Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Good Fight Falls Short

Sean Maguire made 38 saves last
night and if not for his stellar play
this game could have been 9-1.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
To say BC was the better team would be a total understatement. For stretches in last night's 6-4 loss at Conte Forum, it felt like watching the Soviets run circles around Denmark. But at other points, specifically the end, BU showed some real fight and comeback, as they made things far more intense.

Robbie Baillargeon got the scoring started in the first and gave BU their only lead of the game, roughly 10 minutes in. Brendan Collier and Doyle Somerby picked the assists on the play.

BC struck back on the power play with less than a minute left in the frame. Adam Gilmour slipped one through Sean Maguire's legs for his first of two on the night.

BC dominated the second period. This was the height of that Soviet-Denmark game referred to earlier. Maguire absolutely stood on his head in the stanza and despite allowing two goals, he stopped 17 shots, 7 of which were (as Jack Edwards would put it) "10 bell" saves. One that really stood out was a sprawling glove save that he gave the old Patrick Roy windmill to on a point blank shot from the slot.

BC's first goal of the second period came just after that spectacular save. Danny Linell tossed a shot on goal that Maguire handled but could not control the rebound and Quinn Smith was able to bury it, giving BC a lead they would never relinquish.

John Gaudreau increased the lead on the power play midway through the frame. Graudreau drew a holding called after falling down in the corner. On the resulting man advantage, BC's clockwork power play set up the junior standout for his 20th goal of the year. Passing from Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes resulted in the assists.

The third period saw six goals scored, three by each team. It seemed like every time BU could inch back in the game, BC was there to quickly extinguish the threat with a quick goal.

TJ Ryan gave BU fans something to cheer for just 2:50 into the stanza. Kevin Duane slipped a pass through a crowd from the far corner to Ryan, who was stationed at the top of the crease. Ryan got a lot on his shot from close in and beat Brian Billett, who had no chance. It was Ryan's first collegiate goal.

Chris Calnan and Adam Gilmour both scored, three minutes apart to give BC their biggest lead of the game and it looked like BC was going to run away with it.

Mike Moran changed all of that with just under 10 minutes left. He threw a "what the hell" shot on goal from a bad angle in the far circle. The shot somehow snuck through Billett's pads and dropped into the goal behind him to make it a two goal game. The goal was very similar to Zach Cohen's goal in the 2009 Hockey East Semis vs BC. That was the first of BU's three goals in 45 seconds.

BU found themselves on a five on three power play with less than five minutes to play. BC killed off the two man advantage, but the Terriers scored on the leftover time on the second penalty. Baillargeon and Ahti Oksanen set up Cason Hohmann for something I have never seen Hohmann take: a one timer. Hohmann drilled it and the puck flew into the top corner.

About 30 seconds after the goal, a shot from the point was tipped in front and Billett never saw it until it just hit him.

Oksanen also had a golden chance to tie the game with the extra attacker, but his rocket soared just a few inches over the net.

Gaudreau added an empty netter to seal the deal at 6-4.

The ending was very exciting and for the first time since probably the Cornell game, it really felt like there was something to root for. At this point in the year, I really think that's all we can ask for especially considering all the injuries.

The Terriers are back at it tonight as they trek up to Lowell in the snow.

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