For the 10th time, the BC Eagles won the Hockey East tournament, grinding out a 5-3 win over Merrimack. Both BC and Merrimack were selected for the NCAA tournament, along with UNH. We'll have a preview of the NCAAs in the next few days.
What Jerry York and Boston College have done in the last decade has been nothing short of extraordinary. They've won 4 of the last 5 Hockey East tournaments. Since 2001, they've won 6 of these tournaments, 5 regular season titles, 5 Beanpots, made 9 NCAA appearances, 6 Frozen Fours, and won 3 national titles.
However, some of BC's weaknesses were thoroughly exposed by Northeastern and Merrimack this past weekend. Goalie John Muse has a stellar record, but he tends to over-commit just a tad. He's got a few small gaps that skilled shooters and lucky bounces can find. BC also struggle against physical teams like Northeastern that are able to keep the puck on the boards, and staple BC's skill players against the glass. BC's forwards aren't soft, but their strengths are in the middle of the ice. They hardly ever grind out physical goals.
Fortunately for BC, most of college hockey has tried to emulate them. It's about speed and skills. Very few teams can play 60 tough physical minutes. Even if they can, they then lack the requisite skill to score 3 or 4 goals to beat BC.
BC starts the NCAA tournament in St. Louis on Friday. They'll play Colorado College at 9.