|Photo from The Boston Globe|
First of all, hats off to Rand Pecknold and his crew- they took it to BC for the first forty five minutes of that game and then got some outstanding play from Michael Garteig in order to hang on. They might not be a brand name around the college hockey world at the moment but certainly could be come midnight tomorrow. I wish them the best of luck against North Dakota. They had a ferocious forecheck, gave BC nothing through the neutral zone, had the best penalty kill I have seen this year, and boast a couple of awfully dangerous two way forwards.
I'm not quite sure what happened in the first period, for whatever reason, it took BC a while to adapt to Quinnipiac's speed. One of QU's objectives was to halt BC in their own end by forcing the D to D pass as often as possible- they more than accomplished that. Less than three minutes into the game, Casey Fitzgerald's pass from behind the net squirted out front before Bobcats banged it home, giving them the game's first lead. Again, Quinnipiac was a fast team, no doubt, but I don't think it was heads and shoulders above anything the Eagles had seen from teams like BU, Denver, Northeastern, and perhaps Duluth. We knew QU was going to possess the puck in the BC end for long periods of time but if BC could have kept everything to the outside, then perhaps they would have been able to get away damage free. It didn't happen. Instead, both of QU's first period goals came from inside the slot. I don't care who you have in net, you can't expect anyone to cover for turnovers and breakdowns on such an epic scale.
The most disappointing aspect of the game, for me anyways, was BC's power play. As the game went on, they certainly generated more quality looks but in the first period, outside of a golden opportunity from Ryan Fitzgerald, they garnered nothing. Don't get me a wrong, a lot of that had to do with Quinnipiac's speed, but I still think the Eagles could have done better than 1 for 5.
The first three shifts of the second period were probably their best all season. After getting manhandled in the opening twenty, Tuch's line came through with a huge goal just 23 seconds into the frame, cutting the lead in half. The celebration didn't last long however as Quinnipiac capitalized on an Ian McCoshen cross-checking penalty just four minutes after Tuch's strike. The Eagles have not faced many teams that run a 1-3-1 power play, certainly none that run it as well as QU does, but like every other part of BC's game, it got better as time passed. On the third goal, obviously, you want to try and win that face-off in order to prevent them from getting great looks right off the bat but QU made the play by getting the puck to the net. The contest could have gotten out of reach before the end of the second as BC had to kill of a couple more penalties, once again, but unlike the first go around, they did so with relative ease.
I could not have been more proud of the way this team battled in the third period. As cliche as it may sound, if we're going to go out, that's how I want to go- give me a club that plays like that, no matter the talent level, and I'll take them any day of the week. Whether it was two point blank looks from McCoshen, a terrific short side chance for Scott Savage, or an abbreviated two on one for Cangelosi and Casey Fitzgerald, BC did everything they could to tie it up after Ryan Fitzgerald notched a power play goal with five minutes left. Quinnipiac is so good in their own end, the only way you're going to score on them is by getting pucks to the net and hoping for a rebound or a deflection. Zach Sanford, who I thought was BC's best forward, made a nifty pass to McCoshen, who was robbed by a sprawling Garteig with just under a minute to go. Hockey's a weird game- sometimes you don't generate anything for the first fifty minutes and then pot a few thanks to some fortunate bounces but others, you just can't seem to capitalize on your best chances- that is what happened last night. Again, give Quinnipiac all the credit in the world for their defensive prowess.
I will have a post either today or later in the week concerning early departures. That being said, I expect Demko to sign with Vancouver as early as this afternoon. McCoshen is ready as well, so I would not be shocked if he is gone by the weekend. Other than those two, your guess is as good as mine. If they can get most of their big guns to stay, they could be awfully good next year. Keep your fingers crossed.
So there's that. The 2015-16 chapter of Boston College Hockey officially comes to a close after yet another fantastic run. They probably don't read this thing, but I just want to thank Teddy Doherty, Travis Jeke, Peter McMullen, and Brendan Silk for all they have done for this program. When you become a part of BC Hockey, the most important thing you can do is represent yourself, your school, your coaches, and your teammates to the very best of your ability on a daily basis. These guys have been phenomenal ambassadors for Boston College and its hockey program, I wish them nothing but the very best in whatever comes next in life. It was truly a pleasure coming to the rink everyday and seeing them set the bar so high.
Lastly, I just want to say thanks to you, the reader, for taking time out of your day to check out this blog. I've been running the BCHB for six years and I can honestly say this is the most fun I've ever had, despite the difficult ending. As crazy as it may sound, I will be a freshman at Boston College next fall but I'm hopeful the blog will continue well into the future.
Why BC lost-
1. Brutal start. Quinnipiac was ready to go early on, BC was not. Teddy Doherty called the opening ten minutes "unacceptable". Sums it up pretty well.
2. Power play struggled for most of the game. Fitzgerald's tally was nice but other than that, they could not get anything going.
1. The fight they showed at the end of that game was remarkable. Garteig had to make three or four out of this world saves in order to keep BC off the board. Give it another five minutes and I think we'd be talking about playing North Dakota.
Thanks for an awesome season.