Perhaps we panicked too soon?
Boston College returned to Conte Forum for the 2nd half on a three game losing streak, dropping them all the way to the Pairwise bubble and edging some of us to the edge of panic mode. Sure, the Eagles were painfully shorthanded in all of those games, but with four straight games looming against PC and BU, there were thoughts of an extended losing streak.
The Eagles put all that to rest on Friday night with a terrific effort culminating in a 7-3 blowout over the #3 ranked Friars.
Boston College Goal #1: 6:38 of the 1st period
Colin White (Ryan Fitzgerald, Casey Fitzgerald)
BC 1, PC 0
The Eagles came to play right out of the gate. They were passing well and winning battles, and they were rewarded pretty quickly.
Welcome home, Colin White! Boy, did BC miss this wunderkind.
Joe and I often describe going off and playing in the World Junior hockey championship as similar to a hitter in baseball swinging with a donut in the on deck circle. We've seen it so many times where players come back after playing against the top young players in the world and go ham on the Hockey East schedule in the second half.
It's one game, but that might be the case with White.
He deserves an assist on his own goal. He sets up the play with the start of a give and go with Fitzgerald The Elder and goes right to the net. Fitzgerald sends it right back and the deflection work as intended giving BC the early lead.
Boston College Goal #2: 12:43 of the 1st period
Alex Tuch (Zach Sanford)
BC 2, PC 0
Providence blocked a ton of shots, but I think they might be glad they didn't block this one.
This is such a laser shot that even Kylo Ren wouldn't have been able to stop this in flight. It comes immediately after a clean faceoff win. We'll see some more of this as the game goes on.
Providence College Goal #1: 18:12 of the 1st period
John Gilmour (Erik Foley, Mark Jankowski)
BC 2, PC 1
Again, right off the draw, but this one in PC's favor. It's another one of those goals from distance that we've been complaining about and you can get a real good idea for what has been happening to allow these types of goals.
BC has done a great, great job so far this season in owning the slot and taking away those high-percentage shots. But in doing so and collapsing into the slot to take away those chances, they are also contributing to screening their own goalie.
On this goal it's twice as bad because not only does BC clog up Milosz' line of sight, but Gilmour, the BC skater up top, collapses in a bit as well letting the shooter get just a bit closer and more centered. It results in a good scoring chance despite the distance, and the goal for PC.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG): 0:32 of the 2nd period
Colin White (Zach Sanford, Scott Savage)
BC 3, PC 1
Like a lot of aspects of BC's game, the power play looked better than it has all season. This was the first of three power play goals for the Eagles and it came right at the start of the second period to give them back some insurance.
This goal is probably on Providence goalie Nick Ellis. Savage's initial shot from the corner doesn't look like it's going through much traffic—maybe just one Friar up top, really—and Ellis for a second looks like he has it in his glove.
He doesn't control it though, and after it pops out, there are Eagles there to make sure it ends up in the net.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG, GWG): 7:55 of the 2nd period
Alex Tuch (Colin White, Zach Sanford)
BC 4, PC 1
Tuch gets the goal but my God, Colin White is something, isn't he? White just totally skates around a couple of Friars and feeds the puck across the crease, through the legs of a Friar, which being taken down behind the net.
Tuch had so much net to shoot at that both he and White, skidding into the boards behind the net, start celebrating before the puck even hits the twine. Party on.
Providence College Goal #2: 11:26 of the 2nd period
Nick Saracino (Brian Pinho)
BC 4, PC 2
Yet another goal right off the draw. This goal happened so quickly off the faceoff that the camera wasn't even back from showing crowd shots before Saracino started making his move to the net.
That's a nice move from Saracino but how can a guy take the puck that freely off a faceoff and go right to the net?
Well, I mean, I've seen it before. But BC is going to have to clean those up. As good as they were on faceoffs in this game, when it was bad, it was bad.
Boston College Goal #5: 13:45 of the 2nd period
Austin Cangelosi (Ryan Fitzgerald)
BC 5, PC 2
Of all the good things to take from this game, easily the best, to me, was BC's ability to respond after the Friars would get one back.
BC has led in the third period in all but one of their games this season, including all of their losses on their recent winning streak. So when the Friars scored their goals in this game, it was hard not to think "uh oh...is this the goal that starts the comeback again?"
Again and again and again in this game, the answer was a resounding "no." The Friars made some plays, but after their goals the Eagles would come out and jump right into the strong game they were playing before the goal was scored. So while the game was never a laugher, the Eagles never let the Friars truly get back into the game.
How about that shot from Cangelosi, huh? He sure sold me on the pass.
Providence College Goal #3: 0:49 of the 3rd period
Jake Walman (John Gilmour, Trevor Mingoia)
BC 5, PC 3
At the end of the second period, Fitzgerald The Elder and White both took penalties on the same whistle, giving Providence a full two minutes of 5 on 3. BC was able to get into the locker room unscathed, but the Friars would convert on the two man advantage on this blast from the top of the slot.
There's only so much you can do on a 5 on 3, so it is what it is. So even though White's penalty may have been a bit soft to put PC on the 5 on 3 in the first place, the Eagles have to do everything they can to limit these opportunities.
Boston College Goal #6 (HT): 3:47 of the 3rd period
Colin White (Matty Gaudreau, Ryan Fitzgerald)
BC 6, PC 3
That's a hat trick for White in his first game back from World Juniors. Fitzgerald the Elder creates a turnover as the Friars are trying to get the puck out of their own end, and he sends the puck right in on net. Gaudreau and White are there to give new goalie Hayden "Cawlidge" Hawkey a hard time, and white is the guy who ends up getting his stick on it.
Once again, another big, big response from BC after the Friars try and inch their way back.
Boston College Goal #7 (PPG): 7:36 of the 3rd period
Ryan Fitzgerald (Miles Wood, Ian McCoshen)
BC 7, PC 3 -- FINAL
What a goofy goal to wrap things up. It's a power play goal which, at the time, kept BC a perfect 3 for 3 on the night on the man advantage (they would end up 3 for 4), but it wasn't exactly they way they drew it up.
BC had a better chance right before this and eventually the puck ended up in a mad scramble in front of the net. Somehow it ends up right behind the cage and someone in a white jersey just throws it back to where it came from.
It bounces off someone and then eventually trickles in off Hawkey's back into the net for the extra point.
It's hard not to get a little excited after seeing what BC looks like with a full complement of skaters. It's been a while. Damko being out is going to make things difficult, but Milosz looked more than serviceable in his first collegiate game and he looks like he might be able to hold down the fort until we see Demko again.
BC and PC wrap up the season series Saturday night in Providence. A road win would put Jerry York one win away from 1,000 wins with the home and home against Boston University on tap for next weekend.