Saturday, January 27, 2007

Split Decision

Just as many BC fans predicted, the Wednesday-Friday series with BU ended in a split, giving BC the regular season series 2 games to 1. Wednesday's game was an interesting but depressingly frustrating one, as BC dominated the play but fell 4-1 to the Terriers. In front of the loudest crowd I have ever personally seen at Conte Forum (due largely to the thundersticks given out in the student section, which made the atmosphere much louder but also had the unfortunate effect of preventing those in the student section opposite the band from hearing the fight song after BC's goal), BC outshot BU 33-22 but scored just once, on a shorthanded odd-man rush from Nate Gerbe. The Eagles had plenty of chances to tie the game (BU didn't begin to pull away until Chris Higgins made it 3-1 midway through the 3rd period) but couldn't capitalize, and the Terriers did a much better job with their chances, taking advantage of defensive breakdowns and sneaking a couple soft goals past Cory Schneider. John Curry, per usual, had an excellent game in the nets for BU.

Friday was a completely different story, an extremely even game despite the scoreline. The goalies' roles were reversed last night, with Curry putting in a fairly pedestrian performance and Schneider coming up with several highlight-reel saves to preserve BC leads. The good guys jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from freshman Ben Smith (continuing his streak of scoring in every road game I've been to this year) on the power play and another Gerbe breakaway, and although BU made it a nailbiting game in the 2nd period a Dan Bertram laser late in the 3rd and an empty-net goal sealed the victory for the Eagles. Some thoughts on the game:

-Aside from the aforementioned Schneider, a guy who really stood out to me in this game was Carl Sneep, who had his best performance in a BC sweater to date. Not only did he contribute offensively but it seemed like every time he was on the ice he was breaking up BU's offense, disrupting passing lanes, using his size to his advantage, and basically just doing everything we've been expecting to see from him since hearing all his hype during recruiting. Brian Boyle (who scored BC's 3rd goal on a power-play deflection, something he should've been doing all year) and Brett Motherwell also had nice games, showing us why they were both considered Hobey Baker candidates before the year

-Nice job by Jerry York switching up the lines and putting Gerbe and Brock Bradford on the starting unit with Boyle. The second line of Benn Ferriero, Joe Rooney, and Bertram was the same combination that led to the Rooney's (and to a lesser extent Ferriero's) explosion in the postseason last year and I don't think it's a coincidence that when re-united these guys combined for 7 points last night. It also seems to me that Smith and Matt Price have been starting to click lately. I like these lines a lot and I think it'd be a mistake to break up the Ferrriero/Rooney/Bertram unit again

-Great catch by Maverick65 of EagleAction on this clip of Smith's goal. Notice #7 for BU, freshman Ben Strait, clearly deliberately pushing the goal off the moorings as the puck goes in. Strait was too late in this instance and the goal held up, but this is a trademark of Jack Parker's teams and they get away with it all the time (last month's game against St. Lawrence notwithstanding). Good to see video evidence of it

-Finally, a great showing from BC's fans. Is it just me or did we make more noise at Agganis last night than we did on Wednesday in Conte?? BU fans obviously had the strength in numbers to drown us out when they bothered to but I just skimmed through the DVR recording of the game and numerous "Let's go Eagles" chants as well as the goal celebrations are clearly audible on NESN. Great job to everyone else who was in Section 106 last night. By the way, is it too much to ask for BC to send some musical support to big road games?? Obviously a full band isn't going to happen but maybe a few trumpeters and a drummer?? I've always wanted to see a bagpiper in BC's band as well so when that happens send him to these games as well. You can also do this for road games in football and basketball (is it even allowed in hockey and hoops??)

Lowell comes to Conte tonight and I'm expecting big things from BC. Prediction: BC 6, UMass-Lowell 1.

Well that's it for me, I'm off to start drinking then it's off to Conte. Go Eagles!!


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I knew I saw you there Philly... good win for you guys. I know you don't like Strait, but he is a REALLY good player. And spare me the "Jack Parker team" stuff, especially after Boyle popped his jersey to the Student section after a lucky goal.

Regardless, fun series to watch, good performances by both teams, and I guess we'll see who's the king of Comm Ave at the Beanpot Final.


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Alex F. said...

I don't have anything specific against Strait, just thought it funny that as a freshman he's already knocking the goal off. I can't comment on what Boyle did since I didn't see it (was too busy celebrating at the game and they didn't really show anything on NESN) but when you have a team that does that consistently and has been caught doing it twice in the last month (including last night at UMass) then it comes down to coaching.

Definitely expecting a BC-BU final...which you guys will win, oh well.


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