Sunday, January 4, 2015

"We're Going To Be a Pretty Good Club After Christmas"

Those were the words spoken by Coach York after BC's 5-3 victory @ UMass on November 21st, a month in which they had lost 4 straight games for the first time since 2004. Last night, the Eagles captured perhaps their biggest victory of the season in a come from behind fashion, defeating host Dartmouth to win the the Ledyard Bank Classic for the second time (2011). I thought there were a lot of guys that played really well last night, obviously the WJC guys were exhausted but they deserve a lot of accolades for making the trip and participating. They wanted to give Demko a break so he didn't dress.

Of the three periods, the first was probably the only one in which the Big Green outplayed the Eagles. The shots were even but it seemed like they possessed the puck for double the time we did. As we talked about yesterday, they like to take a lot of shots from crazy angles but I think BC did a solid job all night of keeping pucks on the perimeter and not between the circles. I was a bit worried about Brad Barone because this is the type of game where you have to be sharp 100% of the time because they just keep coming after you constantly but he played an exceptional hockey game, proving he can be a reliable backup from here on out. The one downside of the first and the whole evening really, was the fact that BC just could not stay out of the box. In fact, both penalties in the opening period were taken in the offensive zone. I didn't see Mike Sit's tripping call but I was shocked that they called a slash on Destry Straight at BC's offensive blue line,  who knows, I could be wrong but it looked weak. Anyways, the BC PK kept the Big Green off the board although they came really close on their second power play as it seemed like they had the puck in the zone for a minute and a half.

Although they ended the period down 2-1, BC played a real solid second stanza in which they struck first on a power play from Adam Gilmour. Two really good things happened this weekend for the maroon and gold. Number one, their special teams were hitting on all cylinders (PK goal wasn't a bad goal), and secondly, Adam Gilmour started to breakout, evident by his solid three point weekend. Look, they probably are not going to score more than 3 goals on many occasions but if they keep up this power play, they will be dangerous, especially vs teams that like to take a few visits to the sin bin. Unfortunately, the next two tallies went to the home team. It looked like Barone couldn't get a good look for the first one, a shot from just inside the blue line but it wasn't his fault because BC got caught in a long shift and those exhausted guys just couldn't get the puck out of the zone. The Eagles continued to keep the pressure on for the remainder of the period and had a couple of great chances, including a breakaway from Mike Matheson after he picked the pocket of a Big Green defender. Although he took the penalty that led to their go ahead goal, Matheson was arguably the best player on the ice for BC all night. Whether I agreed with it or not, the captain took a tripping penalty with about four minutes remaining but for the first minute and a half, BC did a tremendous job of clearing the puck and limiting Dartmouth's chances. As has been the case far too often this season, a puck squirted out of the middle of BC's zone and ended up on the stick of a Dartmouth forward who could have walked out of the rink, come back, and still would have had time to put it in. Tough blow.

The period was a 20 minute mini-lesson on why BC Hockey has been so good over the course of the past fifteen years. They knew it was a crucial game for a trophy and some major pairwise points and they flat out dominated the opponent. Chris Calnan continued his hot streak, five points in the past four games, after putting home a rebound off a Matheson rush. My new years resolution is to try and be a little more positive when it comes to BC Hockey, as my grandfather would always say, "think like York". When Calnan put that one in, Dartmouth might as well have packed it up and went home because there was no chance BC was losing that hockey game. Teddy Doherty continued his magical season as he put the Eagles up for good with about 4 minutes to go in the game after he fired home a sensational pass from Zach Sanford (who continues to be really good). A few minutes and 100 hundred whistles later, the Eagles took home arguably their biggest win of the season.

Things are looking up, there is just no other way to say it. They're winning hockey games, they're getting production from their top guys, and they could be at 100% next weekend vs Northeastern for the first time in three months. Not only are they winning, they're playing an exciting brand of hockey once again. Dartmouth rarely gets outshot, in fact, the shots in their game vs BU were 36-22, but amazingly, the Eagles out-chanced them yesterday.

I'm not ready to go out there and declare they're going to win the National Championship but keep talking about Eichel all you because all I'm going to say is out for the Eagles.

Go Eagles !!

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