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Philly Phour Phocus: Let The Weirdness Continue

Just a Philly kid (who’s bracket is pretty much busted) covering Philly teams.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams are going in the right direction. The other two teams, not so much.

Welcome to another edition of the Philly Phour Phocus, which is properly spelled for the occasion. Once again, we're following all four Philly teams throughout the season, and updating their chances of repping the great city in this year's Final Four in...Foxborough.

Last week, we had one team making positive strides, two teams going in the opposite direction, and one team finally looking good. What will happen this week? To the Big Board we go! This week's Philly Phour Phocus Big Board is sponsored by Moyamensing. Moyamensing: There used to be a prison in the neighborhood.

Philly Phour Phocus Big Board

Team 2017 Overall Record 2017 Conference Record 2016 Conference Record Last Week Next Game
Team 2017 Overall Record 2017 Conference Record 2016 Conference Record Last Week Next Game
Drexel 3-4 0-0 2-3 (4th in CAA) W vs. St. Joe's, W @ St. John's Sun. @ Providence
Penn 3-3 0-1 4-2 (3rd in Ivy) L @ Michigan, L vs. Princeton Sat. @ Cornell
St. Joe's 3-5 0-0 5-1 (1st in NEC) L @ Drexel, L @ Delaware Sat. @ Bryant
Villanova 3-4 0-0 3-2 (3rd in Big East) L vs. Delaware, W @ Brown Tues. vs. Bucknell, Sat. @ Fairfield

Drexel

The Dragons are on a three-game winning streak, as they defeated St. Joe’s and St. John’s in their last two games! The Hawks got ahead in the first half, but Drexel managed to use a 5-1 third quarter to beat their fellow Philly Phour neighbor, 12-8. Freshman Reid Bowering led the way with four goals and two assists, while sophomore Cole Shafer also added four goals to go along with one assist. Michael Meurer had a game-high three caused turnovers, and goaltender Jimmy Joe Granito stood on his head with 16 saves for the win, four in each quarter.

The Dragons also jumped to a 6-1 halftime lead and stopped a late St. John’s rally to beat the Red Storm, 9-7. Shafer added a hat-trick and Robert Frazee also picked up three tallies. Granito made 15 saves in the victory, including seven in the final quarter.

Current Big Dance Chance: 25% (no movement from last week). Still don’t see any movement from this team yet because of how good Hofstra and Towson have been so far this season. Delaware has been a pleasant surprise, while Fairfield has had a down year, and UMass is starting to get the ball rolling. The Dragons travel to Rhode Island to take on Providence this weekend before beginning CAApril with Towson.

Penn

I don’t know what happened to the Quakers. After going 2-0 to start the season, they’ve gone 1-3 since. They’re also on a two-game losing skid to Michigan and most recently to Princeton in their Ivy League opener. In the Michigan game, the Quakers were down 10-5 in the third quarter before scoring seven goals in the final frame. But it wasn’t enough as the Wolverines got a huge win in Ann Arbor. Kevin McGeary had a game-high five goals for Penn, while Simon Mathias recorded three tallies. Chris Santangelo went 16-of-28 from the face-off X, while Reed Junkin made just seven saves.

In the Princeton blowout, they were no match for the new look Tigers. Mathias and Connor Keating each had two goals, and Junkin made only eight saves, but gave up 15 goals and was pulled for freshman Alex deMarco. Santangelo went 17-of-28 from the face-off X. The defense only caused five turnovers in the blowout loss, and gave up six goals in the third quarter.

Current Big Dance Chance: 40% (down from 60% last week). I can’t tell if Penn will be good or not now. They certainly aren’t the best team in the Ivy League, and it looks like the conference might get one or two teams in the NCAA Tournament. They have Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca, and they’re looking for their first win of the season.

St. Joe’s

The Hawks don’t look like they’re back on track, as they suffered two losses during the past week. In the aforementioned game against Drexel, Jason Kelly had four goals, while Kyle Cain added two of his own. Charles Giunta, Evan Wolf, and Davis Stoner each had two caused turnovers. Senior goaltender T.J. Jones had 12 saves in the loss.

St. Joe’s took on a surprisingly good Delaware team on Saturday and lost, 12-7. The Hawks were tied at four at the half until Delaware outscored St. Joe’s in the second half, 8-3, including five goals in the third quarter. Ray Vandegrift led the way with two goals, while Kelly had a goal and an assist. Giunta did not play in the game on defense, as the team gave up five goals to attackman Andrew Romagnoli. Jones did make 13 saves in the losing effort.

Current Big Dance Chance: 40% (down from 60% last week). I don’t think the Hawks will be a strong team within the NEC this season, and it was very evident with their losses to Drexel and Delaware. The Monmouth game last week was also a tight affair. NEC play begins this weekend in Rhode Island against Bryant.

Villanova

Well, look at those Wildcats. The team got their first ever program win over Maryland in overtime, thanks to Danny Seibel’s overtime gem. That was one of four goals for the junior attackman for the game. Christian Cuccinello and Jake Froccaro both recorded hat-tricks, and Jack Curran had a pair of goals. Froccaro also went 7-of-17 from the face-off X. Dan Willis got the win in goal with five saves, while Nick Testa made two saves.

Current Big Dance Chance: 40% (up from 35% last week). If the Wildcats can keep up the momentum, they can make a strong run at a Big East championship. I still think an at-large bid is out of reach, but the Maryland win helps out the loss to Monmouth from earlier in the season. The ‘Cats host Bucknell tomorrow in a game that was postponed from last week due to Winter Storm Stella, and travel to Fairfield on Saturday to play the Stags.

As per usual, let’s dance!