Saturday, February 2, 2013

Eagles Defeat Vermont 4-1

Johnny G celebrates his goal. Photo from The Heights.
Boston College made the most of it's final game before the Beanpot as they defeated Vermont by a score of 4-1 tonight in front of 6,672 fans at Conte Forum. Overall, I was really pleased with the way BC played and it's not just because they got the win. I thought the Eagles, although they were once again outshot, possessed the puck in the Catamount zone for long periods of time throughout the contest. Each and every forward line garnered some pressure, forced turnovers, and got great scoring opportunities. It's only been one game which makes it way to early to tell but I loved the way the new lines played tonight. From the Johnny G line to the Pat Brown line, each and every forward had their own bright spots at some point. Defensively, the return of Mike Matheson made a huge impact. He was all over the ice tonight. He blocked shots, played well in his own zone, made a great diving stop on a UVM 2 on 1 and was his usual self in the offensive zone. Yes, BC did give up 39 shots but I'd say a fourth of those were from inside the blue line. BC's defense and forwards did a really solid job of keeping the puck to the outside which allowed Parker Milner to make some easy stops.

The first ten minutes of the first period were certainly BC's worst of the game. Things got off to a bad start when Vermont defenseman Anders Franzon scored a fluky goal from the point. It appeared that the puck hit Parker Milner in the collarbone and then proceeded to bounce over him for a goal. Other than that, I thought Parker was very good tonight. Immediately following the goal, BC turned on the jets. They created a ton of 2 on 1's, 3 on 2's and even had two or three breakaways. All of which were turned away by UVM goalie, Brody Hoffman. It wasn't until midway through the second period when Pat Mullane fired home a Danny Linell pass, that BC tied the game. This was another example of BC breaking the puck well out of their own zone, getting numbers through the neutral zone, and for the first time in a while, finishing on a grade A chance. Just a mere 40 second after that goal, Quinn Smith gave BC it's first lead in two weeks when he flipped a puck on net, only for it to slip right by Hoffman. Steven Whitney followed that up in the third period with a goal that will probably be on Sports Center tomorrow morning. It's one of those goals I can't have to see the highlights. Johnny G finished the scoring at 14:46 of the third.

If you're BC, you can take a lot of positives out of this one. The forwards created a ton of chances, the defense was solid all night, the special teams (I'll get to that in a minute) were great, and Parker Milner made some key stops. The score may have been 4-1 but the turning point of the game was in the middle of the second period when BC had to kill of a 2 minute 5 on 3 power play for UVM. The Catamounts got their chances but thanks to some unbelievable saves by Milner and blocks by guys like Billy Arnold, Isaac Macleod, and Steven Whitney, BC was able to keep UVM from tying the game at 2. BC was completely dominating the pace of the game up until the penalties and it appeared that UVM was going to take all that positive momentum away with the long 2 man advantage. Thanks to some superb killing by the guys mentioned above, BC was able to withstand the onslaught and come out of it with a lead. Although BC went 0-3 on the man advantage, the return of Matheson really seemed to help with both units as I thought they created some good chances. They're getting the looks, now they've just got to find a way to finish.

All in all, the staff has got to be really pleased with the effort put forth out there. Guys played hard for the full 60 minutes and were not going to let another team come in here and beat them. As you know, depth has been a big issue for this team as of late. Tonight was a totally different case as all four lines were generating chances on Hoffman and were playing well in the defensive end. That's something we haven't seen in quite some time.

Now all attention goes to the Beanpot.

Why BC Won-

1. Production from top to bottom. Every line played well tonight. I'd actually say BC's fourth line of Pat Brown, Brooks Dyroff, and Quinn Smith was their best unit. Pat Brown played his game of the year.

2. The Penalty Kill. The long 5 on 3 kill was the turning point of the game. Billy Arnold made some unbelievable blocks during that span. Pat Brown also made three or four stops in a row on a UVM PP in the first.

3. Defensive zone play. There is still a lot of work left but tonight was a step in the right direction. Mike Matheson, Pat Wey, and Travis Jeke stood out to me.


I'd still like to see BC get off to better starts. They came out flat and UVM took advantage. That can't happen Monday.

Player of the Game- This is a tough one. Johnny G had three points so he takes home the gold. Pat Brown, Quinn Smith, and Mike Matheson all very close seconds.

Go Eagles !

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