Boston College traveled to Durham, New Hampshire on Saturday to take on the UNH Wildcats for the second time this season. UNH blew a 2-0 third-period lead in their last meeting, resulting in a 2-2 draw after overtime. Saturday night, however, the roles were flipped and BC was the one to surrender a lead. The Eagles fell by a final score of 6-4.
The Eagles came out hot in the first period, which also included. A total of six penalty minutes were served in the period between the two teams, though neither team was able to capitalize with a power-play goal. The Eagles’ offensive attack looked sharp early, and the puck movement was as sharp as it has been all season.
BC struck first about halfway through the first period. Jack McBain sent a perfect saucer pass to Christopher Brown, who batted the puck out of the air like and buried it in the back of the net. BC extended their lead later in the period with an Oliver Wahlstrom wrist shot into the top left corner of the goal.
But it seems UNH head coach Mike Souza new how to spark his team coming into the second period, as the Wildcats simply dominated play throughout. UNH scored their first goal of the game just over a minute into the period. UNH’s Richard Boyd was able to lure Joe Woll out of the goal by sending a pass off the boards on a fast break. The puck was then recovered by Patrick Grasso, who was able to score on the open net. The Wildcats built upon this momentum just moments later, with Angus Crookshank slipping a wrist shot over Woll’s blocker to tie the game at 2-2.
The fireworks of the second period did not end there, as BC struck again shortly after. Marc McLaughlin was able to bring the puck within feet of the goal, only to fan on the shot attempt. Fortunately for BC, the great offensive awareness of Aapeli Rasanen allowed him to spot the puck and tap it in before the goaltender could react.
UNH would not allow BC to maintain their lead for long. The Wildcats tied it up again on a Liam Blackburn tip-in goal. The Eagles would fire back quickly yet again, as Chris Grando sent a perfectly timed pass to J.D. Dudek, setting him up for an easy shot right in front of the net, giving BC a 4-3 lead.
The Wildcats would tie the game again at 4-4 before the second period ended. After a boarding penalty on UNH’s Ryan Verrier at 10:11, UNH was down a man for two minutes. Not only was BC unable to take advantage of the power play, but they allowed UNH to net a shorthanded goal when Marcus Vera slipped a pass to Grasso for a one-timer.
The goal proved to be controversial after Woll knocked the goal out of the pegs, seemingly intentionally, before the puck hit the net. BC players hoped for the goal to be overturned because of the movement of the net, but the officials never even reviewed the goal.
Going into the third period tied, UNH finally managed to take their first lead of the game. As Charlie Kelleher brought the puck down into BC territory, it seemed as if the BC defenders had him cornered. At the last possible second, Kelleher managed to dish out a backhanded pass to Ara Nazarian, who would then slap the one-timer into the net for the game-winning goal.
The score remained 5-4 for another 9 minutes but then increased to 6-4 after an empty-net goal for UNH. Despite posting four goals, BC’s offense was outplayed. While UNH was able to fire off 36 shots in the game, BC managed only 25. Additionally, Woll actually had a higher save percentage than opposing goaltender Mike Robinson.
BC is now tied for third in the Hockey East with Boston University, sitting two points behind first-place UMass. The Eagles will look to tie the Minutemen in the standings with a home win against the University of Maine on Wednesday.