Friday, March 16, 2012
Eagles Beat Providence To Advance To Finals
For the third year in a row, the Boston College Eagles advanced to the finals of the Hockey East championship with a 4-2 win vs the Providence Friars. This marks the 11th straight win in Hockey East tournament play for BC, tying the record (BC won 11 straight from 1998-2001). The Eagles got off to a quick start as Paul Carey put home his 15th goal of the year, just a 1:15 into the game. After Carey's goal however, the Friars really started to turn up the heat on the Eagles. Barrett Kalib bombed one home to tie it just a minute and a half after Carey's goal and Derek Army made it 2-1 Friars just two minutes after that. Those two goals seemed to really wake the Eagles up as they seemed to take control of the game after that. Destry Straight added his third of the year towards the end of the first thanks to some great passing from linemates Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider. I thought that line was much better tonight after a little bit of a rough weekend last week. I thought Kevin Hayes play a fantastic game, highlighted by his phenomenal assist on Straight's goal. Once Straight tied it, BC did a good job of wearing down the Friars by keeping the puck in their zone the whole game. Providence's chances really decreased over the course of the final two periods thanks to solid defense and the fact that BC had the puck in the PC zone for what seemed like the remaining forty minutes.
After an up and down first, the Eagles really picked up on the momentum they generated at the end of the first at the beginning of the second. The Gaudreau-Mullane-Carey line was dominant all night as they seemed to generate at least two quality chances every time they were out there. I thought Johnny Gaudreau was the best player on the ice tonight for BC, evident by his highlight reel power play goal early in the second. Once Johnny G netted his goal, the team really seemed to look a lot more settled on both ends. BC only gave the Friar's one power play over the final two periods but when on the man down, the PK killed off any Friar chances. While BC didn't play their greatest game in the world, all four lines played much better than they did a week ago. I thought the special teams were pretty good tonight as the power play was able to get a very important goal in the second. The PK only had to kill off two Friar power play's but the kill in the middle of the second played a big part in preserving the Eagle victory. Overall, I think everyone has to be pretty satisfied with with the way the Eagles played. After giving up a couple of softies in the first, I thought Parker Milner bounced back in a big way by stoning any chances Providence had down the stretch.
Why the Eagles won
1. The team played much better the final forty minutes. The Friars really came out hot in the first but I thought the Eagles responded with a great final forty minutes of hockey.
2. Limiting PC's chances down the stretch. It was a really tight game for a long time but I thought BC did a good job of limiting Providence to a lot of "Grade A" chances.
3. BC's experience showed. While Providence battled, BC's experience in playing big games really showed all night and Providence's inexperience in big games seemed to hurt the Friar's in the early going.
1. I don't think there was anything too bad from tonight's game. I mean, Milner let in two soft goals but after that he was really solid all night long. The team played pretty solid game.
Player of the Game- I thought Johnny Gaudreau played amazing all night (He had one goal). His play making ability is something that is rarely seen from a freshman in college.
1.The 14 game winning streak is the longest for BC under Coach York.
2. This is BC's seventh time in the finals in the last eight years and their 16th overall.
3. The BC seniors are now 13-1 in the Hockey East tournament.
4. BC will get the winner of BU vs Maine tomorrow at 8:00 in the championship game.