Men's Hockey

Notebook: Second-Chance Opportunities Prove to be the Difference in Loss to Harvard

Boston College men’s hockey forward Logan Hutsko knew there was more to be done. The freshman, who recorded the game-winner against Massachusetts Lowell on Friday, had already scored again in the second period against Harvard to tie the game at one apiece. Headed back to the bench to fistbump his teammates, Hutsko was seen yelling—an apparent attempt to fire the Eagles up for the rest of Monday’s Beanpot consolation final. As it turned out, the only one to catch fire was Hutsko himself, tallying two more goals before the game’s end. Despite his success, though, BC fell to the Crimson 5-4 in overtime, becoming the first team coached by the legendary Jerry York to finish last in the Beanpot in back-to-back years.    

Three Up:

1) Setting the Tone:

Although the Eagles finished the first period down a goal, they truly did have a great start to the game. Each of BC’s lines showed great pace and discipline in first 10 minutes, proving they were not afraid to pass the puck all around the ice to create space and maintain possession. It almost felt as if the Eagles were on the power play, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for the majority of the first 10 minutes of the game. The scoring opportunities weren’t there—BC recorded a game-low five shots in the first period—so it was just as important for the Eagles to keep Harvard off the board.

The Crimson weren’t able to get many great chances in the first period, and BC back-up goalie Ryan Edquist was able to make 20 routine saves in the first two frames of the game that seemed to give hope to the rest of the Eagles’ defense. Although one shot from Lewis Zerter-Gossage got past the sophomore in the first period, Harvard was on the man-advantage. For the most part, BC played sound hockey early on.

2) Hutsko Hat Trick

Hutsko picked up right where he left off on Friday night. With three shots finding the back of the net, he became the first rookie on the team to reach the double-digit goal mark. What has been more impressive for Hutsko has been his timing. One of his goals was an equalizer in the second period that gave BC and life halfway through the second period. The few fans of the team that made the trip to the North End were heard for the first time all game, and Hutsko wasn’t done there. With the score at 4-2 in Harvard’s favor, the game appeared to be over with three minutes left in regulation, but No. 9 had other plans. Hutsko was able to deflect in a slapshot on the power play to bring the Eagles within one and just a minute later found the back of the net again after Edquist had sprinted to the bench. Hutsko accomplished the incredible feat of scoring goals at even strength, down a man, and up a man.

“He’s becoming an emerging player in Hockey East,” said coach Jerry York after the game. “Logan is going to become a key player in the conference going forward.”  

3) Resilience

Keeping a team focused while the group is down big in a somewhat meaningless game is a difficult proposition, but somehow Hutsko and Co. found a way. After Zerter-Gossage was sent to the box for slashing, BC managed to work itself back into the game. Well aware that two goals would be needed in the final three minutes of the third period, the Eagles found their runner’s high when it counted most. Certainly Hutsko did the majority of the work, but he couldn’t have done it without a full-fledged team effort, in which everything clicked beautifully. BC even left a minute on the clock to net the game-winner in regulation, and although they fell short, the scoring spurt provided serious momentum heading into the extra frame.

Three Down:

1) Clear the Runways

The Eagles really had no answer for Harvard’s offense in the third period. The Crimson’s first goal came from Zerter-Gossage off a rebound from Henry Bowlby in the high slot. Bowlby’s shot came without any defender in the area and set the standard for the rest of the game. In the first period, BC blocked just one of Harvard’s 15 shots and left most of its men on the outside on defense. The three goals the Crimson scored in the third period all took advantage of this approach. Harvard’s third came from Bowlby, whose first open look was blocked by Edquist. As the only player in the vicinity, though, he was able to find the net easily the second time around.  

2) Rebounds Galore

Edquist started just his seventh game of the season Monday night, and looked even more inexperienced as the game went on. Harvard simply needed to toss the puck toward the sophomore in order to get a better chance to light the lamp. Edquist was unable to corral most of the shots sent his way, and four of the Crimson’s five goals came on the rebound.

One player recognizing this specifically was Adam Fox. The defenseman finished with two assists off slap shots that were saved initially, but soon ended up lighting the lamp. A combination of BC leaving the slot open, as well as Edquist failing to get a glove on the puck, resulted in Harvard’s first five-goal win in 15 games.  

3) Miscommunication on Defense

A play that symbolized the Eagles’ poor performance in the Beanpot this year came with five minutes left in the second period. BC had just made a stop on defense and Jesper Mattila was ready to move the puck up the ice. Somehow, he didn’t see Michael Karow, who was headed right toward him. Mattila and Karow collided right near their own net, sending the puck toward Edquist. If the goalie hadn’t been able to make one of his best saves of the night, stopping the puck with his glove just inches away from the other side of the red line, it’s more likely than not that BC would have been sent home early and embarrassed. Minutes later, BC had another mental lapse. Hutsko took too much time getting off the ice on a line change, and was nicked by a puck dished right towards the BC bench. The Eagles’ mistakes were less than impressive, and foreshadowed a disastrous defensive finish—a stretch in which they allowed three goals in the final period for the third time all year.  

Featured Image Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor

February 13, 2018