Without five of their top guys, the Eagles persevered and kicked off the second half with a strong effort in a 4-1 victory over Brown University. I thought BC was the better team for a large majority of the game especially when it came to special teams as BC scored two PP goals and held Brown to an 0 for 6 mark on their PP. The first period was relatively even (shots were 8-8) but one of the main themes throughout the period and the whole night really was the phenomenal play of BC's top forwards. Zach Sanford, who scored BC's first goal, continues to be, in my opinion, the best forward on the team. They've asked him to come in and do everything, play a lot of minutes, power play, penalty kill, late game situations, and he has answered the bell with a really strong start. I thought it would take a bit of time for him to develop into the forward he has the potential to become but ever since the BU game, he has been playing some top end hockey. Three minutes after Sanford's goal, Brown tied the game up with looked like a rebound goal after a couple nice saves from Barone. I was on the other end of the arena and I haven't seen a replay but it was just one of those garbage goals. While the opponent picked up their game in the middle of the period, I thought BC responded with a lot of pressure in the final five minutes, resulting in Ryan Fitzgerald's first goal since November 7th with 16 seconds to play.
The second period was certainly controlled more by Brown as they outshot BC by a 10-4 margin, assisted by 4 BC penalties. In my entire life watching college hockey, I don't know if I have seen a power play as bad as Browns. Don't get me wrong, BC's penalty kill has been much better as of late but these guys couldn't do anything from below the hash marks, they couldn't get a clean entry, and they even gave up a 3 on 1 while on the power play, something I don't think I have ever seen. There was no scoring in the middle period.
The final twenty minutes were all BC as Brown completely fell off a cliff. Once BC made it 3-1 on a 5 on 3 goal from Adam Gilmour (beautiful set up from Fitz), Brown looked like they didn't want to be there. Apparently, head coach Brendan Whittet called his team an embarrassment and threatened to sit every one of them tomorrow vs Denver. I wasn't there but that's what I was told. Sounds like someone I know. Anyways, the dumb penalties gave BC some much needed confidence on the man advantage, an aspect of their game they will need to be better if they want to make the NCAA tournament. There was a cool "first" tonight as Brad Barone picked up his inaugural victory, a well deserved W for a guy that continues to work hard each and everyday even though he may not get a lot of chances to play.
All in all, solid start to the second half that gives them an opportunity to take home a trophy tomorrow night vs Dartmouth. Perhaps more importantly, a win tomorrow would likely move BC up even more in the pairwise. I'm sure you are all wondering about the five World Jr players. I was told after the game that they're doing everything they can to try and get them there but it will take a lot of logistics because I think they need to fly back to Boston and then drive up. We will see what happens.
Solid start to the new year,