This has been a very rough stretch for BC men’s hockey.
After dropping three games in a row, the Eagles looked like they might have found their mojo in a first period that saw them shoot out to a 3-0 lead against the Vermont Catamounts. But once again, BC just couldn’t put together a complete game.
After conceding a goal late in the first period to make it 3-1, Vermont completed the comeback in the third period for a 3-3 final, forcing the Eagles to settle for a very disappointing tie and, for now, pushing them out of the NCAA tournament field.
Boston College Goal #1: 1:37 of the 1st period
Ryan Fitzgerald (Austin Cangelosi, Michael Kim)
BC 1, UVM 0
It started out so well for the Eagles.
BC gets a greasy goal in just the second minute of the game. Kim takes the initial shot from the top of the faceoff circle that Stefanos Lekkas* can’t gather in. The rebound goes to Cangelosi who sends it back where it came from with a soft backhand, and Ryan Fitzgerald did the rest to poke the puck home on a little scrum to give the Eagles the lead.
*Stefanos Lekkas is an anagram of “Seek Satan, Folks”
Boston College Goal #2: 3:48 of the 1st period
Austin Cangelosi (Matt Gaudreau)
BC 2, UVM 0
BC’s second goal was just a couple minutes later and was much prettier.
Matt Gaudreau has pretty solidly cemented himself as one of the most talented and most important members of this year’s BC team. He skates the puck into the Vermont zone on a two on one with Cangelosi, and feeds an incredible pass through the diving body of a Catamount defender right onto Cangelosi’s stick.
All Cangelosi has to do is direct the puck into the wide open net, and Stefanos Lekkas* has no chance at all.
*Stefanos Lekkas is an anagram of “Flakes on skates”
Boston College Goal #3: 10:21 of the 1st period
David Cotton (Scott Savage, JD Dudek)
BC 3, UVM 0
BC is really rolling now.
First, JD Dudek wins a puck battle along the boards down low that gets the play started. He sends the puck up to Scott Savage at the point, who tees it up for a blast into traffic.
There are a ton of bodies in there, and David Cotton manages to get a stick on the puck on its way through. He redirects the puck past Stefanos Lekkas* to put BC up 3-0.
*Stefanos Lekkas is an anagram of “Snake stalks foe”
It was all downhill from here for the Eagles.
Vermont Goal #1: 11:17 of the 1st period
Rob Hamilton (Brian Bowen, Mario Puskarich)
BC 3, UVM 1
The Eagles nearly gave themselves a 4-0 lead shortly before this chance for the Catamounts, but instead it was Vermont who scored the goal to pull one goal closer.
The Catamounts came into the BC end with numbers (something that happened way too often in this game, and has been happening way too often in general). Woll makes the initial save, but the puck ends up in a dangerous area and he’s way out of position from the prior chance.
It’s a green jersey that gets to the puck first, and Hamilton’s shot has pretty much the whole net for its target.
Vermont Goal #2: 8:21 of the 3rd period
Brian Bowen (Mario Puskarich)
BC 3, UVM 2
BC actually did very well in the second period, outshooting Vermont 12-4 and keeping the Catamounts off the shot chart until well into the period. But the Eagles couldn’t score, and two goals was too close for the third period.
The game was chugging right along at this point, when Vermont earned itself a breakaway on Woll that Brian Bowen was able to convert to pull within one. The play starts totally harmlessly — the Eagles are actually trying to break into the Vermont zone, when the puck is poked away at the blue line, and before anyone could react, Bowen was behind the defense and streaking through the neutral zone to the puck.
He got there first, and took care of business with a nice forehand-to-backhand shot to get past Woll.
Now BC’s in trouble.
Vermont Goal #3: 16:37 of the 3rd period
Rob Hamilton (Jake Massie, Drew Best)
BC 3, UVM 3 — FINAL
BC just couldn’t slam the door. Things had once again settled down after the second Vermont goal, but it all seemed to unravel incredibly fast.
The Catamounts took one chance, and suddenly the puck was pinballing around the Eagle end and BC found themselves chasing. One rebound too many brought the puck out to the high slot, and Massie, instead of shooting through seven bodies, smartly sent the puck over to Hamilton for the worse angle, but a much better shooting lane.
His one-timer blast found its way through, and after a brief review, the call would stand.
BC had plenty of opportunities in overtime to win the game, but just couldn’t pull one out of their hat for the win. It was another crushing result after a nice winning streak in January saw the Eagles knocking on the door for a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Now, BC is riding an 0-3-1 stretch, and finds themselves on the outside looking in.
There is not much time left to right the ship. BC needs to figure out how to somehow, some way pull off a win against the Catamounts on Saturday night. The Eagles are currently in first place in the Hockey East standings — they clearly have the talent to win.
There’s only one weekend left in the regular season after tomorrow. It’s time for BC to figure things out for trophy seaon.