The Takeaway: Another win for Boston College, another last minute loss for Northeastern

Posted by: Jill Saftel

Boston College took down Northeastern University Friday night at Conte Forum 2-1. BC is now 7-1-0 in conference play, while Northeastern is still looking for its second win of the season at 1-6-2.

The Huskies took an early lead in the first period but couldn’t maintain as BC evened the score in the second and sealed the deal with a last second goal from Tommy Cross with under three seconds to play.

What I saw

Northeastern’s defense was clearing puck after puck in the first period. When it came to the second and third periods, they were clearing less and couldn’t push BC back once they got the puck in front of Rawlings.

BC obliterated Northeastern in shots. The Eagles basically doubled Northeastern’s shot number each period, giving them a 36 to 18 shot advantage at the end of the game. The BC defense looked significantly more aggressive than Northeastern’s.

What I thought

The number of chances Northeastern gave BC to take the lead was absurd. So many pucks were loose in front of Rawlings that easily could have been tapped in if only the right BC player had been there at the right time.

This game was a perfect example of the impressive goaltending throughout Hockey East. Chris Rawlings made 34 saves, a testament to both his goaltending and BC’s determined, aggressive offense. Parker Milner had 17 saves himself, and looked strong as per usual. They both made it difficult for either team to win this game.

BC passing looked a little shaky at times. They still came out with the win, obviously, but this game could have gone a lot smoother for the Eagles if their passing had been cleaner. Two cross-rink passes almost ended up in their own goal and several more ended up on the stick of a Husky.

What they said

“We found a way to give that game away at the end. They had the territorial edge, but you get one bounce and you win a game. Our goaltender, I thought, played extremely well and has given us some great games. It would have been nice to reward him for a great effort on his end…For the most part we’ve had effort, and that’s something we can control, and the compete level. But what we haven’t had is intelligent hockey and that’s what we tell our team. You can have all the effort and all the compete and get pucks to the net, but if you don’t play intelligently, which the last two or three losses have been the result of us not playing smart. So it’s up to us to play smarter, it’s up to the coaching staff to hold players more accountable, and to the players to hold each other more accountable in that locker room.”

— Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan

“Northeastern battled really hard and they got terrific goaltending from Rawlings. It was right to the wire there. It was a much closer game than the shots would indicate; I think the score indicated the equality of the two teams tonight. I thought our particular club played very well in a lot of areas. I thought Parker [Milner] was solid in goal, I thought our special teams were very, very good tonight and I thought our energy level was outstanding. And that’s a pretty good recipe for winning a Hockey East game.”

— BC head coach Jerry York

“We were trying to enter the zone with possession there, and we had a couple miscues there but we kept regrouping well. Finally got possession in the zone, got some great shots, we had a really good net presence…Dumoulin got it, that’s where he’s a special player, most guys would have panicked with less than five seconds left. He somehow had a clock in his head and looked over to me. He gave it to me and I just got it off quick.”

— BC senior Tommy Cross on his game-winning goal

What they didn’t say

York wouldn’t say whether he’ll always be starting Milner for the rest of the season, but he did say that for now Milner gives them the best chance to win.

Last week Madigan said he thought Northeastern’s power play troubles weren’t a result of personnel but execution, but now that his team is 0-11 on the power play in their last two games, it seems he needs to address specific changes to be made on his special teams.

What else you should know

BC was bouncing back from a surprising 4-2 loss to Massachusetts last Saturday night, Northeastern trying to bounce back from another overtime loss on Saturday, this time to Merrimack.

BC’s defenseman Patch Alber has a bad ankle after twisting it awkwardly.. York said it’s really started to swell up and they may need to make some adjustments for Sunday’s matchup against rival Boston University.

Northeastern is still looking for it’s second win of the season as, for the most part, a series of heartbreaking defeats have racked up the number in the losses column for the Huskies. It’s now at six.

We’re a third of the way into the season and Northeastern is one of only three Hockey East teams that have yet to garner two wins, Massachusetts has one as well and Vermont is still looking for their first.

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