Saturday, January 12, 2013

He's Back.

Thanks to multiple point nights from Johnny G, Pat Mullane, Steve Whitney, Kevin Hayes, Billy Arnold, and Destry Straight, the Boston College Eagles pulled off perhaps their biggest win of the year as they defeated the UNH Wildcats by a score of 5-2 Friday night @ Conte. What can I say ? There is nothing anyone can do to stop Johnny G when he decides to bring his game up to the level that he did tonight. I just can't explain it, he just sees everything about 4 or 5 seconds before anyone else does and because of that, BC is able to get fantastic chances to score goals. However, the game actually didn't start the way the Eagles wanted it to as UNH scored almost halfway through the first period off a bad turnover by Patrick Wey behind Parker Milner. It looked like Wey was trying to make a play off the boards but just got out-muscled by a UNH forward who eventually centered a pass out front for an easy tap in. After that goal though, it was all BC, all the time. The Eagles dominated the remainder of the first and were rewarded with beautiful goals from Kevin Hayes (thanks to a great pass from Billy Arnold) and one from Pat Mullane who put home an out of this world pass from Johnny G to make it 2-1 after one. In the second, BC continued to outplay a talented Wildcat team that had a very hard time to adjusting to the speed at which BC played at tonight. Throughout  the second stanza, BC played solid in their own end and because of it, they were able to create a ton of odd man rushes, which eventually led to goals from Johnny G, Arnold, and Mullane.

Let's start off by giving credit to the first line. They played maybe their best game of the year tonight even though they were on the ice for a long, long time. Pat Mullane said it best in his post game presser when he basically said that Johnny G just makes everyone around him a much better hockey player. Sure, BC has had a lot of real good hockey players come through and make their mark but none of them, not even Gionta or Gerbe had the ability to do some of the things Johnny G can do. I mean look, is it just a little bit out of whack that BC gets smoked by the Gophers 8-1 and got badly outplayed by Yale without him and they come back and dominate the nations #4 team ? No, it's not a coincidence....he is that good. Overall, I'm sure the staff is happy about the way all four lines played tonight as it was the first time in quite a long time where each and every forward played at a high level. BC didn't get any secondary scoring tonight but the bottom six forwards certainly played very well in both ends and probably should've had a goal or two. It's difficult to win games when you have one player or one line playing at a high level, especially against teams like UNH.  It takes a full team effort to utterly dominate teams like those. That's what BC had in them tonight.

The thing the staff has to be really happy about tonight is the play of the defenseman (besides that little blemish by Wey). BC actually did get outshot overall but thanks to some really fine play by the D core, most of UNH's shots were from the perimeter, ones that were easy saves for Parker Milner. One guy that I thought played his game of the year tonight was Travis Jeke. He is one of those guys that is filled with talent and ability but needs to be thrown into the fire a little bit before he can take the next step. Tonight, thanks to his solid puck moving and smart play in his own zone, he looked like one of those guys that can start to be relied on more and more. I will be interested to see if he is able to carry that momentum of good play into tomorrows game on the Olympic sheet.

All in all, I'm really happy about the way the Eagles played tonight. They played fast, the played aggressive, they manifested their speed and skill, and most importantly, they played @ 100 % for a full 60 minutes. That's what it takes to beat teams like UNH. You've got to be at your best from puck drop to the final horn. BC did that tonight as because of it, they've got a chance to pick up a weekend sweep tomorrow night @ the Whit.

Also, congrats to Coach Cav and Coach Brown on getting the win tonight. They certainly did a phenomenal job in Coach York's absence.

Why BC won-

1. Johnny G was Johnny G. Plain and simple.

2. They played really hard for a full 60 minutes. Whether it was offense, defense, or special teams, I thought BC gave it 100% all night.

3. They created odd man ruses that really seemed to throw UNH's D off. That needs to continue tomorrow night.

Player of the game- Johnny G.

Next Up- @ UNH  tomorrow. 7 PM puck drop.

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