Another slow start out of BC in this one, but a solid outcome as Boston College was able to hold off Northeastern on the way to a 4-2 win.
Kind of a weird game... there wasn't really much of a flow outside of a couple stretches here and there. Let's get started.
Thatcher Demko -- along with the rest of the BC team -- had another questionable start, and this was before Northeastern took their 1-0 lead just past halfway. Early on, Demko was forced to make a tremendous desperation save to keep the game scoreless, but it was the result of a horrible rebound on a puck he couldn't glove. Then the goal. And we're scratching our heads.
But BC did respond to the goal well, going on a very strong run on the second half of the first period. And they would be rewarded for the effort.
Fantastic individual effort out of Kevin Hayes, started by a slick feed from Matheson. Hayes just completely burns Northeastern defenseman Matt Benning and is able to slide a backhand home.
Poor Benning. That's not the last we'll see of him.
1-1 would be the score going into the locker room, and after the slow start BC was able to put together a really impressive second half, and ended up outshooting NU 17-7.
To the second we went and the defense really seemed to tighten up. Not too many chances would reach the goaltenders... that is, when John Gaudreau wasn't on the ice.
Gaudreau drew at least three penalties in this game on drives to the net... that he didn't even score on. Then, this happened:
Goal #2 (Shorthanded)-- 12:19 of the 2nd period: Johnny Gaudreau (Bill Arnold, Mike Matheson)
BC 2, NU 1
Man, whattttt is Northeastern doing here... BC comes in on a 2 on 1, fine. But NU's Matt Benning just gets totally embarrassed, again. Gaudreau heads to the net (and isn't even driving particularly hard to the net, either) and Benning decides to defend absolutely no one. Gaudreau coasts from the blue line all the way to outside the crease and wrists the puck in behind Clay Witt.
Literally, Gaudreau doesn't take a single stride from the blue line all the way until he takes his shot. What is Benning doing? He doesn't even take a glance at the other half of the two-on-one, who also goes unguarded, and leaves a huge lane to the net wide open for Gaudreau.
This is against the best player in college hockey. Just bafflingly poor defense.
Nothing doing the rest of the 2nd period as they wrapped up the frame with BC holding onto a 2-1 lead. Shots in the second were 9-8 BC for a total of 26-15, Eagles.
BC caught Northeastern off guard to start the third period. Or, more accurately, another Northeastern defenseman forgot to show up.
Goal #3 (Game Winner) -- 1:08 of the 3rd period: Ryan Fitzgerald (Kevin Hayes, Danny Linell)
BC 3, NU 1
What the actual Christ is Colton Saucerman even trying to do here? Kevin Hayes barely even has to break his stride to get around him, and then you can just forget about it. Witt makes the initial stop, but Fitzgerald is right there to put in the rebound.
I think my favorite part of this GIF is Saucerman slowly coasting into the frame right as the goal is scored and feeling shame as he crosses the goal line.
I took it upon myself to make a higher-def GIF in his honor so we could remember this for all time.
That was the gamewinner but Northeastern did make it interesting. Just under 3 minutes later, the Huskies tied the game on a power play goal to pull back within one. Another yawner of a period actually ended with Northeastern putting pretty heavy pressure on the BC D.
But fortunately, Johnny Gaudreau was able to put in an uncontested empty netter to seal the game and give BC the 4-2 win.
Full highlights courtesy of BC below:
BC and Northeastern wrap up their season series (already!) in the second half of the home-and-home Saturday night at Matthews Arena. Unless we meet in the Beanpot (or the Hockey East tournament LOL) this would be the last game against Northeastern this season.
We'll be right back here tomorrow night with the wrap-up.