After the game's first 19 seconds, you figured everything was going to be OK. Jimmy Hayes scored just 19 seconds into the game, tapping in a Pat Mullane shot that drew iron into the open net. BC's Chris Kreider assisted on the goal in his first game back since breaking his jaw against UNH.
Everything in its right place ...
That BC good feeling was much too short lived. After Hayes' initial tally, it was all Colorado College in the first period. CC scored four first period goals in every conceivable way -- on the power play, shorthanded, with just 15 seconds in between goals. CC's roster full of players whose last name ends in 'Z' absolutely throttled the Eagles in the first. Jaden Schwartz tied it at 1-1. Rylan Schwartz made it 2-1, and Stephen Schultz made it 3-1. CC's David Civitarese ("Civitaresez" on his birth certificate?) made it 4-1 on a backbreaking, shorthanded goal with just 1:18 left in the first.
BC was uncharacteristically outshot 18-8 in the first period and committed too many mental errors. If Samuelsson clears a Muse rebound or if Tommy Cross doesn't badly play the puck on a clear, the Eagles could have saved themselves one or two goals in the first.
The two teams skated pretty even to open up the second period. Paul Carey made it 4-2 at 11:39 of the second period on a harmless wrister that goalie Joe Howe just bobbled into the back of the net.
Jaden Schwartz got the Tigers back to a three goal lead on the power play, taking a shot and following the rebound and putting it past Muse to make it 5-2. Colorado College was on the power play after a really questionable penalty called on Joe Whitney. Defenseman Ryan Lowery rode Whitney into Howe, but Whitney went off, called for interference.
On the ensuing BC power play -- a.k.a. the Whitney interference make-up call -- Alexander Krushelnyski made it 6-2 with another shorthanded goal at 15:34. William Rapuzzi made it 7-2 at 17:33 on yet another odd-man rush that the BC defender just whiffed at on the clearing attempt. After two, BC went into the locker room 7-2.
Muse was benched to start the third period. A few of the goals were on Muse -- namely the first of CC's shorthanded tallies ... close the five-hole! -- but on a majority of the goals, the defense hung Muse out to dry. Tough to see Muse's career end with him sitting on the bench, after rattling off 8 straight NCAA Tournament wins in his first three years. There's a reason no goaltender has ever won three National Championships, because it's really, really freaking hard to do.
Cam Atkinson opened the scoring in the third, making it 7-3 blasting a rebound in front of Howe into the top of the net. Later in the third, Brian Gibbons hit the post in what was a big trend of the night. BC had absolutely no puck luck and hit multiple crossbars and pipes, but sometimes the puck just doesn't bounce your way.
Almeida made it 7-4 at 13:39 of the third, blasting a wrister over Howe's blocker on the 3-on-2 break.
Rapuzzi added a second goal with just 8.6 seconds remaining to end the Eagles' season. Final: 8-4.
Hats off to Colorado College, who played a complete game and flat out beat BC. Except for Carey's goal, CC's Joe Howe played a great game and stood on his head for most of the game. Best luck the rest of the way.
I will have more season-ending thoughts later this week. I will say though that the loss shouldn't take anything away from Boston College's season. We won 30 games for only the third time in program history (1987, 2001) and went 21-3-1 in 2011. Congrats to John Muse, Brian Gibbons and Joe Whitney, who finish an unbelievable four-year run on the Heights.
"Ever to Excel" and all that good stuff. Go Eagles!