|Photo from BC Athletics|
Thanks to three goals from Colin White, the Boston College Eagles picked up their biggest win of the season, dismantling the #3 Providence College Friars in front of a sold out crowd at Conte Forum. Before I get into a few thoughts on the game, I want to tip my hat to Ian Milosz. I can't imagine the butterflies that must have been flying around that kid's stomach all week and for him to come in and play like he did tonight is nothing short of remarkable. If the game was against a weak opponent and meant little to BC's pairwise standing, then this would not have been a shock. But it wasn't Alabama-Huntsville or Alaska, it was the defending national champions. Congrats to Ian on a night that he won't soon forget.
As for the rest of the team, I could not have been more pleased with their performance. Providence is one of the best defensive teams in the country and BC made them look like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. I thought the Eagles forechecked hard, forced turnovers, and generated dozens of "grade A" opportunities in front of the net, something they have struggled to do over the past few weeks. The power play, which went 3 for 4 on the night, was clicking on all cylinders. They certainly put a lot of emphasis on the man advantage throughout the week but I think it boils down to the fact that they were able to keep PC on their toes with crisp passing and quality shots. The staff switched the forwards, opting to put Colin White with Zach Sanford (who was awesome) and Alex Tuch (also great) in place of an ailing Adam Gilmour. Miles Wood, who returned from his one game suspension, teamed up with Ryan Fitzgerald and Austin Cangelosi on the second forward unit. If BC can keep up the pace on the power play, they could morph into a lethal offense juggernaut.
I am at a lost for words when it comes to Colin White's performance. I would have to sit down and think about it for a while but that was certainly one of the best individual performances I've seen out of a BC player not named Gaudreau in a long time. The fact that the kid can totally dominate a team of that quality after playing seven games in nine days halfway across the world is stunning. Everyone talks about being able to roll three or four scoring lines on a nightly basis and I certainly think that is a huge advantage but if you look at BC's best teams under Coach York, they all had a "go to" guy. I don't think it is fair to compare White to legends like G or Gerbe after just 19 games but he is transforming into that perennial goal scorer.
It won't get much discussion but BC's play in their own end was the best it has been all year. Milosz was terrific, no doubt, but, he didn't have to face a ton of grade A chances outside of the PC power plays. I figured there was a chance Michael Kim would play but I didn't think he would play as much and as well as he did. In fact, I think you could make the case that the Jr Bruins product was BC's best defenseman- he made effective breakout passes, did not cheat up in the neutral zone, and blocked a couple of shots. There will be some growing pains for the midyear addition but if Kim plays like that on a consistent basis, he won't be in a suit anytime soon.
With all that being said, tonight is a huge test. The roles will be reversed as the Friars, losers in three of their past four games, will be looking to right the ship against a rejuvenated Eagle squad. I expect Providence to come out and play their best game of the season- just by reading Nate Leaman's post game comments, it is clear that he is going to light a fire under his club. They always play BC tough in that building and I expect tomorrow to be no different.
Why BC Won-
1. Colin White dominated the game. When he and Miles Wood are in the lineup and playing well, BC's offense is scary good.
2. Ian Milosz stepped up. If I transferred into the top program in college hockey and had to start my first game against the defending champs, I'd give up ten goals in two minutes. Heck of a performance.
3. Team defense was outstanding. PC did not have many odd man rushes or grade A opportunities.
4. Power play was humming. Coach Brown certainly got his guys going at the right time.
1. I don't have anything. Crowd was awesome.
Players of the game- Colin White and Ian Milosz
Next- @ PC tonight. 7 PM.