Well that was a fun weekend.
BC came away with two huge wins, coming from behind to beat UMass Lowell 3-2 on Friday night before winning a back and forth game against BU in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday.
Let’s get to some final thoughts about these two games.
BEST WEEKEND OF THE SEASON
There have been some really good weekends this season, but this had to be the best so far, right? BC won in a building that they never win at, coming from behind to beat a good UMass Lowell team before taking down their biggest rival in BU.
This felt like a weekend we haven’t seen in a few years at BC. The Eagles won a pair of big games and put themselves in a great spot for the rest of the season. Saturday night’s game had a buzz about it that had been missing for a while now, and the team came through in a big way. It was the first time in a while that BC hosted a truly important hockey game this late in the season, and it was great to see them come away with a win in front of a big crowd.
GET (ALL THE WAY) IN
Alright, it’s time to put a label on the 2019-2020 Boston College Men’s Hockey Team. They are a contender. Full stop. They’re not just a fun team to watch enjoying a bounce back year after some down seasons, they’re beating good teams and are built to make a deep postseason run.
Let’s go over the facts. BC is 13-1 over their last 14 games and currently lead a pretty good Hockey East conference by points percentage. If you value raw point totals more, they’re one point behind UMass with two games in hand (tied with a Providence team that has played three more conference games). They have one of the best goalies in the country, a top line putting up big numbers that can skate with anyone in the nation, a deep group of forwards, a more talented blue line than expected, and a coach who apparently didn’t wake up one morning having forgotten how to coach. Their special teams have been solid all year and they’ve actually started to cut down on the number of penalties they take, something that was a big issue to start the season. That’s the DNA of a team that can do some damage.
I didn’t expect this team to be this good this season (my preseason roundtable takes have aged as poorly as ever) so I considered them a nice little surprise up until the past two weekends. Going 3-1 against UMass Amherst, Lowell, and BU (and honestly dominating the only loss in there) changed my mind. They’re a contender.
Will that be the case when the regular season ends? Who knows? BC has been largely fortunate with their team health this season, but that could change in an instant. Guys go through cold streaks and sometimes it just takes a bad night or two for things to change. But as of right now? As Jeff Hafley would say, it’s time to get in on this team.
FIRST LINE STILL DOMINANT
Speaking of that first line, boy did they show up on Saturday night. Logan Hutsko scored two goals, David Cotton had two assists and set up the game winning goal, and Julius Mattila played a fantastic game, finishing with two assists and the game winning goal late in the third period.
These guys are just three really good hockey players with a ton of on-ice chemistry. It’s so fun to watch them play right now and while the depth behind them has massively improved, they can still win games basically by themselves. Cotton got the Hobey Baker nomination, but a case could realistically be made for all three of these players, as they are all averaging well over a point per game.
Here’s hoping we get one deep playoff run out of these three.
FINDING DIFFERENT WAYS TO WIN
BC won two games this weekend where they simply didn’t play their best hockey. On Friday, they fell behind 2-0 before two minutes were gone and on Saturday, they went through some long stretches where they struggled to do much of anything against BU. There’s not much else to say, they just didn’t play great in either game.
And yet, they came out of the weekend with two wins. They grinded out two results in two difficult games and came out with wins despite not playing their best.
That’s just something that good teams are able to do - win in different ways. BC leaned on their best players pretty heavily on Saturday night with their top line scoring three goals. On Friday, they were badly outshot, but Spencer Knight was able to keep things close early on and the Eagles made the most of what chances they had.
It’s a long season and despite what we’d all like, BC is going to have nights where they just don’t play their best. It’s good to see that they can still find ways to get results when this is the case.
WHAT AN ATMOSPHERE
Saturday night was incredible. It’s been a couple years since there has been a game that the BC hockey community has shown up like this, and boy, did I miss it.
It was loud, the students were mean, there was a banner of Matt O’Connor after he dropped the puck (the #1 play of the 2010s, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), and it was just fun.
Will it keep up next weekend when they play Maine? Maybe, maybe not. Was it fun as hell for about three hours? Absolutely
PLEASE ALWAYS WEAR THE THROWBACKS
They are perfect hockey jerseys. They are absolutely gorgeous and I love them and I want to see them every time there is a home game. Make it happen.