MEN'S HOCKEY: Eagles' Success In Hockey East Play Halted In Maine
Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, November 24, 2013 21:11
Down three goals midway through the first period, the Boston College men’s hockey team was looking at a long remainder of its weekend matchup against the University of Maine Black Bears at Alfond Arena.
With the exception of a lone goal by Scott Savage assisted by Johnny Gaudreau, the Eagles struggled to connect their shots against a very solid Maine goaltender.
The Eagles entered this one-game road trip having won four of their five Hockey East Conference games, while the Black Bears were 3-2-1 in the Hockey East.
BC started junior Brian Billett in net again. Given the pressure the Black Bears forced on Billett, he kept the Eagles within fighting range throughout the game, but they still fell to the Black Bears with a score of 5-1.
The Black Bears came out fast and aggressive against BC’s starting line. Devin Shore scored the first goal of the game for Maine just 37 seconds into the first period. Ben Hutton added to Maine’s lead shortly thereafter with an odd-man rush coming off a failed Eagle forecheck, lifting a backhand over the glove of Billett.
Savage’s goal at 17:27—an odd-man rush play developed by Gaudreau on the boards who then passed to Savage in the slot—was key to changing the momentum in BC’s favor.
While BC did not score again, the Eagles played much more evenly with the Black Bears for the duration of the game.
Destry Straight had a good scoring opportunity for the Eagles right away in the second period, but was denied by Martin Ouellette, the Black Bears’ goaltender. Ouellette brought an aggressive game of his own, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at 2:12 along with BC’s Adam Gilmour.
BC worked to create scoring opportunities, often displaying a lot of aggression in front of the Maine net. All of BC’s attempts were shut down by Ouellette.
Billett, too, had great saves in the second period, particularly a high blocker save after a flurry in front of the Eagles’ net with 30 seconds left in the period.
Outside of the last minute, play was dominated by the Eagles throughout the second period.
The only goal of the second period came from Shore with the assist going to Jon Swavely, whose backhand rebound was left in front of a nearly open BC net, allowing Shore to charge in and finish the play.
Brad Barone replaced Billett in net to begin the third period, and Barone made huge saves right off the bat to keep the score at 4-1.
The third period was uneventful except for a goal by Hutton at 16:26 that sealed the loss for the Eagles, with his shot going past Barone on his glove side.
While BC was outshot 14-10 in the first period, the Eagles outshot the Black Bears 14-7 and 10-8 in the second and third periods, respectively. Neither team scored on the power play, and faceoff wins were tied at 29.
The Eagles now have a record of 5-3 when scored on first in a game.