Men's Hockey

Despite Penalties, BC Earns Victory Over Arizona State

While it’s said that you may miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, Boston College men’s hockey proved it’s still hard to make the shots actually you actually take. While BC beat Arizona State 3-1, it took a total of 41 shots, compared to ASU’s 24.The No. 3 Eagles (10-2-1, 5-0-1 Hockey East) should’ve come away with more than five points against one of the worst defenses in the nation. BC was rested and ready to take on the Sun Devils, but it just couldn’t find the back of the net. After Arizona State arrived on a long trip from the West Coast, BC expected to see a team a little tired coming into Kelley Rink, but that wasn’t the case.

As a first-year Division I program, the Sun Devils (2-9) look poised to become a team worth watching on the national stage, and the Eagles got a taste of that during the game. While the puck seemed to consistently be on the Sun Devils’ side of the ice, getting it past goaltender Joey Daccord proved to be a challenge. During the second period, when ASU was called for too many men on the ice and Robert Levin was called for slashing, BC had a 5-on-3 player advantage but still couldn’t capitalize on the power play.

“Our offensive zone generated tremendous pressure and quality chances, I thought their goaltender did extremely well,” head coach Jerry York said after the game.

It had looked like BC would win by a large margin after taking 15 shots to ASU’s five in the first period. The Eagles consistently had multiple players ready to get the puck in the back of the net off a rebound, but Daccord seemed to gravitate toward the puck. ASU surrenders an average of 5.22 goals per game, the second-highest rate in college hockey. Despite this, BC scored once in each period, and two of those goals were during a power play.

ASU has the most penalties in the entire country, but BC still sent more players into the box than the Sun Devils. Casey Fitzgerald was called for a penalty twice, once for tripping during the first period and another for interference only 45 seconds into the second. Fitzgerald was also the only player to head into the box more than once. With six penalties during the last three games, Fitzgerald has brought his total number of times in the box to nine—the most on the team’s roster other than Colin White.

With five penalties during the game, BC has brought up its total to 95 for the season compared to its opponents’ 77. Even with such a high number of players heading into the box, the Eagles have slowly reduced the number of penalties they’ve committed as the season has progressed. The new rulebook makes it much easier for a player to get called, something that has proved difficult for the Eagles so far. Going into the rest of the season, BC will want to keep that number as low as possible to minimize the chances of its opponent getting an advantage on the ice.

The third period proved to be very tame compared to the first two—there was only one penalty throughout the entire period. The first seven minutes were played with uninterrupted hockey, each team playing in a more controlled manner. The streak didn’t last, as BC sent Ryan Fitzgerald to the box for slashing 18 minutes into the period. Even though the Eagles had more penalties than the Sun Devils, ASU could not score any points on the subsequent power play, allowing BC to extend its winning streak to 10 games, the longest unbeaten streak in college hockey.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

November 13, 2016