Saturday, January 18, 2014

Eagles Win Heart Stopper vs Archrival

G celebrates his first goal. Photo from Dave Arnold
Nights like tonight are the ones where I consider driving into the hospital and getting my heart rate checked out. I mean, I love winning and nothing beats getting a W over that team but I'd be lying if I told you I was 100 % thrilled about the way the guys played tonight, especially in the third period. First of all, let's give a lot of credit to BU. Quinn had those guys ready to play from the get-go, I mean they were all over us in the first period and were rewarded with a 1-0 lead midway through the period. To be honest, BC was very lucky to get a power play with two and a half minutes left in the period. Thankfully, the good power play showed up tonight as Adam Gilmour redirected a Teddy Doherty shot from the point past Sean Maguire, who played absolutely outstanding. The thing that stood out to me the most after one period was the way BU played BC's top line. Every time the big line hit the ice, Quinn had Oksanen and Noonan ready to go. Those guys played a ton of minutes tonight but give them credit, they played exceptionally well on both ends.

The second period really boiled down to two things. First, BC started to develop a fluent breakout, something they weren't even remotely close to doing in the first period. Also, BC was able to open up the game, mainly because they broke the puck out well. A north-south hockey game always favors the maroon and gold. A slow, penalty infested, no tempo game doesn't favor the Eagles. In fact, I thought BC should have had two or three goals in the middle stanza. Maguire made a couple of sensational saves on Billy Arnold and Kevin Hayes to keep the gap at two goals. Certainly a second period that everyone can be pleased about.

The third, well, the third period was as close to an unmitigated disaster as it gets. One thing that will always be a big factor when playing BU is their power play. Whether it's Parker or David Quinn behind the bench, BU has and always will have a great power play. I was surprised by how well BC defended in their own end when down a man. Guys literally gave themselves up in order to deflect pucks from getting to the net. It's not really fun watching Johnny G take a knee to block a 120 mph slapper but I guess we'll take all the blocks we can get. I mean if you look at the penalties BC took in the third, all three of them were away from the puck. The exact definition of a stupid penalty. You give a team, your biggest rival as a matter of fact, that hasn't won a game in two months a chance to come back and salvage their season guess what they're going to do ? They're going to make a comeback. To be honest, I did not see Macleod's high sticking penalty but from what I was told and from the reaction by the bench, it wasn't the greatest of calls.

It's nice to see Brian Billett get yet another win but I think even he knows that he has to play better than he did tonight for BC to have a chance to win night in and night out. Granted, I'd say BU's second and third goals were results of a bad defensive breakdown rather than a missed save from Billett. When you give an opponent six power plays, I guess it's fair to put the majority of the blame on the players but still, he has to be better and the guys have to find a way to stay out of the box. BC certainly dodged a huge bullet tonight.

I think I'd be insane not to mention how well the line of Adam Gilmour, Brendan Silk, and Chris Calnan played tonight. In fact, those guys combined for more points (6) than BC's big line did (5). Obviously, it would be totally unreasonable for us to expect them play like that each and every game but the play of each of those three has been exceptional. People tend to give a lot of the credit to Calnan and Gilmour because they were huge recruits but I think it's only fair to recognize the way Brendan Silk has played this season. He has, without a doubt, taken his game to a whole other level this season and if it continues along with the progression of his two young linemates, BC could get even deeper.

Overall, a win is a win and a win vs Boston University is a win vs Boston University. Yes, there is a huge difference between beating a team that hasn't won a game in it's last six tries and a team that hasn't won a game in it's last six games but has the name "Boston University" attached to their helmets. It's a war that will probably never be settled but chapter two hundred and forty six will have a nice maroon and gold cover to it.

Why BC won- 

1. The play of Brendan Silk, Chris Calnan, and Adam Gilmour. All three were absolutely tremendous tonight. Give them a lot of credit.

2. Special teams. The power play was hitting on all cylinders for the second time in the past three games while the penalty kill was probably the biggest reason BC won the game.

3. I thought Billy Arnold played his best game in a long time tonight. Out of the big three, he was certainly the best.


1. The penalties. It's so frustrating. I mean, I don't even care whether it was a good call or not. You shouldn't be giving them anything to think about while holding a two goal lead in the third period. It's a huge issue right now that needs to be fixed.

Players of the game- Brendan Silk, Adam Gilmour, and Chris Calnan

Next Up- Maine tomorrow night at home.

Awesome night. Go Birds.

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