Saturday, January 11, 2014
Eagles Extend First Place Lead With Big Win
I've watched a lot of BC Hockey over the years so I'm not surprised anymore when the guys come out and play great in big time games but tonight was on a whole other level. The score of that game should have been seven or eight to one. I think Providence is a great hockey team that should compete for a Hockey East championship but without Gilles, I'm not so sure they're top four teams in the league. They play a tough, grinding style of hockey but they need to learn that you can't bend for so long and expect to win against BC, especially @ Conte Forum. The Eagles were all over them for the first ten minutes of the game. In fact, I don't know if Providence had a quality scoring chance until their first goal with six minutes to play in the period. They covered the middle of the ice in their owen end relatively well but BC's play in the neutral zone, along with the power play were the differences tonight.
Don't worry, you don't need to call your doctor. I actually said the power play was good tonight. In fact, it was the best I have seen a BC power play look in quiet sometime. I mean, the newly formed top unit of Kevin Hayes and Mike Matheson on the point along with G, Arnold, and Pat Brown was absolutely absurd. Give all the credit to Coach Brown. They did a great job of entering the zone with relative ease, made a couple of real nice passes, and shot the puck when they had actual shooting lanes. Guys were not trying to force it through tight spots in which the odds were very high that the puck was going to be blocked. The biggest problem with the power play so far this season has been the decision making. Tonight, guys knew what they wanted to do with the puck before they got it. It was a treat to watch.
I thought both Providence goals were the result of bad defensive breakdowns by BC in their own end. Danny Linell has been playing surprisingly well as of late but he struggled mightily in his own end tonight. Versus teams like Providence and Minnesota, both of which have a handful of big, strong, and powerful forwards, Danny has had a tough time. Hopefully he will improve tomorrow night @ Brown. Mike Matheson is getting back to becoming a real force on both the offensive and defensive ends. There are so many times in a game where either he or another defenseman slips up at the offensive blue line but he is able to turn on these jets that are rarely seen in a defenseman and catch up to the guy. Really impressive tonight.
Overall, this was without a doubt BC's best game of the season. It wasn't a fifty or thirty minute effort. It was a full, start to finish display of pure will that enabled them to drastically outplay one of the better teams in college hockey. The difference between good and great teams are the ones that can come back from a big win and top it off with an even better effort the following night. We shall see what tomorrow night brings.
Why BC Won-
1. First line/Matheson combined for eleven (!) points on the night.
2. The power play was sensational.
3. A bunch of role players had strong games. Pat Brown is not really a "role" player but he doesn't get a lot of credit for what he does. He played great tonight.
Player of the game- G
Next Up- @ Brown tomorrow @ 5 PM.