I guess you have to lose eventually, right ? Anyways, the Eagles fell tonight to their archrivals by a 4-2 margin @ Agganis Arena, which marks the first loss to BU @ Agganis in over three years. Compared to the Northeastern loss earlier this year, I think this was a better effort for BC as they, unlike in that game, generated a bunch of solid offensive chances but were denied by BU goalie Matt O'Connor who played the game of his young BU career. I thought the first period was one of the more entertaining periods of hockey I have seen in quite some time and really, I thought BC played solid the whole first stanza. Credit BU though, they were the team that decided they wanted to play some defense and prevent BC from getting as many quality scoring chances as they maybe could have. There were very few guys in the maroon and gold that actually played well tonight. There was no one that really stood out to me as I thought Johnny G, Mullane, and Whitney were just completely out of it. All three of their games were just down a little bit and with that being the case, BC is going to have a hard time scoring goals. The bottom two lines were average I mean they didn't give up any goals but the didn't really spend much time in the opponents end either. What I want to talk about is the third BU goal, the one that took the wind right out of the sails. BC had a goal late in the second and had some momentum but thanks to another horrendous collapse in the defensive zone, BU defenseman Matt Grezlyck was able to skate by two BC defenseman and put the puck in on a wrap around. The other two goals were bad but the third goal was flat out disturbing, I mean three BC guys just let Gryzleck go right around them.
Honestly, the better team won tonight. While Milner was average, I thought O'Connor was absolutely outstanding for the Terriers. He made some stops that saved the day for the Terriers just when BC was closing in at the end of the third period. BU's first line deserves a lot of credit as they made Johnny G look like any other player out there tonight. Usually, he makes his out of this world moves and stuff like that but tonight, he just looked like another average player on a team that looked flat out average for a long time tonight. I wouldn't say I'm "worried" like I was after the NU game but I would say I'm utterly shocked that some guys can put on that jersey and play like they did tonight. No matter what the staff does, the power play continues to look out of sorts in every way (even though they had a goal late). Generating good chances can only go so far. Whey you're on a power play, you've got to score in games like this. The Eagles just didn't seem to get it going tonight on the man advantage. BU did a superb job getting in lanes, especially in front of their netminder, and taking away great looks for BC. Just a whole lot of frustration tonight for the guys in maroon.
Tomorrow is the biggest game of the season up to this point. Not only is the record at stake, but when the season comes to a close, this series could have a major impact in terms of tiebreakers. I don't think there will be many changes in the lineup, if any, for BC but I do think some guys need to sit down and think about what they need to do to help the team win tomorrow. With Kelly Rink jumping, BC should be able to build off some success they had late in the third period and turn it into a win tomorrow. Look, tonight was not a disaster in which we should just blow everything up and start over but it was a step in the wrong direction. The best news ? We get to play them again tomorrow night, this time in front of a sold out home crowd.
Why BC Lost-
1. There was not a sustained effort. Ya, there were spurts of solid play but there were too many times in which BU controlled the play. Needs to change for tomorrow.
2. The power play has gone stale. I don't know what to say, it just doesn't look like it was earlier this year.
3. The third goal was a disaster. No one seemed to want to try to take the puck away from Grezlyck.
What Needs to Improve for Tomorrow-
1. The play of the each and every player. No one played very well tonight.
2. Got to start scoring again. The first two lines usually are a bit better at home than they're on the road. A buzzing crowd should get then going tomorrow.
Next Up- Rematch tomorrow @ Conte. 7:30 start.