For the first time all season, the Eagles are on a two game losing streak.
You could probably see this one coming. With five (!) of BC’s best players away at the World Juniors tournament in Canada, and senior also-one-of-BC’s-best-players Ryan Fitzgerald still recovering from an ankle sprain, the Eagles were essentially playing with one hand tied behind their back.
Add on the fact that the Quinnipiac hockey team gets a group rate for AARP membership, and BC had quite an uphill climb. In the end, they couldn’t quite make it up the mountain in a 3-1 loss to the Bobcats.
Still, the Eagles hung in there, and there were a lot of positives despite the loss. Quinnipiac plays a very organized, structured style of hockey, and BC’s speed was able to create some problems for the Bobcats. Austin Cangelosi in particular was the best player on the ice for either team, and Quinnipiac couldn’t keep him under control. Cangelosi’s speed through the neutral zone constantly had Bobcat players on their back foot, and in one instance even earned him a penalty shot as QU’s Kevin McKernan was forced take a tripping penalty after seeing #9 blow past him.
The game was scoreless through the first period with BC hanging tough and keeping things in check after a bit of a slow start, but the Bobcats found a goal to break the ice in the second period. A broken play along the boards for the Eagles ended up with QU’s Tanner MacMaster all alone in Ryan Edquist’s crease, and despite a valiant effort from the freshman goaltender, MacMaster waited out Edquist to poke the puck home for the goal.
The Eagles got a lucky break, however, to go into the locker room tied and really put a shot in the arm for the team in the third period. Freshman Graham McPhee, sprung from the box after a late penalty, joined up with Austin Cangelosi on a 2 on 0. After Cangelosi was able to get behind the defense, he dished over to McPhee on the doorstep for the easy finish to make it 1-1.
In the end, it wasn’t BC’s talented players being off the ice that cost them the game, but rather that old boogeyman that has haunted them all season — the penalty kill. Two quick BC penalties and two quick Quinnipiac power play goals put the Bobcats up 3-1 in the third period, and it was too much for the Eagles to overcome.
BC stayed on the right side of the Pairwise bubble with the loss, but are now faced with what might be a bit of a must-win against Ferris State. The Bulldogs are... pretty bad, being ranked below such also-bad teams as Sacred Heart, Arizona State, and UMass in both the PWR and KRACH ratings. Even playing with a short bench, this is a game BC probably should — and needs to — win, or else they risk falling into the Pairwise danger zone.