Saturday, January 31, 2015
Proving Blogger Wrong
If the first UConn game was the tip of the iceberg for me, the November contest against Providence was certainly the final straw. I walked out of Schneider Arena with a pessimistic feeling unlike anything I've ever felt. When I went to school on Monday and had everybody from kids seven years younger than I am to the headmaster asking what was wrong with BC Hockey, I, carelessly, blamed their rough start to the season on the recruiting, something that is as stupid as saying 2+2=5 because if you look at their roster for next season, there is certainly an argument to be made that they could run the table and I'm not kidding in the least bit. I tried to put on a face where would tell people that I thought everything would be fine but internally, I believed this thing was going into free for all stage.
I was wrong.....very wrong.
For the fifth straight game, all of Boston College's goals came from underclassmen as the Eagles picked up a huge win over the #9 Providence Friars by a score of 3-2 in front of 7,389 fans at Conte Forum. Outside of the final ten minutes of the third period, one could argue that this was BC's best game of the season as they held PC to just 7 shots at the halfway point and if it wasn't for some unbelievable saves from Jon Gilles, it easily could have been 5-0. This BC club has developed a strong habit of getting off to hot starts over the course of the past couple weeks and they did that once again tonight, even though it was 0-0 after twenty minutes. BC was the much better team all throughout the first period but they had nothing to show for their play until Alex Tuch's snipe two minutes into the middle frame. BC was coming off a penalty kill and once Tuch hit the ice, Adam Gilmour hit him with a nice pass through the neutral zone and #12 somehow caught Gilles off-guard to make it 1-0 birds. Two minutes after the goal, the Eagles had perhaps their best power play of the season but Gilles kept everything out of the net. I'd have to look at it again but I'm 95% sure BC's second unit of Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Straight, Doherty, and Matheson kept the puck inside the PC end for the entirety of the man advantage. From the middle of the second on, the game got really chippy. Providence initiated a giant scrum which saw one of their guys try and stand up to Ian McCoshen who promptly threw him to the ground like he was a toothpick. Amazingly, BC came out of the "fight" with a power play but were called for perhaps the single worst interference penalty I have ever seen just moments into their power play. Astonishingly, the officials then proceeded to call two more penalties on the Eagles which gave Providence more than a minute of 5 on 3 but Coach Ayers' penalty kill came up big and held the Friars off the board.
The third period was one of the more entertaining periods of hockey I've witnessed this season. A little under five minutes in, Noah Hanifin, who probably played at least 7 more minutes that any other BC defenseman, pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone before splitting two PC defenders and beating Gilles to give BC a two goal advantage. In my mind, astronomical things would need to happen in order for this BC defense to give up a two goal advantage in the third period but that's exactly what happened when PC scored a pair of goals under three minutes apart. The first was a real fluky one as a shot from the point looked like it redirected off someone's glove and past Demko who never saw it. Their second goal was the result of a bad turnover at BC's offensive blue line but the other defenseman, Hanifin, made a nice effort to get back only to see Shane Luke's shot somehow slide through Demko's arm and into the net. When you're playing this BC team, you're going to need your fair share of puck luck in order to win the game and Providence certainly got some tonight. Anyways, it was only a matter of time before Gilmour's line struck again because they were really buzzing all night long and they did just that after Tuch made a nice cycling play to Gilmour who once again made a nice play by putting the puck low and on net, which allowed Zach Sanford to easily collect his fifth goal of the season.
Give Providence credit because they did everything but score in those final five minutes. I don't think BC had the puck in their offensive end for more than thirty seconds after Sanford gave them the lead. If it wasn't for a couple of great saves from Demko, this game certainly could have ended with a different result.
Anyways, it's great to see that this team is playing the way they are but we all know what lies ahead on Monday. We'll get more into it more tomorrow but this is the biggest athletic event in the world and this team has an opportunity to get one step closer to bringing home a record tying 6th straight Beanpot title on Monday night when they play a very good Northeastern team. Based on the massacre at Agganis two weeks ago and the fact that Harvard is so banged up, believe it or not, BC might just be the favorite.
Who would have thought?
Why BC won-
1. It was as good a 60 minute effort as they have played all year. For two thirds of that game, it was men against boys out there because we took their game and shoved it right back in their faces.
2. Penalty kill was terrific. Providence was 0/5 on the PP and that included a long 5 on 3.
3. The freshmen are coming up huge. Why would anyone ever criticize the staff's recruiting?
I don't want to pretend I'm Jack Parker but the officiating in this league has gotten to a point where I think BC really needs to step up and get involved. If they are going to continue to go out of their way to make unfair calls against this team, then something needs to be done. It's like their officiating a mite game.
Player of the game- Noah Hanifin
Go Eagles !!