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Friday thoughts: Droppin’ bombs

February 14, 2009

It is our belief that Lowell has not laid a beating that comprehensive and unrelenting on any opponent in at least eight or so years. We cannot remember one, at least. Some would say that perhaps the 6-0 game against Maine in Florida last year was dominant and, though we didn’t see the game, we could almost buy that. The same goes for another game that was a lot like this one: a 7-0 victory over UNH at the Tsongas Arena a few years back.

But we firmly believe that the confluence of circumstances that went into this win make it unquestionably the biggest, meanest bullying job since Biff Tannen got his clock cleaned by George McFly.

Lowell entered this game as road underdogs, and with fairly good reason. The 15th-ranked Eagles had lost just one of its last six games, that to No. 3 Northeastern, while Lowell had played in a number of very tight games over the past few weeks. BC had the talent to win the game walking away and should have had the drive and desire to see that goal through.

But inexplicably, BC looked like it wanted absolutely nothing to do with playing a hockey game last night. It didn’t hit particularly well, it didn’t transition at all and while it did have Grade-A chances, it did nothing to capitalize upon them.

There’s one surefire way to know the Eagles were thoroughly dominated last night, though: it was outscored 2-0 on its nine power plays. Lowell simply could not stop taking foolish penalties and while some were mumbling that the Eagles were sure to capitalize (they had to, right?), it never happened. Instead, BC settled for passing the puck D-to-D, getting a shot toward the net that was typically blocked or sent wide, and having the zone cleared. Repeat for 18 minutes. But even that wasn’t enough for the woeful BC power play. It also had to give up two third-period shorties, one the nail-in-the-coffin goal by Nick Schaus on a 3-on-1 shorthanded Lowell rush, and the other a gorgeous roof job by Nick Monroe with 16 seconds remaining to make the final score even more laughable. Lowell’s net special teams percentage last night was an immaculate 11 for 14 (2 for 5 PP, 9 for 9 PK) and we imagine you’d be hard pressed to find a more convincing special teams performance from anyone in college hockey this year. Certainly not on the road. Likewise, you probably couldn’t find a worse one than BC’s 3-for-14 performance (a ghastly 21.4 percent).

And we say all this without even really touching upon the first two periods, in which Lowell jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals from Ben Holmstrom and Nevin Hamilton made several top-notch saves to keep BC off the board. The dominance of the Lowell penalty kill was rather evident, going 7 for 7, and John Muse was still kept busy at the other end.

But things began to unravel in the third, and very badly. In what was only, at the beginning of the period, a two-goal game, BC just never left the dressing room. It was outshot 21-6 in that final, desperate 20 minutes and, frankly, it was more than a little embarrassing to watch. We honestly couldn’t name one BC player that did anything well at all in the entire game.

And these guys are the defending national champions? Their season is over. Unequivocally. Nobody could argue otherwise. This was their biggest game of the year, at least in terms of playoff positioning, and they did absolutely nothing with the opprotunity. It would be one thing to say BC pulled a no-show. Just didn’t come ready to skate. But that’d be inaccurate, because the Eagles weren’t just not there, they were actively bad. The few penalties they took were of the stupid variety — especially the elbow from (who else!?) Nick Petrecki that led to Lowell’s first goal just over two minutes into the game — and their power play, even though it was given a ridiculous number of chances, looked as bad as Lowell’s did a couple years ago when it finished somewhere around 11 percent.

Not to say that Lowell didn’t do things well. When was the last time any team you can think of scored two shorties, two power play goals, and two at even strength? When was the last time Lowell went 9 for 9 on a PK?

Holmstrom was immense, obviously. As was David Vallorani, whose second of his two goals was a snipe so nasty that it had Tom Beringer scribbling down some notes. The entire defense did a great job blocking shots and forcing BC to take the puck wide. That defense also did a great job of powering the offense, with Schaus’ aforementioned dagger being the lone goal on a night when six points came from the blue line. (And we told you that would happen, by the by.)

How does BC rebound from a night like that? How do you regroup after a night when you were just minding your own business, making a nice dry bologna sandwich for yourself when Lowell sauntered into your kitchen, enquired as to the type of bread and brand of deli meat being used, then grabbed the knife with which the bread was being sliced, calmly and coolly drove it into your chest cavity several times, then got out the mustard to make that sandwich properly before sitting down and enjoying said lunch with a nice bottle of Coke.

Surely the Eagles, who have only won one Hockey East game away from home this year (that at Merrimack, and in overtime) will play better tonight, but at some point Jerry York has to acknowledge that, effort-wise, his team is dividing by zero.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 14, 2009 7:53 pm

    That was an epic ass kicking last night. Bob Ellis was in rare form on the WUML broadcast.

    Lets get 2 more points tonight.

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