Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Eagles Drop 290th Battle of Comm. Ave. to BU 3–1

Until Saturday night, the last time Boston University men’s hockey captured a win at Kelley Rink was on Dec. 1, 2017. 

But on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, something clicked for the Terriers for the first time in over five years, as Boston College (9–9–5, 5–6–4 Hockey East) lost its third game in a row and second straight contest to the No. 4 Terriers (19–6, 13–4) in a 3–1 decision. Despite the loss, the Eagles outshot BU 41–25. 

After dropping the first of the two-game series in BU’s Agganis Arena just 24 hours prior, BC fans filled Conte Forum in a sold-out student section. 

“Yeah, I mean, BC-BU is one of the best rivalries in all sports,” BC defenseman Marshall Warren said. “The fans are great. I think everyone loves to play in those games. The atmosphere is great, the competition’s always there.”

The game’s intensity—and bigger meaning—was apparent within the first five minutes of play. Officials called Cam Burke for boarding, resulting in the first of many scuffles between the two teams. 

“It’s something we’re gonna have to address again,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said. “I thought we’ve been better with our discipline. It got the best of us, certainly tonight. It’s something we’ll talk about, so hopefully we can address that and move on.” 

With a man up, BU failed to capitalize on its first power-play opportunity of the night, and nearly conceded a goal to Colby Ambrosio, who was all alone with BU goaltender Drew Commesso. 

At the 9:45 mark of the frame, Trevor Kuntar found open ice with Oskar Jellvik, and sent a shot flying toward Commesso. Kuntar recovered his rebound, and sent the puck back on net, but Commesso made the save again.  

The tie didn’t last long, as BU’s Wilmer Skoog sent the puck into the back of the net 1:25 into the second period to put the Terriers up 1–0.

BC struggled to retain possession of the puck following the goal, and paid the price. With 10:38 left in the second, BU struck again. Case McCarthy lined up a shot and punched it home, giving the Terriers a 2–0 advantage. 

BC killed a string of BU power plays after the second goal. Following a Cade Webber penalty, BC finally went on a power play of its own. A penalty against Lane Hutson just 35 seconds later put the Eagles on a 5-on-3 advantage, and they wasted no time taking advantage. 

Andre Gasseau took command of the puck just seven seconds after Kuntar won the faceoff, and stuffed the puck into the net to put BC up 2–1 with just over five minutes remaining in the frame. 

“We moved it well,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “We created as many chances, quality chances, as you can but they didn’t go in, so you know that’s the important thing in the power play. Obviously, in the playoffs and when it gets really important you have to finish.”

After BC halted three BU shots, Ambrosio found one more look on goal with 15 seconds left in the period, but failed to convert. 

The Eagles went on the man advantage once again 1:35 into the third frame, but couldn’t find the net. 

“You have to make your own luck,” Brown said. “Yes, some sticks break. But then you figure out another way to get pucks to the net. I thought we moved the puck well, we created opportunities. And then I guess the only thing we could say is you got to try and take Commesso’s eyes away a little bit more, so he can’t see those because he was locked in.”

With 8:23 left in the final period, Jeremy Wilmer extended the Terriers’ lead to two.

The Eagles failed to convert on another power play, despite taking high-quality shots.

“I think everyone in our room wants to win and we’re all hungry,” Warren said. “We gotta play desperate. I think that’s the biggest thing. We have to find that line where every single night we’re out there playing with emotion, playing desperate and that’s, you know, when the results come.”

After time expired—and the Terriers won their first game in Conte Forum in over five years—a scuffle broke out in front of Commesso’s net.  

Commesso finished the night with  40 saves.  

“Yeah, I think you just gotta keep finding the puck,” Warren said. “Keep trying to get past him you know, he’s a great goalie but you know, I think the goal is gonna go on sooner or later, I think you just gotta keep pressing, keep pushing. … He had a great game tonight and he’s a great talent.”



January 29, 2023