Sports, Men's Hockey, Hockey, Winter

BC Knocks Down Huskies 5–3 on Senior Night

Because of playoff implications and season records, Boston College men’s hockey’s final home tilt of the 2022–23 season against No. 17 UConn meant a great deal to all BC fans, players, and coaches. But to Mitch Benson, Mitch Andres, Cam Burke, Christian O’Neill, Liam Izyk, Jack Moffatt, and captain Marshall Warren, it meant just a little bit more. For BC’s four seniors and three graduate students, Friday night’s contest was senior night

“It was special,” Warren said. “You try not to think about it the whole week and then when you get there, seeing my mom and dad obviously made it special but I’m so happy to get the win. It was a team effort. I think we played really well in the third. So yeah, just super happy for all the seniors and all the grads and you know, the whole team had a good effort” 

Despite honoring the seniors and graduate students, all five of BC’s goals came from underclassmen.

Nonetheless, the Eagles (13–14–6, 8–10–5 Hockey East) defeated UConn (19–11–3, 12–9–2) at Conte Forum 5–3 with the help of a game-tying goal and a game-winning goal two minutes apart in the third period. 

Despite getting off to a slow start with very little tape-to-tape passing, the Eagles third shot of the game beat UConn’s Logan Terness when Eamon Powell carried the puck into the zone and dished it to freshman forward Oskar Jellvik. Jellvik flung a shot from across the crease, sending Turness sprawling while the puck danced into the twine behind him, putting BC ahead 1–0. 

Possibly the most significant defensive play of the first frame would also come from a freshman, when Seamus Powell put his stick out to block a pass on a Huskies’ 2-on-1 scoring chance.  

Later in the period, however, Powell would be on the receiving end of a check into the boards from UConn’s Jake Percival that drew out a fiery tirade from the Eagles’ bench. First on the scene was Seamus’ brother, Eamon, who stuck up for his younger sibling as a crowd formed around them. 

“You never want to see one of your brothers get hit like that,” Warren said. “So I think just as a team, we wanted to go out there and play for him, and I think in the third period, you know, we played really well.” 

After all of the players were separated back to their respective benches and the play was reviewed, a two-minute minor on BC’s Cutter Gauthier for roughing and a five-minute major on Percival resulted.  

Despite opening the second period with 2:47 remaining on a power play, a barrage of BC penalties defined the period and set the Eagles back in the game. 

First, Liam Izyk drew an interference penalty after an open ice hit. Simultaneously, Jake Veilleux beat Benson at the back door to tie up the game 1–1 with the Huskies’ power play still to come.

The Huskies did not waste it, with Ryan Tverberg finding the top corner to give the Huskies their first lead of the night 9:20 into the second period at 2–1. 

Although Aidan Hreschuk netted BC’s second goal of the game just six minutes later, a Trevor Kuntar cross check would lead to UConn’s second power play. The Huskies kept their 100 percent conversion rate as Samu Salminen scored to give UConn back the lead at 3–2.

For most of the first half of the final frame, the Eagles strung together high-quality chances, but could not put any away, which took some of the air out of Conte Forum. 

Despite this, two tipped goals from Mike Posma and Nick Leddy two minutes apart—at the 9:17 mark and 11:10 mark, respectively—gave BC a 4–3 lead and fired life back into the arena. 

“That was great desperation there to get a win,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “UConn was doing a good job of spreading the ice and kind of not letting anything bad happen. And then we got a little bit of momentum in the offensive zone.” 

With 26 seconds left in regulation, Andre Gasseau found the empty net to seal the game. 

Amid celebrations for senior night, Warren and the rest of BC’s roster were excited to clinch another game at Conte Forum for this season in the Hockey East tournament next week.

“I had no idea before the game,” Warren said. “I’m just trying to go out there and win the game and just focus on getting wins. I think at the end of day, if we keep winning, we’ll be in a good spot.” 

March 4, 2023