Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish Take Game Three

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish advanced to the Hockey East semifinals next weekend snapping BC's nine year long streak of making it past the quarterfinals by a score of 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink. I want to first say one thing. BC played their absolute hearts out. On Friday night, not one guy gave a complete effort. Yesterday, nearly the whole entire team looked like they were playing for their season. The third period was as good as they have played all year. They generated shots, sustained pressure, forced turnovers, really did everything they needed to do in order to tie the game, except score. If the guys bring that type effort to the NCAA tournament, they will have a chance to win every game. Notre Dame is a tremendous hockey team with a lot of guys that have a shot at playing at the next level and I think all BC fans should be proud of the effort the guys put fourth yesterday. 

Unfortunately, the results weren't there. Obviously, the turning point in the game was when they scored with four seconds left in the second period. Sure, the forwards that were on the ice completely forgot to backcheck but I'm still wondering why they were on the ice with so little time left in the period. That line played so well for the majority of the first period but all the sudden Notre Dame just dominated them. When it was all said and done, Smith and Sit were -3 while Linell was -2. The biggest thing that needs to be figured out between now and tournament time is the fourth line situation. Should they play Straight ? Should the play Spiro ? Should they play Richardson ? We shall see what they decide to do.

I think it's unfair to question the job of Thatcher Demko after yesterday's performance. He's been so good for us all season and he gives us as good a shot as anybody to win an NCAA Championship. Don't worry about him. I am however worried about some of the decision making of the defensemen. After the game, a lot of fans took to Twitter to show their displeasure about a couple of players, particularly Mike Matheson.  Look, did he play his best game ? No. Did he make mistakes ? Yes. Did it look like he played as hard as he's ever played ? Yes. He dove, blocked shots, made a few plays, and tried to put his team in the best possible position to win the game. A lot of people, including myself, have sky high expectations for Mike because he's got so much hype surrounding him. At times he's made a few too many errors this season but it appeared to me that he tried gave as good an effort last night as he gave all year. I think he's going to be tremendous in the NCAAs. 

Look, I was as disappointed as ever with the result. So was the staff. But there is a difference between being disappointed with a loss and knowing you left it all out there and knowing that maybe you didn't give your best effort like I'm sure a lot of guys felt on Friday. Sure, we're not going to be playing this weekend and that stinks but all that matters, the only thing that matters to this point in the college hockey season, is that you get a spot in the dance. If you're in the dance, anything can happen. When you've got guys as skilled as BC does and a home ice advantage like BC will have in Worcester, you've got to love your chances. 

Why BC lost- 

1. The late power play. BC did everything but score on a PP late in the third. Credit Summerhayes, he was sensational. 

2. A blown backcheck on the third Notre Dame goal. Killer. 

3. Notre Dame cashed in on their chances. We didn't. Simple. 


1. BC played as hard as they have all year and the season isn't even close to being over. Tough loss but all you can ask for is a chance in the dance. 

Go Eagles 


  1. Being a follower of your blog who attended all three quarterfinal games as a neutral observer (Terrier), and knowing how passionate you are about your team, I am impressed with your accurate and untainted analyses. Your ability to set aside your strong fan bias and offer untainted perspectives is admirable. Generally speaking, most school based scribes cannot (or choose not to) do so.

  2. Agreed. Blown chances. So many open nets and open shots and passes that should have been tape-to-tape but were all over the place. Poor showing overall. I actually thought Matheson was one of the better guys on the ice. He was puckhandling like a seasoned attacker alll over the zone, driving in, and pushing the envelope not only on power plays (which I thought he was dominant) but also even strength. Not to blame individuals, and also understanding that not every guy can be a star, but IMO Linnell had honestly one of the worst weekends I have ever seen someone play. The goal at the end of the 2nd was 150% on him (tried to make some nonsense board check and stall out the clock, let the puck out, dogged it back the way down the ice and let his man get wide open for a goal with seconds left. Complete breakdown by him. Every time he was on the ice he was a liability, he showed NO offensive prowess (even Smith was trying), and his defense was lackluster at best (especially for a guy that used to play as a defenseman). I know in York we trust, but those subs that were sitting up in section N with me have got to be feeling low when they know they can't beat him out for a spot...