Chestnut Hill, MA. – Vermont was unable to control the offensive prowess of Boston College and they were stymied on their own offense as they were outscored 8-1 on the weekend by a Boston College team that locked up the regular season conference title. Boston College scored late in the first period off a goal from Destry Straight, his second of the year and they never looked back in the game. Chris Kreider would score his 20th of the year at 6:50 of the second period and Pat Mullane would score his sixth of the year in the third period to make the lead insurmountable. Bill Arnold would add an empty netter to make it a 4-0 final.
Boston College with the win improved their record 25-10-1 on the season and locked up the regular season title with a two point advantage on second place Boston University. Vermont ends its season at a disappointing 6-27-1. The effort was there for Vermont but it was just not meant to be on the weekend. Boston College with the win moves up to first in the Pairwise rankings and they look poised to keep that through the playoffs.
What I saw
-Vermont had all the effort in the world but could not generate any offense against the Boston College defense. Despite having more grade A opportunities on Saturday night than they did on Friday night they could just not solve Parker Milner.
-Early in the game it seemed as though Vermont had all the jump and BC had some nerves. Vermont possessed the puck 2-1 in the first 15 minutes of the first period but could never seem to get it through the Boston College defense, which was stymieing at all points in the game. They did all they could to spoil the Eagles weekend but they just could not do it.
What I thought
–The Catamounts have continued to develop in the latter stages of the season. In just three weeks one could see the marked improvement in many aspects of their game. Freshman defenseman Michael Paliotta again stood out to me and forward HT Lenz had multiple opportunities to score but Parker Milner was always up to the task.
-For a team that struggles with skill, Vermont is very uncharacteristic in that they are very disciplined. They gave up only 2 powerplays to the potent Boston College powerplay and on Friday night they gave them only three. If this can continue into next season Vermont may develop into a team that no one will want to play.
What they said
Jerry York said, “Vermont battled all weekend. You won’t see last place teams come into this environment and play as well as they did because it just doesn’t happen. It speaks to the strength of the league. They pushed us to the limit and it was a tough weekend. Hats off to Kevin and his boys, they just played hockey.
What they didn’t say
Sneddon never discussed his move late in the game to call a timeout and pull his goaltender. It seemed rather peculiar down three, given the position of the Catamounts. It was probably a situation where they had nothing but experience to play for. He did it both nights it was unsuccessful on both occasions and resulted in Boston College goals. Sneddon can take many positives out of his young team this weekend; they hung in there for long stages against arguably the best team in the country.
What else you should know
Boston College will take on UMass in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. The Eagles have lost twice this season to the Minutemen and the matchup, as is usually the case in Hockey East won’t be the typical 1 versus 8 matchup.
Vermont had a trying season this season but it will make them better in the future. The only question mark going into next season will be in net, as senior stalwart Rob Madore played his last game in a Catamount uniform on Saturday. His experiences will be remembered for the positives in his first two years in Burlington, not for his last two years.