Kate McCabe / Gavel Media

Men's Hockey Secures Crucial Four Points in Series Against Northeastern

Coming down the final stretch of the regular season, every point Boston College Men's Hockey could get in in their home-and-home series against No. 10 Northeastern was critical.

The Eagles took advantage of their opportunity, edging out the Huskies on the road Thursday before picking up a blowout win at home on Friday.

Northeastern started off hot Thursday night, netting a wraparound goal just 2 minutes into the game to gain the early 1-0 lead. The Huskies would continue to dominate for most of the first period but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. 

In the final two minutes of the first period, Julius Mattila made Northeastern pay. Coming off the pass from David Cotton, Mattila deked out a defender before sliding a shot between the legs of Huskies' goalie Craig Pantano to tie the score at 1-1 at the end of the period.

Any momentum that Northeastern had built up during the first period had completely dissipated by the end of the intermission.

While Northeastern generally carried play during the first frame, BC played the entirety of the second period as if they were on a power play, outshooting the Huskies 18-6 in the period. 

Marshall Warren gave the Eagles their first lead of the game, collecting the rebound off the Alex Newhook tip and sending it into the back of the net. 

Five minutes later, BC would further increase their lead. While defending a 2-on-1 fastbreak, the Northeastern defender was unable to break up the pass from Logan Hutsko to Mattila. The pass gave Mattila a wide-open shot by the left post, extending the Eagles lead to 3-1.

The third period was far more balanced than the previous two, with both teams having near equal possession of the puck. Northeastern was able to tally their second goal late in the game, with Knight unable to defend a Jordan Harris one-timer due to a well-placed screen.

Fortunately, the comeback attempt was too little, too late. The Eagles would hold on to claim the 3-2 away victory. 

Northeastern was able to keep the score within reach on their home ice, but struggled to keep up when forced to go on the road to Conte Forum during game two on Friday night.

Play was chippy early, with the teams combining for three penalties in the first ten minutes. Two of the powerplays belonged to Northeastern. Still, they were only able to fire off six shots on goal in the period. 

BC got on the board first in this game, via a Graham McPhee one-timer off Marc McLaughlin’s pass from behind the net. 

The remainder of the first period was silent, but the second period produced an explosion of BC goals. The Eagles produced 16 scoring chances to Northeastern’s four in the period.

Even more impressive, BC was able to convert six of those scoring chances into goals. All but one of the six goals came on even strength. 

By the end of the period, Northeastern was forced to make their first goalie switch of the game. The Huskies subbed out Pantano after he allowed four goals on an 80% save percentage.

Backup goalie Connor Murphy would then proceed to allow five goals on a 64% save percentage before being subbed out for the third-string goalie late in the third period. 

Marc McLaughlin and Matt Boldy both had standout days, each producing three points with two goals on the day.

Following the 10-1 win over NU, the Eagles hold a 2-point lead over UMass for first place in the Hockey East with a game in hand. Out of their final four games, BC only has one more against a team over .500 in conference play.

They will look to continue their momentum when they take on Merrimack at home Thursday before traveling down Comm Ave to finish their season series at BU on Saturday. 

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Jake McNeill