As good as season as it’s been for Boston College men’s hockey — and it has been a pleasant surprise — playing against Boston University has been like slamming your head against a wall.
For the third time this season, the Eagles couldn’t even take a lead against the Terriers, falling to BU 3-1 and being forced watch next week’s Beanpot championship game from the sidelines.
Boston University Goal #1: 4:29 of the 1st period
Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Patrick Harper)
BU 1, BC 0
It was an abysmal start for the Eagles — possible the worst of the season. BU took the first 12 shots on net of the game, and BC didn’t even get their first until there were 2 minutes left to go in the first period.
BU got on the board early and never looked back. The Terriers seemed to target Joe Woll with wraparounds through the whole game, and their first chance resulted in a goal. Harper’s first chance is blocked, but Forsbacka-Kalsson camps out on the doorstep for an opportunity and cashes in on the rebound.
Boston University Goal #2 (PPG): 3:23 of the 2nd period
Chad Krys (Bobo Carpenter, Dante Fabbro)
BU 2, BC 0
It was nothing short of miraculous that BC was only down 1-0 at the end of the first period, but as has been the story all year, special teams really killed BC. Early in the second period, Chris Calnan took pretty bad and unnecessary roughing penalty behind the play, and BU took advantage.
The goal itself is nothing fancy, but you can sort of see some of BC’s shorthanded struggles taking shape. The two Eagles defending the top of BU’s attack are really disorganized. Julius Mattila overpursues Bobo Carpenter to Colin White’s side of the ice to the point where White is physically pushing Mattila back toward his position. But by this point it’s too late — Krys sees the opportunity and jumps right into the void left by Mattila, and fires home the goal to put BU up by 2.
Special teams, somehow, continue to be a problem for BC, and it continues to be factually true that if the Eagles can clean it up, they’ll be one of the best teams in the country.
The way the game had been going at this piont, that goal felt like it would be enough for BU (and, as it turned out, it was), but BC suddenly found its legs for the rest of the second period to make a game of it.
Boston College Goal #1: 6:59 of the 2nd period
Austin Cangelosi (Matt Gaudreau, Ryan Fitzgerald)
BU 2, BC 1
You wouldn’t know it by looking at the score, but things got much, much better for BC midway through the game to the point where the Eagles got to within one and had all the momentum.
He’s only involved for a fraction of a second, this is an absolutely gorgeous play from Matt Gaudreau. Gaudreau is the player at the edge of the crease as the play unfolds. He has a Terrier on him like superglue, but he somehow, incredibly, manages to (1) get his stick on the puck, (2) around the skate of the Terrier defender, (3) while going down to the ice, and (4) putting the puck almost perfectly on the stick of Cangelosi.
Cangelosi finishes the goal with authority, but that is just silky smooth from Gaudreau.
Boston University Goal #3 (SHG): 11:06 of the 2nd period
Clayton Keller (Charlie McAvoy)
BU 3, BC 1 — FINAL
And then, just when the Eagles had the Terriers by the throats... the game slipped away.
BC was within one, absolutely flying, and with all of the momentum, when BU takes a penalty that feels like it’s BC’s chance to make it a whole new game. But instead, BC’s power play continues to be in disarray, resulting in an inexcusable Terrier breakaway and a shorthanded goal — the 3rd that the Eagles have allowed since December 10th, 4th most in the country in that timeframe.
The goal took the wind out of BC’s sails entirely, and they never could break through to even give themselves a chance to make it interesting.
The third period consisted of more unnecessary penalties, further preventing the Eagles from mounting a comeback by sitting in the box for 8 of the last 15 minutes of the game.
Despite the loss, BC’s going to need to regroup. The Eagles will host Merrimack (who just swept BU two weeks ago) on Friday, followed by Northeastern in the Beanpot consolation game.
There’s no time to mope — BC’s back in a tight wad of teams on the Pairwise bubble and needs to finish strong.