|From Eston Photo|
Obviously, I need to start put by congratulating Destry Straight on perhaps his best game in a BC uniform. No matter who you're playing, three points on four goals is pretty darn good in this league and most importantly, it continues the trend of BC's senior class stepping up and making big plays in pressure situations. Even Danny Linell, who didn't have any points or make any "flashy" plays, was solid all weekend long, evident by the staff deciding to go with him instead of Travis Jeke as Ian McCoshen made his return to the lineup after a virus sidelined him for the game vs UMass. I never felt like Maine created a lot of "grade A" scoring chances and the amount of 2 on 1's/3 on 2's they had compared to how many Harvard had was like night and day as BC was solid in both the neutral zone and defensive zone all night (Maine had just 23 shots).
A big reason for Straight's success can be attributed to the stellar play of his linemates, Adam Gilmour and Chris Calnan. The two Nobles kids had without a doubt their best weekend of the season, combining for 6 points. Also putting the cherry on top of his fantastic two game stretch was freshman Alex Tuch who ripped home a nasty wrist shot early in the third to send the Black Bears back to Orono with their 5th straight loss. I thought those guys did a great job of shutting Maine's breakout down at certain points in the game as the black and blue looked like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off in their end and surprisingly, BC never took the foot of the gas in terms of pressure throughout the night.
Not to much to report in the special teams department expect for the shorthanded goal given up. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal because it was just a bad turnover by a BC defenseman deep in his own end but those are the types of things that the team largely avoided for the majority of the weekend so I wouldn't worry to much about that. PK only had to kill off one Maine power play which is a huge plus in and of itself. I worry about BC's ability to compete in high scoring games vs quality opponents so the less power play chances, the better.
All in all, exactly what the doctor ordered heading into what is without a doubt the toughest week of the year. Look, I know Minnesota and Providence are good teams but you can't tell me you don't fell a heck of a lot better about this team now than you did 48 hours ago. Like I said in the first paragraph, the guys that were struggling at the start of the season are starting to really turn the corner. I couldn't name one guy that I thought was "bad" tonight, or last night for that matter. When your forwards play quick, your defenseman avoid mistakes, you stay out of the box, and your goalie makes some key stops, you can win any game.
Onto the Gophers.
Why BC Won-
1. They stayed out of the box. Anytime you give any team one power play, you have to like your chances.
2. Straight, Gilmour, Calnan, and Tuch were dominant up front. Nearly all 12 forwards are playing at a high level right now. I would say 2 played at a high level vs Harvard.
3. BC didn't give Maine much in the offensive end. I still miss Santini though.
Giving up a shorthanded goal is never good but that's it.
Player of the game- Destry Straight
Next up- Minnesota on Friday @ 6. Huge.
Even when blogger says blow it up, never doubt Coach York.