The Boston College’s men’s hockey team faced off with the University of Maine Black Bears on Wednesday night in a crucial Hockey East matchup. The game gave the Eagles an opportunity to break a tie with Boston University for third place in the conference. However, it became clear early on that the Eagles would have trouble containing Maine’s attack, and a scoring surge in the second and third periods propelled the Black Bears to a dominant 7-2 victory.
Both teams were aggressive in the opening frame, but Emil Westerlund opened the scoring with a backdoor goal off of a rebound at the 12:40 mark, giving Maine an early 1-0 advantage.
The Eagles quickly answered on a power play late in the first period, with BC captain Michael Kim delivering the puck to forward David Cotton, who fired a shot past the goalie to tie the game. The goal was Cotton’s thirteenth of the season, adding to his tally as the team’s top goal scorer.
Things quickly went south for the Eagles in the final two periods. Maine’s offense erupted for six goals. Forward Tim Doherty helped Maine to regain the lead early in the second period, sneaking a shot over goalie Ryan Edquist’s blocker to give Maine an advantage that it would not relinquish.
Just ten minutes later, fresh legs allowed Maine to extend its lead, as forward Jacob Smith-Svejstrup generated a turnover coming off the bench and converted on a breakaway opportunity. Less than two minutes later, the Black Bears gained a commanding 4-1 lead after scoring on forward Eduards Tralmak’s low wrist shot, ending a frenzied second period for the Maine offense.
The nightmare continued into the third period for the Eagles as Maine added another three goals behind the play of its forwards. The Black Bears extended their lead to four goals with another rebound opportunity at the 6:36 mark. Edquist made a save on the initial shot, but Daniel Perez controlled the loose puck and put it into the open net, giving the Black Bears a 5-1 advantage.
Jack Quinlivan and Patrick Shea tallied two more goals to extend the lead to 7-1 before BC freshman Jack McBain deflected in a late goal from a Jesper Matilla point shot to make it 7-2.
The Eagles were ultimately overwhelmed by the depth of Maine’s forward group, with seven different players scoring for the Black Bears. BC simply had no answer for the scoring barrage, and Maine’s balanced and methodical attack made them pay. It certainly did not help that starting goalie Joseph Woll was sitting out, but it seemed as though the Eagles were destined for a rough night from the very start.
Boston College fell to 7-11-2 with the loss overall, while Maine improved to 8-11-2. The Eagles continue their homestand with another game on Saturday against a nationally tenth-ranked Providence, who they defeated in an upset victory last week. Another win will likely be necessary in order to keep pace in the Hockey East standings.
Providence will come to Conte on Saturday and face off against the Eagles at 7 p.m.
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