The Boston College men’s hockey team (5-1-0, 1-1-0 HEA) wrapped up a two-game series against the UConn Huskies (1-2-1, 1-1-0 HEA) this weekend.
Fresh off of last-week’s series against Providence where BC beat the No.12 Friars by a combined score of 12-0 in two games, the Eagles were unable to close out an undefeated semester after splitting the series with the Huskies.
The first game on Friday in Chestnut Hill was a nail biter, but the Eagles were able to prevail.
The Eagles were playing without three critical players in Spencer Knight, Matt Boldy, and Drew Helleson, after all three joined Team USA in the World Junior Championship taking place later in December. Without them, the shorthanded Eagles did not start the game with the same barrage of goals we had been spoiled by in recent games.
Instead, the first period ended 1-1 after an unassisted BC goal by Colby Ambrosio in the 10th minute and a UConn goal in the 17th.
However, in the second period the Eagles came out firing on all cylinders.
Logan Hutsko scored his second and third goals of the season three minutes and 14 minutes into the period respectively. Playing in his first collegiate game, freshman goalie Henry Wilder, replacing Spencer Knight, amassed 17 saves in the shutout second period.
It looked like the Eagles were well on their way to their fifth straight win until a hiccup in the third period. BC was unable to net a security goal, while UConn was able to score twice to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.
Luckily, the Eagles stopped UConn’s momentum in overtime relatively quickly. Just three minutes into the 3-on-3 overtime period, defenseman Marshall Warren was able to grab a rebound from Marc McLaughlin’s wrist shot and net his first goal of the season, sending the Eagles to a perfect 5-0 on the year.
Unfortunately, the Eagles couldn't get one more win before heading into the holidays.
UConn captured their first win on the year in impressive fashion. After a scoreless first period, UConn unleashed a flurry of goals within a span of five minutes in the second period making the score 3-0 in the blink of an eye.
All things considered, the Eagles played pretty well aside from that five minute span.
Wilder had a cool 39 saves in the game, but the lack of offense aside from a power play goal by Trevor Kuntar late in the third period made it difficult to overcome the 3-0 deficit the Eagles found themselves in. The closing minutes of this game were the first time all season the Eagles trailed their opponent.
Despite a disappointing finish to the first half of the season, the Eagles have played impressive hockey and seem to be well deserving of the #2 ranking they held nationally through most of the season.
BC will look to continue its run at a Hockey East title and a Frozen Four National Championship on January 8, when the Northeastern Huskies (2-0, 2-0 HEA) come to Chestnut Hill.
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