Hockey, Top Story, Sports, Men's Hockey

Eagles Roll Over Providence in 9-0 Blanking

The ball kept rolling for Boston College men’s hockey, as the No. 2 Eagles came out of their second weekend series of the season undefeated, this time against No. 12 Providence. After capping off a strong first weekend against No. 7 UMass, winning both games through gritty competition, BC looked to carry its momentum forward. With confidence soaring after a one-sided match on Friday night, BC aimed to capitalize on its efforts and open with a 4-0 start for the first time in 18 years. 

BC wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, as the Eagles scored five goals within the first 30 minutes of the match, ending with an obliterating 9-0 win. Though BC didn’t exploit the majority of its power plays, it continuously found ways to slice through the Friars’ defense and communicated well to rack up assisted goals, as five Eagles finished with multi-point games. BC (4-0-0) remained untouched, building its case as a top collegiate team and preventing Providence (0-2-0) from stealing its first win. 

Fresh off a goal on Friday night, Matt Boldy quickly kept his point streak alive with a one-on-one glove-side shot just four minutes into the game. Despite having two power plays in the first quarter, the Eagles couldn’t convert. Minutes later, as Logan Hutsko exited the penalty box during a five-on-three chance for Providence, the Eagles mustered a shorthanded score when Hutsko stole the puck away from the Friars and sent a cross-ice pass to Marc McLaughlin, who tucked it away.

Whatever adjustments the Friars attempted to make in the second period were ineffective, primarily because of Spencer Knight’s flawless play in net. After securing a shutout the night before, Knight made sure to maintain his intensity in Saturday’s match, as the second-year goalie protected multiple high shots on penalty kills and ended with a second consecutive clean sheet. 

BC never slowed down despite carrying an early lead, and the Friars simply could not keep up with the Eagles’ relentless offensive attacks. BC’s freshmen were sensational, as Colby Ambrosio scored five minutes into the second period, prompting Providence starting goalie Gabe Mollot-Hill to be subbed out.

Fellow freshman Nikita Nesterenko netted a bullet quickly into the second period and an assist to Hutsko only 18 seconds into the third period, and Trevor Kuntar scored a goal in both the second and third periods, increasing his weekend goal total to three after netting his first collegiate goal in the previous game. 

Experienced forwards Hutsko and Mike Hardman both filled the stat sheet, as each assisted twice through the second period, with Hutsko adding BC’s sixth goal. All together, nine different players recorded multi-point nights. 

Though BC kept finding itself in the box, resulting in back-to-back power plays for the Friars in the third period, BC’s defense stood tall throughout. With help from blocked shots by Michael Karow and Mitch Andres, the Eagles converted three of their opponents’ seven power plays into scores. 

“We’ve developed some really good players,” BC head coach Jerry York said, praising his young defensive core. “We’ve got four guys who are meshing really well, who we still want to develop some more, and Spencer [Knight] covers up the rest of our mistakes.”

York also addressed Knight’s unavailability in the upcoming weeks due to his participation in the World Junior Championships, including his plans for filling BC’s starting goalie position.

“Henry Wilder has stepped up and is next in line for sure … he’s done very well in practice,” York said. “We wish [Knight] all the best of luck.”

BC’s dominant play over a highly touted Providence team cements the young squad as a powerhouse to be reckoned with in the Hockey East, and it bodes well for the future of BC. Hopes are high for the Eagles, who are still on the hunt to avenge the loss of a postseason one year ago. 

Featured Image by Molly Bankert / Heights Staff

December 6, 2020