This afternoon the BC Eagles took to the ice at Kelly Rink to take on league foe UMass Amherst. The game was truly a tale of two halves, with the Eagles offense coming to life with only 10:47 left in the 3rd period. The game featured a lot of defense and up and down play until two minutes into the 3rd when UMass took a 2-1 lead. With a lot of shots but not much finishing ability it seemed that the Eagles five game winning streak might be coming to a close. However, a goal from the point by Mike Matheson and a beautiful goal, top corner, by Patrick Brown (Shoutout to Brooks Dyroff with the Assist) helped deliver the Eagles a league victory and elevated their record to 6-1.
The takeaways from the game were, goals being scored by players who aren’t on the first line, defensive play (especially Isaac MacLeod’s goaltending cameo), and playing a full 60 minutes.
Before the game I wrote about how the first line have truly been the driving force behind the offense all year. During the first and second period UMass’ defense had stymied their offensive efforts and it appeared that BC might not have enough scoring to win the game. However, Mike Matheson and Pat Brown proved that this team has scoring power from their non-core players. Seeing some offense from the blue-line was very exciting, After the game Jerry York commented, “Matheson is everything we though he would be…he’s good in all facets.” York also talked about everyone contributing, “If we can have secondary scoring from defensemen and the third and fourth lines, that will really strengthen us this year.” Coach is absolutely correct, too. As seen today, the team cannot rely on Gaudreau, Mullane, and Whitney to deliver points every game. The ability for the fourth line and the defense to construct a come from behind victory speaks volumes about the resolve of the team as a whole.
Although the team needed Matheson and Brown to provide the offense for today’s victory, the play of Milner and the defense was still exceptional. There certainly was not a shortage of shots and Milner was up to the task, not surrendering any soft goals. In addition, the defense was up to the task and the young freshman played excellently shutting down the consistent attack of UMass.
There also is a new standout star looking to take over in the case Milner goes down this year… Isaac MacLeod. In the third, with UMass knocking on the door, Milner got pulled out of the net. Right away MacLeod jumped in the goal and made three phenomenal saves. Falling into a half-butterfly of sorts- MacLeod stopped one off his thigh, another one stretching his leg out for a kick save (cue the Steve Berthuime soundbyte), and the with his hand. The instincts on the three stops were amazing and the Conte faithful erupted afterwards for his efforts to keep UMass from tallying another goal. Quite frankly, his time between the pipes helped save the game for the Eagles.
The Minutemen have played the Eagles tight all season. Although there was less scoring in today’s matchup, the Eagles played a full sixty minutes. The ability to come back (again) and have contribution from a variety of players adds to momentum this team currently has. Looking forward, the Eagles have a rivalry weekend coming up with Notre Dame Friday and BU on the road Sunday. Today, BC showed that they have the ability to win in all kinds of forms. They’ve won with offensive power, they’ve won close defensive games, they’ve come from behind, and today they won with production from the entire team. At 6-2 the Irish are clearly off to a fast start like the Eagles, At 4-2 the Terriers are rolling and rivalry games are always a toss-up. Eagles fans should be excited for this weekend and BC ending the weekend 8-1. Look for an update this week previewing Rivalry Weekend.