Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Wilder, Defense Collapse In 6-2 Loss To Bentley

Three years ago, in the midst of a nightmare start to what would eventually turn out to be a nightmare of a 2018–19 season for BC men’s hockey, Bentley visited Conte Forum for the first matchup ever between the two programs. 

Unbeaten over their previous four games and facing a much less talented Falcons team, the Eagles seemed poised to grab another win and make their terrible start a thing of the past. Instead, BC was penalty prone and anemic on offense, as Bentley grinded out a 4–2 win. BC would eventually finish the season at 14–22–3, Jerry York’s first losing record on the Heights since his first season.

BC has had a strong start to the new season despite the loss of much of last year’s star-studded roster to the NHL, but a clash with the Falcons once again spelled trouble for BC as Bentley (2–2–0) smashed BC (2–1–1) by a final score of 6–2 in Waltham, Mass. 

Bentley has had an up-and-down start to the season, falling 4–0 against the same Northeastern team that BC dispatched 5–3 on Friday night, but had little trouble taking advantage of a young BC goalie and a defense filled with new faces.

The Falcons exploited sloppy play from BC’s defense to get on the board 13 minutes into the game, as Cole Kodsi picked up a loose puck right in front of the Eagles’ net and left Henry Wilder no chance to make a glove-side save.                    

After Kodsi’s first-period goal, the game passed scoreless for nearly half an hour of game time, as BC regained some competence on the backline and Bentley goalie Nicholas Grabko came up with a series of huge saves.

BC’s inability to clear its lines led to the second goal as well, and Kodsi sniped his second of the night a couple of minutes into the third period. Though BC had held strong after going down by one, Kodsi’s second goal threw off whatever wheels still remained on BC’s defense. Bentley secured a commanding 3–0 lead just 30 seconds later off a long-distance shot  from Collin Rutherford.

Wilder’s poor performance in net added further uncertainty to the Eagles’ goalie situation. Wilder, who saw time as a true freshman last year when Spencer Knight was playing at the IIHF World Junior Championship, and Bowling Green transfer Eric Dop have alternated games in goal, but neither has replicated Knight’s success.

If the Eagles’ alternating strategy in net continues, Dop will start on Friday against Colorado College.

The loss marked the Eagles’ largest margin of defeat since their 6–2 loss to Providence in October of 2019.

Jack McBain slotted one in after Bentley’s third goal to finally put the Eagles on the board, but the comeback bid did not last long, as the Falcons put their advantage back to three with another quick goal. 

Drew Bavaro added the fifth for Bentley with a slap shot from nearly the blue line, again exposing Wilder’s difficulties in dealing with long shots through traffic. Marc McLaughlin scored BC’s only other goal of the night with a rebound with nine minutes to play.

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

October 17, 2021