Do unto others as you would have them do.
This “Golden Rule” has shaped basic human morality since the dawn of civilization, but Boston College hockey has seen fit to tweak it slightly. In their case, they did exactly unto Merrimack as Merrimack did to them just one week ago. On Sunday afternoon in North Andover, MA, the Eagles turned the tables on the Warriors by scoring a 2-1 overtime victory against their Hockey East rivals. Last weekend, Merrimack beat BC 2-1 in overtime as well.
All conference games are critical at this stage, but this one has some added meaning for Boston College. The win moves them to 28 points, putting them in a three-way tie for first place in Hockey East once again. An important footnote to that is that the Eagles have an extra game in hand over the two teams with whom they are tied, the Providence Friars and the New Hampshire Wildcats. Merrimack falls one point behind on 27.
Of course, it wasn’t perfect for the winning team, and there were still some concerning happenings. For example, Merrimack outshot the Eagles by a 44-28 margin, and Merrimack got five power play opportunities (comparatively, just one for BC). Further, Johnny Gaudreau, arguably the team’s best player, has been a little quiet lately: no goals in his last three games and only one total point. In the 2012 half of the schedule, Gaudreau had only one zero-point game; in 2013 so far, he’s had six and counting.
On a happier note, thank Quinn Smith for the game-winner. 2:23 into overtime, Smith saw the game-winner into the net and gave BC a 2-1 victory (assists Brown, Matheson). The Eagles’ earlier goal was scored 6:32 into the game off of the stick of Steven Whitney; Shawn Bates connected on a power-play goal for Merrimack at 12:43 of the first, and it was not until Smith’s overtime goal that any team struck again.
Parker Milner was the game’s second star, but arguably could have been the first. It is hard to debate that his outstanding 43 saves did not keep the Eagles in the game. He had 40 saves in BC’s loss to Merrimack last week, and 29 more in the tie with New Hampshire; he was overdue for a win with how he’s been playing.
Boston College has some things to fix as the Hockey East Tournament approaches, and as that which lies beyond continues to draw near. Winning does most certainly make things better, though.
The Eagles return to the ice on Tuesday night to host UMass-Lowell in the game rescheduled due to Winter Storm Nemo.