Well that was fun.
The Boston College Men’s Hockey team rolled over UConn twice this past weekend to jump back over .500 for the season (5-4-0, 3-2-0 Hockey East). The Eagles put up a 6-0 shutout win at home on Friday night before winning at UConn 5-1 on Saturday afternoon. Sometimes teams will win games that they are outplayed in, but you can’t really fake your way to an 11-1 score line. This was, for my money, the best BC has looked since their opening night win over Wisconsin, as they controlled both of these games almost from the opening puck drop. With more Hockey East play coming up this weekend, here are some final thoughts from the two game sweep of the Huskies.
TOUGH TO FIND ANY NEGATIVES THIS TIME
BC came out and completely dominated UConn all weekend. There was one stretch early in the first period of Friday’s game where Spencer Knight had to make a few tough saves to preserve a 1-0 lead, but outside of that, it was really all Eagles all weekend.
Pretty much everything that I’ve brought up here in past weeks looked better on Friday and Saturday. BC won two games without relying on their top line too much (more on that in a bit), they looked much better on the power play, they stayed out of the box, and they got some scoring from the defense. Everything just looked a whole lot cleaner in these two games, which means I’m in that strange position as a BC fan without anything to complain about. We just watched this team play two really good hockey games, and hopefully we get a whole lot more of that going forward.
SECONDARY SCORING LEADS THE WAY
BC scored 11 goals over the course of their two games this weekend, and in a nice change of pace, it was the supporting cast getting on the score sheet instead of the usual suspects. Logan Hutsko and David Cotton both scored third period goals in Friday’s 6-0 win, but that was all that we got out of the first line.
On Friday, Alex Newhook had two goals to go along with tallies from Jack McBain and Connor Moore while Aapeli Rasanen lead the way in Saturday’s 5-1 victory with a hat trick. Ben Finkelstein and Mike Hardman also scored on Saturday.
It’s a point that has been discussed before, but it bears repeating. BC can’t just be a one line team this season like they were last year. They don’t need nine goals every weekend from their supporting cast, but a couple guys need to step up and contribute at a higher rate than we got last year. And through nine games, it looks like we’re getting that. Rasanen is actually third on the team in scoring with nine points in nine games while McBain and Newhook each have six points and Hardman has five. With the entire first line continuing to click (Mattila with 12 point, Cotton with 11, and Hutsko with five in five games), that’s seven different forwards currently above a half point-per-game pace. Last year they had four, and one of them (Oliver Wahlstrom) is no longer with the team. It was a really solid weekend and hopefully a sign of more to come from BC’s depth against UConn.
MARSHALL WARREN’S INSANE ASSIST
I almost entirely try to stick to broader topics here, but come on, how can I not mention this pass from Marshall Warren?
I mean just look at what he has to look at at the moment he makes the pass.
Talk about threading the needle. Warren has to make that pass through four different UConn players before it gets to Newhook on the back post. Just a phenomenal play by BC’s freshman defenseman.
CHANCE TO GO STREAKING
If you need a reminder on how...not fun last season was, BC’s current three game winning streak has officially matched their longest such streak from last year. They have a real chance to stretch that to five this weekend and to collect four more conference points when they travel to Vermont for two games against a Catamounts team that is really struggling in the early season. UVM is just 1-5 overall and 0-3 in Hockey East play, and has only scored more than two goals in one game this season. They will be coming off of a bit of a break in their schedule, as they have not played since November 2, but these should be games that BC can use to really use to get on a bit of a run. The schedule certainly takes a turn after this weekend, with non conference games against Yale and Harvard before a home-and-home against Notre Dame, so extending that win streak to five would be pretty big for the Eagles.