Explosive BC offense reaches new heights

BOSTON, Mass.–In the month of January, the Boston Bruins were unable to score more than two goals in any given night here at TD Bank Garden. However, in the first round of the 58th annual Beanpot, Boston College tripled that number in the same building and also kept the Harvard Crimson scoreless in a 6-0 slaughter Monday afternoon.

Perhaps the Bruins could learn a thing or two.

The Eagles offense worked it in all aspects on the ice and only grew stronger as the game progressed. Whether it was the power play, even strength, 4-on-4, they capitalized in every situation.

Arguably the most rewarding part of it all was how many people were able to contribute points to the team. The Gibbons line in particular had a great night, but players like Carl Sneep, who had three points on the afternoon, added even more confidence to the entire team.

Coach Jerry York took the opportunity to reflect on his team’s accomplishments and kept coming back to the way his seniors played especially. And looking at the statistics, simply put, they came to play. Accounting for six points throughout the game, the senior class led by example and the rest followed.

“It was evident to me watching these four seniors they were really instrumental,” York said. “We wanted to get to that championship game.”

However, according to captain Matt Price, it was all in a day’s work and they played just as hard as any game with no dwelling or lingering thoughts of the untimely departure of BC in last year’s tournament.

“Last year is last year, this is the new year,” Price said. “You always want to come out and play well every night. This night was no different. We try to lead the team by example and go out and put on a good effort every night, and all around, everyone did a great job tonight.”

But taking the goals out of the game, Harvard still didn’t stand a chance in any other category.  The shots on goal favored BC 43-33, and many of the shots Harvard had were light tosses to the net. The power play highly favored the Eagles due to the fact that the Crimson’s second home was the penalty box. Harvard was called for 11 different penalties, and BC took every opportunity to make them pay for it–and three times they did.

While many of the penalties were attributed to the complete mismatch in play, there were times in the third period when Harvard simply became too frustrated and resorted to foul play. In fact, at one point in the third, Harvard had three men in the penalty box and was forced to give up valuable minutes to the 5-on-3 penalty kill.

“You take 12 penalties, it’s hard to sit here and say it’s a disciplined effort,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “Part of it was discipline with what we were trying to do as a game plan, and part of it was an inability to really find a way to shut down their skill players.”

But where to begin? BC showed little to no weaknesses in its lines, freshmen to senior. While the seniors provided the leadership, the underclassmen played copycat. Freshmen Brian Dumoulin and Chris Kreider were among them, as was the entire Gibbons line.

“The skill level out there is unbelievable,” Price said. “It’s fun to watch. They are the type of players that always have their heads up, they see things the average player doesn’t see. They seem to have a sense where guys will be before the puck even leaves their stick.”

The entire BC team has been dangerous all year, and continues to spark during the season, again from all areas of the ice. Gibbons hopes that one of those sparks sustains and fuels them for the rest of the season.

“My freshmen year after we won [the Beanpot], we went on a little streak there, so I think definitely it can spring you into a year you want to have,” Gibbons said.

With that win, Boston College moves on to the championship game next Monday, and they will have to bring the same kind of offense to play the winner of the Northeastern/BU game. Sounds daunting when those two teams faced off in last year’s Beanpot championship game and were ranked top in the nation. But Gibbons didn’t express too much concern when he looked at his own teammates and playmakers.

“We have 12 forwards that can all play and that can put the puck in the net, and it’s kind of scary how deep we are sometimes, especially when we are playing at our best,” Gibbons said. “We were going good early in the year, it was our depth that was getting us going. Hopefully we can get that back now and get on a run at the end of the year.”

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