Before I purged last night's 8-4 loss from my DVR completely, I wanted to take a look at each of Colorado College's eight goals to see what exactly went wrong.
Last night was the first time that an opponent has scored four goals in a period since BC's December 3 game at BU -- and a few of those goals were Tim Benedetto-aided -- and the first time a team has scored eight goals against BC in an NCAA Tournament game since Denver dropped 10 on the Eagles in the 1973 Semifinal.
So how, exactly, did one of the nation's best college hockey programs get beat so soundly? Let's breakdown each of CC's eight goals to see what went wrong.
CC 1 - 1 6x5 PP Stephen Schultz (17) (Rylan Schwartz, Jaden Schwartz) 4:34
On Schultz's first goal, he gathered the rebound skated around and ripped a shot past Muse from the point. I don't think Muse ever saw the puck. Barry Almeida was the closest to Schultz but didn't go down to block the puck, just kinda knelt down on one knee and skated past Schultz. I think Almeida could have made more of an attempt to block the shot, but this goal was one of the more legit goals scored by CC on the night.
CC 2 - 1 6x6 Jaden Schwartz (16) (Rylan Schwartz, Stephen Schultz) 7:47
Schwartz makes it 2-1 on an even strength goal at 7:47 of the first. Schwartz brought the puck into the zone, shoots on Muse, gathers the rebound and puts it past Muse's right pad. Philip Samuelsson was covering Schwartz but didn't make much effort to clear the puck and let Schwartz beat him to the rebound. Definitely a mental error on Samuelsson's part and not much Muse could have done about that one. Gibbons also badly misplayed the puck as it came into the zone, creating the odd man break.
CC 3 - 1 6x6 Rylan Schwartz (9) (Jaden Schwartz) 8:02
Fifteen seconds later, BC wins the faceoff and Tommy Cross takes the puck behind the net. He tries to bank the puck off the boards to leave it for Patrick Wey, but the puck bounced right back to CC's Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz fed Rylan Schwartz right in front of Muse and he buried it past Muse. The puck seemed to take a strange bounce off the boards and I know the ice conditions were a bit of an issue all night, but that goal was definitely on Cross. Again, not much Muse could have done about that one.
CC 4 - 1 5x6 SH David Civitarese (5) (unassisted) 18:42
On Civitarese's shorthanded goal, there was really no reason he should have beat Joe Whitney on that footrace. Muse looked bad getting beat five-hole but not much you can do about it when the BC power play lets Civitarese skate in nearly untouched.
CC 5 - 2 6x5 PP GW Jaden Schwartz (17) (Rylan Schwartz, Nick Dineen) 14:00
The interference penalty on Whitney was kinda BS, but the BC penalty kill let CC move the puck well and got burned once again. After winning a faceoff in the BC zone, the Tigers went Nick Dineen to Rylan Schwartz to Jaden Schwartz, who was sitting on the far side of Muse, took a shot and tucked home the rebound. Bill Arnold got caught napping and has to put a body on Schwartz there. Just can't let the puck get passed through the crease like that. Again, this was more on the defense and the penalty kill than on Muse.
CC 6 - 2 5x6 SH Alexander Krushelnyski (6) (David Civitarese) 15:34
CC's second shorthanded goal was another bad, bad play by the Eagles. Joe Whitney passed to Steven Whitney at the blueline, Stephen Whitney badly misplayed the puck and it was off to the races for CC. After Joe Whitney couldn't corral the puck away from Civitarese, all it took was a Civitarese pass to a wide open Krushelnyski in front of Muse to make it 6-2. The bad play at the top of the blueline by the Whitneys could be forgiven, but the lack of hustle by the Eagles certainly couldn't. BC had Almeida, Atkinson and Gibbons on the ice, and no one came flying back to help Whitney clear the puck. By this point, the Eagles was broken and the Tigers had this one in the bag.
CC 7 - 2 6x6 William Rapuzzi (11) (Tim Hall) 17:33
On Rapuzzi's second goal, it was Samuelsson and Wey who got burnt. Samuelsson didn't put a body on Tim Hall, and Wey got beat bad with a puck that got bounced off the boards right past him.
CC 8 - 4 6x5 PP Dakota Eveland (4) (unassisted) 19:51
CC's eighth goal, while seemingly unnecessary, was just a really bad play by Patrick Brown. Brown tried to pass the puck cross ice, Eveland picked it off, skated in uncontested on Milner, and blew it past him glove-side. The goal obviously wasn't of much consequence, and you can probably chalk this up as a freshman mistake.
While a lot of the blame for the loss falls on BC's defensive performance, I think the above shows that it wasn't all on the defense as the Eagles' offensive players also had their fair share of mental errors and mistakes. One team simply showed up to play last night. The other didn't.
I also don't think the "writing was on the wall" that BC would somehow bow out of the NCAA Tournament based on poor defensive play down the stretch. BC's defensive pairings in last year's National Championship win over Wisconsin were Samuelsson-Sneep, Dumoulin-Shea and Cross-Alber. In last night's loss, the defensive pairings were Cross-Wey, Dumoulin-Alber and Samuelsson-Shea. Carl Sneep was definitely a significant loss and Samuelsson may have regressed a little from last season, but the defense wasn't substantively different from last year.
BC also allowed 10 fewer goals this season (94 vs. 104) and recorded three more shutouts than last season. There were just as many high offensive outputs by our opponents down the stretch this year as there were last year (2011: Hockey East semis vs. Northeastern, 7-7 tie vs. Northeastern, 7-6 OT win vs. Northeastern in Beanpot final vs. 2010: 9-7 win over Yale in NCAAs, 7-6 OT win over Maine in the Hockey East title game, 6-5 win over UMass in the Hockey East Quarters).
It simply wasn't in the cards this year. As BC fans are well aware given all the close calls over the last 15 years, anything can happen in a single-elimination ice hockey tournament.