Well, it was certainly just what the doctor ordered once again for BC even though it wasn't too pretty at times. First things first, the power play is really humming right now and is capitalizing on basically ever chance they get. While Lowell scored two power play goals, the problem wasn't the penalty kill, it was the fact that BC kept letting Lowell back in the game by taking bad penalties in the third (4 in the third). If BC keeps taking penalties at this rate, they will have a really tough time winning hockey games. On the power play, it was great to see the second unit get going tonight as they accounted for all three of BC's power play goals. They haven't scored any goals this year on the man up so it was great to see them get going. When you have a power play scoring at the rate BC's is right now, it just adds another weapon to the arsenal of an already strong offensive team.
On defense, I thought two of the freshman, Teddy Doherty and Mike Matheson, had their two best games in a BC uniform tonight. No player has improved more from day one to today like Doherty has. It's great to see him playing well in both ends right now for the Eagles. In terms of Matheson, he is becoming a truly powerful offensive defenseman as he was responsible for setting up Johnny G's goal and Hayes' second goal. Seeing guys like Wey and Matheson get so many penalties is a little bit discouraging but it's more because of their aggressive style than it is because they are taking bad penalties.
Once again, the first two lines were all BC needed tonight as the first line accounted for two goals while the second line was responsible for the rest. Out of the four Hockey East teams I have seen thus far, I have yet to see a line that could match BC's first line right now. Personally, I will be fascinated to see how many points they will get this year if they do indeed stay together. The third line, while they still haven't scored, did a great job of keeping Lowell on their heels much of the time they were on the ice. When the Eagles start to face better teams like BU, UNH, and Providence, they will need these guys to start putting the puck in the net and generating chances on the opponents' goalie. One of my keys for this team going into the year was that they needed to have a second line that could be as good as any other teams first line. Well, with the way that line is playing right now, you would be pretty hard pressed to find a team that has two lines as good as BC's first two.
Once again, BC wasn't perfect tonight (especially in the third) but it's definitely encouraging to see them not play up to their potential and still beat good hockey teams. If the big guns for this team keep playing at the level that they are playing and the bottom six forwards keeping improving, this team could really do some good things this year.
Why BC Won
1. Got it going early and often. For the first time all year, BC got going right from the get go as they quickly forced Lowell into a 3-0 hole on the road.
2. The Power Play is in a grove. Punishing teams when they take bad penalties is huge and could really help this team if the bottom two lines continue to struggle offensively.
3. Kevin Hayes is becoming a force on the ice. The amount he has improved from last season to this year is amazing. He looks great out there.
1. Penalties. When BC goes against teams that actually have a good power play, taking nine penalties is not going to result in wins. They need to come down.
2. Allowing Lowell to comeback like they did was not a good sign. BC did a good job of putting them away late in the game but it shouldn't have been a close game in the third.
Player (s) of the game- Kevin Hayes and Teddy Doherty
Up Next- @ Maine on Friday, home vs UMass on Sunday.
Until next time,
GO EAGLES !