|Photo from The Heights|
I'm not really into seeing the same movie twice, in fact, the only four I can ever remember seeing more than once are Caddyshack, Miracle, The Dark Knight, and 22 Jump St. After 20 minutes Saturday night @ Conte Forum, I felt like I was seeing some film I despised more than any other all over again. Despite throughly outplaying UConn in the first period, BC surrendered a power play goal and headed into the locker room down a goal to their former associate head coach, once again. Thankfully, the final 40 minutes turned into totally different, way more entertaining film as BC was able to sneak by the always pesky Huskies by a score of 3-2 in front of a tremendous crowd @ Kelley Rink. Obviously, Ryan Fitzgerald showed what he is capable of by recording BC's first hatrick of the season, giving him the team lead with 12 goals. Amazingly, all of Conte Forum held it's breath when Fitz went down in the second period with what appeared to be a leg injury but he ended up not missing a shift.
I thought we got off to a really good start but we just weren't able to finish a couple of great chances. Austin Cangelosi, who played his best game in a long time, missed out the first of two BC breakaways, Matty Gaudreau somehow missed a wide open net, and BC also failed to capitalize on a 3-1 thanks to some off the mark passes. Anyways, it seemed like a goal from the home team was imminent until the Huskies struck with a power play goal midway through the stanza. This is the third time in the past 4 games that BC has allowed an opponent to capitalize on the man advantage. I haven't looked at the tape yet so I can't really say what exactly went wrong but it didn't appear BC was aggressive enough at the point, something they tend to do from time to time, and the UConn defenseman was able to walk right in and fire one home. Despite a power play immediately following the goal, BC was (barely) unable to capitalize and went into the second down 1-0.
Truth be told, BC didn't play a great second period, at least in the first 10 minutes. UConn forced a couple of really bad turnovers, an obvious interference penalty, and possessed the puck in BC's end a lot longer than BC did in theirs. Finally, with about four minutes to play in the period, Fitz recorded his second of the game when he made a pretty sweet move at the goal line to beat UConn's star goalie Rob Nichols. Unfortunately, UConn responded a mere 23 seconds later when they caught BC's defense sleeping in their own end and somehow a guy was left wide open in front of Demko to regain the lead for the Huskies. Hopefully it's just a little blip on the radar but BC has not done a great job of responding to goals these past three games. It happened twice at Maine and once again tonight. UConn continued to play tough and almost took a two goal lead on a couple of 2 on 1's but it was the Eagles who scored a ginormous game tying goal thanks to a fluky bounce with just under a minute to go in the period.
In the past, BC teams have found a way to come out and play some of their best third periods of the season when major implications were on the line. Say what you want but if the Eagles came out flat in that final period tonight, who knows how much it would have hurt their pairwise standing. Instead, they came out and dominated the final twenty minutes however it looked like things were playing into UConn's hands because BC just couldn't score. That all changed when Fitzgerald, for the third and final time, fired home a wrister from the right faceoff circle on the power play. Let's give Coach Brown a lot of credit because BC's PP hasn't just produced a lot more than it did in the first half, it looks a lot better than it did in October-December. Both units are generating quality chances every time they hit in the ice and for the first time perhaps all season, I assume that every time we get on the man up, we're going to score. The final two minutes got a little bit shaky but Demko preserved the victory with this outstanding save that should be on Sports Center tomorrow morning.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe we were 26th in the pairwise shortly before that win vs Michigan. Don't look now but somebody is 13th in those very same rankings as of 12:45 Sunday morning (ironically, right behind the maize and blue). I didn't think it was BC's best 60 minute effort of the season but they made the plays when they had to, something that has been a hallmark of past Eagle squads during these stretch runs. I really liked the way Fitzgerald (obviously), Cangelosi, and Straight played. In fact, you could say the benching last Sunday really woke Cango up as he has been one of BC's best forwards each of these past two games. Defensively, BC certainly needs to clean some things up as I don't think Steve Santini is fully healthy and because of the injury to Linell in the first period, the staff had to move Doherty to 4th line forward. The team certainly needs these next six days to rest up before a war with Providence on Friday and then well, you know what on Monday.
T minus 8.
Why BC Won-
1. Ryan Fitzgerald was outstanding. Captain obvious here. Austin Cangelosi was also very good.
2. For some reason, no one is giving Demko any credit when it comes to Hobey nominees and it's driving me nuts. He was tremendous late in the third period.
3. Power play is moving it well. 2 for 4 tonight. Looks very solid. PK needs a little work.
1. Hockey East once again called back a BC would be goal thanks to a way to early whistle. Make that 3 no goal calls on BC that have been flat out wrong this season. Also, Zach Sanford's goalie interference penalty might have been the worst call I have ever seen and I'm not joking.
Player of the game- Fitzgerald
Next- Providence on Friday. Something next Monday as well.
GO EAGLES !