Despite looking pretty good in a 3-point weekend over UNH last week, it wasn't enough to get BC fans optimistic for the 2nd half. One game later, that might have changed. The Eagles rode a hot start into a quality 5-1 win over Michigan to head into the winter break above .500.
Last week we talked about how Jerry York juggled the lines and how it seemed to create a bit of a spark, despite BC's disappointing tie to the Wildcats up at the Whit. But the spark was still there Saturday night against Michigan.
Boston College Goal #1 (4v4): 5:44 of the 1st period
Teddy Doherty (Adam Gilmour, Alex Tuch)
BC 1, UM 0
BC's first period was the best it's had all season, and they got on the board early. Teddy Doherty skated in on a 2 on 1 with Adam Gilmour and did the work himself with a snipe that popped the water bottle behind Zach Nagelvoort for the 1-0 lead.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 7:42 of the 1st period
Ian McCoshen (Cam Spiro, Matt Gaudreau)
BC 2, UM 0
We've got another snipe, this time off the stick of McCoshen. Spiro wins a puck battle along the boards and is able to backhand it back to McCoshen who is all alone in the high slot. When Spiro releases the puck, all five Wolverines are below the faceoff dots. This gives McCoshen a ton of room to whip a shot in on net, and at that angle he has a lot of it to shoot at. The goal puts BC up 2-0.
Boston College Goal #3: 14:03 of the 1st period
Destry Straight (Michael Matheson, Alex Tuch)
BC 3, UM 0
Look at BC ripping off some cannon fire on the Wolverines!
It's great vision from Matheson at the point that sets this goal up. Matheson sees Straight all alone at the faceoff dot and gets the puck over to him cleanly, right on the tape. Straight dials up an absolutely ruthless wrist shot that goes in and out of the net so fast it had to be reviewed.
Straight has been a man on a mission lately. It wasn't totally a Michigan screw-up that led to this goal. Straight was playing on the doorstep but saw the open space and went for it. Just off camera you can see him rightfully calling for the puck. He cashed in on the opportunity beautifully.
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for BC, though. The second period was a brutal display where the Eagles couldn't get anything going and they were bailed out several times by Thatcher Demko, who had himself an excellent game.
Michigan's momentum carried over into the third period.
Michigan Goal #1 (PPG): 3:38 of the 3rd period
Dylan Larkin (Cristoval Nieves, Zach Nagelvoort)
BC 3, UM 1
Things start to get a little tense for BC with this goal. Tough to tell what happens, but Nieves takes some kind of shot-pass in the general direction of the net. Somehow the puck takes a funky bounce to Larkin either off his skates or otherwise, but it winds up right on his stick on Demko's doorstep. He takes a nice backhand shot and Michigan pulls to within 2.
It took a little while in the third period, but BC would finally find their skates again.
Boston College Goal #4: 12:51 of the 3rd period
Quinn Smith (Michael Sit, Chris Calnan)
BC 4, UM 1
This isn't the most threatening shot in the world, but what you have to like the most (in a weird, morbid sort of way) is Chris Calnan getting absolutely blown up but still managing to get the puck into the offensive zone.
Michigan's #6 Brennan Serville misplays the puck along the boards right onto the stick of Quinn Smith, and Nagelvoort probably wishes he has this one back. BC's back up by 3 late, and this one is just about in the books.
Boston College Goal #5 (ENG): 18:43 of the 3rd period
Quinn Smith (Chris Calnan, Michael Matheson)
BC 5, UM 1 -- FINAL
Probably not the best overall effort out of BC, but certainly the best period of the season in the 1st, which was enough for BC to cruise to a big win over a decent team. Michigan had been playing pretty well, winning 4 in a row and 6 of its last 7 games, including an 8-3 blowout over rival Ohio State last weekend.
BC is truly becoming a team with balanced scoring, and not "0 goals for each line" balanced. BC has 10 players between 0.53 and 0.75 PPG and 6 players (!) within 1 point of the team lead. That's some kind of balance.
And the shot totals in this game tell that story. The top 4 lines put 6, 4, 7, and 4 shots on goal respectively. That's exactly what we have been hoping to see all season.
That wraps up the first half, with BC heading home for the holidays until the Ledyard Classic at Dartmouth on January 2nd and 3rd. As they all are at this point given the hole they've dug, this was a big win, and it sends the Eagles into the break with some momentum and a winning record.
BC will kick off the half with 4 very winnable games against Brown, Dartmouth, and Northeastern, before hopping on the Green Line down to BU. A nice winning streak could see BC finally at the edge of NCAA tournament eligibility going into trophy season and the season-ending Hockey East grind.