Maybe Boston College hockey needs Johnny Gaudreau back more than it realizes.
One thing is for certain, though: the defending national champion hockey team has played consecutive bad games, but this time, they did not get tagged with an embarrassing loss. On Friday evening at Conte Forum, the Eagles and visiting Yale Bulldogs tied, 3-3. BC’s record moves sideways to 12-3-2 through their first seventeen games of the season.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a Bill Arnold goal, his eighth of the season at 15:46 (assists Hayes, Matheson). Despite getting badly outshot in that period — and this would be a theme for the rest of the game, much to the chagrin of Boston College — the home team held the lead, but only for a short while.
The second goal of the game came early in the second period off the stick of freshman Brendan Silk, notching his second career goal at 5:31 to give his team a 2-0 lead (assists Hayes, Matheson). Yale’s response came just 17 seconds later, as Colin Dueck’s first goal of the season halved the margin to 2-1 (assists Day, Bourbonais).
Unfortunately for the Eagles, that was not the last time from which Yale would be heard in the second period: they’d strike again at 11:37 on Ryan Obuchowski’s first goal (unassisted) and at 12:50 on an Andrew Miller power play goal (assists Fallen, Killian). Boston College’s 2-0 lead evaporated into a 3-2 deficit in a relatively short period of time, but when given an opportunity on a 5-on-3, they took it. Steven Whitney’s game-tying goal at 16:33 made it a 3-3 contest, and so it would remain (assists Mullane, Matheson).
Aside from the fact that BC didn’t actually lose, there were more negatives to take from this performance than positives. Boston College’s defense was shockingly lacking as the Eagles were outshot 48-22 for the full game plus five minutes of overtime. The Eagles also took too many penalties, as six were called against BC. One of them was inexcusable from the perspective of Boston College: at the end of the second period, freshman defenseman Mike Matheson got a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a blow to the head. This careless penalty put his team in a position to have to kill a major at the start of the final period and it took away a defenseman. That could have cost the Eagles the game, but fortunately for them, it did not. This incident scrubbed away any good vibes he may have otherwise gotten on a night where he had three points.
The star for the Eagles was clearly Parker Milner, who made a career-high 45 saves in the tie. Yale just kept coming and, for the most part, he kept stopping them. In a night where the rest of his team was flat, Milner stood tall.
If this is that typical mid-season BC hockey swoon, it’s off to a roaring start. The Eagles return next Friday to host New Hampshire.