The Boston College men’s hockey team took home two wins from their weekend series with UConn, winning a 5-4 overtime thriller on Friday night before completing the sweep with a 3-0 shutout win on Saturday. It was a nice bounce back after the Eagles dropped some points to Maine last weekend, so let’s take one last look at some of what stood out from BC’s last two games.
NEW LOOK GAUTHIER LINE CLICKS
After a bit of a cold stretch where Cutter Gauthier’s line didn’t score an even strength goal for four straight games, head coach Greg Brown moved some things around and was immediately rewarded. Jack Malone was moved off of Gauthier’s line for the first time this season and replaced with Andre Gasseau after Gasseau and Gauthier were split up last weekend. Oskar Jellvik remained on the wing in both games.
The trio broke their even strength drought early with a goal from Gasseau in the first period of Friday’s game. More importantly, they looked more dangerous at five-on-five in Friday’s game than Gauthier’s line had looked in a while. Things weren’t as great on Saturday night, when the whole team seemed a bit sluggish, but Gauthier did score an even strength goal of his own late in the third period to put the game away.
It’s probably worth mentioning that through 12 games, Greg Brown not been willing to break up the all freshmen line. That makes total sense too, as all three of Ryan Leonard, Will Smith, and Gabe Perreault are at a point a game pace or better and have been BC’s best line to this point. But it does mean that there are only so many options when it comes to shaking up the lines if the team is struggling. The changes worked this weekend, but it will be interesting to see what happens if the team drops a few games in a row at some point this season.
STILL NOT FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
The Eagles came out of this weekend with two wins but by no means did they play their best hockey. On Friday night, they played what was probably their worst period of the season in the second, getting outscored by UConn and seeing a 3-1 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit before they made their comeback. And despite the 3-0 final score, they didn’t look very good on Saturday either, especially in the first two period. Jacob Fowler played great in net or things could have gone a lot differently in that one.
To be fair, it wasn’t all bad. The Eagles looked like they might run away with things in the first period on Friday night and their response in the third period after falling behind was enough to get them a win. And it’s hard to complain too much about shutout win on the road in Hockey East play. But things just haven’t been quite as crisp as they were earlier in the season for the past few weeks. And you can tell it just by looking at the box score sometimes. Jack Malone doesn’t have an even strength point in six games. Eamon Powell only has one in that same time. Colby Ambrosio doesn’t have a point at all over that stretch. Everything’s just a little bit slower right now and while it didn’t cost the team any points against UConn, you’d like to see them start clicking a bit more. There’s enough talent on this roster to believe that they should start clicking sooner than later, but it’s worth keeping an eye on over the next handful of games.
CUTTER GAUTHIER CLINCHING GAMES
Chase Bradley is a forward for UConn who had himself a pretty nice night on Friday. He scored two goals to give him four on the season and had six shots on the night. Unfortunately for him, however, he ended up covering the point in the third period on Saturday night when a defenseman pinched in for a loose puck and the wrong guy ended up skating at him
It doesn’t get much better than that from Cutter Gauthier. Skating right at a forward playing out of position, getting past him like he’s not even there, and absolutely firing home a wrist shot to put the game away. Gauthier scored three goals this weekend to give him 11 on the year so far (good for second in the country), but this was probably the best one he’s scored all season.