Coming into last night’s, game Boston College was slated four points above their Friday night opponent Boston University in the Hockey East Standings. Four points, each one representing a mile separating the two campuses along Commonwealth Avenue’s tenement-lined sidewalks.
For anyone in Agganis Arena for the Terriers and Eagles third meeting of the season, there may have been a slight sense of deja vu in the air. Just one period in the Eagles had rushed out to a commanding 3-0 lead, while the Terriers seemed to never be closer than a step behind, a similar start to over a month earlier when the Eagles manhandled the Terriers at home, 9-5.
Where just twenty minutes earlier BU students danced and waved into the jumbotron’s camera, they now stood confused and dejected. Though mostly silent, the looks and mumbles said collectively “Not again…”
In the end all was not lost for the BU faithful on the night as their Terriers came back to score two second period goals, but as they have come to learn in the past few games, it’s hard to dig yourself out of a hole in Hockey East. For the second game in a row Boston University found themselves down 3-0 only to make an ill fated attempt at a comeback. They dropped a 3-2 decision to Merrimack earlier in the week, followed by last night’s identical setback to BC.
“It has something to do with confidence I think,” explained Terrier coach Jack Parker. “Almost like ‘oh the game is over, now we can go play hard.’”
The Terriers came into the second an almost entirely different, team, cutting into the lead when Garrett Noonan slid a feed from behind the cage past BC’s John Muse. David Warsofsky then made it a one-goal game when he drilled a point shot which seemed locked on to the top corner from the moment it left his stick.
But though they showed signs of life, Parker explained it wasn’t enough.
“In the second period we played extremely well and obviously got a couple goals,” he said. “Too little too late though. We are not interested in moral victories, but if anything it was something we can build on.”
“I give BU alot of credit. They came back with an outstanding second period to make it at tight 3-2 game,” said Eagles coach Jerry York. “With us playing that well at 3-0, there was no quit in them.”
With both teams essentially winning a period, the third was a stalemate that saw its fair share of rough play and great goaltending from both Muse and Kieran Millan. “That third period was a battle,” explained York.
Though Muse got the win and the first star, Millan may have had more up close and personal saves, the biggest coming on a 2-on-1 with about two minutes remaining in the game where Millan’s outstretched glove hand snagged a Jimmy Hayes shot at an otherwise wide open net.
Through the character found in the almost completed comeback, and trying to pull the positives of the game, Parker was honest with his team’s recent trend in attempting to come from behind.
“Coming back its a difficult thing for a team to do, when they’re jumpy, and there’s a lot of disconnect,” said Parker. “After were down a little but, guys are more jumpy and nervous with the puck.”
“I think just that month they’re a better team now,” said York about the Terriers. “Certainly from my perspective much better than they were in December.”
The separation is now at six points for the Terriers. A little further away in the standings in a game where they were they played the Eagles the closest they have all year.
With the way they are progressing, and how close the games are becoming for the Terriers and Eagles, the two weeks of cooking time before the teams face off in the first round of the Beanpot, should mean one heck of an opening night game.