For the first time since the 3rd game of the season, the BC offense broke out and scored more than 4 goals in a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the UMass minutemen.
There was a lot to like in this game, not the least of which was BC looking distinctly the better team (finally) against a team they should beat. It had been a while. Watching live, I was pretty happy with the game BC played. But the more I watched on replay while grabbing the GIFs, the more I was impressed with the Eagles.
UMass Goal #1: 0:46 of the 1st period
Ray Pigozzi (Steven Iacobellis, Marc Hetnik)
UMass 1, BC 0
It wasn't the greatest start, though. The Minutemen came out and kicked BC in the gut less than a minute into the game to take the early 1-0 lead.
Awful defense from BC. Pigozzi skates right through two Eagles—the crazy thing is those Eagles were Teddy Doherty and Noah Hanifin of all people—and beats Demko on the very first shot of the game. That's a pretty bad start.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG!!!!!!!!!!!): 15:24 of the 1st period
Chris Calnan (Scott Savage, Noah Hanifin)
BC 1, UMass 1
Fortunately, the BC offense showed up today and tied up the game late in the first period. They wouldn't trail again.
Astonishingly, the Eagles score a power play goal for the first time since the Tutankhamun administration.
And this is really part of the blueprint for BC's offense—blasts from the point and deflections off traffic in front of the net. Just the way they drew it up.
Boston College Goal #2: 16:24 of the 1st period
Cam Spiro (Unassisted)
BC 2, UMass 1
Look at Cam Spiro sending the Spiromaniacs into a frenzy! Spiro had a really nice game, highlighted by this goal.
UMass #4, Marc Hetnik, makes a pretty awful mistake. He's got full possession of the puck and instead of taking it into the corner to try and set up a breakout, he throws it blindly behind him, I'm guessing in an attempt to get the puck to one of the defenders skating in at the blue line. He doesn't realize that Spiro is all alone behind him, and Spiro skates in and snipes home the go-ahead goal for BC.
Boston College Goal #3: 15:16 of the 2nd period
Quinn Smith (Noah Hanifin, Austin Cangelosi)
BC 3, UMass 1
I said there was a lot to like in this game, and one of them was how the bottom lines finally started to get involved. Shot totals for each line (1st through 4th) were 10-4-7-2. That's pretty solid. And in fact, of the 4 goals scored by the forwards, all were scored by lines 2, 3, and 4. That's a great, great sign.
This goal wasn't pretty, but it's the result of BC doing a nice job breaking out and getting into the UMass end. The puck actually bounces off a UMass skate and past Henry Dill, but give Smith credit for getting into good position to make the goal happen.
UMass Goal #2 (PPG): 3:50 of the 3rd period
Troy Power (Ben Gallacher, Shane Walsh)
BC 3, UMass 2
The third period was all kinds of chaotic, with both teams trading goals rapid-fire early in the period. 4 goals in 4:48, in fact.
Not the easiest to tell exactly what happens here, but UMass takes a shot from the blue line that Troy Power is able to get a stick on to deflect past Demko. UMass pulls to within 1, and BC fans start to wonder...
Boston College Goal #4 (GWG): 6:00 of the 3rd period
Chris Calnan (Adam Gilmour)
BC 4, UMass 2
Perhaps my favorite part of BC's play last night was their success at breaking out of the defensive zone and leading to offensive rushes. It was the first game in a while where BC as actually looked pretty fast. That's a direct result of success from the defensemen in creating rushes from their own end.
It's another part of BC's blueprint for this year, and it really showed last night. This isn't your typical rush that we're used to seeing out of BC where it's burn 'em speed to create an odd-man opportunity. Both BC players who end up breaking through the UMass defense had to earn every inch of this rush. Calnan gets the goal, which ends up being the game winner.
Watch each BC player on the loop. This was a really, really nice goal, set up with a hybrid of both speed and blue-collar work ethic. One of my favorite goals of the season.
UMass Goal #3: 6:32 of the 3rd period
Marc Hetnik (Frank Vatrano, Ray Pigozzi)
BC 4, UMass 3
BC wasn't in the clear just yet, though. UMass answered 32 seconds later to once again get back within 1. Tough goal for Demko to give up, and he'd probably tell you he'd like to have this one back, but it looks like he was probably just a bit screened by Hanifin.
Credit where it's due, though; Hetnik gets off a really nice shot.
Boston College Goal #5: 8:38 of the 3rd period
Noah Hanifin (Brendan Silk, Quinn Smith)
BC 5, UMass 3 – FINAL
I've talked a lot about BC's "blueprint" for success this year, and most of it comes from the blue line: shots from the point getting tipped in front, quality breakouts from their own end, and offense coming from the defensemen.
Naturally, a lot of that is going to come from the phenom Noah Hanifin. Hanifin completely and utterly burns a UMass skater who probably didn't expect such explosive speed to come from such a big, young guy. He probably didn't expect Hanifin to skate in at all, to be honest, but the end result was that Hanifin gets by his man and has all kinds of room to come in and take the shot.
Hanifin can't get all the credit though. Shoutout to the UMass idiot who pushed a BC skater into his own goalie giving Hanifin pretty much the entire net to shoot at.
And that would do it. BC played one of its best games of the season and came away with a nice win. They'll hope to continue that tonight against Maine back in the friendly confines of Conte Forum. Puck drop is at 7pm, and we'll have all your coverage right here.