Despite another ho-hum performance, the top-ranked Boston College Eagles completed a weekend road sweep of the #12 Vermont Catamounts 5-3, and as a result, clinched the Hockey East regular season title.
Maybe it was just me. I didn't think BC played particularly amazing hockey this weekend. But after a while, you look up and BC has a multi-goal lead over an NCAA tournament-bound team.
The Eagles didn't give up the first goal tonight, but it took until the end of the first period for BC to break through a tough Vermont team and net the first goal of the game.
Goal #1 (SHG) -- 18:18 of the 1st period: Chris Calnan (Unassisted)
BC 1, UVM 0
Take a look at Calnan going all TJ Oshie on Vermont goalie Mike Santaguida -- after a bit of a boneheaded retaliatory slashing penalty on Bill Arnold, the Catamounts mess up a pass back to the point which leaves it just past center ice for Calnan.
Calnan shows pretty nice wheels here, getting himself completely clear of the Vermont defender and getting the puck past Santaguida.
Arnold's penalty came shortly after he had to be helped to the ice after blocking a shot. It was pretty scary -- he went right down and stayed down for quite a while after the puck hit his right leg or skate. He came back onto the ice shortly after and took a penalty, and once he came out of the box, he made sure everyone watching knew he was okay.
Goal #1 -- 19:24 of the 1st period: Bill Arnold (Isaac MacLeod, Patrick Brown)
BC 2, UVM 0
There is a lot to like on this goal. Isaac MacLeod takes a really intelligent shot. Two different good things could have happened, and one of them did.
MacLeod's shot went intentionally wide; it looked like he was trying to get the puck to deflect off of Cangelosi. Instead, it goes by, but takes a lively bounce all the way to the other side of the net where Santaguida -- totally taken out of the play by his own player running into him -- has left open. Bill Arnold comes in at the right time where all he has to do is fire it into the empty net.
And after 18 minutes of uninspiring hockey, it was 2-0 Eagles. Definitely can't complain about that.
The Catamounts, like Friday night, were pretty pesky and never really did go away. Two minutes into the second period, Nick Bruneteau scored to cut the lead to 2-1. He would later take a holding penalty to give the goal back.
The streak lives! It took a couple minutes to confirm, as the referees needed to review this one, but it ended up standing as a good goal.
Pretty tough goal for Santaguida to give up, as he saves Cangelosi's initial tip but the puck bounces right off of Gaudreau's shin and into the net. The refs were looking for a kicking motion, but Gaudreau immediately pointed to his shin after the goal to let Santaguida (who was complaining -- of course he was, I probably would have too) know what was up.
Goal #4 (GWG) -- 16:52 of the 2nd period: Kevin Hayes (Johnny Gaudreau, Scott Savage)
BC 4, UVM 1
There would be no complaining about this one. Kevin Hayes appoints himself mayor of Snipe City on this beauty. Gaudreau leaves him the puck just over the blue line and goes to the net, which causes the D to back off ever so slightly. Hayes waits, waits, waits, and then rips home the goal.
This goal only reinforces the JESUS CHRIST KEVIN HAYES WILL YOU SHOOT THE PUCK?! point that many of us have been trying to make.
ARE YOU READING THIS KEVIN HAYES? LOOK AT THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU SHOOT THE PUCK.
Vermont opted to yank Santaguida after the 2nd period after giving up 4 goals on 18 shots. Not a really good night.
The Catamounts scored a power play goal early in the third to once again keep hanging around, but as they'd done all weekend, BC would respond less than 90 seconds later.
Goal #5 -- 7:00 of the 3rd period: Scott Savage (Destry Straight, Chris Calnan)
BC 5, UVM 2
Oh man, that is a big boy shot out of Scott Savage.
Savage deserves a shoutout after being sat last night for his defensive breakdowns in the Beanpot against Northeastern. He had himself a really good game last night, going 1-1--2 on the offensive side and not really being too noticeable on D -- the mark of a good defensive night. Maybe I missed some things, and by all means call me out on it in the comments if that's the case, but Savage did a good job of making the best of sitting on the bench.
Vermont would get another one back later on in the third period, but last night didn't get *quite* as stressful as Friday, with BC holding on for the 5-3 win.
Brian Billett made his first start in 9 games after Demko gave up three of his own on Friday night. Perhaps Demko's benching was similar to Savage, with Jerry York reminding both blue chip recruits that you aren't staying in the lineup just because of your pedigree -- you need to stay focused.
I wouldn't expect this to be the restart of the goaltending controversy. Demko should be in goal for next week's critical home-and-home against UMass-Lowell.
Highlights are below. Check back later this week for the Banter and all the rest of your BC Hockey coverage.