The Boston College Eagles extended their unbeaten streak to seven games on Wednesday night as they put a beatdown on crosstown rival, Harvard, by a 5-1 margin @ the Bright Hockey Center. The Eagles had goals from Johnny G (x2), Austin Cangelosi, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Destry Straight. Six Eagles, including defenseman Teddy Doherty, had multiple points on the night. Johnny G led the way with three points overall. He now leads the country in points with 23.
First of all, I don't think the final score indicates the way Brian Billett played tonight. He stopped 34 of 35 Crimson shots, including a giant onslaught early on in the second period when BC was clinging to a 1-0 lead. Unlike Friday night vs UMass, the Eagles' weapons were able to put the puck in the back of the net when they were given the opportunity and they made life very easy for their Jr goaltender. For those that thought this goaltending battle was Demko's to lose, I think you might have to think again because Billett is starting to play as well as he has ever has.
Coach York pointed out after the game that he thought the first period was BC's best of the year. I think it would be pretty hard to say otherwise as the Eagles outshot Harvard by a 15-3 margin and probably should have been up by three or four goals. Getting fifteen shots is great and all but I was really pleased with the way BC defended in the first twenty minutes. Harvard had no space and no odd man rushes to work with. Unfortunately, that all changed in the second.
Give credit to Harvard because they really took it to the Eagles in the second period. BC was standing around in their own end watching white shirts pass the puck around for almost half the period. Thankfully, BC was able to catch a break and go down on a 4-2 rush which resulted in a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play after which Destry Straight scored his second goal of the season. I think after the second goal Harvard started getting a little too aggressive and they gave BC a lot of room through the middle of the ice. That's a cardinal sin against BC, especially when Johnny G is on the ice. Watch the highlights to see what commenced.
To put it in the nicest possible way, the third period was not a fun twenty minutes of hockey. Harvard's main goal over the course of the last period was to hurt BC's best players, particularly Johnny G. After the Crimson's Kevin Guiltinan leveled "G" from behind in the corner, Billy Arnold responded by coming to blows with the Crimson defenseman. I'm sure the staff is a bit disappointed that Billy was assessed a game misconduct but I think he did the right thing by standing up for his teammate. This wasn't just an ordinary hit from behind. Guiltinan clearly lined Johnny up in the corner and had every intent on harming him. Hopefully the ECAC steps in and hands down a severe punishment. A Mike Matheson boarding penalty shortly after resulted in Harvard's only goal of the night. If you give a team like Minnesota or Providence five power plays, they're going to blow you out of the building. For some reason, BC just won't stop taking dumb, useless, penalties.
All in all, it's always great beating those guys by that margin but it wasn't by any means a perfect game for the Eagles. The first period was as good as it's going to get but the second and third were both below average periods that may be ignored because BC was able to capitalize on their chances in the offensive end. Anyways, a win is a win and I'm sure it's going to be a pretty confident group of guys traveling up to Orono on Friday night.
1. The first line of Johnny G, Bill Arnold, and Austin Cangelosi played it's best game of the season. Arnold and G are always going to be playing at a high level but the staff has to be very pleased with the way Cangelosi has played of late.
2. Brian Billett played exceptionally well. Make that three straight games where he has given BC a chance to win even though they might not be playing at a high level at all times.
3. Teddy Doherty played great. Probably BC's best defenseman tonight.
1. The Eagles were outshot by a 32-17 margin in the second and third periods.
2. Power play was 0-4 but they moved it around great. They're certainly moving in the right direction. I'd like to see them put Cangelosi on the second unit though.
Notes- There is a chance Demko is back on Saturday night @ Maine. He practiced this morning. Santini is out for one more game so Doherty will go again.
Players of the game- Johnny G and Brian Billett
Next Up- Saturday night @ Maine.