Just after taking a 2-1 lead on UConn, Boston College men’s hockey found itself shorthanded thanks to a holding penalty on Colby Ambrosio with 1:42 remaining in the second period. Though it appeared that the Huskies would regain the momentum on their power play, instead it was the Eagles who struck while a man down. Matt Boldy and captain Marc McLaughlin rocketed down the ice for a shorthanded 2-on-1 opportunity. Boldy completed a pass to McLaughlin who wristed it past UConn goalie Tomas Vomacka to extend the Eagles’ lead to 3-1.
After the goal, the Eagles found themselves in a familiar place. For the second night in a row, they held a 3-1 lead over the Huskies at the second intermission. On Friday, the Eagles allowed the Huskies to come back from the two-goal deficit and ultimately win the game in a shootout. One day later, the No. 1 Eagles (9-2-1) held on and beat the Huskies (5-6-2) in a 4-2 victory, the 1,100th of BC head coach Jerry York’s illustrious career.
In Saturday’s rematch on the road in Storrs, Conn., the Eagles found themselves ahead early on for the second night in a row. On the day after his first career goal, Harrison Roy gobbled up the rebound off of Eamon Powell’s shot from the point, and Roy beat Vomacka for his second goal in as many games. The goal gave the Eagles a 1-0 edge just three minutes into the contest.
UConn established strong offensive zone pressure after the opening goal and wasted no time tying up the score. Following a BC turnover, goaltender Spencer Knight denied Carter Turnbull’s initial shot, but Turnbull beat Knight on the rebound and leveled the score at one apiece.
The Eagles came out much stronger in the second period. Despite struggling to convert power-play opportunities, the offense was buzzing. The Eagles continued to create grade-A scoring chances, and they finally put one past Vomacka with just over four minutes to go in the frame. Following a UConn turnover, the Eagles capitalized on a bad line change from the Huskies. Jack McBain made a pass to Casey Carreau, who redirected the puck into the back of the net for his second tally of the weekend.
The fourth line of Carreau, Roy, and Danny Weight continue to be a bright spot for the Eagles, contributing four of the Eagles’ seven goals over the last two games. Though Weight didn’t find the net, Vomacka robbed him of two near-goal opportunities. York said he is thrilled with the success that the line has had so far this season.
“They don’t want to be called the fourth line anymore,” York said. “They’re scoring goals and getting more ice time because of their quality of play. When you get scoring from up and down your lineup, it really, really helps. I love to see that.”
All game long, the Eagles had great success on the penalty kill, which continued into the late minutes of the second frame. Off of a feed from Boldy, McLaughlin lit the lamp to double BC’s lead with 38 seconds remaining in the period. The goal marked BC’s sixth shorthanded goal of the season, the most in all of college hockey. Amazingly enough, the Eagles have scored two more goals while shorthanded than they have on the power play, an area in which they have struggled all season long.
“Spencer’s terrific play in goal helps us take some more chances shorthanded,” York said. “We have some talented players that can kill penalties.”
There was not much action in the third period until officials called BC forward Trevor Kuntar for a tripping penalty that put UConn on the power play. With the man advantage, the Huskies cut the Eagles’ deficit in half on a goal from Jake Flynn. His wrist shot from the point went through a screen and into the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game, eerily similar to Friday’s matchup.
On the second go-around, however, Knight and the defense stood tall in the final minutes. Jack St. Ivany, who recently transferred to the Heights from Yale, scored his first goal in a BC uniform—an empty-netter from his own defensive zone—to seal it for the Eagles with just under one minute remaining in the game.
“The games are all tight and hard,” York said. “This is a real good win for our program.”
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Senior Staff