Not many people were expecting BC to upend Minnesota Friday night, but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow. Despite a short-lived attempt at a third period comeback, the Eagles fell short and dropped a tough 6-2 contest to the Golden Gophers.
BC started out with a tight defensive game, but it wasn't long before Minnesota started to take control.
Minnesota Goal #1: 16:57 of the 1st period
Sam Warning (Justin Kloos, Ryan Collins)
Minnesota 1, BC 0
Minnesota toyed with BC on this goal. Before the GIF started they lulled BC to sleep in their own end, passing in front of the goalie, drawing a couple BC forecheckers in, and finally breaking out. The two BC defensemen get totally burned by Kloos who comes in on a breakaway. Demko makes the save, but the puck plops right down into the slot and Warning roofs it home.
Minnesota Goal #2: 17:32 in the 2nd period
Vinni Lettieri (Unassisted)
Minnesota 2, BC 0
BC was hanging in there for a while, but the Gophers really took over in the 2nd period. BC could not get generate anything at all in Minnesota's end, and it was only a matter of time before Minnesota would convert and extend the lead.
Demko goes to play the puck up the boards and BC just gets beat to the puck. Might as well give Demko an assist on the goal. Before he can get set, Lettieri rifles the puck by him, and the one goal lead that felt massive already was doubled to 2.
Minnesota Goal #3 (GWG): 18:22 of the 2nd period
Ben Marshall (Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata)
Minnesota 3, BC 0
Less than a minute later, Minnesota scores again. Not one maroon jersey in front of Demko, but a blast from the point finds its way past Demko. The game feels totally lost at this point and the teams go into the locker room with the Gophers up 3-0.
But BC would at least make it interesting.
Boston College Goal #1: 6:05 of the 3rd period
Alex Tuch (Unassisted)
Minnesota 3, BC 1
Ah, hope! All it takes is one Minnesota mistake and BC started to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. A sloppy little move by the Gopher defenseman and the puck bounces off his skates right to Tuch.
Tuch frees himself from the other defender and is able to get a good stick on it to get BC on the board.
Boston College Goal #2: 6:05 of the 3rd period
Destry Straight (Adam Gilmour, Chris Calnan)
Minnesota 3, BC 2
Another greasy goal, and suddenly, out of nowhere, BC is right back in it! Destry Straight (where in the world has he come from the last couple weeks?) finds himself at the right place at the right time after some nice work by his linemates and chirps the puck past Wilcox. BC back within 1, and with so much time left, the fans start to think maybe something special's a-brewing.
Minnesota Goal #4: 9:43 of the 3rd period
Jake Bischoff (Kyle Rau, Mike Reilly)
Minnesota 4, BC 2
And then that happened.
Just when everyone was getting excited, the Gophers pick themselves up off the mat and get the big goal they need to stop the bleeding. A nice shot from the faceoff dot for Bischoff beats Demko, who's actually a little out of position, leaving the far side of the net open for the shot. That's really a credit to Bischoff, though, who holds the puck for a second rather than taking the one timer, which is what gets Demko sliding all the way across the crease.
Minnesota Goal #5: 13:07 of the 3rd period
Vinni Lettieri (Ryan Reilly, Christian Isackson)
Minnesota 5, BC 2
Any remaining glimmers of hope faded entirely with Minnesota's 5th goal of the night, regaining their original 3-goal lead and putting the game away for good.
This goal comes from a failed outlet pass stolen by Reilly for Minnesota. Reilly wraps around, finds an open Lettieri behind the defense, and Lettieri pops the puck over Demko's shoulder.
An empty net goal late would put the score at 6-2, and that was that. For a while, the game was close, and BC never really got lit up in shots, but unfortunately the 6-2 score was closer to how the game went than the 1-0 score that held through almost 2/3 of the game.
It was clear which was the better team, but BC hoped to threaten more than they did. Minnesota is an elite team, though, so the Eagles shouldn't hang their heads too much. A lot can change between now and April, should BC improve enough to advance to the NCAA tournament and face the Gophers again for a shot at retribution.
The Eagles move on to Saturday night's contest in Providence against the Friars, another tough opponent, but certainly a step down from the Gophers. Providence, like BC, is trying to dig themselves out of an early Pairwise hole. It will be important for BC to at least take a point for this to be a positive weekend.