Photo Courtesy of BC Men's Hockey / Twitter

Men's Hockey Takes Down Providence to Advance to Hockey East Semifinal

It's been a tough season for Boston College Men's Hockey. When they finished the regular season with a record of 11-20-3, there seemed to be little hope of any kind of a playoff run.

However, the Eagles went on the road to Providence this weekend and proved that they still have some fight left in them.

BC played three of their strongest games of the season, taking down the Friars in games two and three of the three game series to advance to the semifinals of the Hockey East tournament. As the lower seed in the tournament, BC had to play all three games in Providence's Schneider Arena, posing an additional challenge on top of what was already going to be a difficult series.

Their hopes of advancing looked slim after a heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss on Friday night. Julius Mattila forced the overtime period by scoring a goal with just 1:36 remaining in the third period with an empty net in the Eagles' defensive zone. However, BC was unable to capitalize on the late momentum boost as Providence's Brandon Duhaime stuffed home a rebound just 1:31 into overtime to give the Friars a win in the series opener.

But the Eagles responded with their backs against the wall on Saturday. A loss would mean elimination from the tournament and the end of the 2018-19 season for BC Hockey. After a hard-fought battle, the Eagles lived to see another day after grinding out a 4-3 victory.

The game was another nail biter as the two teams needed overtime to decide the matchup for the second straight night. But this time, the Eagles came out on top.

Logan Hutsko saved BC's season when he beat his defender one-on-one and buried a shot past the Providence goaltender and just under the crossbar only 23 seconds into overtime. With the win, the stage was set for a deciding matchup on Sunday afternoon.

Facing elimination for the second night in a row, the Eagles stepped up in a big way on Sunday. BC goaltender Joseph Well stopped an incredible 37 out of 38 Providence shots on goal, keeping his team in the game.

After a scoreless first period, BC defenseman Michael Kim put the Eagles ahead with a power play goal eight minutes into the second. The Eagles were unable to keep that initial lead, as Providence responded with a goal nearly seven minutes into the third, knotting the score at one.

Hutsko emerged as the hero for the Eagles for the second night in a row when he put his team up for good with a goal at 11:55 in the third period. Woll and the BC defense remained strong for the rest of the game, keeping the Friars off the board and willing their team into the Hockey East tournament semifinals.

With their season still alive, the Eagles will now return to Boston to face off with top-seeded UMass at TD Garden this Friday at 7:30. They will once again fight to keep their season going and for the chance to play for a Hockey East championship on Saturday night.

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