Coming off a loss to Boston University at Agganis Arena Saturday night, Boston College men’s hockey looked to close out a home-and-home series against No. 13 BU in the 287th Battle of Comm. Ave. on Sunday.
In its third-to-last game of the regular season, BC (12–17–5, 7–12–3 Hockey East) came out victorious against its crosstown rival, closing out the two-game series with a 3–1 win in Conte Forum.
“That was definitely a good bounce back from last night, you could feel it—the energy in the room, the guys were excited,” Marc McLaughlin said after the game. “I thought we had a complete effort. … We had a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys, so [it was] really exciting to see. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
The first frame opened with three consecutive penalties, two against BC and one against BU (18–11–3, 12–7–3), starting 4-on-3 play. BU’s Wilmer Skoog took advantage early and opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the first period. BU led 1–0 after the first period.
A tripping penalty put BC on the man advantage early in the second period, but the Eagles failed to convert on any opportunities during the power play. BC’s defensive unit kept control in the second frame, and Eric Dop remained focused between the pipes.
“I thought [Dop] was outstanding,” BC head coach Jerry York said in his postgame press conference. “By far his best game of the year. They had 42 chances and a lot of grade-A chances.”
With five minutes remaining in the second frame, BC’s Jack McBain took advantage of a pass from Brandon Kruse to even the score at 1–1.
Quickly after the celebration, BC’s Patrick Giles was sent to the penalty box for elbowing, putting BC on the penalty kill. BC’s penalty kill unit played with grit, but McLaughlin joined Giles in the box in the 17th minute of the period, putting BU on a 5-on-3 advantage.
BC’s defense stood tall and held off BU’s two-man advantage, and the second frame closed with the teams deadlocked at 1–1.
“I thought they played hard, they played strong, especially on the PK [penalty kill],” York said.
After a big hit to Kruse, Drew Helleson took control of the puck in the 14th minute of the third period and sniped it over the shoulder of BU’s Drew Commesso to put BC up by one goal for its first lead of the afternoon. Giles iced the game for the Eagles with an empty-net goal with five seconds left to play, and BC walked away with a 3–1 win.
“It’s great momentum for us,” York said. “Like I said before, we’ve been playing—for the most part—pretty great hockey all year, but never been able to play the full 60 [minutes]. … Hopefully we’ll go forward now.”
Featured Image by Ben Schultz / Heights Staff