Chestnut Hill, Mass - Boston College had the opportunity to send Vermont home on Saturday night, as the Eagles entered with a 1-0 series lead after last night’s 3-2 win over the Catamounts. Vermont began the game very undisciplined, as they gave BC six power-plays in the first period. BC took advantage at 12 minutes, 12 seconds of the period as pretty passing ended up on the stick of Steven Whitney and Whitney roofed it to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The lead would hold until the 16:45 mark of the second period, when Patrick Brown banked a shot off a Hoffman’s skate to give BC the 2-0 lead.
Johnny Guadreau would add his 20th goal of the season four minutes into the third period, as an insurance marker to give BC a three goal lead. Pat Mullane and Matt White would score for their respective teams, as Boston College defeated Vermont going away 4-1. BC advances to next week’s semi-finals at the TD Garden in Boston to play Comm Ave rival Boston University, while Vermont’s season ends. The win moves BC up to a one seed in the tournament, as they now sit in fourth place in the Pairwise, with games still to be played out west.
What I Saw
- Vermont needed to be more disciplined out of the gate. Giving BC six power-plays in the first period just will not win hockey games for any team. Kudos to them for killing five of the six and a major power-play but you cannot win killing so many power-plays. The discipline issues in the first continued into the second period, as the Catamounts allotted BC another three power-plays.
- BC did not take advantage of the man advantages that Vermont gave them, which is very uncommon for the Eagles. Vermont did a great job keeping them out of the Grade-A area on the pk, but entries and passing was not as crisp as it needed to be on the power-play. The sloppy passes were a continuation of last night for them and is something you don’t often see on their power-play units.
- The Eagles finished the contest really well, as they just seemed to take control of the game in the third period. They outshot Vermont 10-9 in the frame, but much of the play was in the UVM end of the ice. It was a prototypical BC finish taken from last year.
What I Thought
- I keep coming back to discipline, but Vermont to have any chance against Boston College needed to stay out of the box and they were unable to do that. Luckily for them, BC only cashed in once on nine power-play opportunities but after killing six in the first period they looked like a tired bunch. If killing penalties does one thing, it tires a team out and it had that effect on the Catamounts.
- BC seemed to be in cruise control for much of the contest, as Vermont didn’t come with the effort that they did last night. The one thing that has to be concerning for the Eagles is the struggle on the power-play. Going 1-9 in a game is not exactly looking good on the power-play. In six chances in the first period, BC was able to muster just three Grade-A opportunities. Credit the Catamounts in some degree, but the Eagles didn’t exactly help themselves out in the first two periods.
- This may have been the strangest game I have seen this season, as their was more specialty teams play in this one than five-on-five action. BC controlled the five on five play, what little there was in the contest. In the end, it was quite ironic that the Catamounts lost despite a strong penalty-kill because they have struggled mightily on that aspect the whole season.
What They Said
Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said,
“I am proud of our team because I felt as though we have taken a lot of steps this season. A step in the right direction but part of the process of making the climb back up.”
“Killing penalties just burns you out. We were great on the kill. But we took some dumb penalties.”
BC associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh said,
“I thought it was a pretty good effort by our club. We handled a lot of adversity and handled a discombobulated first period, as there was probably only four minutes of five on four play. We did a great job staying with that and our power-play got us a big goal on the 5 on 3. We finished the game, as I thought we played really well in the third period.”
What They Didn’t Say
Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon would not comment on the whether the penalties were from being too aggressive or from a lack of discipline, when asked during post-game. Vermont played aggressively throughout but at times too aggressive There is a fine line between being aggressive and undisciplined. On this night, the Catamounts may have crossed it.
What Else You Should Know
BC will be aiming for their fourth consecutive Hockey East tournament title next weekend, at the TD Garden, in Boston. The current BC seniors are undefeated in Hockey East tournament action, as they have won 10 games in a row in the conference tournament.
Vermont ends their season at 11-19-6, which is a bit better than last season for them but not exactly where a program like their’s would like to be. The improvement was noticeable on both ends of the ice and their is room to build on.
BC will play Boston University in the first round of next weekend’s Hockey East semifinals. The Eagles won the season series 2-1 against the Terriers. It has been announced that the matchup will be the 8 PM matchup next Friday night.