Men's Hockey

At Fenway, BC Grinds Out Hard-Fought Win in the Cold

BOSTON — On Sunday evening, the Frozen Fenway ice could have used a few mid-inning makeovers from the Red Sox grounds crew. Boston College and Providence played a lot of go-kart style hockey in the second game of the double header. Both teams pushed the puck up and down the ice, both delivered some chilling hits, but at even strength, there wasn’t much happening. The conditions made special teams that much more important, as the man-advantage was a rare opportunity to settle down in the other team’s zone.

Providence took advantage of BC’s back-to-back penalties in the first and early second periods, but leveled out the play by giving BC’s jittery power play one too many chances. PC was down a man three times in the third period, and BC finally settled down and took advantage after Brian Pinho interfered with Matty Gaudreau with just five minutes left in the game. David Cotton potted the game-winner on the ensuing power play, which he called “broken,” highlighting the choppiness throughout the game.

“It was a forecheck and breakout hockey game,” Friars head coach Nate Leaman said. “There weren’t gonna be a lot of scoring chances because of the ice. That’s why you had a 1-1 game in the third period. What opens the door? Power plays. We opened the doors for that with our lack of discipline in the third.”

Pinho’s penalty had particularly large ramifications due to a more subtle effect that the outdoor environment had on skaters.

“With the cold air, guys get gassed a little quicker,” Leaman said. “That’s where some of the penalty kill hurt us in the third. Brian (Pinho) takes the penalty, he’s our best right shot faceoff guy. (Robbie Hennessey) was our best left shot guy in the game, and when Brian went to the box, it left us with five (penalty killers). They were a little gassed, so I went with (Bryan Lemos) and Cangelosi won it clean, and kept it in our zone.”

Returning Players

World Juniors hero Colin White was too sick to bear the elements on Sunday, but BC was very pleased to have the rest of its cavalry back from Canada. Starting goalie Joe Woll, top defenseman Casey Fitzgerald, and Finnish twins Julius and Jesper Mattila each made their return to the Eagles during the win.

“The players that played valuable minutes when they were gone really helped us, as they improved during that stretch,” York said of his players that participated in the Under-20 World Juniors championship.

York, though, made a point of expressing his satisfaction that Casey’s older brother, Ryan, also returned from his high ankle sprain that he suffered back in November. The Eagles will need both him and White to make a run here in the second half, also known as “Trophy Season.”

“He was our leading scorer when he went out with that high ankle sprain,” York said. “He gave us a lot of energy tonight.”

Falmouth Players Honored

On the glass behind BC’s bench, BC had two special jerseys hung up in honor of James Lavin and Owen Higgins, two Falmouth (Mass.) High School hockey players that tragically passed away in a car crash just before Christmas. York said the gesture came about due a connection between Falmouth hockey coach Paul Moore and the Eagles’ program.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for our team to pay the respects to the two young players, James and Owen from the Falmouth High School team,” York said after the game. “Coach Moore is a great friend of Marty McInnis, who’s on our staff, and it’s a small thing that, hopefully, we can alleviate some of the pain that the family and the Falmouth community is going through.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

January 9, 2017