In the battle for first place in Hockey East, Boston College faced the UMass Minutemen in Amherst on Friday night for the final game before the Beanpot. The Eagles take the number one spot in the league with the 3-0 victory over the Minutemen.
Just over a minute into the game, Boston College earned their first penalty of the night, and UMass received the first power play of the game. The Eagles began to increase their shots on goal as the period continued.
However, despite multiple opportunities for shots throughout three power plays, the Eagles and Minutemen ended the first period with no goals on either side.
As soon as the skates hit the ice in the second period, the Eagles offensive efforts began to gel. BC freshman Alex Newhook netted the first Eagles goal as he batted the puck out of midair on an assist from Ben Finkelstein.
Newhook’s goal was initially waved off by an on-ice official but upon video review, the original on-ice call was overturned and gave the Eagles an important lead heading into the rest of the game.
Junior Logan Hutsko added to the scoreboard later in the second period to earn his 15th goal of the season with a backhand top shelf, short side on a 2-on-1 rush for the Eagles. In the final moments of the period, senior Graham McPhee increased BC’s lead to three with a sniper slapshot from the top of the slot.
Even though the Eagles started the second period off with a 9-8 shot deficit, they ended it with a three-goal advantage. This lead wouldn’t waver for the rest of the night.
Unlike the Eagles who capitalized on every opportunity throughout the middle of the game, the Minutemen continued to fail to convert on multiple opportunities through the last period.
A golden opportunity for UMass came and went as the final 57 seconds of a power play were killed by a penalty on the Minutemen for too many players on the ice. Following the penalty, UMass fans in Amherst began to head for the exits as realization set in that BC was going to hold their lead for a crucial Hockey East victory.
Boston College ended the night by continuing their excellent defense in the third period. Eagles goalie Spencer Knight earned his fifth shutout of the season as he totaled 30 saves for the night.
Up next for the Eagles is a trip closer to home to play Boston University at TD Garden on Monday night for the Beanpot.