Joseph Gravellese: That was..... choose your d word. Devastating? Demoralizing? Disappointing? Destructive (to my liver)?
Grant Salzano: Devastating.
My choice of word, for the women's game, was more 'heartbreaking' really.
JG: In a night that started with such promise, with both the BC men's and women's hockey teams jumping out to leads in huge games, everything went up in smoke.
The men's team went up 2-0 and looked basically in cruise control against BU, and seemed to be ready to punch Jack Parker's ticket out of town. Then it all completely disintegrated (another d word for you).
A series of brutal defensive turnovers led to BU breaks, which of course they scored on, and suddenly despite outshooting BU in the range of 30-16 over the first two periods, BC went into the locker room down 3-2.
A dumbfounding (another one) 5-minute major on Johnny Gaudreau for cross checking after Sean Escobedo flung himself head first into the boards in what I have to assume was a desperate cry for attention made things worse.
BU scored again, drained the five minutes off the clock, and had BC on the ropes.
A mini-comeback attempt late was not to be. BU scored an empty netter to seal a 6-3 win, ending BC's run of consecutive Hockey East titles in most devastating fashion.
As long as UMass-Lowell wins tonight and keeps BU out of the NCAA tournament, I don't think that this will be a big deal, long-term. BC is likely to be a 2 seed, as they were probably going to be either way.
But I will say this: if we don't make the Frozen Four this year, this game will be my "last impression" that I remember most about the ending of the year. It will sting all summer.
GS: Absolutely. Just a horrific collapse in the biggest game, to date, of the year.
I think the worst part to me was just how GREAT we played in the first half of the game.
You can play the "what-if" game all day, but I really thought BC was dominant for the first 30 minutes or so of that game, and figured they'd come back strong in the third.
Visions of a national championship run were dancing in my head based on how comprehensively they were toying with BU.
The Terriers were really lucky to not be run out of the building in the first period. I don't know what the hell happened, aside from some seriously bad turnovers by our blueliners, who collectively had a dumpster fire of a game last night.
GS: I was unfortunate enough to have to watch the game on DVR -- so I was devoid of all human contact with my phone shut off. But even without the influence of reading everyone's reaction on twitter, I had pretty much the exact same reaction as everyone else, which was basically "holy crap, this is awesome."
Then BU scored once and it was an avalanche.
JG: Exactly. I don't know if it destroyed the D's confidence, or what.
GS: I lost count of all of the BU breakaways.
JG: And I've got to say -- I feel comfortable questioning a decision since York wasn't there -- Danny Linell. Good kid. Solid third line forward...
But on defense. WHY? WHY? WHY?
I have to imagine Jeke was sitting up top watching wondering what he did to lose that spot in the lineup.
GS: I could be wrong here but I believe it was Linell who got turned around at the blue line on the go-ahead goal.
JG: I think that was the tying goal. I do NAHHT want to look at the highlights and find out for sure though.
GS: Well, in any case... that was the most telling moment for me:
Linell got undressed and threw his hands up to -- who, I'm not exactly sure. The refs? The bench?
It couldn't be the refs, how is there going to be a penalty on the guy with the puck?
Perhaps it was to the bench, saying "why the hell are you leaving me out here to dry?"
Did you notice that?
JG: Stranger things have happened with the geniuses who officiate Hockey East games. But yeah. I did see that. It seemed like exasperation more than anything else.
At that point I kind of knew in my gut things weren't right out there.
GS: Absolutely. Frustration setting in, and not immediately rushing back to rejoin the play. That was the worst moment of the game to me. All felt lost.
JG: But I still felt hopeful about the third period, based on how well we played in the first -- until Gaudreau had to spend 25% of it in the penalty box.
GS: Yeah, Gaudreau was flashy as hell last night, huh?
JG: But not necessarily effective, unfortunately.
GS: Had that penalty not been called, and we didn't go down by two -- I'm confident we pull it off. I really am.
JG: I don't know about "confident." But that call made it impossible. They were already reeling from the defensive collapse. Any hope of rebounding mentally was probably kaput at that point.
GS: Speaking of which, missing York probably contributed to the loss.
JG: Possibly. It's funny, because pregame I was discussing with everyone how it wouldn't really matter that he wasn't there, because the game plans were set, and they were going to play with some extra motivation for York.
But maybe his steadying influence could have made a difference as everything circled the drain.
GS: That's exactly what I mean. I think a timeout gets called during that complete Fail of a second period and things go a little differently.
I think even just the Jerry Pat On The Shoulder probably does wonders.
JG: I was surprised BC didn't call timeout after the third goal. I was waiting for it.
I'm not blaming the loss on that in any way. I was just surprised.
GS: Just bad.
Now we await the selection committee.
In a bizarre twist, we still have a very good chance at a very favorable bracket. So all is not lost. How far we go in the tournament will depend very much on who we are matched up against.
And I'm okay with that. That seems Correct for this team.
JG: Absolutely. That'll be the deciding factor.
I'm not expecting a national championship run. I'm hopeful for Frozen Four if we end up in Quinnipiac's bracket.
(If there's one team that had a worse day than us yesterday, it's Quinnipiac. Ouch.)
GS: We'll go into that more in the regular banter later in the week, but Ouch is right. Losing 5-0 to Brown... they are Not Good.
JG: I guess at this point we need to rip off the band aid and talk about the women's game.
GS: Well put.
JG: Let's put one thing out there right off the bat, for those who missed it (I didn't see any of the first period, but got video working from the 2nd through OT): it was no fluke that BC took it to overtime.
BC was, on this night at least, every bit the team Minnesota was.
But that's what makes it more devastating, I think. I can't take it as a moral victory. We were right there, on the lip of the cup, and we weren't overmatched. I was nervous and thrilled when BC entered the third with a 1-0 lead, only to resign myself to the inevitable when Minnesota roared back for two quick ones in the third period. (Man, did that happen fast.)
But BC didn't fold. They came right back and got the tying goal in dramatic fashion. And from there, I believed. But yet again, in overtime, it all happened so fast.
It was a truly devastating finish.
GS: Devastating is right. It was such a rollercoaster. We scored in the 2nd and I was over the moon. Minnesota scored twice late and I was resigned to a crushing defeat.
I completely lost it when we scored the tying goal. I felt like it was going to be our night. Then the overtime goal and I was inconsolable.
I want to blame the refereeing so bad, because when the refs put the whistles away, Minnesota got away with some horrible calls. But they truly Put The Whistles Away. I can't really complain about.
GS: Although, Carpenter getting taken down in the slot early in OT... you have to call that. That was a borderline penalty shot.
But... no. Stop it, self. No blaming this on the refs.
It was the best women's hockey game I've ever watched and I need to accept the outcome.
JG: Since I was watching on a choppy stream I don't have too much to add about how individual players looked and performed. Though it did seem like our third line with Walsh and Motherwell really put some pressure on when they had chance.
I want to think optimistic thoughts about how good they're going to be next year. And how Minnesota/Wisconsin/whoever is going to have to come East for the Frozen Four. But it's hard not to rue the missed opportunity at history.
And be extremely hopeful that the Gophers absolutely curbstomp BU tomorrow. Because I really can't deal with the alternative.
GS: I cannot. This weekend has been bad enough. BU beating an undefeated Minnesota for the national title would probably make me retire from sports.
JG: On that note, I think that'll do it. I have no positive notes to end this on.
GS: Yeah. That's about enough of this.
JG: Everything sucks. Go Lowell.
GS: Yes. That.