Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eagles Overcome Rough Start, Blowout RPI

Ryan Fitzgerald scores his first goal. Photo from New England Hockey Journal.
The Boston College Eagles picked up their first win of the season on Sunday afternoon, dominating the last forty minutes of play versus the RPI Engineers, en route to a 7-2 victory in front of 3,915 fans (yikes) @ Conte Forum. First of all, I thought the first twenty minutes were worse than any of the three previous periods versus Michigan. The Engineers dominated the frame and BC was very lucky to be tied going into the locker room. I mean, you don't see teams come into Kelly Rink and outshoot the Eagles by eleven shots through a period (shots were 13-2 in first stanza). If they play like that versus Wisconsin next weekend, it won't be pretty.

Thankfully, the tide turned and BC's big guns started to show up. Johnny G, Kevin Hayes, and Billy Arnold were much better than they were Thursday night. They got a ton of scoring chances as they combined for seven shots on goal. Another big reason why they were able to keep up with RPI early on ? The power play. It finally started clicking. Whether it was Kevin Hayes' tap in off a beautiful pass from Johnny, just two minutes into the game or Hayes returning the favor early in the second, BC's top unit looked superb in their only two appearances. After RPI's Jimmy DeVitto made it a one goal game midway through the second frame, two of BC's biggest newcomers, Austin Cangelosi and Ryan Fitzgerald, hooked up on a nice give and go towards the end of the period to put BC back up by two. I thought Cangelosi looked a lot quicker today than he did on Thursday. It is going to take him some time to adjust to Kevin Hayes' style of play but once he figures it out, it will be deadly combination. I thought Fitzgerald and Hayes both played spectacular once again and were two of the better players on the ice for BC.

After Billy Arnold scored a beauty of a goal to make it a three goal game just seconds into the third, I thought BC did a good job of keeping the pressure on RPI and forcing turnovers that resulted in a couple of insurance goals. A real solid final forty minutes from the Eagles tonight.

Obviosuly, I'm pleased with the win and how the team played but there are a few problems. First of all, I have no idea what the heck the staff is going to do with this goalie situation. I think Demko played well enough to play Friday night but they can't just give up on Billett because he lost one game @ Michigan. If I had to take a guess, I think we will see Demko next weekend but we will certainly see both of them vsMinnesota in two weeks.

Another thing I'm worried about is the quality of guys that are sitting out. Teddy Doherty didn't miss one game last season and actually played a pretty vital role on a team that made the NCAA's. Tonight he didn't even dress. Coach York was extremely impressed with Scotty Savage's play so I wouldn't be shocked if the same six defensemen dress next weekend. Also, Evan Richardson, who played on the second line in the exhibition game, did not dress, in favor of Destry Straight. When you have guys like Doherty and Richardson sitting in the bleachers, you know you've got a pretty good club.


1. Penalty kill was sensational. Give credit to Coach Ayers and the PK unit...they looked much better tonight.

2. Power play came through. I liked the way they moved it today.

3. Stars shined. Johnny G, Hayes, Arnold, Cangelosi, and Fitzgerald all played great games.


1. The penalties have to stop. It's becoming a trend and if it continues, it's going to be tough to win trophies.

Player(s) of the game- Johnny G and Kevin Hayes

Next Up- Wisconsin on Friday night.

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