Can you believe it? Hockey season is finally here! Friday night, BC dropped the puck on the 2015-2016 season with a sharp win over Army West Point, 5-1.
Miles Wood got the season's scoring started in the first period after a flurry of BC chances with a snipe from the slot, and the Eagles poured it on from there.
Photos courtesy of Dustin Satloff
The second period saw a pair of BC goals with a third waved off for a player in the crease, with Chris Calnan and freshman Casey Fitzgerald joining Wood on the scoresheet. Another freshman, Chris Brown, put the Eagles up 4-0 early in the third period to put the game one ice pretty early.
Army wouldn't leave their season opener empty handed, though. Trevor Fidler cleaned up on a scrum in Demko's crease to give the Black Knights their only score of the game, but Zach Sanford stopped any Army momentum right in its tracks with a goal just over a minute later to make it 5-1 and finish up the scoring.
Everyone was excited to see what the freshmen would do -- and they obviously did not disappoint -- but the team's physicality and attitude was the real story of the game. Things got started early with Casey Fitzgerald and Army's Shane Hearn heading to the box just seconds into the game for roughing, and it got better from there. Post-whistle skirmishes were a common theme after almost every stoppage, and the Eagles were quick to let the Black Knights know that they wouldn't be pushed around.
Things got really crazy in the third period, when a total of 8 players were in the penalty box at once, including five (!) in Army's alone.
It was a good old-fashioned Agganis penalty box party.
Some quick hits as we look ahead to RPI on Sunday:
- Thatcher Demko looked every bit the fresh post-surgery goalie we had hoped. The one goal allowed was a scrum around his net that an Army player found at the right time. Notably, Demko looked comfortable and controlled in his net, making the medium-difficulty saves look easy -- the telltale sign of a great goaltender.
- All of the freshmen were very noticeable all game (it was obvious just looking at the scoresheet) but Casey Fitzgerald looks shockingly polished for being a freshman defenseman. He might have been the best D on the ice in this game.
- Jeremy Bracco is skilled but I'm sure Jerry York is going to need to sit the young man down and tell him not to show up the referees. At one point he gestured wildly toward the ref after an offside call and at one point, Demko had to escort him away from talking to the ref at the end of a period. He also plays with a flair that is going to get under the skin of a lot of our opponents.
I love it.
- The unsung hero of the game is Austin Cangelosi. Cangelosi came in with high expectations as a scorer and never really met the unrealistically high expectations everyone set for him. But after one game at least, he seems to have reinvented his role on the team. Cangelosi was the hardest working, hardest skating player on the ice for either team, and that's a much-needed role. Without the pressure on him to put up points, I have a hunch he's going to shine as the third line center.
At one point on a PK he killed an extra 15 seconds on his own one on four in the Army end. He was very impressive.
- BC outshot Army 40-23. When was the last time BC put up 40 shots?
Next up is a matchup with a respectable RPI team at 2pm on Sunday. As well as BC played Friday, they won't have it nearly as easy against the Engineers.