Top Story, Men's Hockey

For Second Year in a Row, Eagles Fall in Beanpot Consolation Game

When Logan Hutsko scored the equalizer with 1:36 left on the clock in regulation, capping off an incredible third-period hat trick for the freshman forward, it seemed like Boston College men’s hockey would carry its momentum into overtime, finally shake off the disappointment from last year’s winless Beanpot, and escape Monday’s consolation game against Harvard with a win.

But its first non-conference win of the season simply wasn’t in the cards.

Crimson forward Seb Lloyd scored the overtime game-winner at the 2:43 mark, one-timing a Jake Horton pass past a sprawled out Eagles goaltender in Ryan Edquist, subjugating BC to a 5-4 loss and its second-straight winless Beanpot.

“We had some good zone play (in overtime) but  just couldn’t capitalize one more time,” said BC head coach Jerry York. “Harvard made an excellent play to win it in overtime.”

It spoiled a noteworthy comeback effort, anchored by the superb play from Hutsko—who recorded the first hat trick for the Eagles in the Beanpot since 2000. The freshman, fresh off earning Co-Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors, helped BC erase a two-goal deficit. He scored at even strength, on the power play, and as an extra attacker, all coming in an 11 minute, 23 second span.

“Logan Hutsko is becoming an emerging player in the Hockey East,” York added. “To score three goals in the third period, that’s pretty impressive for anybody. He’s going to be a real key player for us going down the stretch.”

Last Monday against Northeastern in the first round of the Beanpot, the Eagles struggled with rebounds in front of goalie Joseph Woll. Even with Edquist starting in place of Woll on Monday night, nothing changed. They conceded two goals off caroms and allowed another two off wide-open looks in front of the net. The overtime game-winner also saw Lloyd find himself with plenty of room to convert.

Eagles defenseman Kevin Lohan, playing in his first game since he suffered a jaw injury at a Boston-area restaurant, didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. The graduate student was called for cross-checking eight minutes into the first period, a penalty that would prove costly.

After Edquist denied a shot from Ty Pelton-Byce, the puck slipped through and slid across the crease. An opportunistic Lewis Zerter-Gossage wasted no time in capitalizing, tucking away the easy finish to give the Crimson the game’s first lead.

Much of the first period leaned Harvard’s way, as the stout back line for the Crimson came up big, time and time again. They locked down their own defensive third, holding the Eagles to just five shots as a product of strong poke checks and a presence on the boards. Harvard also easily killed a penalty off at the end of the period, clearing the puck out of its own third and down the length of the ice twice.

BC came out firing in the second, though. Much like they played against Northeastern at times, the Eagles seized the momentum with a flurry of chances. Hutsko almost scored, and the deflection by harvard goaltender Cameron Gornet was just missed by David Cotton on the other side. Michael Karow had a 2-on-1 chance that sailed high, while Ron Greco had a shorthanded rush later in the period, but tripped himself up and crashed hard into the boards to no avail.

Eventually, the pressure paid off. Despite being a man down, Christopher Brown forced a turnover and did it all himself, skating down the right side and beating Gornet short side from the wing for the equalizer.

It didn’t hold up for long. The Crimson scored twice in a span of under three minutes in the third period. First, it was John Marino on a rebound in front of the net, as the rebound from Henry Bowlby’s shot found its way to the defenseman for his first goal of the season.

Next, Bowlby got a chance of his own. After a penalty on BC’s Casey Fitzgerald for cross-checking, Bowlby found himself alone with the puck to Edquist’s left. He skated into the crease and flipped it by him to make it a two-goal lead.

The Eagles answered, as Lohan redeemed himself in the third period, flinging a puck on net that Hutsko tracked down and knocked into the back of the cage.

However, the momentum wouldn’t stay for long. Harvard’s fourth line got on the board, as freshman Mitchell Perrault and Jack Donato connected after finding space in front of the net. Donato finished off his first collegiate goal with a deft poke between Edquist’s legs.

Enter Hutsko, again. He converted a rebound on a power play, then added a backhanded goal in front of the net once Edquist left the net. Fitzgerald knocked one off the post late, and it proved to be BC’s last real chance before the Crimson won it in overtime.

For the Eagles, a winless non-conference slate raises more questions than they have answers for. BC may have a chance to go far in the Hockey East tournament, but anything beyond that is up in the air. Hutsko emerging is a big gain for them, but once again, they came up short on one of the year’s biggest stages.

Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Staff

February 12, 2018