MEN’S HOCKEY: Three Keys To Victory

October 7, 2012

By Greg Joyce, Sports Editor

Even though it was just an exhibition game, No. 1 Boston College got off to an impressive start to its 2012-2013 season on Saturday night at Kelley Rink, taking down the University of New Brunswick 6-0. After some expected sloppy play in the first 10 minutes, the Eagles found their stride with an absolutely dominating second period, when they scored four of their six goals. As always, there is room for improvement for BC, but here’s what went right in the win:

Rock-Solid Walls In Net – Parker Milner, Brian Billett, and Brad Barone each played one period in between the pipes for BC, and all three were on top of their game. They all had their share of highlight-reel saves, and combined for 18 saves on the night. Despite their varying depths of experience, all three looked calm and collected in the crease, and helped to spread that confidence to the young BC defense.

Head coach Jerry York said he watched New Brunswick practice on Friday and thought it’d be a close game, but said that his goalies were the difference makers in the win.

“Our goalies made some terrific saves,” York said. “I thought all three goalies played very well. I was really pleased with our goaltenders.”

Milner will surely get almost all of the starts this season, but it’s important to trust your backups, and Billett and Barone both looked solid tonight.

Scoring Spread Out – All four forward lines contributed to the scoring tonight, a great recipe for success. York always prides himself on having a deep team, and he saw that continue tonight.

“Early on in the season, we’re just trying to formulate some lines … but to see Patrick Brown’s line, and Michael Sit’s line play very well, that’s a really good sign for us,” York said. “We know that Billy Arnold’s line and Pat Mullane’s line, those are going to be really excellent for us during the course of the year. So we’re developing a little more depth and a little more strength than [just] those other two lines.”

The goal scorers on the night were Johnny Gaudreau, Destry Straight, Bill Arnold (on the power play), Brooks Dyroff, Patrick Brown, and Danny Linell. Fourteen Eagles recorded points on the night, either scoring a goal or setting up a goal with an assist.

Second Period Dominance – After a solid first period, BC lit up Conte Forum with four goals in the second frame, including three goals in a span of 1:43.

“Oh we made some great plays,” York said of his team’s performance in the second period. “We had a lot of jump.”

The Eagles straight up controlled the pace of the game in that second period, and maintained possession of the puck for the majority of the frame. BC outshot New Brunswick 17-4 in the period, and all but put the game out of reach with a dominating 20 minutes.

With all of that said, the Eagles haven’t even had their first real practice of the season yet. That’ll happen on Sunday, as they now have under a week to prepare for their season opener at Northeastern. But if Saturday night’s game was any indication of how the regular season will go, there is a lot to be excited about in Chestnut Hill.

“I’m pleased, we haven’t had many practices,” York said. “The NCAA mandates two hours a week for these three weeks, so actually tomorrow [Sunday] will be our first real practice. So having said that, it’s great to see where we are.”


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