Boston College men’s hockey was looking to split a weekend series up in Orono against Hockey East foe Maine, following a disappointing 2-1 loss on Friday. Mitchell Fossier and the Black Bears had other ideas, though. In a game defined by missed opportunities, the Eagles faced a similar result, once again losing a 2-1 heartbreaker—this time in overtime.
This was merely the continuation of BC’s (10-18-3, 9-8-3 Hockey East) late-season slide, with its losing streak hitting six games, as it was swept in the season series by the Black Bears (14-14-4, 10-8-4) for the first time since 2013. BC hasn’t had any semblance of a consistent offense over that stretch, totaling just nine goals in six games while conceding 19. Still, the last five contests have been decided by two goals or less, simply adding insult to a lost season.
The game started out right for the Eagles, who controlled the balance of play in the first 20 minutes of regulation. On a power play about halfway through the first period, after Maine’s Tim Doherty went to the box for tripping, forward David Cotton found the back of the net to put the Eagles up, 1-0. The goal was Cotton’s 18th of the season and came after Oliver Wahlstrom put a hard shot on net from the high slot—Cotton was able to deflect it past Black Bears goaltender Jeremy Swayman to light the lamp. The Eagles were on the attack the whole period and were generating a lot of chances on the offensive end, putting Maine on their heels time and time and again. The Eagles piled up a decisive 15-2 edge in shots, even hitting the post once, but couldn’t crack Swayman again and entered intermission with a slim one-goal advantage.
The inability to add to the lead proved costly for BC, as the tide shifted in the second period. The Black Bears became a lot more aggressive on the offensive end and created many chances, which eventually led to a goal in the last minute of the second period. Maine couldn’t convert on a pair of power plays during the period, but had a 23-8 edge in shots, and the consistent pressure eventually paid off.
Black Bears forward Brendan Robbins was opportunistic, scoring in a manner similar to Cotton. Teammate Jakub Sirota took a shot from the point after Maine had spent a lengthy shift threatening the Eagles and Joseph Woll, and it was deflected in past Woll by Robbins for his seventh goal of the year. This tied up the game heading into the third, with the momentum largely in Maine’s hands. Neither team seemed eager to press too hard in the final period, though, combining for few serious scoring opportunities. The third frame went by without harm to both sides, forcing overtime with the sixth seed in the upcoming Hockey East Tournament at stake.
The overtime period was winding down when Fossier came up big. With Woll’s vision obstructed by multiple skaters, Fossier scooped up the puck at the left face off circle and flung a backhander toward the net. It snuck in on the near post, securing a three-game sweep of the Eagles for Maine—a team that finished 13 points back of BC in last year’s conference table.
This was yet another tough conference loss for the Eagles, who have plummeted to seventh in the Hockey East standings. Things don’t get easier, either, as BC has a home-and-home with No. 13 Northeastern before closing out the season against No. 11 Providence. Feasibly, the Eagles could go winless down the stretch and further slide down the table entering the tournament. The consecutive losses this weekend knocked BC out of first round bye consideration barring an impressive late-season push, a fact that further reinforces the disappointing narrative around a season that started with high hopes for a second straight Hockey East regular season title.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff