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October 19, 2013Absolutely everyone, including coach Jerry York, got their first look Friday night at just how good this version of the Boston College hockey team might be and for future opponents, what they saw was indeed scary. Despite 10 new faces on this year's squad and a general feeling that it might take until late in the season before they reached their full potential, the Eagles beat nationally second ranked Wisconsin by an easy 9-2, an effort that Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves admitted was "an old fashion thumping."
The ever humble York, who was honored pre-game for achieving the record for most wins by a college coach, was even taken to admit that "this was our initial look at the possibility that we might be a good team. Everything we did tonight turned into goals.
"But," he warned, "it is still October."
Goal scoring came from up and down the lineup and and the defense was solid. Freshman Austin Cangelosi had two goals and assist as the obvious standout for the night and a couple more came from the usual, Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes. Less likely sources also contributed- junior Michael Sit scored his first career goal, Patrick Brown scored on a breakaway while killing a penalty and three defensemen had goals, soph Mike Matheson, and impressive freshmen Ian McCoshen and Scott Savage.
Overall there were more than one comment from observers that Boston College's effort, particularly the first period, might have been as good as any they had ever seen.
Top effort and top results are always expected from guys like Hayes, Mattheson, Gaudreau, Brown and Arnold, but this game also displayed maturity from the young and from the unlikely sources. Adam Gilmour, the freshman winger who is almost a clone of Kevin Hayes, had three assists for the game. Scott Savage, who didn't even get to dress for the opening game at Michigan, scored a goal but just as significantly displayed a booming slap shot that manged to find it's way to the goalie three other times in the game. Chris Calnan continues as a physical force on Brown's energy line and had an assist.
And, standing out as the game progressed, the Sit-Straight line skated well and junior Sit scored his first career goal. With Brendan Silk on the other wing, this line might be a bit more than time-killers while the top three lines rest.
After being outshot in the first two games of the season, the lose to Michigan and win over RPI, the Eagles this time outshot Wisconsin 49-21. Coach York was heard at practice during the week imploring his team to get the puck on the net more. Of course Gaudreau had 7 shots (he will shoot from any angle) and Hayes had 8 shots. It's the new guys who aren't shy about shooting. Gilmour had five shots, Savage had four, McCoshen had three and Calnan had three. This doesn't seem to be a team that will be known for style rather than substance, as we have often seen in the past.
Brian Billett wasn't seriously tested in the goal, but he moves well from side to side and we saw him react well in a couple of close games the past two seasons. He will probably continue to rotate assignment with highly advertised freshman Thatcher Demko until one of them earns the right to be the full-timer. York isn't afraid to rotate goalies- ie. Parker Milner and John Muse- but he usually likes to settle on one starter before playoff time.
The BC schedule doesn't get easier next week with two games at Minnesota, but then the BC team we saw Friday night might not really need any soft spots on their schedule. Their record stands at 2-1 now and significantly York said that Wisconsin was the best team they have played so far.
As for the Jerry York celebration, their were video tributes on the jumbotrons, a brief salute from athletic director Brad Bates and a very, very short word or two from the humble coach himself.
"I tried to get out of this three times last year, twice with detached retinas and once with a snowstorm," York joked after this very significant victory.
Boston College NEWS