We BC fans are fickle. Just a couple weeks ago, riding a 3 game losing streak with a few big names out of the lineup, BC had 4 straight games to come against Providence and BU—both on fire and comfortably in the top 10 in the country. There was talk of an extended losing streak and a lost season.
O, we of little faith. After taking 3 points from Providence, BC took game one from Boston University 5-3 in a thrilling come-from-behind victory at Conte Forum.
It didn't start as a thriller. First period shots were only 8-5 in favor of the Terriers, with both teams feeling each other out and a ton of neutral zone play. But an untimely penalty kill put BC in a hole going into the first intermission.
Boston University Goal #1 (PPG): 18:01 of the 1st period
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (Ahti Oksanen, Matt Grzelcyk)
BU 1, BC 0
1-0 BU pic.twitter.com/wh3icef07k— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 15, 2016
BU comes in on the rush and with BC shorthanded, the Eagles are forced to collapse in due to BU's speed. That allows a lot of space for the trailing man, Forsbacka Karlsson, enough time to gather the puck in and move into a shooting lane.
It's not quite as deep as a lot of the goals BC has given up this year, but it's because of BC's collapsing in on the net (as they were kind of forced to do) that leads to the goal.
That was it for the scoring in the first period, and with how tentative things were early on, you would have been forgiven for thinking this would have been a grind it out, 2-to-1-type game. But things opened up in a big way for the final 40 minutes.
Boston College Goal #1 (SHG, Penalty Shot): 2:01 of the 2nd period
Austin Cangelosi (Unassisted)
BC 1, BU 1
WHAT pic.twitter.com/JTmkx7w1XR— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
How can you do anything but laugh watching this goal? Cangelosi channels his inner Patrick Kane with this pantsing of BU's Sean Maguire.
It was a big-time goal to break the ice for BC, particularly on the penalty kill, and it gave BC a little bit of life.
Boston University Goal #2 (PPG): 2:18 of the 2nd period
Ahti Oksanen (Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Danny O'Regan)
BU 2, BC 1
2-1 BU pic.twitter.com/DsK94ZdId9— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
But BU came right back. On the same power play, the get the goal plus the And-1 power play on top of it.
And seriously, what a pass from Forsbacka Karlsson. Taken out completely, he somehow manages to throw the puck out front to a waiting Oksanen. It was like he planned it. Yeesh. Tip your cap.
Boston College Goal #2: 5:18 of the 2nd period
Zach Sanford (Teddy Doherty, Ian McCoshen)
BC 2, BU 2
2-2! pic.twitter.com/kfUkDIF1Uw— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
This whole thing starts with Teddy Doherty. We've been critical of the coaching staff for taking Doherty off the blue line, but the man makes things happen no matter where he's playing.
Doherty wins a battle below the goal line, sending the puck along the boards. Tuch gets there the same time a Terrier does, and Tuch wins his battle. He sends the puck on net and Maguire leaves a big rebound right in traffic. Sanford gathers it into the backhand and puts the puck in to tie the game.
That's not a highlight reel goal in the traditional sense, but it's kind of goal that you can really be proud of.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG): 15:35 of the 2nd period
Colin White (Casey Fitzgerald, Ian McCoshen)
BC 3, BU 2
3-2, BC leads! pic.twitter.com/XvG2pb3RzQ— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
BC's power play got better and better as the game went on, and it was a critical part of the win—particularly when BU got 3 PPGs of their own.
This is a great example of how to executed with a man advantage. When you see guys passing up high or along the boards on a power play looking like they're just wasting time, they are hoping that a passing line like this develops.
Fitzgerald The Younger down low receives the pass and White gives him the perfect opportunity. White sneaks in on the backside, and the timing is perfect for Fitzgerald The Younger to thread the needle. With Maguire going post to post, White has all of the net to shoot at and doesn't miss.
Boston University Goal #3 (PPG): 15:48 of the 3rd period
Bobo Carpenter (Matt Lane, Charlie McAvor)
BC 3, BU 3
3-3, BU ties it pic.twitter.com/GTQ8CsBVH2— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
Sean Maguire kept his team in the game as BC was really buzzing in the third period. But as has been the case way, way too often for the Eagles, penalties let their opponent off the mat.
Late in the third period, BU got the equalizer. It was an unfortunate goal—BU takes a shot that Demko should probably handle, but it takes a funny bounce off his shoulder. The puck bounces almost straight up in the air, drops down on his back, and somehow or other ends up behind the goal line before the net comes off.
Gut Check Time Number 73,832 for the Eagles. They give up the lead late in the third period yet again, but with some time to respond. Do they regroup, or do they collapse?
Lately, we've been seeing BC really dig deep.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG, GWG): 17:50 of the 3rd period
Ian McCoshen (Ryan Fitzgerald, Austin Cangelosi)
BC 4, BU 3
BOSTON COLLEGE LEADS 4-3 WITH 2:10 REMAINING!! pic.twitter.com/heQUX7jMdI— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
Thanks to a "tripping" call that sent an Eagle awkwardly into the boards, BC had an opportunity to take the game in regulation. And man oh man, if it weren't for the back of the net, this shot from McCoshen probably had enough juice to reach escape velocity.
That is a cannon of a shot. My goodness.
Boston College Goal #5 (ENG): 19:47 of the 3rd period
Ian McCoshen (Miles Wood, Steve Santini)
BC 5, BU 3 -- FINAL
Empty net! pic.twitter.com/wh2Fy939Ss— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) January 16, 2016
McCoshen gets the empty netter as well (and from crazy distance), and BC walks away with a gutsy, thrilling, big time rivalry win.
It's really something to see how well BC plays with a full roster. All three losses in their losing streak came with at least one—and as many as three—key players missing from the lineup, and yet the Eagles still have not lost all season by more than one goal.
With everyone back, BC has not only been able to win, but their offense has been a night and day difference. They've scored 16 goals in the three games since they've had all of their skaters and have gone from looking at an extended losing streak to looking poised for a big run.
The win gets Jerry York to 999 career wins, with one more BC/BU matchup on the docket for Saturday at Agganis Arena. The Eagles have an opportunity to take a historic victory on the home ice of their hated rival.
It doesn't get much better than that.