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No. 2 BC Men’s Hockey Sweeps No. 7 UMass to Open Season

The Eagles started their season with a home-and-away series sweep of UMass Amherst this past weekend. The high-powered BC offense was on full-display as BC netted ten goals across the two games. BC won the first game 4-3 at home from Kelly Rink and the second game 6-3 from UMass’ Mullins Center.

Jack McBain and Matt Boldy had stand-out performances in Friday’s home opener. McBain scored twice for his third career multi-goal game, while Boldy scored the game-winning goal in the third period, along with an added assist. 

Logan Hutsko and freshman Eamon Powell both contributed with two assists each. Spencer Knight had a strong night in net with 30 saves. 

McBain scored the first goal of the game with just over four minutes remaining in the first period. Hutsko beautifully deked a pair of Minutemen defenders before finding McBain from his knees. McBain shoveled in the puck from the left side of the goal to net BC the lead. 

After Zac Jones tied the game for UMass early in the second period, the Eagles quickly responded a minute and a half later to make the score 2-1. Mike Hardman slid a backhand shot across his body inside the left post after inch-perfect passing from Hutsko and Boldy.  

BC stretched their lead to two with 8:29 remaining in the second period. Freshman Nikita Nesterenko sprung McBain loose on the break with a quick vertical pass. McBain cut back on a UMass defender before ripping a shot past Matt Murray. 

Two quick goals by the Minutemen’s Josh Lopina late into the second period brought the game to a 3-3 tie heading into the third period. 

Boldy scored what would be the game-winning goal for the Eagles just about one minute into the third period. He latched onto a deflected pass, blew ahead of two UMass defenders, and fired a blistering top-right corner shot to seal the win.

Captain Marc McLaughlin was the key performer in Saturday’s away game as he tallied his first two goals of the season. The freshman duo of Colby Ambrosio and Nikita Nesterenko each scored their first collegiate goal. 

An efficient BC outscored UMass 6-3 despite UMass taking 33 shots to BC’s 23. Knight again got the start in net and made 30 saves. 

McLaughlin opened the scoring with 6:05 left in the first period off a 2-on-1 break. Patrick Giles perfectly set up McLaughlin for the one-time finish past the Minutemen's Filip Lindberg. 

After a UMass goal two minutes later, BC once again took the lead off a power-play goal with 1:39 left in the third period. Drew Hellenson notched his first goal of the season with a blast from the high slot off a pass teed-up by Boldy.

The BC lead grew to 3-1 1:30 into the second period when Hardman stole the puck in the UMass zone and skated to the right of the net. He found Ambrosio in stride who had his first shot saved, but fortunately scored a rebound that fell straight back to him. 

The next four goals were scored back and forth. Oliver MacDonald brought UMass back within one with nine minutes remaining until the second intermission. Two minutes later, McLaughlin responded with a shot from distance that squeezed its way through traffic, bringing the score to 4-2. 

Eight minutes into the third period, Jake Gaudet brought the Minutemen within tying distance once again with a rebound goal. 

Hardman scored an insurance goal for the Eagles to make the score 5-3 with 6:49 left. Boldy brilliantly skated past a double-team and fed Hardman for the powerful one-timer from one knee. 

The lead grew to 6-3 with 11 seconds remaining after Nesterenko scored a long-range goal into an empty net.  

The Minutemen fell to 1-2-1 after the series sweep as the Eagles opened the season with a 2-0-0 record. 

BC will be excited by the offensive fireworks so early in the season, especially with Alex Newhook yet to see the ice. The defense was spotty at times, but played cohesively for long stretches of the series. 

The Eagles will look to build upon the momentum of an impressive opening series sweep as they next face UMass Lowell in a home-and-away series this weekend. The first game of the series is on the road on Friday, Dec. 4 at 6 pm. 

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Brennan Rietzke