Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Greatest

Photo from BC Athletics

As the clock struck 0:00 in last night's game versus UMass, every BC player skated towards Coach York and congratulated him on 1,000 wins, one of the most incredible feats anyone can accomplish in college sports. However, as the handshakes and congratulations kept coming, the Head Coach's reaction was no different than any other victory, just a couple pats on the backs of a few players and words of wisdom for the opponent in the handshake line. There was no two minute ceremony after the game, no formal announcement. Teddy Doherty presented the BC bench boss with a game puck and then it was off to the bus and time to focus on UConn.

I just want to congratulate Coach York and his family on this incredible accomplishment. There are a lot of good ones out there- Nick Saban, Pat Summitt, and Coach K to name a few- but in my mind, this guy is the best to ever do it. Not only does he win more than anybody else, he has built BC Hockey into a national powerhouse by doing things the right way. We are truly blessed to have this guy heading our hockey program and more importantly, as an ambassador for Boston College.

As for the game, you couldn't ask for a more complete effort from the maroon and gold. The first period was similar to the one versus UConn a couple months back. The Eagles just pounced on the Minutemen from the get-go, forcing turnovers, not allowing any quality chances, and capitalizing on nearly every golden opportunity the home team gave them. Amazingly, in the 8-0 victory, there were eight different goal scorers and not one player had more than two points. The most notable name on the points list was Michael Kim, who played his best game of the season and recorded his first two assists in a BC uniform. I am amazed at how well Kim has played despite being thrown into the middle of the fire. He is a bit undersized but he compensates for it with his speed and skill. His decision making has improved over time and I think we will see him get even more playing time as the season progresses. Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini continued to carry the load on the back end as McCoshen recorded a goal and a helper, giving him seven points in the past three games. The Sheriff was +5 on the night, highest of any BC player. Again, they don't keep track of these things but with Casey Fitzgerald out (precautionary upper body), it seemed as if one of those two was out there every shift. Josh Couturier also logged a solid night, going +3 and adding an assist. 

I'm not sure if I would be a proponent of BC implementing olympic ice but it sure makes their penalty kill look good. Coach Ayers' unit went 4 for 4 on the night and added two shorthanded goals, thanks to terrific plays from Miles Wood and Austin Cangelosi. UMass tried to make some fancy plays at the top of the zone and you just can't do that against these guys because once they get possession, there is no way you will be able to catch up. Just seconds after Cangelosi's tally, Wood once again came in shorthanded looking for his second of the night, only to bang one off the post. It could have been three goals on the man down which might have been some type of record. 

On the offensive side of things, I thought the fourth line played well. One of the positive side effects of moving Doherty up to forward is that Calnan makes the bottom line a formidable unit. He, Chirs Brown, and Travis Jeke were all over the ice last night and it might have been the first game all year where they completely dominated time of possession. It was nice to see those guys rewarded with a goal in the first period because they work as any trio on the team. BC's best line was Doherty-Sanford-Tuch, which combined for five points. I continue to think that Sanford is one of the top players in the country, let alone this team, but Alex Tuch's progression from October to January has been nothing short of remarkable. As I said last week, I think the World Jr snub has a lot to do with it because he just looks a little bit more "angry" and is attacking the puck all over the ice. His goal in the first period was off of a shot that might have broken the glass it was so hard. Not to be overlooked, the captain had a goal and a helper of his own. In reality, there wasn't much of a difference in the amount of scoring chances created by the top line and the fourth line, which is something you like to see because the more help they can get from the Brown unit, the more dangerous BC will be. 

Thatcher Demko was his usual, standout self. BC's defense did not allow UMass to generate much offense, especially on the power play where the Minutemen recorded just 4 shots and zero goals on four chances. On the other hand, BC posted four shots and two goals on those very same UMass power plays. 

In the end, this night was all about saluting the greatest college hockey coach of all time.  I have to say, I was disappointed that UMass did not take a minute to congratulate Coach on his record breaking feat. If an opposing coach had reached some type of hallmark at Kelley Rink, Coach York would go out of his way to make sure that coach was recognized. I try not to comment on opposing teams but that was the worst performance I have ever seen out of a Hockey East opponent versus the Eagles. I can understand why they wouldn't want to be on the ice versus the maroon and gold, I mean, BC is loaded, but at least look like you give a crap. There are UMass fans that drove two hours to watch that team play and Micheletto allows that type of effort? The way they play is borderline barbaric and it is clear that the players want nothing to do with the coaching staff. Can you honestly believe they hired that guy over Mike Cavanaugh? It blows my mind.

Speaking of Cav, the longtime BC assistant will bring his Huskies to Chestnut Hill tonight. 

Why BC won- 

1. Total domination. Every aspect of the game was controlled by the visitors- it could have been 15-0 if not for a few saves and posts in the third period. 

2. Penalty kill looked like a power play. BC now has eight shorthanded goals this season, which ranks second in the country behind Penn State. 

3. All four lines were clicking. Eight different goal scorers for the Eagles. 


1. UMass' effort. Total no show. 

Notes- Casey Fitzgerald suffered an upper body injury last weekend vs BU but he could return tonight (probably not). It is not a long term problem. Adam Gilmour did not play in the third period but I think he is okay. 

Alumni Game note- 11:30 today at Kelley Rink.

Player of the game- Coach York 

Congrats to Coach York. Go Eagles! 

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