The Takeaway: BC Bests Vermont, 4-1

Posted by: Ryan Hannable

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Coming off of last weekend’s poor showing against Maine at home, BC looked to get things back on track Friday night at home against Vermont, which is just what they did with a 4-1 win.

Vermont actually led 1-0 after the first period after scoring just 4:14 into the game off of a slap shot from Anders Franzon, which went off of Parker Milner’s glove and into the net. BC had numerous scoring opportunities in the period, but couldn’t put the puck home.

BC eventually found the back of the net with two second period goals, less than a minute apart. Senior Pat Mullane got the first at 10:30, and Quinn Smith followed just 47 seconds later to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Boston College added two goals in the third period from senior Steven Whitney and sophomore sensation Johnny Gaudreau.

Milner was impressive in the BC goal making 38 saves, on 39 shots and UVM freshman goaltender Brody Hoffman played well despite the loss finishing with 26 saves.

What I Saw:

– After being swept by Maine last weekend, one would have thought BC would have came storming out of the gates, but this wasn’t the case as it was Vermont controlling play early on. After dominating play, Anders Franzon was finally able to beat BC goaltender Parker Milner to give UVM a 1-0 4:14 into the game. It was a soft goal as the puck hit off of Milner’s glove and then trickled over the goal line.

Following their second penalty kill of the period, the Eagles generated some momentum and thoroughly dominated the second half of the opening period, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Although BC was outshot 14-9 in the period, they controlled play for most of it and had more consistent scoring chances, including two breakaways from Johnny Gaudreau.

– Despite what the stats said in terms of shots on goal, BC thoroughly dominated the game. UVM outshot BC 39-30, including 31-18 after two, but BC had far more scoring chances and held possession of the puck far more than Vermont. BC’s defense did a good job of clearing lanes so Parker Milner was able to see every shot he faced. The turning point of the game came early in the second period when BC was leading 2-1, Vermont had a two-minute 5-on-3, but BC kept them off the board. UVM was given the opportunity to get back in the game, but couldn’t take advantage and was as major factor in their loss.

What I Learned:

– Boston College has the ability to be the best team in the entire nation on any given night as long as they don’t take many shifts off and have defensive breakdowns. In the early stages of Friday night’s game BC had a few defensive breakdowns, which allowed UVM clear shots on Parker Milner and eventually a goal. For BC to stay atop the Hockey East standings, and improve their chances at a higher seed in the NCAA tournament they need to eliminate the mental mistakes and come to play every shift. With stars like Johnny Gaudreau, Pat Mullane, Milner and Bill Arnold, the Eagles can compete with any team in the country – but the team as a whole needs to come ready to play every game to avoid a team sneaking up on them like Maine did last weekend.

– Although Vermont is in eighth place in Hockey East this season, the future is bright for the Catamounts. The team will lose only five seniors to graduation and none among their top three lines and two defensive pairings. UVM will also return freshman goaltender Brody Hoffman who has had a better season than his record would indicate. Junior forward Chris McCarthy and sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds, who both had solid games Friday, will be back next year and along with Hoffman in net UVM should be a team to look out for next season.

What They Said:

“Once again we fell down early at home, but I think you have to play with a lead and also to play with a deficit. You have 60 minites to play and I think the flow of the game is going to do that for us. I think during this stretch it was the best we’ve played from behind. We made some good plays and had some good efforts. … It was clearly important for us to score some goals because we’ve been snakebitten in that area.” – BC coach Jerry York

“I was pleased with my hockey team tonight. I thought we competed extremely hard. I thought we had several opportunities to put more than one goal on the board. I think Parker (Milner) played really well for them. The difference in the game was they finished their opportunites and we certainly did not.

“All the momentum shifted in the second period when they scored the first goal, and we needed to fight to try and get that momentum back. I thought it was a good college hockey game with a lot of transition up and down and again, they finished their opprotunites, we did not.” –Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon

What Else You Should Know:

– With the win BC maintains their first place position in the Hockey East standings. The Eagles kept their two-point lead over UNH (3-1 winners over Northeastern), but increased their lead over BU to four points (5-1 loss to Massachusetts). Boston College is No. 6 in the Pairwise Ratings, and cannot afford to have poor weekend showings like last weekend the remainder of the season.

– This was the first meeting of the year between the two teams, and BC has now won five games in a row against UVM. BC will travel to Vermont for a weekend series March 8 and 9.

– BC is next in action Monday night at the TD Garden for the Beanpot where they will take on Harvard in the nightcap, while UVM will take to the ice next Friday when they host Maine.

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