It’s been a tough couple months for Boston College Men’s Hockey. Since late November, the Eagles haven’t quite been able to come away with wins when they need to. The effort has been there, and at times the Eagles have played pretty well, but BC’s opponents have been making more plays and coming away with the wins. That “close-but-not-quite” talent level has been pretty evident in BC’s 5-7-2 record over their last 14 games.
It was more of the same in Monday’s Beanpot semifinal against Northeastern. BC skated with the Huskies and even outplayed them for the majority of the game, but a lack of finishing for BC combined with an elite top line for the Huskies saw BC drop the early semifinal by a score of 3-0.
Northeastern Goal #1 (PPG, GWG): 9:47 of the 1st period
Dylan Sikura (Jeremy Davies, Adam Gaudette)
NU 1, BC 0
This game was pure frustration for the Eagles, particularly in the first two periods. The Eagles came out with several very strong shifts, controlling the game territorially and putting a few good chances on net. But Northeastern goaltender Cayden Primeau stood tall on each one.
So of course, all it took to watch the game circle the drain as a BC penalty to tilt the ice back in the other direction. After BC controlled the opening 10 minutes, the Huskies scored to take the lead on the power play thanks to an unfortunate deflection of the stick of Casey Fitzgerald. If you want to see just how much things are not going BC’s way right now, watch the slow-motion replay in the GIF above — there’s a tiny puck-sized hole between Joe Woll’s pads and his glove, and that deflection manages to find it.
Northeastern Goal #2: 15:34 of the 2nd period
Nolan Stevens (Dylan Sikura, Adam Gaudette)
NU 2, BC 0
It was once again more of the same story in the second period. The Eagles were playing stride for stride with Northeastern — and, truthfully, outplaying them for a few good, strong shifts — but BC just could not find that next pass or that great finish to beat Primeau and even the game. Then late in the second period, Northeastern scored once again to twist the knife.
While this is Northeastern’s elite top line on the ice, it isn’t any super slick goal scoring opportunity that they create. Sikura doesn’t really have much of a plan on the shot from the point except to throw it in on net. The problem is, the Huskies are doing what BC couldn’t quite seem to do all game — put an Eagle in position in front of the net to make something happen. Stevens is there for Northeastern to take care of Woll’s rebound and make it 2-0 Huskies, and BC is basically staring into the abyss from here.
Northeastern Goal #3: 15:21 of the 3rd period
Adam Gaudette (Nolan Stevens, Jeremy Davies)
NU 3, BC 0
BC had a slow start to the third period and couldn’t get much of anything going until the period was about half over, but they did get a couple opportunities thanks to Northeastern penalties.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t convert on those chances (though they did hit a post), and the Huskies were once again the ones to find the back of the net.
It’s the same thing as Northeastern’s second goal. The Huskies fire on net, and they have a man on the doorstep ready for a rebound or a deflection. No one does anything to neutralize Gaudette at the top of the crease until it’s far too late, and he finds the rebound Northeastern is looking for to put the game on ice for a 3-0 final.
It was truly frustrating for the Eagle skaters, but it’s more depressing than anything else for Eagle fans. BC is skating hard and not playing badly, but other teams are just doing better and, to put it bluntly, have better high-end talent. It feels like this team has the type of roster that can develop into a strong all-around team, but they’re just not there yet.
The Eagles will face the loser of tonight’s Harvard/Boston University semifinal at 5pm next Monday.