Beanpot Loss Isn't As Bad As You Think

Dis·ap·point·ment (noun): the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one's hopes or expectations. Or, as BC fans would define it: last night’s 3-2 loss to Northeastern.

The men’s hockey team dropped a heart-breaker last night to Northeastern, preventing themselves from playing for their sixth straight Beanpot championship.

After an hour and a half long delay, due to the BU double overtime victory against Harvard, the Eagles started off strong against the Huskies. Firing from all cylinders, the first five minutes of the game belonged to BC.

But, it all went downhill from there. Sloppy play led to giveaways, and giveaways led to other errors, which then led to silly penalties. In a time frame of less than twenty minutes, the Eagles spent ten of those minutes with a man disadvantage. Even from the nosebleeds, Jerry York’s frustration was quite obvious.

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

BC went down 1-0 less than a minute into the second, with NU scoring a power play goal during the remaining 47 seconds of Alex Tuch’s first period penalty. Following the score, BC's full strength was short lived, because ten seconds later the Eagles were back to a disadvantage as Mike Matheson went off for tripping.

After finally tying the game up early in the second, the Eagles were back down just a few minutes later. Again in a hole, something finally clicked and BC began to dig deep, looking like the strong team we’ve seen over the past few months.

Things were looking up as the Eagles finally went on the power play with five left to play in the second. But, of course, simple miscommunication led to a silly too-many-men-on-the-ice call against BC; and just like that, their advantage was ripped out from beneath their skates.

Still fighting, with a little over a minute remaining in the second, hometown hero and puck-handling magician Ryan Fitzgerald put the Eagles back in the game with a short-handed goal.

During the second intermission, I found myself questioning how BC was still alive. The game was being dominated by the Huskies, with the majority of play held in the Eagles’ zone. Our boys were struggling to even string a couple of passes together or get a shot on goal; the frustration was building for everyone from the ice to the stands.

The third period proved to be a nail biter; the shot counts were virtually even through the entire period. Thatcher Demko shined, making some incredible saves to keep the Eagles in the game. With the contest going into Wednesday, as the clock read midnight, many of the full-time fans (and part-time students) questioned how late an overtime period would keep them out.

Northeastern, however, was able to silence those thoughts quickly. With about a minute and a half remaining in the game, the Huskies struck from the point and, once again, regained the lead.

Desperation kicked in, and BC mustered up all the fight they had left, but it just wasn’t enough. The game ended with Northeastern getting a well-deserved 3-2 win, and left the Eagles heading home in disbelief.

Overall, the game was a disappointing one. The Eagles simply didn’t deserve that win; they did not work well enough together as a team to soar past the Huskies. I nearly propelled myself off the balcony on multiple occasions, due to frustration from missed opportunities.

Ah, the missed opportunities… At least three players had golden breakaway chances, but three times the boys came up short. The opportunities were there, but the team just couldn’t capitalize.

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

I often found myself paying more attention to the 300 level, due to the competition being greater between the fan sections than the players. I was more focused on out-cheering the Northeastern fans than paying attention to the game being played.

So, it’s time to look at the big picture; what does this all mean?

It means: the Eagles had a bad night. It could have been due to a cornucopia of different factors, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on them just yet. In the last two months, the Eagles only have two losses, having gone 9-2-2 since December 5. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

They struggled last night, yes, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for a possible playoff run.

This BC team is filled with tremendous individual talent; with a multitude of NHL drafted players and potential draftees, the Eagles have the skill to make it to the top. The biggest challenge is using that talent to their advantage, and really playing better as a team.

By relying on a larger unit, rather than a select few individuals, this group can be great. One player’s tough night isn’t going to throw away a game if every player is a major contributor. Teamwork is what is going to get these boys far, because you can’t win on talent alone.

With seven games left in the regular season, the Eagles are going to be challenged. Harvard, Vermont, Merrimack, UMass-Lowell, and Notre Dame are all contenders not to be taken lightly. These are going to be tough games that will challenge, and ultimately determine, the resolve of this years’ team.

It is going to be hard, but the Eagles can do it. They’ve fought adversity before, and they can do it again. They are certainly tough enough to. After all, they are hockey players...

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Katie McGirney