It's never easy. And yet, it's always easy. That's the way it seems to go this season for Boston College hockey - never moreso than tonight, when BC sleepwalked their way into an 0-3 deficit early in the second period only to roar back to win 4-3, scoring three goals in a six minute span in the second period before Steven Whitney scored the winner in the third.
The win puts Jerry York's career total at 922 - two shy of Ron Mason's all-time win record.
BC seemed to bring their C+ game from the beginning tonight, and at first, despite only showing up in bursts, it seemed to be working fine. The game was scoreless after one period but BC was pretty firmly in control, with only some stellar stops by Merrimack goalie Sam Marotta keeping the Eagles from taking the lead into the locker room.
BC's early lethargy came back to bite them, however, as three quick Merrimack goals put the Eagles behind the eight ball and in jeopardy of losing to Merrimack at home for the first time in 28 games. Not even a patented Jerry York timeout with the score 2-0 stopped the bleeding.
But when Steve Whitney scored the first of his two goals on the night at 7:39 of the second period, it ignited a dizzying stretch in which BC came all the way back.
Pat Wey struck next to make it 3-2 with a power play goal at 11:50, rifling home a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle into a gaping net with Marotta down and out of position. It reminded me a little bit of Brian Dumoulin's game winning goal against UNH at home in March of 2010, if anyone else remembers that one -- a wrister through traffic that got the job done and continued the comeback.
Danny Linell completed the three-goal surge a minute later by scoring his first of the season, putting BC's re-tooled third line on the board, as Cam Spiro and Michael Sit got the assists. With Destry Straight out for the game with an ankle injury (day-to-day), Quinn Smith moved up into the top six, bringing Spiro out of the stands and onto the third line.
Johnny Gaudreau (who else?) provided the electrifying moment of the evening on BC's game-winning goal at 12:38 of the third period. His presence drew both Merrimack defenders, freeing up Steve Whitney to go hard to the net. Gaudreau deftly slid a sweet pass through the Merrimack D and over to Whitney, who ripped it home and slid into the boards in celebration. It's hard to describe just how impressive Gaudreau's assist was with words, so hopefully BCEagles.com puts the highlights up soon.
BC held out the rest of the way and hung on for a 4-3 win, improving the Eagles to 28-1 in their last 29 games. Their next time out will be next Saturday at 4 PM against Dartmouth, BC's second nonconference foe of the season.
Meanwhile, over at Matthews Arena, the BC women's team scored a big win, knocking off Northeastern 6-4. Alex Carpenter picked up her 8th and 9th goals of the season to lead the charge for the Eagles (5-3-2, 4-2-1 Hockey East).