For the second consecutive night, the Boston College Eagles got off to a bit of a slow start in the first 10 minutes of a game but like they have done time and time again over the past month, they rallied and picked up a crucial 4-2 over the Northeastern Huskies. First off, absolutely huge win in terms of the Hockey East standings as first place Lowell was upset by the Fighting Cavs tonight, keeping BC within 4 points of the league leader with a lot of hockey left to be played. I'll start by doing a little nit picking because I didn't like BC's start, at all. They looked slow and allowed NU to cycle the puck in the BC end for what seemed like the entirety of first 15 minutes. In his first competitive hockey game since October 25th, Steve Santini looked a bit rusty to begin with (had a bad turnover on his first shift) but I thought he got into a bit of a groove as the game went on although he needs to stay out of the box next week. BC was without Ian McCoshen who missed the game because of an illness. Say what you want about this team's scoring abilities but you cannot say they haven't scored big goals in clutch situations and they're even starting to score in bunches. They did it vs UNH, they did it vs Michigan, they did it vs Brown, and they did it once again tonight as Michael Matheson (tremendous game) tied the game up with a rocket from the circle with under two minutes to play in the first period. Just a mere 52 seconds later, Chris Calnan recorded his 10th goal of the season after a scrum in front of the Huskie net.
Eight minutes into the second period, the zebras started to take the pomp pomps off and called Ryan Fitzgerald for elbowing. 45 seconds into the penalty kill, Chris Calnan pounced on a Noah Hanifin rebound, from behind the net, and flipped it past Clay Witt to give BC the 2-1 advantage. Go take a look at who leads BC in goals and by the margin that he does. Hint- you might be surprised. I think its time to take a step back and talk about the type of season Calnan is having right now. He doesn't get the type of minutes that Gilmour, Tuch, and Sanford get but he has made just as much, if not more, of an impact on this team. I don't care if you're Sidney Crosby or a fourth liner on your local high school team, putting the puck in the back of the net isn't something you lead your team in unless you're doing something right. Keep it up, Chris.
While Calnan's goal was big, the turning point of the game was when BC killed off 2 minutes of 5 on 3 for Northeastern at the end of the second through the start of the third. First of all, just going off the reaction from the bench, they were horrible calls and overall, it was a terribly officiated game (they made 2 or 3 offsides calls that were just flat out wrong). But anyways, credit Coach Ayers' penalty killing group because they did a fantastic job of getting out of there without any damage. Talk about Jack Eichel all you want (we'll get to him later) but if you ask me, we've got one of, if not the best, players in all of college hockey in Thatcher Demko. He gives us a chance to win each and every night and I can only imagine what will happen if he stays next season and teams up with BC's star studded offense (They're going undefeated). The only issue I have with the PK is that I'm not sure if I would have had Straight out there for the 5 on 3 instead of Calnan or Sanford. I understand they really like Destry out there, and I think he is doing fine, but if you ask me, I want the biggest guy to stand up and prevent pucks from getting to the net from the point. Small potatoes, no big deal.
Things got a little shaky in the third period when Northeastern, like they normally do, battled back and made it a one goal with 6 minutes to play. Thankfully, the refs finally woke up and gave BC a power play, one in which they game through on thanks to Adam Gilmour's fourth goal in as many games. Basically, BC kept trying to feed him down low but weren't able to until NU overcommitted at the blue line which led to some beautiful passing from Hanifin (real good tonight) to Sanford to Gilmour. Tick-tac-toe. Ballgame.
Anyways, heck of a weekend but its over and now its time to focus everything on Friday. These guys will play in a lot of regular season games in the maroon and gold and hopefully in the NHL but none will be bigger than this game on Friday. I am sick of tired of hearing how good Jack Eichel and BU are. We can beat those guys, heck, we should have beat them two months ago but we let them off the hook. We'll talk about it throughout the week but there is no reason we shouldn't be able to contain that "Oreo" line. They're a one man show, after that it's a bunch of kids that BC didn't even recruit. Now that everyone is healthy, I see absolutely no reason why we can't go in there and beat that son of a gun.
1. Penalty kill was terrific, power play came through when it had to.
2. Calnan was terrific.
3. Demko is making a strong case for the Hobey, as long as this team continues to win games.
4. The defense didn't make as many poor decisions with the puck and in the neutral zone. You could tell BC was more conservative tonight but it resulted in a lot less odd man rushes.
1. Officials were horrible. If Voss is doing Friday's game, I'm going to have a heart attack.
Players of the game- Demko/Calnan
Let's get ready for Friday. Come on.