Undefeated against Boston University in Agganis Arena since 2017, Boston College men’s hockey looked to extend its win streak in the 286th Battle of Comm. Ave. on Saturday night.
Marc McLaughlin and Jack McBain, BC’s top two scorers, were back on the ice together for the first time since New Year’s Eve Saturday. McLaughlin and McBain were absent for over two weeks to play in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and McBain missed time before heading to Beijing with an upper-body injury. Despite two goals from McBain, No. 13 BU spearheaded the offensive battle to defeat the Eagles (11–17–5, 6–12–3 Hockey East) 6–3.
A quiet first half of the opening frame spiraled into an early three-goal lead for the Terriers (18–10–3, 12–6–3), as Luke Tuch’s slap shot off a faceoff ignited the Terriers’ momentum in the 11th minute.
In the 18th minute, Nick Zabaneh rushed past the Eagles’ defense and passed to Dylan Peterson, who poked the puck past BC goaltender Eric Dop. Less than 30 seconds later, Wilmer Skoog scored on a backhand shot on a breakaway to give BU a 3–0 lead.
Intensity escalated in the middle frame, but both teams failed to capitalize on power-play opportunities. In the seventh minute, McBain’s left-handed shot off the faceoff beat BU goaltender Vinny Duplessis through his five-hole for BC’s first goal of the night.
Just 30 seconds later, an interference penalty put BC on the power play, but the Terriers’ defense stopped all six of BC’s shots. In the 10th minute, back at even strength and amid a frenzy in front of Dop, Peterson poked home the loose puck to restore BU’s three-goal advantage.
Halfway through a BC power play, a tripping call on Marshall Warren sent the game to 4-on-4 play. In the 13th minute, the Terriers returned to the power play, and Tuch’s low shot beat Dop for his second goal of the night and to extend BU’s lead to four.
With five minutes left in the second period, the Eagles responded with a power play goal. Jack St. Ivany’s shot-pass landed in front of McBain, who scored for the second time in his first game back from the Olympics to bring the score to 5–2.
In the second minute of the final frame, BU fans erupted as Brian Carrabes redirected a shot for the Terriers’ sixth goal of the night. Although Casey Carreau scored a short-handed goal in the 14th minute of the final period, the three-goal deficit proved too challenging to overcome, and BU cruised to a 6–3 win.
The Terriers outshot BC 42–31 on the night, and the Eagles’ 21 blocked shots were not enough to hold down BU’s relentless offense. Dop stopped 36 shots to post a .857 save percentage.
An intense, physical battle characterized the opening game between the rivals, culminating in a combined 13 penalties on the night. BU’s Robert Mastrosimone received a 10-minute misconduct in the 17th minute of the second frame, and BC’s Nikita Nesterenko left the rink following a spearing penalty in the final minutes of the game.
Featured Image by Ethan Ott / Heights Editor