It's amazing what a few days can make. Just Friday night, we were in anguish over getting beaten (again!) by the scum down the street. Two decisive wins later, BC hockey is feeling pretty good about itself and sitting firmly at #2 in the Pairwise Rankings (the rankings that determine seeding for the NCAA Tournament).
Tonight, BC came into a game against #17 Providence, a team feeling not too bad about itself either after a weekend sweep of #1 (sort of) Merrimack. BC quickly went up 2-0, and, after Providence made it interesting, polished off the Friars 4-1 at Conte Forum.
The story of the game has to be freshman Brian Billett, who posted his third win in three starts, all against nationally ranked opponents. While Jerry York hasn't gone so far as naming Billett the top goalie, his words and actions have certainly suggested to that effect:
"We don't want to get into [talking about which goalie is number one] ... The hot goalie will play."
Immediately starting Billett after that quote obviously suggests that Billett is the hot goalie (though so does Billett's 1.33 GAA and Milner's recent struggles). The last thing I want to do is become a goalie jinx, but it certainly seems like Billett is going to be our goalie, at least for the time being. There will be some duds in there in the coming weeks as a freshman, but Billett certainly looks the part of a budding #1 goalie. The best news? He's no stranger to title runs: Billett led his team to consecutive EJHL championships in his last two years.
BC scored twice in just under two minutes late in the first period to jump out to an early lead, including one on a spectacular feed to Bill Arnold by Johnny "Gaudreaubey Baker" from the area that has become his own personal desk in Gretzky's Office.
The Friars pulled within one on a power play goal early in the second, and threatened to tie late in the 3rd with what amounted to four consecutive minutes of penalty kills after penalties by Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold. Fortunately for BC, Paul Carey'd the puck into the zone all alone (Ha! Get it?! I've been dying to use that pun...) shorthanded after fighting past a Providence defender for the insurance goal with just a few minutes remaining in the game. BC then iced it with an empty netter after killing the remainder of the penalty.
The BC men wrap up the first half with a game at UMass-Lowell on Friday at 7pm (leave early if you're going, the traffic is absolutely brutal at that time) before heading into the Great Lakes Invitational just before New Years in two enormous games against #7 Michigan State and either #30 Michigan Tech or #19 Michigan.