Entering Wednesday’s matchup, Boston College men’s hockey hadn’t given up eight goals in nearly a decade. The last time it happened was the 2012–13 season, when BC’s roster featured future NHL players Johnny Gaudreau, Cam Atkinson, and Chris Kreider, and the Eagles gave up eight against Minnesota on Dec. 30, 2012.
On Wednesday, it happened again for the first time in nearly a decade, as BC (10–9–3, 5–6–2 Hockey East) gave up eight goals and fell to Notre Dame (16–7, 9–4 Big Ten) by a final score of 8–2, marking its biggest loss of the season.
Senior captain Marc McLaughlin, who will compete for Team USA in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, opened the scoring just 17 seconds after losing the opening faceoff. Swift defensive play by the Eagles opened up a transition chance that McLaughlin put away with a powerful wrist shot.
Notre Dame’s penalty-kill unit, which ranks second in the nation, gave the Irish some momentum after Chase Blackmun was called for a roughing minor after a scuffle with Matt Argentina ended with Blackmun’s stick in Argentina’s face. On the penalty kill, Matthew Galajda saved a Colby Ambrosio one-timer, and Irish captain Adam Karashik made a diving shot block to prevent a power-play goal.
A minute after Blackmun exited the box, Henry Wilder appeared to make a diving save, but a review showed that the puck crossed the line, tying the game for the Irish.
Before the broadcast returned at the Compton Family Ice Arena and the second period started, the referee crew went under the hood to review a hit by Argentina for a contact to the head call. After a lengthy review, the referees determined that it warranted a five-minute major and game misconduct, putting the Eagles on an unexpected penalty kill to start the period.
After a Spencer Stastney shot beat Wilder about a minute into period, the Eagles prevailed through the rest of the penalty, led by McLaughlin’s play and fueled by a crucial poke check by Connor Joyce.
It was after the Irish’s power play, however, that the game went sideways for the Eagles. The Irish netted two more goals on a wrister by Ryder Rolston and a one-time blast by Trevor Janicke to put the score at 4–1 in favor of the Irish.
But the game wasn’t out of reach for BC until sophomore forward Nikita Nesterenko became the second Eagle to earn a five-minute major and an ejection for throwing Jesse Lansdell into the boards behind Galajda’s net. The Irish converted the resulting power play into two goals, one each from Rolston and Lansdell.
Trevor Kuntar ended the Eagles’ 40-minute scoring drought a minute and a half into the third frame by sneaking the puck past Galajda’s right pad off a long pass through the crease. This goal started a stretch of strong play by the Eagles, which ended when Notre Dame’s Slaggert brothers, Graham and Landon, converted a two-on-one chance against BC goalie Eric Dop—who relieved Wilder at the beginning of the period—to push the Irish lead to 7–2.
While BC scored 17 seconds into the contest, Rolston completed his hat trick with 17 seconds left to play, capturing just how far the tide turned for the Eagles throughout the game.
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor