January 24, 2007
Live Blog: Boston University at Boston College

By Jeff Howe

INCH blogs from Conte Forum
Game Status: BU won 4-1.

INCH Senior Writer Jeff Howe blogged live from Boston College on Wednesday night, as the Eagles hosted their cross-town rivals from Boston University. This game was rescheduled from Dec. 1, when fog filled the Conte Forum and forced postponement of the game. Boston University won 4-1.

7:00 Game is five minutes from starting, and there are no surprises in net. Cory Schneider starts for the host Eagles while John Curry opposes him between the Terrier pipes.

7:06 Puck drops in front of a lively but very bare crowd. BC fans are notorious for showing up late, but this is pretty lame.

7:13 BC fans were given thundersticks at some point before this game, which begs a question. Do Eagles really fly when it's thundering?

7:17 Still no sign of any fog. Looks like this game will happen in its entirety tonight. Conte Forum looks like an actual hockey arena and not a haunted house, although BU may not realize that. BC has flattened a few Terriers in the first 9 minutes tonight while controlling this contest so far. No score, though.

7:18 Exactly one minute after I write how BC is controlling play, Chris Higgins sets up Peter MacArthur in the slot. MacArthur waved on his first bid but was true on the second, raising a wrister past Schneider at 9:55 of the first. BU leads 1-0.

7:25 Brett Motherwell just got two minutes for tripping, but Chris Higgins may have gotten away with a dive. There obviously isn't a "no swearing" policy at the Heights like there is at Agganis.

7:28 Peter MacArthur capitalizes on the power play. He one-timed a shot from a
tough angle at the right point, and it beat Schneider near-side. BU takes a 2-0 lead at 13:37.

7:31 John Curry just delivered a pizza behind the net, but BU's defense bailed him out. BC missed out on a great opportunity, one that might even trump the Domino's 5-5-5 deal.

7:38 The first period ends with BU holding its 2-0 lead. The Terriers scored on two of their five shots, a shooting percentage Ben Wallace would envy.

7:40 The Eagles have dropped two in a row and are playing .500 hockey (5-5-0) since Nov. 22. The team that a lot of people expected to play for the national crown in St. Louis needs something to jumpstart the second half of its season, and this would be a perfect scenario. The Eagles need to come out of the locker room strong right now in order to avoid a three-game skid, especially with the series shifting to the other side of Comm Ave. Friday night.

7:46 On the other side of the coin, BU has won four in a row and is 6-0-1since Dec. 30. The Terriers have won 11 straight January games and are 12-0-1 in their last 13. If Dec. 30 rings a bell for BU fans, that was the date last season when David Van der Gulik returned and sparked a winning streak that floated somewhere around 700 straight games.

7:51 My favorite thing to laugh at is when people fall. Right behind that is when arena videoboards/jumbotrons flash shots of girls who have absolutely no desire to be on there. What's better than that, you ask? When the BC cameraman kept the shot on the girl for almost one whole minute, even though she was beet red and practically in tears.

7:53 The second period is underway.

7:54 With Brian Boyle in the box for boarding and the Eagles shorthanded, Nathan Gerbe strips the puck at the BC blue line and races down the ice all alone. After a quick fake left, Gerbe brings the puck to his right and squeaks it past Curry. BU leads 2-1 54 seconds into the second period.

7:58 That was Gerbe's third shorthanded goal of the year, a team-high. It also places him into a tie for second in the nation. BC's penalty kill was a huge reason why it had so much success late last season -- the Eagles were not short on shorthanded goals.

8:01 Eric Gryba knocked Nathan Gerbe into the boards in the BU zone, and the two shared a few words before Gerbe took Gryba's stick and flung it across the ice. Both are now spending some quality time together in the penalty box.

8:04 Benn Ferriero was set up wide open in the low slot, but his shot sailed high over the cage. A BC fan below the press box put both hands on his head and screamed, "Oh, God! No!" as though he were a character in "Hostel." Need more proof this is the best rivalry in college hockey?

8:16 The announced attendance is 7,288. The crowd has filled in nicely since the start of the game. There must have been a really good rerun of "Will and Grace" on. 3:20 remains in the second period and BC is about to go on a power play.

8:21 John Curry just made the save of the week on Nathan Gerbe. Banked just off the post to John Curry's left, Gerbe received a nice pass through the slot, but Curry slid to his left and used his left leg to kick Gerbe's shot aside in one motion. To add insult to injury -- or perhaps injury to insult in this case -- Gerbe was flattened by Eric Gryba five seconds later.

8:24 The second period comes to a close with BU still holding a 2-1 advantage. BC came back with a strong second period, but Curry has been on his game so far. Quick injury note I didn't report before the game. Tom Morrow (greatest name in Hockey East) is out with a sprained ankle and is listed day-to-day. His chances of playing in Friday's contest are slim to none, however.

8:27 Quick thought while we have a break in action. Forget that Illinois judge allowing Tank Johnson to leave the state in order to "work" during Super Bowl XVI. The only chance the Bears have of shutting down the Colts' offense on Feb. 4 is if that judge allows Tank to bring his Rambo play set with him on the field in Miami.

Thank you. I'll be here all night.

8:38 Still in the second intermission. So the BC fight song was remade by the Dropkick Murphys a few years back, and the Murphys (a great local band and a favorite of mine) did an amazing job with it. On a prior visit to BC, though, a media member sitting to my left said, "Oh, Bush League! The band stole the Dropkick's song! Weak!" True story.

8:49 BU's fourth line reads McGuirk, McCarthy and McGoff. Other great names with a similar first syllable: MacGuyver, McGillicutty's and McDonalds.

8:54 BU just took a 3-1 lead. Brandon Yip collected a pass in the BC zone but had trouble controlling it. He skated off to the right point and sent a pass without looking back towards the slot for Chris Higgins, who beat Schneider's five-hole. The puck slowly, slowly crossed the crease. They don't all have to hit the back of the net, though. The goal came at 8:14 of the period. BC has some work to do in the last 11 minutes.

8:59 John Curry just robbed Nathan Gerbe again, this time on the breakaway. So far: John Curry 2, Nathan Gerbe 1. Gerbe has been the best player on the ice tonight for the Eagles.

9:00 Brian Boyle just skated off the ice clutching his left arm. He is sitting on the bench right now facing the crowd getting medical attention. He just stood up and is stretching his arm. It looks like he'll return.

9:02 Boyle is back on the ice without missing a full shift. BC fans can exhale now. 6:36 remaining and BU still leads 3-1.

9:04 Eric Gryba has been keeping the seat in the penalty box nice and warm for himself tonight. He just went back in for roughing. He is serving his third minor of the night.

9:07 Kevin Schaeffer gets huge bonus points for blocking a huge Brock Bradford slapper while BU was trying to kill a 4-on-3. That just couldn't have felt good.

9:12 If Nathan Gerbe and Eric Gryba don't kill each other by the end of the night, well, I don't know. But Gryba just sent Gerbe back into the boards, and Gerbe hit him back, getting called for slashing in the process. Side note: say Gerbe Gryba five times fast.

9:14 Jason Lawrence just scored to put BU ahead 4-1, with 1:59 remaining in the third period. Conte Forum is now empty, and the thunder sticks are getting popped all over the place. So much for a keepsake.

9:18 The game ends with BU winning 4-1. The game was much closer than that, though. The first two periods were great. It went back and forth throughout. The third period was a bit slower, and BU's two goals took the air out of the arena. I'll be back to post a couple things after the press conference.

10:00 Finally, some quick stats. John Curry made 32 saves, most of them highlight-reel worthy. Cory Schneider stopped 18 shots, but would probably like a couple of those goals back. BU killed all six penalties and scored on two of seven power plays.

Pete MacArthur scored two goals tonight. Chris Higgins had a goal and an assist. Brandon Yip had two assists. Those were the multiple-point scorers.

Jack Parker on Curry tonight: "John Curry played great again. That's like Groundhog Day with him."

Jerry York on his team's three-game slide: "We've got to get this ship turned around. It's going in the wrong direction with three straight losses. We're not pleased with the results."

York on changes for Friday: "The No. 1 objective is to finish better, be more poised with the puck and be more creative with the puck."

Curry on Kevin Schaeffer's blocked shot in the third period with BC on a 4-on-3: "I thought we might have lost him. I looked back because I thought it was going to hit the glass, but then I turned around and was like, 'That hit him in the face.'"

MacArthur on scoring the game-winner tonight after scoring an "own goal" in BC's 1-0 win in December: "Now I have two game-winners in the series."

10:07 That's all for tonight. It was another pretty exciting matchup between the two Comm. Ave. schools. The teams meet again on Friday night for the final regularly scheduled matchup between BU and BC.