Another grind, another tough game. This time, BC did not come out on top.
Despite coming back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, the Eagles fell to the Riverhawks 4-2 on a late goal by Joseph Pendenza.
The scoring started off in quick succession halfway through the first. Lowell's Scott Wilson but the Riverhawks up 1-0 on a power play goal. BC answered with a tally from Bill Arnold, but immediately conceded another go-ahead goal by Josh Holmstrom the very next shift.
The game would stay scoreless until the third period when Bill Arnold put home his second of the game on BC's only power play of the night. But it was not to be as Pendenza scored with just four and change left on the clock and Riley Wetmore sealed it with an empty netter.
This game was a microcosm of Boston College hockey right now. There wasn't much to take issue with, but there wasn't really all that much to be excited about right now.
BC never played 'bad' really. There were stretches where they were totally dormant -- specifically the first half of the second period where they couldn't manage a single shot. But then there were stretches where they looked awesome and you couldn't really figure out why -- like the end of the second period. But unfortunately, those great stretches were short-lived and momentum quickly fizzled.
It's been quite some time since BC has consistently felt like every game is a coin flip. Unfortunately, that's where we're at at the moment. It used to be that BC went into every game expecting to win. This was the case as recently as the beginning of this season.
But now we go into each game hoping for a win. Knowing we can, but also knowing we're just as likely to lose as well. This is regardless of the opponent.
Unfortunately the biggest reason for BC's mediocrity has been the total disappearance of Johnny Gaudreau, who has only notched a point in three of his last nine games. Still, he unbelievably remains atop the Hockey East scoring tables and is blowing away the competition in points per game.
Nationally he's fallen to 10th in scoring and 5th in points per game. We're not going very far without him coming to life.
Kevin Hayes, fortunately, looked very good in his return to the lineup. Unfortunately he left the game in the third period with an unknown injury, though fortunately according to The Kid it doesn't appear to be too serious.
So where are we at? Who knows. Are we still trudging along at our 'bottom' right now? Given how many close games we've been playing in lately, you have to figure just getting Gaudreau's usual 1.50 PPG would be enough to put us on a serious winning streak. Unfortunately that hasn't been happening.
It emphasizes just how important top-end scoring is to this team, and as our Hobey Baker frontrunner, he's going to have to find a spark to get on a roll again. Because otherwise I'm afraid BC is going to continue to be a game-by-game coin flip, which does not bode well at all for single-elimination tournaments.
BC is going to need to find something this weekend with a home-and-home against Providence. BC has fallen down to 6th in the Pairwise Rankings and into a FOUR WAY TIE (!) for first place in the Hockey East standings. Just two points separate 1st and 6th. I would not feel confident in BC going on the road for a Hockey East quarterfinal.
The Eagles are really going to need to turn it around fast to avoid that, and to avoid being a 3 or a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.