Sports, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Eagles Squander Two-Goal Lead, Tie with No. 19 River Hawks

After the first period of Saturday’s clash between Boston College men’s hockey and No. 19 Massachusetts Lowell, it looked like the Eagles were well on their way to a much-needed victory, one that would even the weekend series. BC owned a 2-0 lead and had completely dominated the first 20 minutes of action. Yet, the game would consist of many more twists and turns, ultimately resulting in a 4-4 tie.

Just under five minutes into the contest, UMass Lowell (14-8-2, 8-4-2 Hockey East) forward Charlie Levesque picked up a five-minute major for hitting David Cotton from behind. The Eagles (8-12-3, 8-4-3) immediately took advantage when Oliver Wahlstrom netted his sixth goal of the season on a feed from Ben Finkelstein, the first point of his BC career. The Eagles carried that positive momentum with them for the rest of the period, eventually doubling their lead with a Cotton scoring play. The star junior picked up his 15th goal of the season, as the rebound of Logan Hutsko’s initial shot fell directly into the path of Cotton.

The second period was a completely different story, though. Three minutes into the frame, Kenny Hausinger slotted his ninth goal of the season, beating BC netminder Joseph Woll on a breakaway. Woll didn’t get much of a break, as the River Hawks peppered the BC goal, outshooting their opponents, 13-1, at one point in the period. Fortunately for the Eagles, Woll remained strong and they were able to restore their two-goal lead late in the period. Once again, BC took advantage of a power play, as Christopher Brown found the back of the net for the sixth time in as many games.

At the outset of the third period, though, it once again did not take long for UMass Lowell to notch a goal. One minute into the final frame, Ryan Dmowski calmly fired in a wrist shot right front of the cage. Unlike the second period, the Eagles were unable to respond and slow down the River Hawks. A little over a minute after Dmowski’s goal, UMass Lowell tied the game.

Chase Blackmun powered in a shot from the right point that beat a screened Woll, finally erasing the potential for what had once been a game headed toward a lopsided score. Although, the River Hawks stayed on the front foot, Woll kept the Eagles in the game, making a series of impressive saves.

Slowly, BC got more involved in the third period. With a little over five minutes remaining in the contest, Cotton possessed a golden opportunity to retake the lead, but was denied by UMass Lowell goaltender Christoffer Hernberg. Yet, just 30 seconds later, it looked like the Eagles might steal the game at the end. J.D. Dudek blasted a shot into the roof of the net on a great feed from Wahlstrom. The lead did not last, however. Graham McPhee was called for a roughing penalty after the whistle, and Dmowski tucked in his second goal of the period on a power play.

Both teams exchanged good scoring chances in overtime, but neither could find the back of the net. UMass Lowell nearly won it in the dying seconds of the contest, but Woll made one last heroic save to preserve the point for the Eagles.

In many ways, Saturday’s contest was a microcosm of BC’s season as a whole. There were flashes of brilliance from the tremendous talent that exists on the roster, but also long stretches of poor play and sloppy errors. The inconsistency that has defined this year’s team was evident in BC’s squandering of three separate leads. Ultimately, a tie on the road against a strong UMass Lowell squad is not a bad result for the Eagles, but the manner in which it took place is sure to leave Jerry York and his team frustrated. In order for BC to get anything out of the remainder of its season, it will need to turn these ties into wins.

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

January 27, 2019