All day, the question was whether or not the Eagles playing for Team USA would make it to Dartmouth after the Americans' early exit from World Juniors. With about an hour until game time, @BCHockeyNews let everyone know that the Eagles had landed.
Pretty good seeing these guys in Hanover... pic.twitter.com/ZWs6IiaClt— BC Hockey (@BCHockeyNews) January 3, 2015
That news put BC at nearly full strength, minus Demko and Santini, for the Ledyard Bank Classic final against Dartmouth. It took just about all 60 minutes, but the Eagles were able to come from behind in the third period to top the Big Green and win their first trophy of the year, 3-2.
The first period was a tale of two halves and two goaltenders. BC opened strong with good pressure and a few chances, but they couldn't get any past Dartmouth goaltender James Kruger. As the period went on, though, Dartmouth started to take control a bit and get some pressure on Brad Barone, But Barone, seeking his second career win in as many nights, matched Kruger save for save in the first period.
In the second, BC once again came out strong and was able to open the scoring.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 3:50 of the 2nd period
Adam Gilmour (Zach Sanford, Noah Hanifin)
BC 1, Dartmouth 0
BC gets a power play goal on a somewhat unconventional scrum in front of the net, but no one is going to complain given that it was BC's third consecutive power play to result in a goal.
Hanifin takes the initial shot from the faceoff dot and then presumably in that pile, Sanford gets a stick on it at given that he's credited with an assist. Eventually the puck trickles down low where Gilmour is able to whack the puck home and give BC the early lead.
Unfortunately, like the first period, Dartmouth built up pressure as the period wore on.
Dartmouth Goal #1: 9:59 of the 2nd period
Brett Patterson (Geoff Ferguson, Kyle Nickerson)
BC 1, Dartmouth 1
This puck goes in clean off the stick of #13 Patterson and it's probably one Barone would want back. There are a few bodies right in front but given that it went straight in without a deflection, that's a tough one to give up.
Still, hard to pin really anything on Barone this weekend given that he did exactly what BC needed him to do and earned two wins -- the first two of his career.
Just like Friday against Brown, the game started to see a parade of Eagles to the penalty box. Unfortunately, Dartmouth isn't nearly as inept on the man advantage as the Bears.
Dartmouth Goal #2: 16:59 of the 2nd period
Jack Barre (Eric Neiley, Corey Kalk)
Dartmouth 2, BC 1
This one isn't too dissimilar to BC's first goal. Another scrum in front of the net on a power play that sees the puck drift out of the pile out wide where a shooter is able to find it and beat the scrambling goaltender. This time it's Dartmouth on the attack and BC goes into the locker room down 2-1.
It was a pretty deflating moment. BC had been poised to go up 2-0 on a couple of odd-man rushes but couldn't convert. It was at that point that the Big Green started to clamp down and take control. Two quick goals and the Eagles found themselves behind.
Fortunately, BC woke up for the third period.
Boston College Goal #2: 1:50 of the 3rd period
Chris Calnan (Michael Matheson, Quinn Smith)
BC 2, Dartmouth 2
Matheson has been making us bang our heads into the wall lately with some untimely penalties but this right here is the Matheson we know and love.
The junior turns on the jets and roasts #3 Josh Hartley before making a power move to the net. Kruger is there to stop the chance but a pair of Big Green Oafs plow into their own goaltender sending him down and out while Calnan is able to come in and finish the play on a gaping net.
The play was briefly reviewed but there was nothing to see here.
The goal early in the third to tie the game was critical -- BC had eighteen minutes to complete the comeback, and they needed almost all of them.
Boston College Goal #3 (GWG): 16:04 of the 3rd period
Teddy Doherty (Zach Sanford, Michael Sit)
BC 3, Dartmouth 2 -- FINAL
This goal came out of absolutely nowhere. Some really nice play along the boards and a pass back toward the net, but nothing really dangerous despite Sanford having some space to maneuver. Dartmouth even did what appeared to be a good job blocking the passing lane, until, well, it didn't.
In comes Teddy Doherty who had beaten his man going hard to the net, and suddenly a harmless play behind the net becomes a prime scoring opportunity. Doherty didn't miss, and BC was able to hold on in a frantic final two minutes to take the weekend sweep, the Ledyard Bank Classic trophy, and most importantly, the Pairwise jump that came along with it.
The Eagles crept up to 19th in the Pairwise with the win, building a modest 4 game winning streak into next week's home-and-home against Northeastern. The Huskies have turned their season around, going 5-1-1 in their last 7 games with wins against #16 Merrimack, #13 Providence, and #10 Minnesota (alol).
BC heads to Matthews Arena on Friday night before returning to Conte Forum Saturday afternoon for the 2nd leg on NESN. This will be a good test for BC to see if they can carry their winning streak into a big Hockey East weekend.