Well those two games went about as differently as possible.
After the Boston College men’s hockey team started their Hockey East schedule with an impressive 5-3 win over Northeastern on Friday night, the Eagles went on the road and were blown out 6-2 by Bentley. We’re now four games into the season and while we’ve certainly seen more positives than negatives in that time, this remains a team that is a bit hard to get an accurate read on. With that said, let’s take a final look back at the weekend and some of what we can learn from the two games we saw.
UNBELIEVABLE ATMOSPHERE PLAYS A ROLE
Starting with something not directly on the ice, the home crowd against Northeastern on Friday night was absolutely amazing. The students sections were all completely packed almost from the opening puck drop and they were loud all night. We just haven’t seen that very much in recent seasons. Games against BU usually get a good crowd, but outside of that, it’s been mostly small crowds that don’t really get into the games that much.
That wasn’t the case on Friday. This was the first home game for half of the student body and the first home game since March of 2020 for the other half, and just by watching the game, you could tell the impact they made. Just go back and check out the way that the players reacted after some of the goals and you can see the extra energy that was in the building on Friday. Hopefully we get this kind of crowd more often going forward, but even if this was just a one-time thing, it was so great to see.
WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED ON SATURDAY
Alright, now for the bad stuff. What on earth happened on Saturday night’s game? If you were too busy being disappointed by a different Boston College team getting blown out to catch this one, here’s a quick recap: the Eagles fell behind Bentley 1-0 in the first and that’s how the score stayed until the third period. In the third, BC let up five goals in just over 10 minutes as Bentley kind of ran them out of the building en route to a 6-2 final.
This feels like it’s mostly a game where you burn the tape and move on, but there’s probably some important things we can take away from it, the most important of which might be in goal. Henry Wilder got the Saturday start for the second straight weekend, and let in six goals on just 33 stops. That’s just not great for Wilder. Eric Dop turned in his second straight solid performance on Friday night, and after Saturday, it feels like we might be getting closer to the net belonging to Dop on back-to-back nights in the near future. Jerry York typically likes to pick a starting goalie and roll with them, and this weekend might have made his decision easier.
Outside of that, maybe just try and forget this game ever happened and move forward. If BC can bounce back and look good next weekend, we might be able to just write this one off as a blip on the radar.
UPPER CLASSMEN LEADING THE WAY EARLY ON
We’re only four games into the season, so it’s probably too early to start noticing patterns, but the big players so far have mostly been the seniors and some of the grad transfers. Marc McLaughlin already has four goals, Jack McBain and Patrick Giles have been impressive up front, and Marshall Warren has been doing a bit of everything on the blue line to go along with Dop’s strong play in net.
This isn’t totally unexpected, either. BC’s freshmen class has been solid so far, but none of them came in with the kind of game breaking talent that we saw from some of the freshmen in the last few seasons. At least early on, this looked like a team that the veterans might have to carry for a while while some of the newer payers got their footing. So far, that’s pretty much how things have gone, with Giles, McLaughlin, and Warren all scoring big goals on Friday night to help the Eagles take dwon Northeastern.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK COMES (SHOCKINGLY) ON THE POWER PLAY
This is such a ridiculously good play from Jack McBain
When you need a timely goal, you call Captain Clutch ♂️ pic.twitter.com/f8eGem0USq— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) October 16, 2021
The combination of patience and vision on display here from McBain is seriously impressive. His rush up the ice ends up drawing three of the four Northeastern defenders and leaving all the room in the world out front for Marc McLaughlin. For his part, McLaughlin does a good job finding that open pocket in front of the net and finishing the goal, but this is really all a result of a great play from McBain. McBain’s had a great start to the season, with a goal and six assists in four games, so hopefully we have plenty more plays like this to look forward to in the coming months.