Saturday, February 8, 2014

Running Away With It

Adam Gilmour celebrates his power play goal. Photo from The Heights.
For the fifteen plus years I've been paying really close attention to college hockey, particularly Hockey East, I can't ever recall a league race being pretty much decided with a month left in the season. Of course, some epic collapse could take place but around this time of year, that doesn't really happen in Chestnut Hill. Anyways, the #1 Boston College Eagles totally obliterated last place Merrimack tonight by a score of 6-1 in front of 5772 spectators @ Kelley Rink, extending their unbeaten streak to 14 games while prolonging Merrimack's winless drought at Conte Forum to 17 years. We'll do some analyzing but there really isn't much to say about this game except it was one really good hockey team vs a team that struggles mightily just to get a quality scoring chance. You can talk about hard work, coaching, and conditioning all you want but the bottom line is if your talent level is four or five notches above your opponents, you shouldn't ever lose a game.

The first period didn't have much rhythm to it, at all. Merrimack was awarded a power play under a minute into the game but they gave G and Bill Arnold a 2 on 1 and you can guess what took place during that sequence. With just under six minutes left in the period, Arnold tallied his second of the night on a goal that was assisted by G and Kevin Hayes. 

I thought BC was average in the first, not great but not as bad as they were in the first period vs BU. The second period was also really boring and infested with whistles but the Eagles did a great job of transitioning from the defensive end and creating odd man rushes through the middle of the ice. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Merrimack is a terrible hockey team but they really aren't good when they have to come from behind. Once BC jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a Pat Brown goal, the Warriors started sending in a really hard forecheck but BC countered it real well with their speed. There really isn't much to say about the rest of the game except for the fact BC dominated in every facet. 

I don't care if the opponent is Minnesota or Merrimack, if guys are playing like they were in their own end tonight, this team can win every game from here on out. Sure, Providence, BU, and Merrimack aren't the most explosive offenses out there but BC isn't giving teams anything in the grade A scoring areas. One guy who doesn't get nearly as much publicity because he isn't a flashy skater like some of his teammates is Steven Santini. The issue for the Eagles a season ago was they didn't have any great "defensive defensemen". Santini, along with Ian McCoshen and a much improved Isaac Macleod are a great compliment to the other three guys who are more offensively minded. I'm not sure how these guys will perform against more prolific offenses like Northeastern and Vermont but right now, the unit as a whole is playing it's best hockey of the year. 

In the final analysis, everybody has to be thrilled where this team is at right now. Sure, we've got a big one on Monday night but just let this sink in for a moment. We've got a 9 (!!!) point lead in the deepest league in college hockey with just five league games remaining. Thatcher Demko is playing his best hockey, the offense looks unstoppable once again, the defense is shutting down everything that comes at them, and both special team units are contributing immensely.

Now, let's go win #19.

Why BC Won-

1. BC is just a much better hockey team than Merrimack. If this team shows up and plays they way they're capable of, such as they have been as of late, they are the best team in college hockey and it isn't even close.

2. Merrimack got nothing in the prime scoring areas. Demko was also tremendous once again.

3. The power play. It was the best it has looked since the first Providence game in early January. They were 3 for 4 on the night and now rank 8th in the country. Also, the penalty kill hasn't allowed a goal since January 18th.


I got nothing.

Player of the game- Bill Arnold

Next Up- I don't need to tell you.

Go Eagles


  1. Do you really think "they are the best team in college hockey and it isn't even close"? I agree that they are the best team, but Minnesota is damn good as well (as we saw first hand in October). I know they stumbled against Wisconsin, but the margin between BC and the Gophers is razor thin. Now after those two, I definitely agree with you. They are the class of college hockey and everyone else is just playing for the upset.

  2. I agree with you I shouldn't have put it that way. Minnesota and BC are co-#1's