Sunday, January 20, 2013

Statement Made

I walked out of Conte Forum last night with as bad of a feeling about a BC Hockey team as I've had in a long, long time. Well, tonight, I walked out of Matthews Arena with another one of this feelings about a BC Hockey team. Only this time it was the polar opposite of last nights. Thanks to one of the best efforts I've seen out of a Boston College Hockey team in quite some time, the Eagles embarrassed rival Northeastern @ Matthews Arena by a final score of 9-3. This is the third time since 2010 that the Eagles have scored 9 goals in a game. The other two were @ BU in 2011 and in 2010 vs Yale. Well, I've got a lot to say tonight but I'll start with Coach Cav and Coach Brown. They obviously gave this team a great pep talk because everyone looked ready to play hockey tonight. You would have thought it was a Beanpot or NCAA type game based on the celebration, emotion, and toughness the Eagles played with tonight. Last night, guys looked lifeless from start to finish. On this night, everyone looked like they were on a mission from puck drop to the final  buzzer. That's BC Hockey. Over his three and a half years at Boston College, I've seen Steven Whitney play some pretty spectacular games such as the 5-2 home win over BU a few years back but not one of those performances match what he did tonight. Anytime a guy scores a hatrick and has four points overall, obviously you know he had a pretty solid game but it was the way he scored some of his goals that jumped out the most to me. He didn't just go by the Huskie defenders, he made them look like clowns out there. On one of his goals he literally just took the puck at the BC blue line, went around two Huskie forwards, and just went wide on their defenseman to the net in which he just finished it up in front of NU goaltender, Chris Rawlings. Certainly a special game for #21 in gold tonight.

There was not one guy that played bad tonight. In fact, I'd say close to 70% of the team played their best games tonight. I loved the way Pat Mullane, Johnny G, Kevin Hayes, and Billy Arnold played tonight. I thought BC was physical but at the same time smart for the majority of the game, something they have not had happen in almost a month. I thought BC did struggle defensively in the first period as all three of NU's goals were pretty much tap in's right in front of Parker Milner. However, after the first 20 minutes, BC played as good in their own end as they have all year. In fact, I'd say the last 40 minutes was the best hockey I've seen out of each and every defenseman this season. If I had to single out one guy in particular, it would definitely be Isaac Macleod. Not only did he have a huge goal in the second period but he played some shut-down defense throughout the night. For most of the game, Isaac was put against Northeastern's top line of Roy-Saponari-McMultry. Roy, the freshman sensation that some Husky fans like to compare to Johnny G (ridiculous, I know), was absolutely nowhere to be found. When your team scores nine goals and gives up just six, you're going to have some guys with some high +/-'s. Well, guess who led the Eagles in that category ? Travis Jeke. Like I said out in Minnesota, the kid may be one of the most talented defenseman on this roster but he just has a lot of learning to do. Obviously, he is learning sooner rather than later.

This, if you ask me, was undoubtedly BC's best effort of the season and if they continue to play like this from here on out, well, watch out. The bottom six forwards also were able to get in on the action as Quinn Smith, who I thought played his best game of the year, scored his first of the season in the third period. After struggling in the third period last night and the early parts of tonight's game, Parker Milner started playing some spectacular hockey in the second period. Right after BC went up 5-3, NU was gift wrapped a very long 5 on 3 in which they could have gotten right back in the game with a goal or two. While the Huskies did in fact generate some grade A chances on that particular man advantage, Milner stood on his head and propelled BC to a big kill (at the time). Obviously, it goes without saying that when BC's defense plays like that, Milner's job is much easier.

All in all, this was the perfect statement game for the Eagles. It's not very often that I walk into a rink before a BC game and tell myself that we are giant underdogs. I'm not going to lie to you....I doubted this team after last nights debacle. However, when you beat a rival like that in front  of that crowd with the type of circumstances surrounding the game, you can't help but be happy about the way your team played.

Why BC Won-

1. When BC's top 5 guys (Hayes-Johnny G-Mullane-Whitney-Arnold) are playing like that, there is not one team in this league that can beat them.

2. Best defensive effort of the year, without a doubt. First 20 minutes were bad but the last 40 were as good as it's going to get with this team.

3. They fought from start to finish. There was a mission going into tonight and clearly BC accomplished it. Kudos to the staff for getting everybody ready.


Nothing to complain about but the power play didn't score...surprisingly.

Injury Report- Mike Matheson left the game in the first period with an upper body injury. I'll release more information as the week goes on.

Player of the Game- Steven Whitney


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