And so it ends.
A promising BC Hockey season fizzled to an end Saturday night as the Union Dutchmen took it to BC from beginning to end, culminating in a dominating 5-1 victory over the Eagles in Providence.
As easy as it is to look at everything from a BC point of view, it's hard not to give all the credit in the world to Union, who was clearly the superior hockey team in all facets of the game. They were a complete team.
Whenever the defense tripped up, Union 'tender Troy Grosenick was there to pick up the slack (like you wouldn't believe). Countless times in the 1st and 2nd period, Grosenick made saves that could have altered the trajectory of the game entirely.
With BC stoned again and again, it seemed to be only a matter of time before Union could put the game away. Mercifully, I guess, it came early, as the Dutchmen scored twice in under 30 seconds to pull ahead 3-0 early in the 2nd period. The game never did seem in reach after that.
On offense, Union just looked crisp. Every Dutchmen goal was purrrrrrrrrrrrrty as hell. No softies, unless you count Milner's brain freeze on the third goal. But even then, Bar Down City.
What are you going to do? BC was outplayed by a better team. The Eagles rode an early season run to a better-than-deserved playoff position. That run probably made us think we were a bit better than we really were.
On top of it all, we never did get the lineup set up this year. Up until the very last game, we were seeing a new line chart every single time we hit the ice. It's impossible for lines to get chemistry to make those tape-to-tape passes and know where your teammate is going to be if it's different teammates every game.
Injuries were a problem, of course, but it's hard to imagine BC advances much farther with, say, Kevin Hayes in the lineup. Yes, a goal to keep us in the game would have made this a very different contest, and the favorable bracket made anything possible -- but no. This just wasn't our year. A national title was in reach, but not deserved.
Gaudreau did put home a garbage goal (though it was a beauty) to at least keep pace with Kristo and Knight, who had their seasons end today as well. So the Hobey race is totally up in air, with Gaudreau still a favorite in the minds of many to take home the award. And it's nice to still have a little something to root for even though we're no longer playing hockey.
But for now, we're left to reflect a season that never really felt "right," that ended about where it should have despite our unreasonably high expectations which came about from an unsustainable start to the season, with a shallow lineup and a paper-thin defensive corps.
And finally, of course, a raise-of-the-cap to departing seniors Patch Alber, Brooks Dyroff, Parker Milner, Pat Mullane, Steve Whitney, and Patrick Wey, the seniors that were part of the most successful class in BC Hockey history.
Thanks for following along this season. We'll have your last Hockey Banter of the season coming up to wrap up the season later in the week, some additional hockey talking points here and there through the offseason, and we'll be right back at it come October.