"It's a work in progress". Those were the word of Coach York following the teams 3-3 tie to the #17 Yale Bulldogs Friday night @ Conte Forum. Don't be fooled be the score however as BC was outshot by a 48-22 margin, a stat that clearly shows which team should have won the hockey game. First off, hats off to Yale. That's a good hockey team and they came in here and dominated the game from start to finish. Despite being down 2-0, Yale battled back and eventually scored three straight goals to go up 3-2. Certainly, that team deserved better last night. As for the home team, I don't know what else to say. I'm officially worried about this Eagles team. Sure, missing the best player in college hockey is never an easy thing to overcome but it looked like some guys were totally disinterested in being at Conte Forum last night. That's not acceptable and being outshot by more than a 2-1 margin (at home might I add) is totally out of this world and if the defense doesn't shape up, this team won't be going places anytime soon. I thought BC was lucky to get out to a 2-0 advantage like they did when Brendan Silk pounced on a rebound early in the second stanza because really, Yale was controlling and it was only a matter of time before they got on the board. Thanks to some more boneheaded penalties and poor decision making, BC made it rather easy for Yale to storm back and go up 3-2 before the Bulldogs took some bad penalties of their own late in the second. I was pleased to see that the power play came up big and scored that must needed goal to tie it up after being handed a lengthy 5 on 3 but in reality, when it came to 5 on 5 hockey yesterday BC got totally outplayed in every aspect.
There were some good things to take out of this game starting with the 5 minute penalty kill early in the third period. Thanks to a stupid contact to the head penalty in the final seconds of the second period by Mike Matheson, BC was on it's heels for much of the start of the third but were fortunately able to get out alive. In my opinion, that moment right there was the difference between a BC loss and a BC win/tie as the Eagles didn't really allow the Bulldogs to get anything set up until the last minute of the man advantage. For about five minutes after the penalty, BC seemed to be humming again and creating some scoring chances but were denied thanks to some nice saves by Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm. While the power play did score the tying goal late in the second, they had another golden opportunity late in the contest but were unable to get anything going. As for the OT, I thought Yale controlled the play for the majority of the 5 minutes and had some great chances to win it but it may have been the only period of the game where the defense actually stood up and made some plays. That was good to see.
Unfortunately, there were a lot more things that went wrong yesterday than there were things that went right. It seemed that only a handful of forwards looked like they were out there to try and win the hockey game while some others were looking forward to getting the heck out of there and enjoying their weekend off. As for the defense, I would say that things can only get better but the best offensive team in the league, UNH, is coming to town next Friday. Uh oh. I thought Parker Milner was fine tonight except for the second Yale goal which looked like it was shot from beyond the blue line. Besides that little mishap, he pretty much saved the game for the Eagles.
Look, the bottom line is that thing are looking a little bit shaky right now. The defense is (very) suspect, the forwards aren't producing, and the team is getting dominated when it comes to 5 on 5 hockey. Of course, the best news last night is that the team will get Johnny G back on Monday which should certainly help out everyone. Next weekend may be the biggest of the year and it will be very tough to win with the way this team is playing right now but with Johnny Hockey back and the defense getting another week of practice under their belts, a couple of wins is not out of this world.
1. The penalty kill was solid last night. They gave up one goal but the 5 minute major that they killed off was a huge momentum swinger.
2. Some guys like Billy Arnold and Kevin Hayes played pretty well and looked like they wanted to be there and win the hockey game. Others meanwhile looked slow and disinterested throughout the contest.
1. Giving up 48 shots is never something you want to see and it's a pretty good stat in terms of showing just how bad BC played in their own end.
2. The effort and consistent play was never there last night. BC was never able to constantly get pressure on Malcolm and the Yale defense.
Next up- UNH weekend.
Congrats to Johnny G and Team USA on the gold medal ! Certainly an awesome accomplishment.