CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College defeated Boston University, 5-2, Saturday night at Conte Forum. The win avenged Friday night’s 4-2 Terrier win and clinched the season series for the Eagles. The victory was the 924th in the career of BC coach Jerry York. He is now tied with Ron Mason, as the winningest coach in Division I history.
The Eagles scored four power play goals on Saturday, including three in the second period. BC center Bill Arnold scored a pair of goals, and BU freshman Matt O’Connor made 33 saves in the loss.
What I Saw
- The second period decided the game on Saturday night. The Terriers took a series of bad penalties that put the Eagles on power play after power play. Bill Arnold scored two power-play goals in the period, and freshmen defenseman Michael Matheson added another. Arnold’s first came 1 minute, 59 seconds into the period, with Yasin Cisse serving a minor for interference. The Terriers took five penalties in the period, and Cisse’s minor came at the end of the first. Sending a team as dynamic as BC to the man advantage six times in 20 minutes makes it difficult to win games. Entering the second, the score was tied, but the Terriers undid themselves with the undisciplined play. On Friday night, the Terriers killed five of six BC power plays; the lone tally coming with 24 seconds left in a decided game. Even with the successful kill, five penalties to nullify in a single period is difficult on any team.
- BU’s Matt O’Connor continued his successful freshman year despite allowing five goals. Four of the five BC goals came on the power play. While O’Connor struggled with his rebound control a few times, the frequent shots didn’t seem to alter the gifted freshman’s approach. O’Connor entered the season in a platoon with fellow freshman Sean Maguire, but the job appears to be O’Connor’s for the time being. Making 34 saves on Saturday night, O’Connor is the only reason Saturday’s game wasn’t over in the first period. The Eagles outshot BU, 13-7, in the opening period.
- Johnny Gaudreau’s point streak ends at 12 games, but the freshman’s impact on the game was evident. BU’s defensemen and more physical forwards focused on taking the gifted winger off his game all weekend. While this worked perfectly Friday, it took the Terriers off their game on Friday. In the first period, it appeared Gaudreau had given the Eagles a 1-0 lead, but officials waived his goal off due to goaltender interference. BU managed to hold him without a point. Still, Gaudreau and linemates Pat Mullane and Steven Whitney created chances in all situations for the Eagles.
What I Thought
- BU’s problems in the second period were a combination of bad discipline and some rotten luck. Garrett Noonan’s hitting from behind and tripping minors were plays a junior can’t make. Meanwhile, Sean Escobedo’s diving minor and Alexx Privitera’s holding penalty seemed like bad turns for BU. Regardless, BU coach Jack Parker wasn’t happy with the penalties and problems his players took on Saturday.
- Brendan Silk filled in well for Destry Straight on BC’s second line alongside Arnold and Kevin Hayes. Since Straight last played on Nov. 11 against BU. Since, he’s missed five games with a high-ankle sprain, and Silk, Danny Linell and Quinn Smith have played in the right wing spot. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound freshman uses his size effectively, creating space in the offensive zone for his linemates. Playing alongside Arnold and Hayes, that space is of a much greater value than in Silk’s usual position on the Eagles’ fourth line. At 4:16 of the third period, Silk scored the first goal of his career, giving BC a 5-1 lead.
- Yasin Cisse and Matt Nieto need to start scoring goals for this BU team. Nieto has scored three times for the Terriers on the year, while Cisse has struggled to finished without a goal to his credit. Both players are critical for BU to advance as far as they can this year, but the offense just hasn’t come. Positives for each player aren’t difficult to find. Nieto’s speed and puck-handling create space for linemates. Cisse, meanwhile, has offered a physical presence that opens scoring lanes and punishes the opposition. Both are among the Terriers’ more skilled offensive players, and the goals will simply need to come.
What They Said
“We have a few rules that we try to follow. Rule No. 1 is don’t beat yourself in any game you play. We blew it badly with rule No. 1. This is a bad combination. We took a lot of bad penalties — I thought a lot of them were stupid penalties — and we did a lousy job killing penalties. When you’re taking penalties and doing a lousy job killing penalties, you’re not going to win a lot of games.” — BU coach Jack Parker
BC was better than BU Saturday night. Even if the Terriers played a more disciplined game, BC could easily still have taken the two points from Saturday’s game. That doesn’t bode well for a club that sends its opponents to the power play eight times.
What They Didn’t Say
They weren’t the focus of the game, but BC’s defensemen had a fantastic night stopping the Terriers’ skilled forwards. Matheson’s scored his second goal of the season, and fellow freshman Teddy Doherty scored the first of his career. On the back end, the group performed well, keeping the Terriers from creating too many chances. Through the second period, BU only recorded 14 shots to the Eagles’ 29. Obviously, the penalty problems created many of these issues, but the BC defensemen were sharp.
What Else You Show Know
- York’s first chance for win No. 925 and his own place atop the wins list comes next Friday in Providence. The game is BC’s last of the first semester.
- The Terriers travel to Durham, N.H., Thursday for their last game with the Wildcats during the regular season before closing the first semester in Maine next Saturday.
- Cason Hohmann’s first-period goal snapped an 0-for-20 streak on the power play for BU.
- Since York took over at his alma mater in 1994, BC and BU have played 81 times. In those games, each club has as a 37-37-7 record.
- York said after the game that Straight is likely out until January.