Sunday, January 19, 2014

Watch Out

Kevin Hayes celebrates one of his goals. Photo from BC Athletics. 

For the first twenty two games of the year, whether it was after a win, loss, or tie, I wasn't too happy or too down because I knew we had a solid club that could win any game. To be honest, I thought we were a good club but I didn't think we were the best team in the country. I walked out of Kelly Rink tonight with a little smirk on my face and quipped to myself, "we've got a wagon". I respect the heck out of Minnesota, Union, and Ferris State but if BC plays like they did in the final forty minutes tonight for the rest of the season and especially in the NCAA tournament, there is no one that can compete with us. I'll get into the game in a second but as someone who has watched every single game of Kevin Hayes' college career and criticized him at many points for his effort on the ice and attitude off the ice, I think it's only right for me to sit here and tell you that this kid deserves every bit as much of the accolades and attention Johnny G gets. It's impossible for two guys on one team to get the amount of attention, especially in this sport but I've watched this team skate more than anyone and I have to tell you, Kevin Hayes is just as good, if not better, at some parts of the game than anyone else in the country. The frustration fans, coaches, and a particular blogger showed over the first three years of Kevin's career were a bit harsh at times, especially last season when he was suspended but the way he has "resurrected " his career at Boston College is truly special. I would sit in the stands during games and literally grab my hair over some of things Kevin did in his first three years here because I always knew he was a once and a lifetime talent he just was not showing it. I sit here tonight and tell you that you would be far fetched to go out there and find a bigger fans of Kevin Hayes' then me. Congratulations to Kevin for making one of the biggest comebacks I have ever seen out of an individual.

As for the game itself, just pure domination. I thought we started great, scoring a goal just two minutes into the contest but I wasn't too pleased with the way BC played towards the end of the period. We took a stupid penalty with two and a half minutes left in the period, killed it, but then failed on a clearing attempt that led to a Maine "goal". The refs reviewed it but didn't notice that Thatcher was shoved into the net along with the puck. Tough call but the way the guys responded was awesome. 

The second period was all Eagles, for pretty much all the time. Unlike the first and third periods of last nights game vs archrival Boston University, BC sustained a constant forecheck on Maine, causing three really bad defensive breakdowns that led to three goals in 1:38 effectively killing any chance the Black Bears had of picking up their first road victory of the season. I really liked the way Patrick Brown has adjusted to playing with the first power play unit. He screens goalies, gets in front of the net, and puts home whatever gifts Arnold, Hayes, and G give him. That's all they ask for and that's what he does best. Certainly deserves a spot on the first unit with those guys. For the most part, the Eagles avoided defensive breakdowns and when they did in fact have a letdown or two, Thatcher Demko was there to make the saves. He was tremendous all night. 

The part I think the staff has to be most pleased about is how BC competed in the third period. It's not easy playing six periods of hockey in two nights, especially when the first three were full of heart stopping moments of tension with your arch nemesis but the staff had them ready to go for the final twenty on this night. Coach York noted after the game how proud was of the guys being prepared not only physically, but especially mentally for what they thought were going to be a grueling final period versus a good hockey club. The only sour part of the night was the fact Maine had four power plays in the third period, eight total. At some point that has to change but credit to Coach Ayers and his penalty killing unit, they were very good tonight even though Maine added a power play tally late in the second. The Black Bears were 1 for 7 on the man advantage. BC's power play was buzzing all night, going 3 for 7 on the night. Out of the seven man advantages, I'd say only one was without a long period of sustained pressure. Great job by Coach Brown's crew tonight. 

Overall, this was one heck of a weekend for the Eagles. Not only did they help add to the free for all going on down the street, they played arguably their best hockey of the season in the second and third periods tonight. There are very few guys we've had here that I can say I actually stand up when they get the puck. Nathan Gerbe was the first, Brian Gibbons was the second, Chris Kreider was the third, Johnny G joined the club shortly after, but tonight, a new guy enters the exclusive club. #12. 

Why BC Won- 

1. Kevin Hayes was sensational (hatrick). So was G (5 assist, hello) 

2. Thatcher Demko played great. He deserves to play on Tuesday night @ Merrimack. 

3. Defensemen helped the cause. McCoshen had a goal while Savage had two assist. Matheson also recorded a point. 


1. Penalties in the third period. Same old story. 

Player of the game- Kevin Hayes 


1. G (47) and Hayes (42) are the top two point getters in college hockey. Billy Arnold is fourth with 33. 

2. The all time record for points in a season @ BC is 83 held by..........Craig Janney. I think both of these two could break that. 

Next up- Tuesday night @ Merrimack 

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