Saturday, January 31, 2015

Proving Blogger Wrong


If the first UConn game was the tip of the iceberg for me, the November contest against Providence was certainly the final straw. I walked out of Schneider Arena with a pessimistic feeling unlike anything I've ever felt. When I went to school on Monday and had everybody from kids seven years younger than I am to the headmaster asking what was wrong with BC Hockey, I, carelessly, blamed their rough start to the season on the recruiting, something that is as stupid as saying 2+2=5 because if you look at their roster for next season, there is certainly an argument to be made that they could run the table and I'm not kidding in the least bit. I tried to put on a face where would tell people that I thought everything would be fine but internally, I believed this thing was going into free for all stage.

I was wrong.....very wrong.

For the fifth straight game, all of Boston College's goals came from underclassmen as the Eagles picked up a huge win over the #9 Providence Friars by a score of 3-2 in front of 7,389 fans at Conte Forum. Outside of the final ten minutes of the third period, one could argue that this was BC's best game of the season as they held PC to just 7 shots at the halfway point and if it wasn't for some unbelievable saves from Jon Gilles, it easily could have been 5-0. This BC club has developed a strong habit of getting off to hot starts over the course of the past couple weeks and they did that once again tonight, even though it was 0-0 after twenty minutes. BC was the much better team all throughout the first period but they had nothing to show for their play until Alex Tuch's snipe two minutes into the middle frame. BC was coming off a penalty kill and once Tuch hit the ice, Adam Gilmour hit him with a nice pass through the neutral zone and #12 somehow caught Gilles off-guard to make it 1-0 birds. Two minutes after the goal, the Eagles had perhaps their best power play of the season but Gilles kept everything out of the net. I'd have to look at it again but I'm 95% sure BC's second unit of Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Straight, Doherty, and Matheson kept the puck inside the PC end for the entirety of the man advantage. From the middle of the second on, the game got really chippy. Providence initiated a giant scrum which saw one of their guys try and stand up to Ian McCoshen who promptly threw him to the ground like he was a toothpick. Amazingly, BC came out of the "fight" with a power play but were called for perhaps the single worst interference penalty I have ever seen just moments into their power play. Astonishingly, the officials then proceeded to call two more penalties on the Eagles which gave Providence more than a minute of 5 on 3 but Coach Ayers' penalty kill came up big and held the Friars off the board.

The third period was one of the more entertaining periods of hockey I've witnessed this season. A little under five minutes in, Noah Hanifin, who probably played at least 7 more minutes that any other BC defenseman, pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone before splitting two PC defenders and beating Gilles to give BC a two goal advantage. In my mind, astronomical things would need to happen in order for this BC defense to give up a two goal advantage in the third period but that's exactly what happened when PC scored a pair of goals under three minutes apart. The first was a real fluky one as a shot from the point looked like it redirected off someone's glove and past Demko who never saw it. Their second goal was the result of a bad turnover at BC's offensive blue line but the other defenseman, Hanifin, made a nice effort to get back only to see Shane Luke's shot somehow slide through Demko's arm and into the net. When you're playing this BC team, you're going to need your fair share of puck luck in order to win the game and Providence certainly got some tonight. Anyways, it was only a matter of time before Gilmour's line struck again because they were really buzzing all night long and they did just that after Tuch made a nice cycling play to Gilmour who once again made a nice play by putting the puck low and on net, which allowed Zach Sanford to easily collect his fifth goal of the season.

Give Providence credit because they did everything but score in those final five minutes. I don't think BC had the puck in their offensive end for more than thirty seconds after Sanford gave them the lead. If it wasn't for a couple of great saves from Demko, this game certainly could have ended with a different result.

Anyways, it's great to see that this team is playing the way they are but we all know what lies ahead on Monday. We'll get more into it more tomorrow but this is the biggest athletic event in the world and this team has an opportunity to get one step closer to bringing home a record tying 6th straight Beanpot title on Monday night when they play a very good Northeastern team. Based on the massacre at Agganis two weeks ago and the fact that Harvard is so banged up, believe it or not, BC might just be the favorite.

Who would have thought?

Why BC won- 

1. It was as good a 60 minute effort as they have played all year. For two thirds of that game, it was men against boys out there because we took their game and shoved it right back in their faces.

2. Penalty kill was terrific. Providence was 0/5 on the PP and that included a long 5 on 3.

3. The freshmen are coming up huge. Why would anyone ever criticize the staff's recruiting?

Negatives- 

I don't want to pretend I'm Jack Parker but the officiating in this league has gotten to a point where I think BC really needs to step up and get involved. If they are going to continue to go out of their way to make unfair calls against this team, then something needs to be done. It's like their officiating a mite game.

Player of the game- Noah Hanifin

Next- Obviously

Go Eagles !!





Thursday, January 29, 2015

Providence Preview


With the biggest athletic event in the entire world looming on Monday night, the Eagles will have to keep the focus on Hockey East tomorrow as a hot Providence team comes to town. The Friars are coming off an impressive home and home sweep of Lowell, a series in which they outscored the River Hawks by a 11-4 margin. It's amazing that even though they're not known as a high scoring team and UML rarely gives up a large amount of goals, the Friars were still able to post that kind of number. However, despite the success last weekend, Providence entered the Lowell series having lost a pair of games to Brown (at home) and UNH, two teams that won't necessarily be gunning for the NCAA title any time soon. I think, like BC, this Friar squad is one that can be really good on some nights and not so good on others. I mean, they totally dominated a Lowell team that is as good as anyone I've seen all year but they somehow lost to a Brown squad that is as bad as anyone I've seen all year. Obviously, these guys handed us a crushing loss in November, a 1-0 battle in which BC recorded 43 shots on PC's star goalie, Jon Gilles, a guy that is certainly the MVP of their squad.

As for the Eagles, this is certainly the definition of the worst trap game ever. Not only is Providence right behind us in the Hockey East standings with two games in hand, they're four spots above us (9th) in the latest pairwise rankings. In reality, BC could probably move up two or three spots if all things played out their way, but it certainly won't be easy coming vs a team that is big and physical. If you remember back to last year, BC suffered injuries to Ian McCoshen and Kevin Hayes just four days before the Beanpot when the Eagles defeated Providence on the road, 1-0. If there is any team I don't want to see three days before the biggest event of the year, it's Providence because they're big, they're nasty, and they are at times, dirty. Other than Gilles, Nate Leaman doesn't have one "superstar" although he does have a first round draft pick in junior Mark Jankowski, someone that has, according to those who watch PC, underperformed in his first 2.5 seasons in Friartown. PC, unlike the Eagles, has four pretty strong lines as opposed to two top lines. Their first unit will likely feature Nick Saracino, Noel Acciari (reigning Hockey East player of the week), and Brandon Tanev. The problem for BC will be who they want to match up with that line and who they want to matchup with their equally as powerful second line which features Jankowski and leading scorer Trevor Mingoia. Amazingly, BC's leading scorer, Adam Gilmour, is a 21 year old sophomore while Providence's leading scorer, Mingoia, is 23 year old junior. Insane.

Anyways, it would be a miracle if BC could win the game tomorrow and come out with no injuries but don't get me wrong, everyone's focus is on what they have to do in order to win this game. I don't think Providence, a team that only scores 2.76 goals per game, is one that BC should have a handful of problems with in their own end, if they avoid turning the puck over. In fact, the only goal the Eagles gave up to these guys in the first meeting was due to a horrific offensive zone turnover. The strengths of PC's team lie, of course, in the net and at the blue line. They have some big but mobile defensemen like Parisi, Gilmour, Walman, and Florentino, all guys that can get up the ice quickly.

Scouting Providence- 

Record- 16-8-1 (9th in pairwise)

Goals per game- 2.76 (27th)

Goals against per game- 2.04 (6th)

Power play- 15 % (37th)

Penalty kill- 86 % (17th)

Shots on goal per game- 32.24 (14th)

Penalty minutes per game- 11.24 (33rd)

Keys for BC- 

1. Don't let bad mistakes lead to their offense. To be honest, BC gives up more goals to teams because of their own miscues than they do because the opponent makes good plays. Whether it's a stupid penalty, turnover, or blown coverage, the Eagles tend to let opponents capitalize on their errors.

2. Get guys to the net. When Gilles sees the puck, he's going to make the save, 99% of the time. When we actually get guys to the net and screen him, his life will be a lot tougher.

3. Don't get caught up in a brawl. Providence likes to try and take the game to a whole other level in terms of physicality. BC can't afford to do that because #1, they'll get stupid penalties and #2, they will risk an injury.

Injury report- Linell won't play...hurt last Saturday. Silk back.

Go Eagles

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Revenge


 Photo from The Heights

I'm not really into seeing the same movie twice, in fact, the only four I can ever remember seeing more than once are Caddyshack, MiracleThe Dark Knight, and 22 Jump St. After 20 minutes Saturday night @ Conte Forum, I felt like I was seeing some film I despised more than any other all over again. Despite throughly outplaying UConn in the first period, BC surrendered a power play goal and headed into the locker room down a goal to their former associate head coach, once again. Thankfully, the final 40 minutes turned into totally different, way more entertaining film as BC was able to sneak by the always pesky Huskies by a score of 3-2 in front of a tremendous crowd @ Kelley Rink. Obviously, Ryan Fitzgerald showed what he is capable of by recording BC's first hatrick of the season, giving him the team lead with 12 goals. Amazingly, all of Conte Forum held it's breath when Fitz went down in the second period with what appeared to be a leg injury but he ended up not missing a shift.

 I thought we got off to a really good start but we just weren't able to finish a couple of great chances. Austin Cangelosi, who played his best game in a long time, missed out the first of two BC breakaways, Matty Gaudreau somehow missed a wide open net, and BC also failed to capitalize on a 3-1 thanks to some off the mark passes. Anyways, it seemed like a goal from the home team was imminent until the Huskies struck with a power play goal midway through the stanza. This is the third time in the past 4 games that BC has allowed an opponent to capitalize on the man advantage. I haven't looked at the tape yet so I can't really say what exactly went wrong but it didn't appear BC was aggressive enough at the point, something they tend to do from time to time, and the UConn defenseman was able to walk right in and fire one home.  Despite a power play immediately following the goal, BC was (barely) unable to capitalize and went into the second down 1-0.

Truth be told, BC didn't play a great second period, at least in the first 10 minutes. UConn forced a couple of really bad turnovers, an obvious interference penalty, and possessed the puck in BC's end a lot longer than BC did in theirs. Finally, with about four minutes to play in the period, Fitz recorded his second of the game when he made a pretty sweet move at the goal line to beat UConn's star goalie Rob Nichols. Unfortunately, UConn responded a mere 23 seconds later when they caught BC's defense sleeping in their own end and somehow a guy was left wide open in front of Demko to regain the lead for the Huskies. Hopefully it's just a little blip on the radar but BC has not done a great job of responding to goals these past three games. It happened twice at Maine and once again tonight. UConn continued to play tough and almost took a two goal lead on a couple of 2 on 1's but it was the Eagles who scored a ginormous game tying goal thanks to a fluky bounce with just under a minute to go in the period.

In the past, BC teams have found a way to come out and play some of their best third periods of the season when major implications were on the line. Say what you want but if the Eagles came out flat in that final period tonight, who knows how much it would have hurt their pairwise standing. Instead, they came out and dominated the final twenty minutes however it looked like things were playing into UConn's hands because BC just couldn't score. That all changed when Fitzgerald, for the third and final time, fired home a wrister from the right faceoff circle on the power play. Let's give Coach Brown a lot of credit because BC's PP hasn't just produced a lot more than it did in the first half, it looks a lot better than it did in October-December. Both units are generating quality chances every time they hit in the ice and for the first time perhaps all season, I assume that every time we get on the man up, we're going to score. The final two minutes got a little bit shaky but Demko preserved the victory with this outstanding save that should be on Sports Center tomorrow morning.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe we were 26th in the pairwise shortly before that win vs Michigan. Don't look now but somebody is 13th in those very same rankings as of 12:45 Sunday morning (ironically, right behind the maize and blue). I didn't think it was BC's best 60 minute effort of the season but they made the plays when they had to, something that has been a hallmark of past Eagle squads during these stretch runs. I really liked the way Fitzgerald (obviously), Cangelosi, and Straight played. In fact, you could say the benching last Sunday really woke Cango up as he has been one of BC's best forwards each of these past two games. Defensively, BC certainly needs to clean some things up as I don't think Steve Santini is fully healthy and because of the injury to Linell in the first period, the staff had to move Doherty to 4th line forward. The team certainly needs these next six days to rest up before a war with Providence on Friday and then well, you know what on Monday.

T minus 8.

Why BC Won- 

1. Ryan Fitzgerald was outstanding. Captain obvious here. Austin Cangelosi was also very good.

2. For some reason, no one is giving Demko any credit when it comes to Hobey nominees and it's driving me nuts. He was tremendous late in the third period.

3. Power play is moving it well. 2 for 4 tonight. Looks very solid. PK needs a little work.

Negatives- 

1. Hockey East once again called back a BC would be goal thanks to a way to early whistle. Make that 3 no goal calls on BC that have been flat out wrong this season. Also, Zach Sanford's goalie interference penalty might have been the worst call I have ever seen and I'm not joking.

Player of the game- Fitzgerald

Next- Providence on Friday. Something next Monday as well.

GO EAGLES !












Saturday, January 24, 2015

UConn Preview



Of all the BC Hockey games I have ever been to, I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in a loss like I was after the UConn game in November. Looking back at it, it's hard to do anything except tip your cap to the Huskies because they made the plays and we didn't. Tonight's contest marks Coach Cav's return to a school that he helped bring 4 National Championships, 7 Beanpots, multiple Hockey East championships, and played as big a role as anyone in revitalizing the program's now omnipotent recruiting efforts. It is my sincere hope that they take a moment tonight to recognize what Coach Cav brought to BC Hockey because without him, I know this program wouldn't be where it is today.

Amazingly, the Eagles jumped three spots in the pairwise last night without even playing and if the tournament ended right now, they would be the 15th overall seed. BC also had a solid night in terms of the Hockey East standings as Notre Dame and Vermont, two teams that are in striking distance of BC's third place pedestal, both lost. Obviously, the numbers behind the pairwise can be a bit confusing but as long as BC continues to take care of business at home, I think they should be guaranteed a spot in the dance. That being said, a loss tonight vs a UConn team that has proven they can play with the big boys would most likely drop us down three spots.

The Huskies are coming off a tough 6-1 loss last Sunday at home vs Notre Dame, a game in which Fighting Irish defenseman Robbie Russo became the first blue liner to record a hatrick this season in all of college hockey. The Fighting Cavs currently sit in 8th place in the league but they have wins over BC, Vermont, Lowell, Quinnipiac, and a tie @ BU. UConn struggles a bit on the offensive side of things as they are 51st in college hockey with just 2.04 goals per game but they have one of the top netminders in Hockey East in sophomore Rob Nichols. The game he played vs us a few months was one of the best goaltending performances I have seen this season, along with Sean Romeo's act last Sunday. While they may not score a ton, the Huskies are not without speed as freshman Corey Ronan was perhaps the fastest player in the Independent School League and it looks like he will be a part of UConn's all freshmen line consisting of him, top scorer Spencer Naas, and Kasperi Ojantakanen. Of course, we all know about Evan Richardson, a former Eagle who was let go at the end of last season only to come back and score the only game in the first meeting between the two teams.

This obviously isn't going to be a walk in the park. No matter how good BC has been playing, they're not powerful enough to completely blow teams out of the water and with Coach Cav behind the bench tonight, expect this to be a war. I hope the Eagles remember just how hard the Huskies celebrated their victory in November because you would have thought they won the Stanley Cup. This team has put themselves in a position to make a big run here in the second half but a loss tonight would almost completely derail any thought of that happening. No matter how you draw it up, two losses to Connecticut could effectively kill BC pairwise standing. Another must win tonight.

Scouting UConn- 

Record- 7-11-5 (36th in pairwise)

Team offense- 2.04 goals scored per game (51st)

Team defense- 2.70 goals allowed per game (37th)

Power play- 13 % (48th) They did have a PP goal vs us.

Penalty kill- 78 % (45th)

Goal margin/games played- - 0.65 (45th)

Penalty minutes- 9.83 minutes per game (48th)


Keys for BC- 

1. Take the first 40 minutes from the game on Wednesday and make it a 60 minute effort tonight.

2. Get the crowd into it early. Apparently, the game is sold out and even with the snow storm, BC is expecting a huge crowd.

3. No stupid penalties/capitalize on the PP. The reason we lost to these guys was because we didn't capitalize on a handful of power plays and were unable to execute on a long 5 on 3. They, on the other hand, scored a power play.

Go Eagles








Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pivotal Victory



Going into the second half of the season, we knew that BC would at least have a golden opportunity to make the NCAA tournament due to their home schedule to finish up the season. They have four potential tournament teams all coming to the not-so friendly confines of Kelley Rink either in January or February. Merrimack, Providence, Vermont (x2), and Lowell are all teams that would have been in the NCAA tournament, had it started yesterday. Thanks to a terrific defensive effort and goals from the two Nobles guys, BC was able to jump one more spot in the pairwise (from 19 to 18), while at the same time, forcing Merrimack to drop from 13 to 17. On a note of much less importance, the Eagles moved into third place in the Hockey East standings, meaning they would host a second round playoff series.

Right off the bat, I thought BC came out and looked like the better hockey team, something they have done in pretty much every game over the course of the past month with the exception of maybe the Dartmouth game. When you have a young squad, I think it really increases the importance of not only getting off to a good start skating wise, but also doing everything you possibly can to score that first goal. BC is 8-0-1 when leading after the first period, 1-4 when trailing, and 5-4-1 when tied up. Although they didn't go ahead in the first twenty minutes, they thoroughly outplayed the Warriors and would have had two or three goals if it wasn't for some tremendous saves from MC goalie Rasmus Tirronen.

With the exception of the first forty minutes last Friday night, the second period was possibly the best period of hockey this team has played all season. They were all over Merrimack, I mean the blue and gold had the puck in our end for maybe two minutes? It looked like men against boys and leading the way was BC's ever developing top line of Alex Tuch, Adam Gilmour, and Zach Sanford. With the absence of Cangelosi on Sunday, the staff mixed up the lines and had Tuch with Straight and Fitzgerald. All everyone has been talking about is how we don't have a "top" line that can compete with other quality teams' top guys. Don't look now but BC's top unit is as hot as any in the country as Gilmour has 8 points in the last 7 games, Tuch has 7 in his past 7, and Sanford has 6 in his past 7. The Eagles finally broke the ice when Gilmour tapped home a rebound off a Noah Hanifin (also starting to put points on the board) shot from the point. BC dominated the entire middle period but amazingly, Merrimack almost tied it up when they were awarded a penalty shot thanks to a BC turnover just outside their offensive blue line. Like he always does, Demko came up with a big stop. Two minutes after the save, Chris Calnan continued his red hot streak when he sent a Scott Savage pass through Tirronen's five hole, putting BC up 2-0 after forty.

Give Merrimack credit because they came out ready to play in the third period. After a Steve Santini hooking penalty, the Warriors capitalized on what seemed like a well covered play. Their forward beat one of our guys wide but our guy was still on him enough to force the MC guy to the outside but unfortunately he threw what seemed like a bit of a blind pass in front of the net and it slipped under the stick of one of our defenseman and next thing you know, it's a one goal contest. In all honesty, BC didn't have a great third period but it wasn't just because of what Merrimack did. Approximately three minutes after MC's goal, Destry Straight sent a low slap shot on goal, the puck deflected to the right of Tirronen while Ryan Fizgerald was shoved down in front of the crease area, he clearly did not make much, if any contact with the goalie, he certainly didn't "interfere'" with him. A split second later, Austin Cangelosi, the one guy we absolutely need to start scoring, put the puck in the net. Astonishingly, the officials waived off the goal due to goaltender interference, and I'm not kidding when I say this because I say it a lot and usually it's a joke, but that was the single worst call I have ever seen in hockey. I don't even want to keep talking, it's just mind-boggling how often the refs in this league make calls that for one reason or another, have enormous impacts on the outcome of the games that we play in. Think about the call @ UNH, just worst. Here is a link to the replay thanks to the boys @ BCI.

Anyways, really proud of the way BC gutted out a victory last night. Merrimack was buzzing towards the end but BC hung on and picked up another HUGE victory. They're winning (with the exception of Maine) the games they're supposed to win and I don't see any reason as to why we can't run the table at home from here on out. On another note, Saturday night is as big of a revenge game as it gets. I love Coach Cav more than anybody but we can't let him come in here and beat us again, I mean, that loss @ UConn is the most upset I've ever been over a game and I'm not kidding. They MUST win.

Why BC Won- 

1. Defense and Demko were tremendous.

2. First line played at a really high level.

3. BC generated a ton of shots from the grade A areas. I know, two goals is somewhat disappointing but we would have had five goals if it wasn't for the game their goalie played.

Issues- 

1. Something needs to be done about that call on our third goal. What if Merrimack came back and won the game? We've been completely screwed on two calls this year and I'm sick of it. Needs to change.

Player of the game- I don't know, Calnan, Gilmour, and Demko were all great.

Next- UConn Saturday night. Cav !!

On a sad note, it would be awesome if you could keep the family of Erin Van Flandern in your prayers this week. She was a 17 year old student at Newton Country Day who passed away suddenly shortly after BC's victory @ BU on Friday night. She is survived by two sisters, a brother, and her  parents. Rest in peace, Erin.

Go Eagles.










Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Merrimack Preview



There are games you probably should win, there are games you probably have no business winning, there are games that could either way, and then there are games that you absolutely 100% have to find a way to win. Tomorrow is one of those must wins for the Eagles. If BC had lost to BU, Sunday would have been a must win but to be perfectly honest, coming out of that brutal scheduling quirk 1-1 isn't that bad, IF they can beat Merrimack at home tomorrow night. I've always been under the belief that BC should never, ever lose a Hockey East game at home, perhaps sans BU because they always play well here but anyone else, not good. It's been seventeen years since Merrimack last won a game at Kelley Rink, Halloween 1997 to be exact. Amazingly, perhaps none of the 20 plus trips the Warriors have made here since that game will be as important as tomorrow with MC sitting at 13th in the pairwise and BC sitting at 19th. A win would bump the Eagles up to 18, a loss would knock them down to 20th.

Merrimack comes into Chestnut Hill fresh off a home and home sweep of #20 Quinnipiac and is in the midst of winning three out of their past four games, that streak includes an extremely impressive 3-2 victory @ Minnesota on January 2nd. Whatever you want to say about the way Merrimack plays or the age of their players, the bottom line is they are playing as well as anyone in the country and you have to give them credit. Interestingly enough, this was supposed the be a real down year for the blue and gold as they were projected to finish 10th by the Hockey East coaches but as of today, they're sitting in 9th with three or four games in hand over everyone else in the league. Leading the way for MC has been freshman Brett Seney, sophomore Hampus Gustafsson, and junior Brian Christie, the only three Warrior forwards that have recorded more than 10 points thus far. As is usually the case with Merrimack, they live and die off their defense as they rank 4th in the country with just 1.95 goals given up per game. On the offensive side of things, the Warriors tend to struggle a bit as they average just 2.62 goals per game, good for 36th in the country.

Not much I can say other than this is a must win for BC, no ways around it, the Eagles have to find a way to win this game. Let's assume Merrimack continues to play well the rest of the way and is right around the bubble come tournament time, probably the same spot BC will be in, wouldn't it help if the Eagles took at least 3 of 4 points from those guys? Obviously. Expect sophomore Austin Cangelosi to return to the lineup after sitting out Sunday's contest at Maine. I don't know what others think but I like the way Austin has been playing lately and even if he isn't playing his very best at times, his speed adds an element to that second line that I think scares opponents. I watched the BU tape and I really didn't see anything he did that was absolutely horrible but I'm certainly no expert. Hopefully he gets back to playing at a high level tomorrow because BC will need it.

Scouting Merrimack-

Record- 13-6-2 (13th in PWR)

Leading scorers- Brett Seney (10-11-21), Hampus Gustafsson (6-11-17), Brian Christie (9-7-16)

Team offense- 2.62 goals per game (36th)

Team defense- 1.95 goals allowed per game (4th)

Power play- 16 % (34th)

Penalty kill- 90% (4th)

Shot on goal margin per game- + 1.09 (31st)

Penalty minutes- 11.32 minutes per game (32nd)

Keys for BC- 

1. They have to win. No keys, just win. They have to.

Go Eagles

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tough Loss

I'm not really sure what to say about yesterday's 4-2 loss @ a lowly Maine team. On the positive side, BC played pretty well as they outshot the Black Bears 36-30 and severely out-possessed them for the first 40 minutes but somehow, they were down 2-0 after those two periods. On the negative side, it was a horrible loss to a team that had won just two Hockey East games this season, both vs UMass. I think the biggest person to blame for what happened today would be the Hockey East schedule maker because I don't know how the heck you can possibly play a road game at your arch rival and then somehow get up and travel 4.5 hours to perhaps the toughest environment in college hockey. It's amazing how things can seem like they're looking so good after Friday and now it seems like we're right back at square one.

I thought BC came out and played a pretty solid first period, sans the opening five minutes in which it seemed Maine outplayed us pretty badly. Tonight was just one of those games where the Eagles ran into a goaltender that played perhaps the game of his life such as Black Bear netminder Sean Romeo did this evening. He made a couple of fantastic stops in the opening stanza, particularly on a one timer from Brendan Silk early on and another in the last 10 seconds on Adam Gilmour. The more I watch this BC team, the more I think that when we score the first goal, we are totally different team than when we don't. 

Even in the second period, one in which ended with the home team up 2-0, BC had their chances to take the lead before Maine eventually did. Alex Tuch made a tremendous pass to Destry Straight who rang one off the post about halfway through. The Eagles were also 0 for 2 on the power play in the second, in total they were a horrific 0 for 6.  All seemed OK until Maine tallied the game's first goal with 9 minutes to go in the period as it was certainly a shot that Demko would probably like to have back. Although it may not have been the best goal, I have absolutely no idea why no one tried to get down and block a wrist shot from the blue line. Not Demko's fault. A mere 5 minutes later, defenseman Jake Rutt once again fired a low wrister at Demko from the blue line but only this time it was tipped by freshman Liam Pecoraro, giving Maine a 2-0 advantage going into the third.

Look, BC came out hard in the third and played some solid hockey, making it 2-1 and 3-2 but for some odd reason, we have never responded well to goals when playing at Alfond. If you look at 2012, 2014, and obviously yesterday, it just seems like we never are able to capitalize on the momentum built after scoring a goal. Anyways, credit Maine because although we probably outplayed them for a large amount of time, they put the puck in the back of the net, we didn't. Congrats to the Black Bears.

Anyways, this loss means that BC MUST find a way to comeback Wednesday night and pickup a win over a Merrimack squad that is as hot as anyone in the country. The Warriors just swept a Qunnipiac team that was ranked in the top 20 and also defeated Minnesota @ Mariucci a few weeks back. The good news is that BC's next three games before the Beanpot are all at home so hopefully they can build up some more positive vibes. We learned that this club must bring their A game each and every night to win game. In years past, we could just show up and win because of the talent level. That will certainly be the case again next year but right now, these guys need to play like they did on Friday each and every night in order to make the NCAA tournament. Not the worst loss in the world but they need to find a way to learn from it, rest up, and get ready for a war on Wednesday.

Why BC lost- 

1. Maine executed, we didn't. Plain and simple. Their goalie was absolutely outstanding.

2. Couldn't find a way to score on the power play. 0 for 6.

3. This isn't a reason they lost but I should note that Austin Cangelosi was a healthy scratch, not injury related. Hopefully he gets another shot Wednesday

Positives- 

1. I thought BC played pretty well. That is now two games this year, Maine and UConn, where BC has clearly been the better team but they've just been snakebitten.

Next- Merrimack on Wednesday