The Boston College men’s hockey team took to the ice on the road against Rochester Institute of Technology Saturday night, looking for its first win at RIT’s homecoming game after falling to UMass Lowell to open the season. BC held little back in its second matchup of the year, dominating almost the entire game en route to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers.
The No. 7-ranked Eagles came out firing early and often, doubling RIT’s shot total in the first period, 8-4. RIT goalkeeper Mike Rotolo held the game to a shutout for much of the period, which included a BC power play in the first five minutes.
Rotolo could only save the first seven shots he saw, however, as BC created a 3-on-2 in the final two minutes of the period. Sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald used a head fake to clear space before finding junior captain Michael Matheson for the goal.
From there, BC never looked back. Just two and half minutes into the next period, Fitzgerald took advantage of a shot that deflected off Rotolo to the near post, forcing it under the keeper for BC’s second goal and first two-point advantage of the season.
Just 25 seconds later, senior Cam Spiro, moving quickly up the ice on the right side, found junior Teddy Doherty streaking up the middle with a well-placed cross. Doherty launched the puck to the back of the net, putting BC up 3-0.
Steve Santini would tag on BC’s third goal of the period four minutes later. The sophomore skated up behind senior Michael Sit in the neutral zone, gathering the puck and firing it into the back of the net. BC’s defense held off another 10 shots from RIT, making the match 4-0 after two frames.
BC’s penalty kill also came out very strong in the first two periods. The Eagles allowed just one shot on two consecutive power plays in the first period, the latter of which developed into BC’s first goal of the night. This was especially important for the team, which saw UMass Lowell take a 2-1 lead last week with a failed penalty kill in the first period.
While the majority of UMass Lowell’s goals came with a man advantage, on either a rush or a power play, BC’s defensive effort did not permit RIT the same type of chances.
RIT’s first goal to break up the drought came early on in the third period from Todd Skirving, who launched in a long slap shot from the far boards. Matt Garbowsky would tack on a second goal for RIT later on in the period, this one coming on a power play, but by that time BC had already put the game far out of reach.
Sophomore Ian McCoshen put the final touch on for BC, netting the Eagles’ first power play goal of the year on a one-timer delivered by Doherty.
While Doherty finished with a strong performance of a goal and two assists, freshman forward Zach Sanford also shone. The rookie picked up the first points of his young career on three assists, coming on BC’s first, second, and sixth goals of the night.
Fitzgerald and junior Brendan Silk also finished with multi-point nights, Fitzgerald tallying a goal and an assist and Silk two assists. BC sophomore goaltender Thatcher Demko finished with 25 saves to earn his first win, bouncing back after allowing four goals against UMass Lowell.
BC will take to the ice in Chestnut Hill for the first time this week after splitting its first two road games, with home games against Colorado College Friday night and Massachusetts Saturday night.
After tying UMass in its home matchup last year, BC will look to continue its trend of scoring early and hold off the Minutemen to even its conference record.