With a 7-7-1 record, the Boston College men’s hockey team looked to clinch a win against an anemic 4-8-1 University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team in Conte Forum.
As the puck dropped to initiate the first period, Conte Forum—especially BC’s side—looked vacant. Only the UNH fan section boasted a formidable crowd, one that, embarrassingly, overshadowed a practically inaudible BC fan section.
Though the BC fan section didn’t have any goals to cheer for in the first period, the Eagles generated a venerable 12 shots on goal and 22 shots altogether, while the Wildcats only managed eight shots on goal and 11 overall.
However, as they say, only what appears on the scoreboard matters. For the Eagles, this became an especially harsh reality as UNH freshman John Furgele found the back of the net during a 5-3 with 2:18 left in the first period. The period ended 1-0 in favor of UNH.
The Eagles took the ice surrounded by a noticeably larger, galvanized crowd. The crowd, in turn, watched a galvanized, invigorated BC hockey team. In a matter of four and a half minutes, BC junior Teddy Doherty managed to score a lefty goal. In the blink of an eye—or technically sixteen seconds later—sophomore Austin Cangelosi delivered another goal to put the fan section into hysterics. In less than five minutes in the second period, the Eagles managed to convert a one-goal deficit that took one whole period to incur into a one-goal lead.
As if two quick goals weren’t enough, almost exactly four minutes later, BC sophomore Chris Calnan gave the Eagles a 3-1 lead with a crafty goal that further energized an already booming Conte Forum. In less than five minutes, the Eagles—looking the best they’ve looked all season—turned a 0-1 game into a 3-1 game.
With the Eagles flying high, the period progressed. UNH managed to stymie BC’s momentum with 5:20 left in the second period, as Matt Willows buried a power play goal to cut BC’s lead in half. Ultimately, as the second period expired, BC led 3-2.
Both teams took to the ice for the third period on a mission. For BC, it was to preserve its lead—ideally to even extend it. For UNH, it was to tie the game up and then edge BC late in the third or in overtime. Accordingly, both teams fought incredibly hard during a scrappy third period.
Still down 3-2, BC sophomore Chris Calnan received a penalty for tripping with less than three and a half minutes left in the game. The Wildcats tried their very best to capitalize on a power play that helped them score both of their previous goals, but BC’s defense—particularly freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin and sophomore goalie Thatcher Demko—disallowed such an opportunity.
As UNH’s power play expired, the third period remained scoreless. The Wildcats, in turn, pulled their goalie. It took practically no time at all for BC sophomore Chris Calnan to find twine and secure BC’s lead with a little over a minute left in the game. The final seconds of the clock ticked away, and BC won the hockey game, 4-2.
“Both of these teams—we’re not where we want to be yet. We kind of parallel each other,” said BC head coach Jerry York. Particularly, York spoke to the fact that both teams started far slower than expected.
York was particularly candid about the current state of his team. “We’re not a dynamic offensive team, and I think we understand that as a team. We play much more rock-hard defense [and excellent] goaltending.”
Though a 8-7-1 record is far from where York wants to be, he remained quite optimistic for the rest of the season. York commented on how he really thought that the team would gain momentum as the season progressed, and he mentioned how a lot of seniors—who had been a peripheral part of the team for the past three seasons—are having their best seasons so far.
Overall, though the Eagles have produced a mediocre record—by Boston College hockey standards—York didn’t seem fazed at all. Rather, he seemed comfortable and confident. Whether this is a testament to a seasoned college hockey coach or whether this is a sign of things to come in the near future, we’ll soon find out. But one thing is for sure—if Jerry York isn’t worried, we certainly shouldn’t be.
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