The men’s hockey team was eliminated from the NCAA playoffs this past weekend after a disappointing 5-2 loss to a strong Denver squad.
The Eagles, just as they have in their last few games, started the game off slow. They were failing to get offensive production or generate movement in the Denver zone. The effort seemed lackluster, and they were not playing like a team whose season was on the line.
Denver got the early lead from a power play goal, and from that moment on, Boston College would trail. Late into the first, Michael Matheson struck from the point and lit the lamp with a rocket of a shot to tie the game at one. With 6.9 seconds remaining in the first, though, Denver scored once more and the Eagles were again in a deficit.
BC came out fighting much harder in the second period and were awarded with some good chances, but they couldn’t capitalize. The second period finished with the same score as the first, 2-1. The third period was much of the same, but it was Denver who shined, scoring two more goals to make it 4-1.
The Eagles began to catch fire late in the game, and Ryan Fitzgerald was able to find the back of the net to make the deficit two. But their ignition came much too late, and with an empty net goal with around two minutes to play, the dagger stuck into the heart of the BC team.
This season was filled with so many highs and lows, but with how this program has been in recent years, this season was definitely a disappointing one for fans. The Eagles finished the season with a record of 21-14-3, an impressive feat for any team that isn’t the Boston College Eagles. There were shocking upsets, disappointing finishes and thrilling victories. In the end, this season was one for learning, and here are some of the things that we can take away from it:
- Rebuilding isn’t easy. The loss of Johnny Hockey was a big one, and there was a gaping hole that went unfilled. BC does not currently have any one individual who can step up to fill Gaudreau’s incredibly skilled skates; the team needs to work together to make up for that loss. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the men’s hockey team won’t be rebuilt in a season.
- Boston College isn’t “hockeymania” when the team isn't winning every game. Superfans are hesitant to show up to games when there is doubt that their team isn’t going to dominate. On of the list of priorities for Boston College students, attending hockey games was not very high up this year.
- Our freshmen are really good. Zach Sanford, Alex Tuch and Noah Hanifin are all stellar players; they have the skill, the size, the on-ice presence, and they now they have a season of experience under their belt. They are all either drafted or predicted to go top 5 in the upcoming 2015 draft (in Hanifin’s case). These guys dominated for BC this season and made a difference on the ice.
The rise back to the top for men's hockey is coming; we can’t expect perfection every year. In 2009, the team didn’t even make the playoffs; the following year, they won the national championship. With Jerry York at the helm, anything is possible. Don’t be too worried about the relatively quiet 2014-2015 season.
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