CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Friday night at Boston Colleges Kelley Rink, it was a classic teacher versus student clash as Boston College bench boss Jerry York faced former Eagles assistant coach and current Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch.
In the end it was the wisdom of York that prevailed over the youth and enthusiasm of Paluch as the Eagles skated to a 5-3 victory led by a two goal and three point night by BC captain Brock Bradford.
For the second straight game, the story of the evening for BC was special teams. BC scored three times in 12 power play opportunities and also added a shorthanded tally.
Unlike a week ago against Wisconsin where BC held its opponent scoreless in special teams situations, the Eagles struggled to contain the Falcons outside of five-on-five scenarios, allowing a power-play goal and two shorthanded tallies.
In the end, though, Boston Colleges speed and transition game proved the difference.
BC is so good in transition, said Paluch, whose club allowed two goals on odd-man rushes and numerous high-quality scoring opportunities in transition. When the puck gets behind your defense theyre in transition right away. Theyre so skilled that theyre going to get some quality chances.
The Falcons spotted Boston College an early 2-0 lead on two early Bradford special team goals. The first on the power play at 8:01 came as Bradford and Ben Smith turned a Bowling Green turnover into a two-on-one, with Bradford finishing at the right post. The second, another two-on-one, came shorthanded when Brian Gibbons picked up a puck at the defensive blueline, raced in with Bradford and made a perfect pass to the right post at 9:24 for a 2-0 lead.
The Falcons, though, drew within a goal with a power play tally of their own. James Perkins buried a deflected pass into an empty net at 11:45, the first power play goal the Eagles allowed this season.
BC then went to work late in the period with the man advantage as Carl Sneep scored his first goal of the season, blasting a shot from the right point far side on Bowling Green netminder Jimmy Spratt (13 saves) at 17:48 to boast the Eagles lead to 3-1 through one.
Bowling Green, though, wouldnt go away and at 12:51 of the second scored a shorthanded goal of its own to draw within a goal heading to the third. Defenseman Kevin Schmidt worked a perfect give-and-go with David Solway with Schmidt finding a small hole on BC goaltender John Muse (25 saves) at the right post to get the Falcons within a goal at 3-2 heading to the third.
Pulling to 3-2 heading to the third was a positive sign, Paluch said, calling it a staple of his team to continually persevere. The Falcons have now fallen behind, 2-0, in all three games this season but in each case battled back minimally to get within a goal and even earned a tie last weekend against Niagara.
Friday night, though, Boston College wasnt allowing the Falcons to get any closer. Right off the opening faceoff in the third, the Eagles struck when Joe Whitney buried a rebound on the doorstep just 18 seconds into the frame.
Kyle Kucharski extended lead to 5-2 at 11:25 redirecting a point shot by Sneep through Spratts five hole.
Bowling Green again pulled within two goals with 2:52 remaining on a shorthanded tally by Dan Sexton. But shortly thereafter another Falcons penalty — putting BC on the power play for the 12th time in the game — snuffed out any further thoughts of a comeback.
There wasnt enough five-on-five play. Both teams took a lot of penalties, said Paluch. I thought our club played pretty well five-on-five. I like the way we battled.
Boston College will begin Hockey East play on Saturday night when it travels to Northeastern. Bowling Green will travel to Providence to face the Friars in the clubs fourth straight non-league game to begin the season.