MEN'S HOCKEY: Swept Away At Conte
BC Offense Creates Opportunites, But Gets Stifled By Ouellette
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 00:01
The Boston College men’s hockey team continued its recent struggles on Friday night, falling 4-1 to Maine, the last place team in Hockey East.
The Black Bears got goals from four different players and used some strong defense and superior goaltending to pull off the upset. Head coach Jerry York—coaching for the first time after missing four games with eye surgery—spoke about the intensity and effort level of Maine, saying that it was evident from the opening faceoff that they came to play.
“I thought Maine played well,” York said. “They competed very hard and I thought (Matin) Ouellette played good in goal. They were a difficult team for us to play tonight. They defended well on the PK especially. I thought they competed very hard and they deserved to win the game.”
The Eagles fell behind just over three minutes into the game when Black Bears forward Joey Diamond caused a turnover behind BC’s net and beat Parker Milner just inside the post. The goal came after Steven Whitney attempted to send the puck around the net to clear it only to see Diamond standing in his way. Diamond stepped out around the net, looked to pass, but fooled Milner by shooting instead and gave his team a 1-0 lead.
The two teams played even for most of the remainder of the period, but BC failed to create many solid scoring chances. With just 20 seconds remaining in the period, Ryan Lomberg jammed home a loose puck for Maine to send the Black Bears into the locker room up 2-0. York spoke about the late goal and the effect it had on the game, saying it swung momentum completely to Maine.
“That second goal, it was deep in our end, five-on-five, and we just did not make a good defensive stand there,” York said. “That certainly gave the visiting team a lot of jump being up 2-0 after the first period. But it’s a 60-minute game, and I thought we could claw back in it. But we couldn’t quite get close enough.”
The Eagles came out flying in the second period, putting 20 shots on net and generating a number of high quality scoring chances. But it was Maine who scored the lone goal of the second when Will Merchant banged home his second goal of the year. Even though BC continued to put pressure on the Black Bears, Ouellette turned away every shot he faced and his team went into the locker room up three goals.
“I thought we had a pretty strong second period,” York said. “We got pucks on the net and had a few I thought could have gone in. But we didn’t capitalize on our scoring chances and they did. That’s just how it goes sometimes.”
The third period saw Maine playing a much more defensive style that stifled BC’s offense for the majority of the period. It took a penalty call and a BC powerplay for the Eagles to get on the board, which they did when Whitney fired a laser past Ouellette and into the top corner of the net with just less than seven minutes left to play. The Eagles managed to generate some real scoring chances in that time, but the Black Bears defense protected the front of their net and managed to keep the Eagles off the board.
Kyle Beattie slid home an empty net goal in the dying moments of the game that sealed the victory for Maine and the Eagles left with a 4-1 loss.
The Eagles outshot Maine 35-31, but managed only nine in the third period and just six in the first. Whitney’s goal was his 15th of the year and the team’s first powerplay goal in the last four games. It was also his 10th goal in the third period of games this season. A loss to the last place team in Hockey East is a disappointment for the team, but as York said, it serves as a reminder to how dangerous the league is.
“It’s some indication of the league,” York said. “You’ve got one of the top teams against one of the team’s that is struggling, but they still came into our building and beat us. It’s just a difficult, difficult league.”