The Saugus has Wilson passing to him, Gilroy defending him, and Higgins feeding him pucks in the left corner of the opposing team’s zone to win non-conference games with mere seconds remaining. And even when the three of them don’t help out, The Saugus has still been having a career season in shots, his penalty kill abilities and his feistiness.
And really, I don’t think The Swedish has commemorative-like editions of the Saugus Advertiser coming out every week all about him and his season, now does he? I didn’t think so.
Lastly, who was the first player I ever saw score a goal in a college hockey game? That’s right, The Saugus. And I’m going down to DC to watch him play his last few collegiate hockey games. And who now lives in DC, but the roommate I had dragged to that very game. This is why I’m picking The Saugus to win this epic battle.