Boston College men’s hockey took to the ice to start their 98th season with a Saturday afternoon exhibition against the University of New Brunswick, snagging a convincing 4-2 victory at Kelley Rink. The Eagles flew into the matchup with one of their most hyped teams in recent years and are ranked No. 7 nationally by USA Today.
Led by senior David Cotton and a slew of uber-talented freshmen, including Spencer Knight in net, Jerry York’s squad was selected by coaches to take the Hockey East crown this year, and the team certainly looked prepared to live up to these lofty standards in Saturday’s game.
The Eagles had to shake off a little bit of rust in their first period of the season as New Brunswick controlled the puck for most of the action, firing plenty of threatening shots on goal. The Varsity Reds eventually broke through with a little over six minutes remaining in the opening period to take a 1-0 lead, but the early deficit seemed to inject BC’s offense with a shot of espresso.
David Cotton responded just four minutes later to tie the game at a goal apiece when he redirected a shot from Connor Moore into the net. A little over a minute later, Jack McBain blasted in a gorgeous feed from Luke McInnis to take a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Eagles’ onslaught carried on with maximum speed into the second as Alex Newhook found freshman phenom Matt Boldy on a backdoor cut to make it 3-1 five minutes in.
Loving what he was seeing from the sideline, Coach York encouraged his shiny new weapons to keep up the pressure, and newcomer Mike Hardman added to the tally shortly later following a faceoff win by Aapeli Räsänen.
Now content with a commanding 4-1 lead, York allowed his team to cool down in the third period and experimented with some rotational changes. Spencer Knight took a seat on the bench after his impressive debut in which he stopped 20 shots over two periods of play. Filling in for the final period was Jack Moffatt who had a stellar debut of his own with 15 saves, but he did let in a power-play goal which brought the final score to 4-2.
Boston College fans everywhere should be more than pleased with the 2019 iteration of the team after they put on an electric display Saturday, and frankly, the scoreline failed to register the one-sidedness of the game. The addition of several highly-touted freshmen give York and his Eagles more than plenty of depth and flexibility, and the returning core of Cotton, Logan Hutsko, and Julius Mattila already looked in midseason form.
The team does have its faults, however, as frequent penalties remain a problem and it took nearly an entire period to get the engine running.
An experienced Jerry York will certainly address these issues in the week’s coming practices, and the Eagles should be sufficiently prepared for what should be an exciting regular season that begins next Friday night on home ice against Wisconsin at 7 p.m.