It all looked to be going so well for BC at Lawler Arena, for once.
Two periods in, the Eagles were up 2-0 despite being without Jerry York and Colin White, and were looking like they would coast through the game to a nice, easy win against lowly Merrimack. But 25 minutes and far too many penalties later, the Eagles had to settle for a disappointing 2-2 tie against the Warriors in an extremely frustrating result.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 17:52 of the 1st period
Scott Savage (Chris Brown, David Cotton)
BC 1, MC 0
BC’s power play got the scoring started late in the first period. Early on in the penalty, Chris Brown found a passing lane over to Scott Savage at the faceoff dot, and Savage shot the puck past Merrimack’s Drew Vogler.
Probably a bit of a soft goal, as Vogler got over in time to get set for the shot. But BC will take it.
Boston College Goal #2: 10:40 of the 2nd period
Ryan Fitzgerald (JD Dudek, Matty Gaudreau)
BC 2, MC 0
BC got some insurance midway through the second period.
A bit of a weird goal here. Vogler looks a bit silly as Ryan Fitzgerald gets his stick on the puck along the goal line. Merrimack knocked the net off its moorings, but not before the puck just crosses the goal line before the Warriors were able to fling the puck back out.
The goal was reviewed, but it would stand.
From here, BC looks like it’s in good shape. But then the new-look refereeing bit BC in a big way in the third period.
Merrimack Goal #1 (PPG): 1:00 of the 3rd period
Logan Coomes (Sami Tavernier, Hampus Gustafsson)
BC 2, MC 1
This penalty carried over from the 2nd period, and kicked off BC’s third period collapse.
It starts with a good move from Hampus (Hampus? ...[checks]... Yup, “Hampus”) Gustafsson to drive to the net and get the first shot off. There’s a rebound that skitters right out to Tavernier for a back-scratching slapshot from point blank range, and Woll did a good job to keep it out.
But the puck isn’t stopped clean, and Coomes was there to poke the puck through to get Merrimack on the board.
Merrimack Goal #2: 11:03 of the 3rd period
Mathieu Foget (Brett Seney, Jace Hennig)
BC 2, MC 2 — FINAL
Another penalty for BC, one of second on the night, and it drew the score level.
To Merrimack’s credit, it was probably the only really nice goal of the nice. Great puck movement on this power play draws Woll out of position for the only time of the night. The last pass back to Foget was a great decision, instead of taking the shot, and it gets BC all out of sorts.
Woll is able to get over to attempt the save, but BC’s defense stops Foget from getting a clean shot. That’s good, normally, but now Woll is long gone. The puck trickles right back onto Foget’s stick, and he has an open net to shoot at to tie the game.
The penalties this year have completely killed BC. College hockey referees have been instructed to call every little thing, and with BC already at the higher end of penalties the last few seasons, this is going to be a big problem unless the Eagles can tighten things up.
You would think that being a young team would be part of the problem, but when you look at the scoresheet, Merrimack’s power plays came from penalties on Savage, Ryan Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Casey Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Cangelosi. These are experienced players, and they’re going to need to adjust their game or BC is going to struggle to control games they should be winning.
BC gets back home Friday evening against Providence, which will be televised on ASN (NESN in the Boston area). Puck drop is at 6pm.