The Boston College men’s hockey team returned to action after postponing two games due to COVID protocols, taking down Brown 5-2 in a non-conference game on Tuesday and knocking off BU 4-3 in a shootout on Friday. We’ve got another couple weeks to go before we see them in action again because of the winter break, so let’s take a quick look back on some of what we saw from the two games last week.
McLAUGHLIN AND GILES CONTINUE TO SHINE
Marc McLaughlin and Patrick Giles have been linked for just about the entirety of their time at Boston College. The two seniors played together for large portions of their first three seasons and have seen their roles on the team grow the longer they’ve been here. They were split up for a while at the start of this season, but now they’re back playing together on one of the top lines and they’ve been red hot ever since reuniting.
McLaughlin has already topped his career high in goals and now has 12 on the season while Giles has matched his best season in terms of points with 12 in 16 games. Both players had big games this past week as well, with McLaughlin scoring three goals and adding an assist while Giles had two goals and two assists of his own. Along with their linemate Trevor Kuntar, Giles and McLaughlin played a huge part in Friday night’s third period comeback against BU, and you can just see the kind of chemistry the two of them have developed over their time at BC.
For the Eagles to have any kind of success this season, they were going to need some guys to step up and produce at a higher level than we maybe expected of them. So far, McLaughlin and Giles have been those guys, playing the best hockey of their BC careers at the exact time when it was needed the most.
ERIC DOP REMAINS UP AND DOWN
Eric Dop’s season in net has been mostly just fine. Just like the rest of the team, he’s had some moments where he’s looked pretty darn good and other moments where he’s struggled a bit. He’s got a .901 save percentage which isn’t great, but I don’t know if there have been any loses that have been directly his fault.
Friday night felt like a pretty good representation of his season as a whole. The first goal BU scored, quite frankly, should not have happened. This needs to be a covered and whistled dead evey time:
Here's a look at how Dom got our student section buzzing with the game's first goal! pic.twitter.com/add5GTJWrK— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) December 11, 2021
That’s just not a goal that Dop can be letting up. It was a frustrating moment for sure and for a while, it felt like it might cost BC on the night. But just a few hours later, he did this:
That’s probably the best save Dop’s made in his time at BC and he couldn’t have picked a better time to come up big, especially considering his impressive 5-for-5 showing in the ensuing shootout.. The two plays against BU felt like an appropriate summation of the season we’ve gotten out of Dop so far. Some high highs mixed in with some low lows that all average out to something in the middle that’s mostly just been fine.
BIG THIRD PERIODS KEY IN BOTH GAMES
BC might have come away with a few good results from this past week, but they didn’t look particularly great in either game. Tuesday’s game against Brown felt like both teams were just going through the motions for the first 40 minutes and BU had the better of the play for good portions of Friday night’s game as well.
The difference in both games ended up being how BC came out of the locker room after the second intermission. Against Brown, the Eagles were up by a pretty unimpressive 2-1 secore after two periods before scoring two quick goals in about five minutes to go up 4-1 and pretty much wrap things up. BU had a 2-0 lead going into the third, but BC scored three times in the first 8:11 of the third period to completely flip things around and take a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles didn’t look great for long portions of these two games, but they showed that they might have the ability to turn it on when things get a bit dicey and that was good enough for this week. That might now be enough when BC takes on some better teams, but at least for now, it was enough to come away with a good result in these two games.
LONGER OVERTIMES PLEASE
Man, was that a fun overtime to watch on Friday night. BC and BU skated the full five minutes off three-on-three action almost without stoppages and it was just incredible to watch. Overtime in hockey is just one of those things that you can only watch on the edge of your seat, and it’s just such a deflating feeling when the buzzer sounds and it transitions to a shootout. I know this isn’t an original thought, but man it would be nice to just get a few more minutes of overtime and cut down on shootouts even more. That was just a heck of a five minute stretch on Friday night and I can’t imagine there would be much complaining if we got even a little bit more of that.