Saturday, November 3, 2012

Big Third Period Leads BC Past Maine 4-2

Johnny G's goal led BC past Maine
Thanks to a go ahead third period goal from Johnny G, the Boston College Eagles were able to escape the hostile confines of Alfond Arena with a 4-2 win and two points. As BC expected, the Black Bears, now in dead last place in Hockey East, came out and gave it everything they had and even had chances to tie the game in the third period. After a scorless first period in which BC really struggled, Kevin Hayes ripped a shot past Maine goalie Martin Ouellette less than a minute into the second frame. Not only was the goal a power play tally, but it was another sign that Kevin Hayes is really becoming a force in this league. On the play, Hayes controlled the puck at the blue line and walked right in before firing it past Ouellette and a pair of Black Bear defenders. However, just 45 seconds after the Hayes goal, Maine struck with a goal of their own thanks to a horrific defensive collapse on BC's part. For some reason, one of the defenseman forgot all about the back door man, Will Merchant, and he was able to one time a pass from linemate Devin Shore into the net. After ten minutes of back and forth hockey, defenseman Isaac MacLeod recorded his first goal of the season when he fired a snap shot through some traffic past Ouellette with just a mere three minutes left in the second. It's certainly great to see a guy like Isaac get on the scoring sheet for BC. But then again, Maine, on a goal that should have been called back, struck back with a goal from sophomore Conor Leen, knotting the game at two apiece.

One thing Maine did well for the first 40 minutes was keep the big three of Johnny G, Mullane, and Whitney off the board. Well, so much for that. After a Maine interference penalty early in the third gave the first power play unit a chance to give BC the lead, they converted in a big way. Johnny G put in a pass from Danny Linell to give the #1 team in the nation the lead for good and to give himself a team leading eight points (tied with Mullane). In the last 15 minutes or so, I thought Maine played really solid hockey and fought BC as hard as they could but thanks to some bad penalties late in the contest, BC was able to sneak away with the victory (Steve Whitney added an empty netter with 10 seconds left).

I thought Coach York put it best in his post game presser when he basically said, no matter what Maine's record is or how they're playing, it is always tough to win a game @ Alfond. While BC struggled at times vs a team they probably should beat handily, they put out another gusty effort late in the game when push came to shove. On the offensive side of things, the second line was definitely BC's best all around line tonight. I thought they generated a bunch of grade A chances on Ouellette and were rewarded with two goals (one being the Hayes power play goal). Arnold and Hayes are always very strong but I also thought Destry Straight played his best game of the year tonight as he seems to be doing a better job of helping create quality chances and also used his speed to drive to the net on a few occasions tonight...something that was great to see. Yes, this line was out there for two Maine goals but overall, I thought they did the best job of the four lines tonight in both ends. In terms of the first line and the first power play unit, I thought they had some rough patches early on but you just knew that Maine wasn't going to be able to keep them off the board for long. It's good to see that the power play is playing as well as it is and has the ability to score when it is needed the most. With the game tied and the momentum on Maine's side, Johnny G's power play goal in the third was a real confidence booster for the Eagles.

On the defensive side of things, I thought BC was ok, but it wasn't as pretty as the game last Friday or the game versus Northeastern. It appeared to me that the two Maine goals were complete defensive breakdowns (the second just being a lucky bounce I guess) but in the third period, each and every defenseman took their games up a notch and avoided any serious miscues or turnovers that would have led to a Maine tally. All in all, two points, especially in that place, is a big confidence booster. With UNH and Northeastern both falling tonight and BU playing out of conference (Losing to North Dakota !), BC was able to stretch their stronghold on first place to four points.

Why BC Won-

1. BC's power play continues to be killer. Going 3/6 on the night and scoring the game winner in the third isn't too bad.

2. Parker Milner made some key stops. In the first and parts of the third when Maine carried the play, Parker Milner really stepped up and made some big saves for BC. Definitely bringing his A game each and every night.

3. Maine doesn't have enough firepower to keep up with BC. They fought hard but there just isn't enough to score with high quality teams like BC.


1. Not too many tonight. BC was solid all around really, PK was great even in Coach Cav's absence...The first goal was a bad defensive breakdown but other then that, BC was fine.

Player of the game- Johnny G

Next Up- UMass on Sunday @ Conte 4 PM.

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