The Denver University Pioneers rolled over Boston College men’s hockey 6-1 Saturday night. Power plays made all the difference for Denver, who scored three of its goals while up a man.
The Eagles’ lone goal came early in the third period while Denver’s star forward Dylan Gambrell sat in the box. Chris Brown deflected a slapper from JD Dudek to sneak the puck past Denver goalkeeper Tanner Jaillet, who kept an airtight seal on the goal for the rest of the game. The power play goal came after three previous scoreless man-up situations.
Where the Eagles (1-5-1) faltered, the Pios struck hard on offense. The youth of BC’s squad showed as they came face-to-face with the reigning national champions, who are 4-0-2.
Costumed BC students watched as their team struggled to connect on offense. The bottom-heavy lines, dominated by freshmen and sophomores with less experience against high-caliber teams like Denver, failed to connect on crucial passes and saw their puck stolen far too often.
Boston College seemed to be regaining some footing in the second frame, outshooting the Pioneers 15-to-12. However, no number of shots makes any difference if the buzzer isn’t going off, and the Eagles’ side of the ice remained silent until the third period.
Although the Eagles struck first in the third quarter to amp up some hope into the fans still remaining in Conte Forum, the Pios quickly reasserted themselves with another quick power play goal ー what seems to be their hallmark at this point.
Penalties by Graham McPhee, Casey Fitzgerald, and Michael Karow gave Denver the opportunities they needed to assert a strong lead over the Eagles. Each of Denver’s three PP scores came within 25 seconds of the BC player entering the box, a precision that the Eagles could learn from going forward.
Denver hammered two more in at the tail end of the third to put the final nail in BC’s coffin during this Halloweekend game. Goaltender Joe Woll, normally a reliable brick wall at the goal line for the Eagles, was slow to react in the back half of the game.
Next up, the Eagles face Hockey East rival Merrimack in a two-game series. The first game will be played at Kelley Rink Friday, November 3 at 7 PM before the Eagles travel to North Andover to take on the Warriors in their house.