Going into the game, with three of BC's top forwards out of action, you might have seen a close 4-3 loss to Notre Dame as an acceptable, yet disappointing outcome. But after going up by two goals in the third period, there can be no excuse. The Eagles collapsed late against the Irish, giving up three unanswered goals to cough up what could have been one of the biggest wins of the season heading into the break.
Notre Dame Goal #1: 10:21 of the 1st period
Jack Jenkins (Bobby Nardella, Joe Wegwerth)
ND 1, BC 0
The game started out pretty sluggish, and it wasn't a result of Norovirus going around campus. Notre Dame's dull style of play clogged things up and made it difficult for either team to get anything going.
But the Irish had the better of the game in the first period and struck first. A deep shot from the blue line (get used to this, because you're going to see it a few times) went in toward Demko but was blocked out front by two skaters battling for position. It takes a favorable bounce for Notre Dame, and Demko is caught leaning the wrong way by Jenkins, who scored the game's first goal.
Boston College Goal #1: 15:04 of the 1st period
Adam Gilmour (Austin Cangelosi, Zach Sanford)
BC 1, ND 1
But BC did manage to find an equalizer to keep themselves level a few minutes later.
It's courtesy of a great individual effort from Gilmour who somehow manages to keep the puck on his stick while getting harassed all the way into the slot. Instead of dropping the puck off for the trailer, he takes the shot with the better angle and beats Cal Petersen for the goal.
The game stayed tied up for a long, long time, with neither team able to break the deadlock. Then things got crazy in the third period.
Boston College Goal #2: 3:48 of the 3rd period
Austin Cangelosi (Teddy Doherty, Zach Sanford)
BC 2, ND 1
BC took its first lead of the game early in the third period. Doherty fired one in from the blue line -- and was he intentionally aiming wide, or did he see Cangelosi creeping in on the back door?
Whether it was intentional or not, it found its way to Cangelosi, who just needed to tip the puck home.
Boston College Goal #3: 7:05 of the 3rd period
Austin Cangelosi (Teddy Doherty, Zach Sanford)
BC 3, ND 1
Same score line, and a very similar goal. This time Doherty is almost definitely looking for the deflection in front of the net from Fitzgerald, but it sails through clean and ricochets off the back wall. Cangelosi is the one who finds the puck before Petersen even realizes where it goes (does he even know angles? How does he expect the puck to come out where he's looking?) and puts the puck in the net for the two goal lead.
But now, unfortunately, things come apart at the seams. It might have been tired legs from long shifts without three of their forwards, it might have been complacency going up by two goals in the third period, or it might have been a combination of the two, but BC managed to fall apart completely.
Notre Dame Goal #2: 8:33 of the 3rd period
Jordan Gross (Dennis Gilbert, Dawson Cook)
BC 3, ND 2
Two Notre Dame goals, two shots from deep. This time, the puck finds its way all the way through about five bodies to Demko, and he really doesn't have a chance. I'm not sure if he even sees it.
Notre Dame Goal #3: 15:26 of the 3rd period
Andrew Oglevie (Jake Evans)
BC 3, ND 3
This is just upsetting. Right off the draw, and I mean immediately, Oglevie throws a "why not" shot in on Demko, and it is a laser. Demko is ready for the play off the faceoff but the puck finds its way right into the corner of the post and crossbar -- really the one place it could have beaten Demko -- and BC's lead has evaporated into thin air.
Notre Dame Goal #4: 19:38 of the 3rd period
Dennis Gilbert (Jordan Gross, Anders Bjork)
BC 4, ND 3
Yet another goal from the exact same spot in front of the blue line. Once again it finds its way all the way through untouched past Demko. With just 22 seconds left in the game, BC's goose is cooked.
No doubt about it, this was a heartbreaking, disappointing loss. The Eagles should have been able to come away with two points after finding their way two a multi-goal lead in the third period and the flat-out blew it.
Fortunately for BC, the break has come at the right time. The Eagles hadn't been playing their best hockey, and they need to rest up, get healthy, and find their game. The first half was pretty forgiving, but the second half gets pretty brutal.
After playing a pretty bad Ohio State team to kick off the holiday tournament, BC will likely have to run a gauntlet of Providence-Providence-Providence-Boston University-Boston University. That's #1 ranked and undefeated Providence, by the way, and your hated rival who currently sits on the right side of the Pairwise bubble.
BC heads into the break at 13-2-1, and despite the soft schedule it's hard to be disappointed with the record. But they'll need to improve over the course of the second half to be a championship contender.