We’re quickly approaching crunch time in the college hockey season, and BC Men’s Hockey has put themselves in a difficult position as the regular season winds down.
In the Beanpot, Boston College came out flat, and couldn’t complete the comeback. It was the same story on Friday night against Merrimack, where an early 3-0 deficit was too much to overcome, and the Warriors walked out of Conte Forum with a 6-3 win — their first road win against the Eagles since October 31st, 1997.
Boston College Goal #1: 12:42 of the 1st period
Matt Gaudreau (Austin Cangelosi, Ryan Fitzgerald)
MC 3, BC 1
There are slow starts, and there are disastrous starts. BC’s start against BU in the Beanpot was a slow start. BC’s start against Merrimack was disastrous.
The Warriors stormed out to a 3-0 lead, chasing Joe Woll and putting the Eagles on their heels. But to their credit, BC did look like they were going to give themselves a shot.
After getting bottled up for much of the 1st period, the Eagles finally got something going. The Cangelosi-Gaudreau-Fitzgerald line finally gave the Eagles some room to work with great puck movement. It’s one big triangle -- Fitzgerald, across to Cangelosi, across to a streaking Gaudreau, who buries the chance and gives BC just a little bit of a spark.
Boston College Goal #2: 18:20 of the 1st period
Austin Cangelosi (Ryan Fitzgerald, Scott Savage)
MC 3, BC 2
That spark turned into a solid end to the first period, and suddenly BC looked like they were going to end up okay.
The Eagles started the breakout and actually got themselves bottled up — again — by Merrimack in the neutral zone, but this time they got a lucky bounce and the puck found itself right on the stick of Cangelosi. Cangelosi just turns on the jets to get in between the Merrimack defense, and he goes bar down on a beauty of a shot to get BC, somehow, within 1 before the end of the first period.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG): 12:11 of the 3rd period
Austin Cangelosi (Ryan Fitzgerald, Colin White)
MC 4, BC 3
But the second period wasn’t good enough for BC. Merrimack actually extended their lead with a goal, and made the third period comeback just that much more difficult.
But BC did give themselves a change. With about eight minutes left in the third period, Merrimack took a bad penalty away from the play, and Austin Cangelosi once again did what he could to put the Eagles on his back.
The Eagles don’t win the draw, but they go right on the attack to win the puck. Colin White wins a puck battle, Ryan Fitzgerald tries the wraparound, and Cangelosi, who took the draw in the first place, is there at the back door to bury the loose puck.
BC gave themselves some time to complete the comeback, but it was Merrimack who scored the next goal to put the game out of reach. An empty net goal made it 6-3, and that was your final.
BC is going to have to have a strong finish to the regular season if they want to hold off BU for the regular season title, and indeed if they want to put themselves solidly on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble. Despite being all alone in 1st place in the Hockey East standings, BC sits 14th in the Pairwise — just above the NCAA cut line — with only a few games left in the regular season.
Their first chance to right the ship will be on Monday in the Beanpot consolation game. Even though a trophy won’t be on the line, it would put the Eagles in a big hole if they can’t earn the win against the Huskies.