Early on, it looked like BC might actually pull out a laugher in front of the legions of Terrier fans lining the glass at Agganis Arena. But of course, the Battle of Comm Ave doesn't work that way.
After taking a commanding 3-0 lead on the Terriers early, BU chipped away and made things interesting. But a long empty netter sealed the deal, and the Eagles walked out of Our House with a gigantic 4-2 win.
Like the first matchup of the year between these two teams, the Eagles absolutely came out flying. But then the game started to get, well, just a bit chippy.
Welcome to the Green Line Rivalry.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 6:41 of the 1st period
Noah Hanifin (Ian McCoshen, Alex Tuch)
BC 1, BU 0
A few penalties later, BC was handed a 5-on-3. This is the first of two 5-on-3's for BC in this game, and the first of two they would convert on.
Before this goal there was a bit of passing around the perimeter with everyone on both teams tentatively playing in position. Suddenly Tuch gets pressured and dumps the puck off to McCoshen, who sees the opportunity to get the puck to Hanifin for a good chance.
Hanifin buries it, and BC takes the early lead.
Boston College Goal #2: 17:43 of the 1st period
Alex Tuch (Noah Hanifin, Gilmour)
BC 2, BU 0
Noah Hanifin is a 17 year old kid with the hockey skills of a grown ass man.
I like the play of Gilmour, #14, to start this play. He gathered the puck in and spotted Hanifin streaking in with much more speed, so he dumps it off to him above the blue line. Hanifin roasts #20, Brien Diffley, and wraps around the net with more than enough space to find Tuch coming in behind the play.
Let's play a quick game, shall we? It's called Find The Eichel. I'll give you a hint -- he's the one defending absolutely nobody on a 4-on-4 when there's lots of open ice and staying on your man is crucial.
Eichel coasts into the play -- literally coasts, follow him on this GIF, he doesn't make a single stride the whole time -- and floats into the middle of the ice, where he is quite literally not doing the tiniest bit to help his team defend a rush.
Anyway, Tuch comes in and could make a goddamn sandwich before shooting with how much space he has, and converts on the chance to put BC up 2-0.
Great celebration after the goal, by the way.
That was it for the first period, but BC's strong start wouldn't end there.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG, GWG): 13:23 of the 2nd period
Alex Tuch (Ryan Fitzgerald, Ian McCoshen)
BC 3, BU 0
This is a nice play on the 5-on-3 and really excellent awareness from Alex Tuch.
Fitzgerald gets the puck down low and everyone, especially the three BU defenders around O'Connor, think BC is going to try to force a shot across the crease to the Eagle waiting at the back door, or else pass it back up to McCoshen to set things back up again, giving the BU defenders a chance to expand back out and defend the shooters.
That's not the case, though. Tuch recognizes the defenders crashing in and backs out into the very empty slot. Fitzgerald sees him there, gives him a nice tape-to-tape pass, and from that part of the ice, you're going to score a pretty high percentage of the time.
Unfortunately, the Terriers' speed drew a penalty at the very end of the 2nd period that carried over into the fresh ice of the early third, and things started to get tense.
Boston University Goal #1 (PPG): 1:17 of the 3rd period
Danny O'Regan (Jack Eichel, Evan Rodrigues)
BC 3, BU 1
Lots of traffic in front of the net on this goal, and I doubt Demko got a good look at it. O'Regan skates the puck out of the corner with the help of a little give-and-go with Eichel. He takes what looks like a harmless shot on net, but with all the bodies in front, it finds a way through to cut into BC's lead.
Boston University Goal #2: 16:37 of the 3rd period
Matt Lane (Nikolas Olsson, Brandon Hickey)
BC 3, BU 2
Now it's time to panic. BC did a great job breaking the puck out of its own end tonight, but this was not one of those times. A bad turnover along the boards and a quick turnaround by Olsson puts BU on a quick rush.
Olsson takes the shot, which might have gone off the BC defender, and it gets Demko completely off balance as Lane finds the rebound and just slips it past, into the net. BC's lead is down to just one with plenty of time left for the Terriers to find the equalizer.
But BC responded well. The Eagles actually put together a couple stellar chances on O'Connor before the BU goaltender headed to the bench for the extra skater. With just under a minute left on the clock, BC put the game away.
Boston College Goal #4 (ENG): 19:27 of the 3rd period
Zach Sanford (Unassisted)
BC 4, BU 2 -- FINAL
Was this maybe an ill-advised shot, with the potential for icing there when Sanford could just bank the puck out and kill extra clock? Possibly, but seeing the thrilled Superfans in the crowd on the long empty netter makes me not care.
Now the Eagles will hop on the bus tomorrow for the long ride up to Orono for Sunday's matchup against the Black Bears, followed by Wednesday's mid-week gave against Merrimack. BC will need to put the emotions of beating BU behind them and fully prepare for the upcoming games to avoid a letdown.