Saturday, November 24, 2012

Johnny Hockey Leads BC Past Dartmouth

Johnny G had 5 points for BC.
In the history of Boston College Hockey, there have been a lot of really good players such as Gionta, Gerbe, Leetch, Emma,Gibbons, and Mullen. Well now we can add another legend to that group. Thanks to a 5 point effort from Johnny G, the Eagles defeated the #1 team in the pairwise standings by a 6-3 margin in front of 7,583 fans @ Kelly Rink. First things first, I thought the Eagles, led by the big three, did their best job of manifesting their talent in the third period in which they outscored the Big Green by a 3-0 margin and outshot them by a slim 9-8 count. Before running away with the game late, the Eagles had to hang in a first period in which they were totally outplayed and were lucky to get out of it tied 1-1. As Coach York pointed out in his post game presser, "it just wasn't BC Hockey" as Dartmouth generated a lot of quality chances on net but like he usually is, Parker Milner was there to make the stops. I thought the defensive zone play, spearheaded by the play of the defenseman, was really sour tonight. Besides Patrick Wey, I thought every defenseman really struggled staying with their assignments in their own end and were often bailed out by a Milner save. It was however good to see BC get on the board early in the contest as Pat Mullane put home a sweet pass from Patch Alber to make it 1-0 3:40 in. After the goal, it was all Big Green all the time in the first. They outskated, outplayed, and eventually outshot BC by a 17-11 margin. Giving up 17 shots in one period is certainly a concern as the play of the defenseman must improve in time for next weekend. The first quarter of the second period was all BC as they were rewarded with an early goal from Pat Brown who popped in a rebound off a Brooks Dyroff shot from inside the blue line. Out of all the positives you can take away from todays game, the play of the third line is definitely one of the biggest ones. They struggled in the first (like every other line did) but in the second and third they got back to playing well in their own end and generating some solid chances in the offensive end. I really liked the way Pat Brown and Brooks Dyroff played tonight. Both of them have obviously gained a lot of confidence from not just playing night in and night out but from starting to put pucks in the net. It's definitely a good sign of things to come.

About 10 minutes after the Brown goal, as BC continued to outplay the Big Green, Johnny G struck for the first time as he scored, in typical Johnny G fashion, a highlight reel goal that in my opinion, is one of the best goals he has scored at BC. You'll have to see the highlights because I can't put it into words. So, the Eagles are up 3-1 and are dominating the play late in the second period... game over right ? No way. The Big Green came flying right back as they scored a power play goal with under two minutes remaining in the period and soon followed it up by capitalizing on yet another BC defensive zone collapse with under a minute to go in the period. There were a lot of good things about tonight but the play of the defenseman was really, really concerning. Two of the Dartmouth goals were just pure defensive zone breakdowns caused by one of the defenseman forgetting to pick up their man. It's just one game but if they continue to play like that, bad things will happen. Give credit to Dartmouth though, they battled hard in the first 40 minutes and probably should have been up heading into the third. Little did they know what Johnny G had in store for them.

The third period was not just one of the best periods of the year by the team, it was the best period of the year that a single player has had up to this point. Simply put it, Johnny G just dominated the Dartmouth defense which started just 18 seconds in when he found a wide open Pat Mullane from behind the Dartmouth net. Just a mere 2 minutes after that, he put the game away thanks to another out of this world pass to Steven Whitney who also had one of his better games of the year. Look, everybody will tell you that three guys can't win you much but let the word go forth that yes, these three guys can indeed win lots of games for this team as they already have. Johnny G can't be stopped when he goes into that gear he went into today during the third period. In my time watching BC Hockey, I have only seen two guys, Brian Gionta and Nathan Gerbe, have the ability to just take over a hockey game like Johnny G does. BC scored 6 goals tonight...guess how many points Johnny G had tonight ? 5. The first line was a combined  +15 on the night as all three of them were +5 individually. That's Atkinson-Gibbons-J.Whitney type numbers. Asked after the game who he would compare Johnny to, Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet answered the one and only Paul Kariya. Not bad company for a guy that's only been here for a year and a half. Just amazing.

All in all, the staff has got to be pretty pleased with the way the forwards played tonight. I thought all four lines were really solid tonight. They didn't have a point on the night but the fourth line of Danny Linell-Mike Sit- Cam Spiro was pretty effective in both zones. Danny Linell has certainly made some strides since the start of the season as he seems to have some more confidence in his ability to use his speed and get around opposing defenders. Although they only had one power play, I thought the power play once again struggled to get any grade A chances on Dartmouth goalie Charles Grant as BC did not get one shot in that lone power play opportunity. The penalty kill gave up that one goal late in the second but was able to kill off the other 3 Big Green man advantages. 10 straight wins and just 1 loss so far this season looks mighty good heading into the big weekend but there is a lot of room for improvement, especially in the defensive zone. In the end, the play of Johnny G was just eye opening for everyone in the building, including the Dartmouth defenseman and goaltender. Hopefully it continues against the Terriers.

Why BC Won-

1. Johnny G took his game up to that dangerous level. When he is playing like he was in the third period, he is as good as anyone I have ever seen in this sport.

2. Secondary scoring continued. Loved the way the third and fourth lines played tonight. They both continue to improve in all aspects of the game.

3. The Eagles dominated the third period. The first line took over...led by you know who.


The play of the defenseman was very concerning. Besides Pat Wey, I thought every defenseman struggled at times tonight...especially in the first period. Needs to improve for next weekend.

Player of the game- Who do you think.

Next Up- I don't need to tell you.


1 comment:

  1. Any idea where is a site to see the game highlights? Hockey East has been slacking badly on youtube this season, tonythetiger has diasappeared, and NESN and such are not too great either. Any leads?