BOSTON, Mass. — Less than two weeks ago, Boston College was shaking its heads looking for answers to the teams offensive woes. Wednesday night, those offensive
questions were answered — sevenfold.
The Eagles used four power play goals, career-best games from Nathan Gerbe (four goals, assist) and Benn Ferriero (two goals, three assists) and a 34-save performance from goaltender John Muse as BC headed into the holiday break with a 7-2 victory over cross-town rival Harvard at the Bright Center.
Puck movement for the Eagles was at a premium, particularly on the man-advantage. Many of BCs goals came from the sticks of players left completely uncovered and untouched with perfect looks at the net.
The goals were all a result of good passing, said BC head coach Jerry York.
The guys did a great job of moving the puck, said Gerbe, who has now scored 12 points in his last three games, all BC wins.
Harvard outshot the Eagles on the night 36-27, but it was the quality attempts that helped the Eagles cash in. That, along with the fact that seemingly everything that Gerbe touched ended up in the back of the net.
We came into the game trying to not let [Gerbe] beat us and he did, said Harvard head coach Ted Donato. Were disappointed with both the effort and the execution.
Though the Crimson notched two power play goals of their own, it was the struggles on the penalty kill that was the difference maker.
I thought we didnt have a real answer for their power play, said Donato, who was also disappointed with his teams inability to stay out of the penalty box. Their speed and skill was some of the cause of the [ten BC] power plays, but our discipline was not where it needs to be.
A spirited first period saw the Eagles jump out in front early. After a penalty to Harvards Michael Del Mauro for contact-to-the-head elbowing at 3:10, Gerbes one-timer from the right faceoff dot 23 seconds later snapped off the glove of Harvard starting netminder Kyle Richter (16 saves) and into the net for a 1-0 Eagle lead.
Harvard, though, would answer on a nearly identical power play goal. Michael Biega blasted a one-timer from the right faceoff dot that found room on the short side between Muse and the goalpost at 11:05 to knot the game at one.
The Eagles regained the lead at 13:29 when Matt Greene worked a perfect give-and-go with Joe Whitney, redirecting a bouncing puck through Richters legs to send the Eagles into the locker room ahead 2-1.
In the second, BC extended its lead with its second power play goal of the game. Gerbe found Benn Ferriero wide open at the right post for a tip in at 3:17. Less than four minutes later, a Harvard defensive zone turnover in the slot allowed Gerbe to rip a quick shot under the crossbar for a 4-1 Eagle lead.
Though the Crimson would get one back on Biegas second power play goal of the night, Gerbe completed his hat trick pushing a shot into an open net on the power play at 17:30 to give BC a three-goal cushion heading into the third.
Ferriero scored his second of the night just 47 second into the third when Muse stopped a Harvard blast from the point and kicked the rebound over the entire Harvard defense, sending Ferriero in alone. He caught Richter off his angle and fired a low shot along the ice for the 6-2 lead.
That goal would spell the end of the night for Richter as rookie Ryan Carroll (four saves) saw his first collegiate action.
Gerbe put the only goal behind Carroll with 7:50 remaining to complete his career-best game with his fourth of the night to account for the 7-2 final.
The loss for Harvard leaves the team winless in its last three (four if you count an exhibition loss to the US Under-18 Team on Sunday), and drops them to 6-4-2 on the season.
For BC (6-4-5), the victory maintains the momentum the team got from a two-game sweep of archrival Boston University two weekends ago after going winless over a six-game span. And despite now having to take 17 days off between games, York says that its a lot better to head into a break on such an upbeat note.
The locker room is alive, said York. Were excited and we think that we have the makings of a good club. But its a long year.