After any loss, Boston College men’s hockey is hungry for revenge. But something about a loss to Boston University in the Beanpot tournament warrants an even bigger return to the ice than most games. Unfortunately for the Eagles, UMass entered the night off of a split weekend with BU and needed revenge just as much.
After a scoreless first period, BC (16-8-1, 10-6-0 Hockey East) capitalized on Lowell’s miscommunication to grab a shorthanded goal to open up the scoring, but the River Hawks (14-7-5, 8-4-4) wouldn’t go down without a fight. After three eventful periods, BC fell to Hockey East rival UMass Lowell 3-2.
“We’ve got to find a way to take these close losses and shift them a little bit,” head coach Jerry York said after four of his team’s last five games were each decided by one goal. “It’s just the one inch in front of our faces.”
The first period was short on goals but not short on excitement, and the Eagles nearly tapped in goal after goal. Lowell’s goaltender Tyler Wall, whose name was fitting for his style of play in the first period, robbed the Eagles of plenty of chances through the first 20 minutes with seven saves. Spencer Knight grabbed five of his own saves in the first as well.
BC dominated possession throughout the entirety of the first period but couldn’t capitalize. With just four combined penalty minutes in the first for the Eagles and the River Hawks, neither team had much of an advantage, and it showed in the scoreline.
But an uneventful first frame seemed to fire the Eagles up even more, and after a few brief moments spent in their own zone, the Eagles took control and never looked back. Lowell packed as many as four players behind the puck at all times, but BC’s skaters were elusive and made their way through the high-pressure defense.
Two minutes into the second, BC saw its closest chance yet, as Marc McLaughlin took a shot from behind the goal line that narrowly deflected off a Lowell defender and found its way out of danger. Just a minute later, Knight stopped a near goal as he faced a one-on-one and turned it away to keep the score at zero apiece.
Quickly, though, the Eagles were firing back. BC drew first blood on Alex Newhook’s shorthanded wrister that went through the legs of a Lowell defender and into the top corner of the net with 15 minutes to play in the second. But the Eagles’ lead was short lived.
After Newhook went to the penalty box, Lowell was determined to capitalize after giving up a goal in its previous chance with an advantage. As the time on Newhook’s penalty expired, Carl Berglund poked one past Knight in the top corner to tie the game up at 1-1.
Then, with just over two minutes left in the middle frame, Kenny Hausinger gave Lowell its first lead of the game on another top-corner shot, and the Eagles headed into the final intermission down by one.
In a manner similar to the previous period, any lead in the third from either team would prove to be short lived. After less than a minute on the ice, Ben Finkelstein scored the equalizer during a 4-on-3 for BC.
The River Hawks nearly regained the lead a few minutes later, but the puck popped up and landed inches from the right goalpost, but Marshall Warren cleared it out just as a Lowell attacker came crashing in.
Lowell finally pulled ahead once again as Marek Korencik beat Knight from distance to take a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that lead was the one that stuck.
“I think in every loss you’ve got to find the key to what can make us better,” said York. “We knew right away that composure cost us the [BU] game, but I thought our composure was better tonight. We kept battling.”
This is the second game in a row for the Eagles where an early lead ended up in a narrow loss, and Jerry York’s squad is sure to be disappointed. With the consolation round of the Beanpot tournament coming up on Monday, BC will have to get into the right headspace to bounce back.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor