When you win a game against a bad team, it's usually tough to get a read on how good things really went. Did you really play well, or was the bad team just... bad?
Tonight wasn't one of those nights. The Terriers played what was actually a halfway decent game -- particularly goaltender Sean Maguire -- and there were enough specifics to get excited about where Friday night's closer-than-it-really-should-have-been 6-4 win over the Terriers can be looked at as a solid win.
Goal #1 (PPG)-- 19:14 of the 1st period: Adam Gilmour (Teddy Doherty, Ryan Fitzgerald)
BC 1, BU 1
Right off the bat we're got a couple things to get excited about.
After a so-so start out of the Eagles and a facepalm of a goal from BU, the Eagles found themselves down late in the first period, but on a power play. And the last few weeks, the BC power play has been a force.
Here we have the second unit in the last minute of the period doing some nice work to set up a pretty goal. Teddy Doherty -- who as a defenseman has been on the scoresheet in 6 of the 10 games he's played in lately -- sends in a slap pass to Adam Gilmour who kicks the puck to the backhand and twists Maguire into a pretzel.
Big positives here:
-The power play scoring (again)
-A fourth line guy putting together some offense
This isn't the last time we'll see either of these positives.
The first period ended 1-1. Not the best of periods for the Eagles where a lack of intensity seemed to be a hallmark. But the second would be a big improvement.
Goal #2 -- 4:35 of the 2nd period: Quinn Smith (Danny Linell, Michael Sit)
BC 2, BU 1
Another blue collar goal by a line other than the superline.
Danny Linell, back at forward after months of pleading from the fan base, forces a turnover by Ahti Oksanen, #4 for BU, and takes a shot that Maguire can't corral. Smith, going hard to the net, takes the puck and has a quality finish to give BC a 2-1 lead.
Maguire was kind of an enigma tonight. He made some highlight-reel saves (some of the best we've seen all year), but also let through 5 goals, and gave up all of the rebounds. On this play... holy rebound, Batman.
Two goals and no sign of Johnny Hockey... where can he be?
Goal #3 (PPG) -- 11:05 of the 2nd period: John Gaudreau (Bill Arnold, Kevin Hayes)
BC 3, BU 1
OOH, OOH, THERE HE IS!
Oh the passing! Bill Arnold was probably the best player on the ice tonight, but this was the only point he had. perfect tape-to-taoe pass to Gaudreau who couldn't have picked a better place on the ice to take a shot. As good as Maguire was for most of the game tonight, he wasn't going to stop this one.
And another power play goal! It was BC's 2nd of two power plays and they were able to convert on both. I've been saying it for a couple weeks now, but if BC is able to get their power play going, on top of their already-NCAA leading scoring pace, they are going to be just unfair.
3-1 was the score after a much more encouraging second period. It wasn't quite domination, but it was definitely all BC.
It didn't feel like much of a game, but the Terriers made it one. An early goal in the third period to make it 3-2 got things a bit tense, but more fourth line magic was able to lighten the mood... at least temporarily.
Goal #4 -- 6:20 of the 3rd period: Chris Calnan (Adam Gilmour)
BC 4, BU 2
You can't really tell from the highlight, but this goal came totally out of nowhere. BC was in danger of coasting their way into danger with BU already back within a goal, but Chris Calnan was able to pop in what was really a botched pass to go back up by two.
And that wouldn't be all out of this line.
Goal #5 (GWG) -- 9:27 of the 3rd period: Adam Gilmour (Chris Calnan, Brendan Silk)
BC 5, BU 2
FOURTH LINE! What'd I tell ya. Doing some serious work tonight.
Who knew that the nicest goal of the game would come out of the fourth liners? It was the kind of great play that made the finish all too easy.
It was Calnan who had the slick feed, and Gilmour who had the finish, but Silk set this whole play up. After keeping possession on what was nearly a turnover, he gets taken out at the blue line but is able to chip the puck forward to a streaking Calnan.
Suddenly the game felt like a laugher, but a laugher it would not be.
Brian Billett had a rough game. It was his first real stinker of the season, and we came away with the win, but it wasn't his best night. The Terriers were able to get two more quick goals by him to pull within 1 with just a few minutes left.
4 goals on 27 shots isn't going to cut it. Demko is going to get an opportunity to 'win the weekend' in the goalie battle, so to speak, in Saturday night's game against the Black Bears.
But it's okay. Johnny Hockey's got his goalie's back.
Goal #6 (ENG) -- 19:22 of the 3rd period: John Gaudreau (Kevin Hayes, Steve Santini)
BC 6, BU 4 -- FINAL
It might be an empty netter, but this isn't your garden-variety stat-padding empty net goal. After some strong BU play and way more stress than was necessary, the Eagles won a late faceoff and Gaudreau found his way to the puck. A high backhand over Garrett "Goonan" Noonan sealed the deal in a stressful, but decent BC victory.
Not the best of wins, but it's a win in a rivalry game and it's two league points -- a league that BC is starting to run away with, now with a 4 point lead over Northeastern (???) with the tiebreaker and a game in hand.
BC earned some separation from #3 in the Pairwise with Ferris State's loss. So all is well.
Two other quick points before signing off:
--I have never seen the BC student section, for any sport, so jam-packed a full 30 minutes before game time. That was incredible. Both sections behind the nets and the entire balcony were completely, 100% full. What a show of support for the team.
--To the BU fans who showed up and responded to the students' usual chant of "BU Football," the response of "BC Basketball" was well played. Touché, kids. Touché.
The Eagles have to ready themselves for an even bigger game Saturday against Maine at 7pm. Expect Thatcher Demko in net and a higher quality team than these Terriers.
Highlights below. We'll see you back here Saturday night.