Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eagles' Valiant Effort Falls Short

Well, that was as frustrating a game as you possibly have. Thanks to 5 unanswered goals (three of them on the power play), the BU Terriers were able to keep their season going with a win over the Eagles in the Hockey East semifinals. Normally after a loss to BU, I would sit here and pout about how bad everything was but the bottom line is that I took more positives out of last night’s game than I did negatives. Obviously, I hate losing to that team and I'll be Lowell's biggest supporter tonight (even though a BU win helps BC) but I think BC has to be rather proud of the way they battled. I thought the first 30 minutes was undoubted the best hockey BC has played since their 9-3 win @ Northeastern in late January. Unfortunately, the Eagles just lost it. I don’t know what happened. I can’t remember a time where I have seen a Boston College Hockey team just collapse like that. Over the course of the last 10 minutes of the second period, the Terriers must have had 5 breakaways, only one of which they converted on thanks to nice saves by Parker Milner. The good news is that we know this team can be really good when it comes to 5 on 5 hockey. However, when you give a team like BU, with the talent that they have, as many power plays as they did (including a 5 minute major which I’ll get to in a second) they’re going to capitalize. I’m not going to say that the only reason BC lost was because of the penalties because it wasn’t. First of all, Sean Maguire played one of the best games I have seen an opposing goalie play in a long time. If it wasn’t for him, BU would have been down 3 or 4 goals after the first period.


Like I said, in the second period, BC just collapsed defensively. Whether it was the bad bounce on the second BU goal at the blue line or the bad penalty killing in the latter parts of the second and third, BC just couldn’t stop BU from scoring. It seemed like every shot BU had went in the net. You never want to blame games on a goalie and I’m not going to because if it wasn’t for Parker Milner, this team would not be in the NCAA’s. But, the bottom line is he has got be better in order for this team to succeed in the NCAA tournament. Did his defense help him ? No, but I have seen him elevate his game to a whole other level at times. That has got to be the case next weekend. Just two minutes into the third period, Johnny G (who played absolutely outstanding for much of the game) took a really bad 5 minute major penalty for cross checking Sean Escobedo from behind. Was it a major ? Probably, but the reason it was so bad was because it was completely unnecessary. You can’t put the refs in a position to make that call at that point in the game. Just bad judgment on Johnny’s part.


Let me be perfectly honest. Losing to that team in that environment stinks and it’s going to sting for a couple of days. However, there is one really big plus heading into next week: we’re in the dance. Is BC going to win it all and dominate like they did last year ? Who knows ? All you can ask for in sports is a chance and that is what this team has in front of them. Everyone is worrying about us having to go out West and play Minnesota or North Dakota or whoever. It doesn’t matter who this team plays !  I know it sounds stupid and all but it really doesn’t. This BC team has proven to me that they can beat any team in the country when they stay out of the box and play at the pace they want to. Last night, they took dumb penalties and the Terriers made them pay for it. I don’t care what anyone else says because this team can throw all those previous performances and games out the window. They will be one of sixteen teams that will have the unique opportunity to win a National Championship in three weeks. Whether they do or don’t will be dictated by the way they play but all I know is that when you give a Jerry York team a chance, they usually come through.


Go Eagles.  


  1. I have been particularly concerned with the number and timing of penalties taken by BC. Matheson in particular seems to be taking more penalties in critical situations. It also appears that the number of penalties on BC increases when York is not behind the bench. Is that accurate or am I just imagining it?

  2. I think you're exactly right. I think this team can win any game it wants to when they stay out of the box. Every team in the NCAA's is a great hockey team and if you give them 5/6/7 power plays, they are going to matter how good the PK is. Matheson is too good to be in the box.