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Game Notes (12/5): Boston University vs. Boston College

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12-05-2003, 09:24 PM
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Oilers Chick
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Game Notes (12/5): Boston University vs. Boston College

BOSTON UNIVERSITY vs. BOSTON COLLEGE:

The “Battle of Commonwealth Avenue” was a highly anticipated affair by fans of Boston hockey, and it didn’t disappoint as far as being entertaining, intense and fast-paced. Two of the NCAA’s fiercest rivals, the teams would meet for the 217th time at BC’s home rink at Conte Forum tonight.

Both teams welcomed back some players who had missed games due to injury. The Terriers got back sophomore forward David VanderGulik (CGY), while the Eagles got back forwards junior David Spina and sophomore Patrick Eaves (OTT). For BC, Patrick Eaves’ return would be monumental.

The Eagles dominated nearly the entirety of the game’s opening stanza. Where BC really excelled in this game (as well as much of the season) is on defense and special teams. The Eagles took control of the game almost from the get-go with an excellent job of working the Terriers blueliners early and often. They also excelled in breaking up any sort of plays that the Terriers were trying to get set up, as well as creating some turnovers and slowing down BU’s offensive attack. Equally as effctive for the Eagles was their play offensively, and at the 5:46 mark, they would get on the board first. A mad scramble ensues to the left of BU netminder Sean Fields, who struggles to not only find the puck but to corral it as well. Eagles defenceman Greg Lauze ends up with the loose puck and does a nice job of circling behind the net going to the far side of the net. He then spots senior Tony Voce who is wide-open in front and passes off to him Voce, who has a wide-open half of the net to shoot into, does just that and puts BC up 1-0. Lauze and senior Ben Eaves (PIT) would draw the assists. BC continued it’s dominance, however the Eagles defence had some trouble throughout the game with the excellent and aggressive play of BU’s line combo of sophomore John Laliberte (VAN), junior David Klema (PHX) and freshman Kenny Roche (NYR). The David Klema line were the perennial thorns in the side the Eagles defence’s side all night. However, they wouldn’t get on the board just yet. At the 13:52 mark, sophomore Patrick Eaves (OTT) would extend BC’s lead. Eaves lobbed a point shot at the net that somehow found its way just over Fields’ right shoulder and through some traffic. Fields was screened on the play and by the time he got a glimpse of Eaves, the puck was already behind him. Defencemen junior Andrew Alberts (BOS) and senior J. D. Forrest (CAR) would be credited with the assists. In the latter stages of the period, BU got into penalty trouble and found themselves not only having to kill a few penalties but also had to deal with the aggressive attack to their net by the Eagles.

In the 2nd period, the Terriers came out with more sense or urgency (perhaps head coach Jack Parker gave the troops a good tongue-lashing between periods) and were much more aggressive in their play. More importantly, the Terriers were moving their feet alot more, something they didn’t do much of in the 1st period. However, the Terriers aggressive play would also result in some penalties as well. At the 40 second mark, defenceman junior Ryan Whitney (PIT) would be off on a high-sticking call, which would put the deadly BC power play to work. It wouldn’t take the Eagles long to capitalise. At the 1:06 mark, Patrick Eaves would be credited with a fluky goal that came courtesy of BU sophomore Mark Mullen. Eaves had fired off a shot at the BU. As the puck made its way toward the BU net BC senior Tony Voce did a nice job of not only screening Fields but also tangling with Mullen. When the puck did arrive, Mullen ended up tipping in Eaves’ shot just inside the near post to put BC up 3-0. A little later, BU senior forwards Kenny Magowan (NJ) and Frantisek Skladany (COL) would get together for a terrific scoring chance that was bettered by an absolutely great heads up defensive play by Patrick Eaves that robbed the Terriers duo of an almost sure goal. The hard work and havoc that BU was creating would eventually begin paying off for them. At the 4:28 mark, freshman defenceman Sean Sullivan (PHX) would notch his first collegiate goal to get the Terriers on the board. Sullivan simply lobbed a shot at the net that BC netminder Matti Kaltiainen (BOS) got beaten on. Sophomore John Laliberte (VAN) would draw the lone assist. This cut BC’s lead to 3-1. At the 6:57 mark, the Eagles looked like they had regained their two-goal advantage until it was disallowed. The replay showed that among the heap of bodies about to go inside the BU net, there was BC sophomore forward Chris Collins who had pushed the puck over the goal line with his hand, thus disallowing the goal. As a result, it swung some more momentum BU’s way. BC began to have some penalty trouble of their own but thanks to some all-around solid penalty killing, BU was unable to capitalise. The terrific play of the David Klema line would finally pay some dividends at the 16:07 mark. Beginning with some excellent back-checking by sophomore defenseman Dan Spang (SJ) and some nice transitioning by the Terriers forwards, specifically freshman Kenny Roche (NYR) and junior David Klema (PHX), the goal was a beauty. Roche would get the puck off of the sideboards and skate it into the BC zone with Klema on his right. Roche would do a nice job of getting Kaltianen to commit to him before passing the puck to Klema who had the wide open half to shoot into. Klema then wrists one pass an out of position Kaltiainen to cut BC’s lead to 3-2. Roche would draw the lone assist. As the period would wind down, the Terriers began to get lazy and began making some terrible turnovers. Had it not been for some stellar saves by Fields, the Terriers would’ve been alot further behind on the scoreboard than just by one goal.

The 3rd period would start with the Terriers winning some of the territorial battles thanks to some excellent work along the boards. The Eagles had difficulty early in the period getting out of their own zone. BU’s physical game, one of the few areas of the game where BU dominanted BC in, had really begun to pick up. However, the at times over-zealous aggressive play would get BU into penalty trouble and again it would prove costly to the Terriers. At the 10:07 mark, freshman Kevin Schaeffer would be off on a cross-checking call, putting the Eagles on the power play once again. At the 11:56 mark, the BC power play would strike pay dirt. It begins with a nice rebound off the backboards behind and just to the right of the BU net, as well as some bad luck for the Terriers penalty killers as sophomore defenceman Dan Spang’s stick had broken soon thereafter. As the shot from the backboards came back towards the front of the net, alot of traffic had been built up around Fields’ right side, creating chaos for the BU netminder. BC senior Ben Eaves (PIT) would retrieve the puck in front and in an unselfish move, passes the puck over to linemate Tony Voce who was coming in around the far side of the net to retrieve Eaves’ pass. Voce, who had a gaping net to shoot into, just flips it right in for the score. Ben Eaves along with junior forward David Spina would be credited with the assists. This would put BC up 4-2. As the period progressed, the Eagles would get back to what was working for them in the 1st period and would never look back. The Terriers meanwhile kept coming and coming often. The BU defencemen begam jumping up into plays hoping to create some more offence to try and even up the score. However, the Eagles would stay the course. At the 18:58 with the BU net empty for an extra attacker, the Eagles would put the final nail in the coffin. Voce would complete the hat-trick thanks to some excellent hustle, beating the BU defender in a foot race. He then shot the puck into the open net, to cap the scoring 5-2. Ben Eaves (PIT) would draw his third assist on the night on the goal.

What won the game for BC was their tremendous and very effective defensive game coupled with the ability to capitalise on their offensive opportunities. Aside from the 2nd period, this was clearly BC’s game. They dictated nearly all of the first period and a good portion of the 3rd period. While the played ok in the 2nd period, their special teams held and held quite nicely. While Tony Voce and Ben Eaves played extremely well for BC, the most impresive player of the night for the Eagles was Patrick Eaves, who was dynamite in his return to the BC lineup. Aside from what he puts on the scoreboard, what makes the younger Eaves brother such an effective player is how well he finds those open spots to shoot through. In this sense, he draws comparisons to Detroit Red Wings’ sniper Brett Hull. Eaves is opportunisitic and he’s very good at creating plays and creating opportunities. Nowhere was that more evident than in a play about midway through the game where he had split the BU defence to get in for a nice scoring chance. While he didn’t score, what he did do was make something out of nothing. Another area where he excelled at was in the transition game. He follows plays as they develop extremely well and adjusts accordingly with relative ease. Another Eagles player who also stood out was the great defensive work of defenceman junior Andrew Alberts. He earned one assist tonight, however it was his work playing against BU players such as Magowan and Mullen that made him a valuable asset to the Eagles this evening. Alberts used his size and strength well to his advantage tonight and was difficult for BU forwards to shake off.

Though he was sacked with the loss BU netninder Sean Fields was excellent for the Terriers tonight. He set two new BU netminding records tonight. As this was Fields’ 100th game in a Terriers uni, he is now the all time leader in BU history for games played in a career for a netminder. In addition, during the 3rd period, he set a new BU goaltending record for career saves (2,469+). He was peppered much of the night, particularly in the first period, but managed to keep the game close virtually the entire night. He stopped 46 of the 49 shots he faced, some of whom were difficulty ones. Among the BU defence, freshman Sean Sullivan finally gets some well-deserved recognition. In addition to notching his first collegiate goal, he was also a tough nut to crack for BC forwards much of the night, combining some solid defensive play and toughness.

The line combo of the night for BU was the Laliberte-Klema-Roche line. In addition to getting together for a goal, they were the perennial pests to the BC defence all evening. They did some excellent work along the boards and create some excellent scoring opportunities. In addition, they generated some life for the Terriers during times in the game where there was otherwise none. Laliberte and Roche are rapidly developing into players who don’t seem to mind the “daily grind” and the down and dirty battles for puck possession. These guys may not always score and may not score the “pretty goals”, but you can bet that these guys are giving 110% night in and night out, and tonight it showed.


Last edited by Oilers Chick: 12-05-2003 at 09:38 PM.
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12-05-2003, 09:33 PM
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Thanks for the report on Eaves, sounds like perhaps the Sens knew what they were doing when they drafted him. Hope he can stay healthy.

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12-05-2003, 11:00 PM
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great write up... thanks.

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12-06-2003, 11:06 AM
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How is BC dman John Adams looking this season? The Boston media always has nice things to say about him, but he's looked upon as a longshot at HF.

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12-06-2003, 10:59 PM
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You're welcome guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
How is BC dman John Adams looking this season? The Boston media always has nice things to say about him, but he's looked upon as a longshot at HF.
Not bad, but IMO he hasn't done much that has really stood out thus far. He's getting the ice time and is still learning. He could develop into a very solid defensive defenceman, but he's got a ways to go. One area he's gotten better at is his one-on-one coverage, but the area he really needs work at is anticipating plays better, and improving his transition game wouldn't be bad idea either.

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