It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't easy, but after putting on an early surge and jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead against Merrimack, Boston College was able to hold on and walk out of Lawler Arena with a crucial 4-2 league victory against the Warriors.
Oh, and it wasn't friendly, either. But we'll get to that.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 8:47 of the 1st period
Alex Tuch (Ian McCoshen, Noah Hanifin)
BC 1, MC 0
It would be stretching the truth to say that BC came out of the gates with guns blazing. It was actually all Merrimack for a few minutes while BC seemed to be finding their legs and the shots started out roughly 6-1 in favor of the Warriors.
But a Merrimack penalty turned all that momentum upside down and BC would get on the board. It's not the most organized power play setup in the world, but it was effective. Hanifin is trailing behind, straddling the blue line, acting as an outlet for McCoshen and allowing McCoshen to drift back over to the far point. He takes the one timer blast into traffic, finding Tuch on the redirect and giving BC the 1-0 lead.
Boston College Goal #2 (4v4): 10:12 of the 2nd period
Alex Tuch (Steve Santini, Adam Gilmour)
BC 2, MC 0
Why mess with success? BC wins the draw back to the blue line and this time it's Santini taking the long range shot. Much less traffic this time, but unfortunately for Merrimack Alex Tuch is still there, and still getting deflections like a boss. The time is two past Tirronen before the first intermission.
Boston College Goal #3 (GWG): 8:22 of the 2nd period
Austin Cangelosi (Teddy Doherty)
BC 3, MC 0
You'll want to follow the two guys in front of the net on this goal. One is Cangelosi, and I can't tell who the other one is—I think it's actually Cam Spiro. Whoever it is is fighting two Merrimack Warriors to the right of Tirronen. It is just enough to allow Cangelosi a little bit of space in the slot, where Doherty finds him on the wraparound pass from behind the net for the goal.
Everyone feeling good? Don't start feeling good; it all goes downhill from here.
Merrimack Goal #1: 9:33 of the 2nd period
Ben Bahe (Dan Kolomatis)
BC 3, MC1
This is like one of those GIFs that the kids like to tweet these days..."When Bahe says he be open in the slot..."
Anyway, it's a late-developing 3 on 2 for Merrimack, and Bahe peels off behind Kolomatis and goes right to the slot. There isn't an Eagle around to cover him, Kolomatis sends the pass over, and Bahe fires the puck past Demko to get Merrimack on the board.
Let's be perfectly clear about this: BC won the fight. Merrimack's guys got tossed around like a football at a tailgate. Also, how can you not love the edge that BC plays with this year? This is a team you want to be wearing your school's colors.
In the midst of all this fighting, a hockey game broke out. Somehow Merrimack got a lengthy power play out of all this. BC took a another penalty giving Merrimack a 5 on 3, and they would convert.
Merrimack Goal #2: 16:35 of the 2nd period
Brett Seney (Hampus Gustafsson, Jonathan Lashyn)
BC 3, MC 2
This goal was a series of unfortunate events for BC. Obviously being on the 5 on 3 penalty kill started it, but the goal itself is frustrating. Lashyn, #7, actually whiffs on this slapshot and it kind of floats wide right. Then it deflects off someone in front of the net and winds up on Seney's stick. He gets it past Demko, and that 3-0 lead we had was a distant memory.
The third period was an absolute nightmare for BC. They didn't get a single shot on goal—not one!—the entire period, until Adam Gilmour was able to break through shorthanded to tack on the empty netter. Merrimack was all over the Eagles. It was not good.
But nonetheless, BC did hold on and did hand Merrimack its first regulation loss at home of the season. That's pretty impressive, because Lawler is not an easy place to play.
The win puts BC in sole possession of 2nd place in Hockey East and keeps them in a solid position in the pairwise. Next up: a big, big game against Harvard in the Beanpot consolation. This isn't your typical 5pm matchup—both teams are tied for 11th in the Pairwise. This game matters a ton nationally for BC, and if they can walk out of the Garden with the win, they will be set up pretty nicely for the stretch run.