Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Eagles Deliver in Front of Record-Breaking Student Section With 4–2 Victory Over Long Island

Before the opening faceoff of No. 4 Boston College men’s hockey’s home opener against Long Island, the atmosphere in Conte Forum was like no other. In front of a record-breaking student section sporting all white, Eagles fans made their presence known with deafening chants. 

“Tremendous show by the fans,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “They were there right at the beginning of the game, the white out was dynamite. They were loud.”

But those chants and that electricity quickly turned into a low grumble when, 55 seconds into the affair, Long Island’s Remy Parker chipped in a shot that knocked off freshman goaltender Jacob Fowler’s mitt and found the top right corner of the net. 

After a few minutes, it looked as though the Eagles had regained their footing, but they lost it again—and the energy of their fans—when BC let up its second goal of the contest before the 10-minute mark of the first period. Once again, only a low murmur could be heard from the stands as the visitors snatched an early 2–0 advantage. 

“Our first shift of the game was outstanding, but then it looked like we didn’t quite have that edge for a lot of the first period,” Brown said. “[The Sharks] were very opportunistic to capitalize when they got down in our zone. They created some good shots.” 

Despite trailing to Long Island (0–3–0) 2–0 less than 10 minutes into the matchup, the Eagles’ (2–0–0) offense rebounded with a barrage of four unanswered goals en route to a 4–2 victory. Fowler stopped the bleeding after conceding two early goals, and BC held the Sharks scoreless for the next 51 minutes of the contest.

(Kellen Davis / Heights Staff)

“I mean, that’s gonna happen and you gotta have that mental strength to be able to bounce back,” graduate forward Jack Malone said. “We try to keep it positive on the bench and recognize, I think we were down two nothing 10 minutes into the first period or so. So we knew we had a lot of hockey left. We could be better than we were.” 

After a nightmarish start for the Eagles, Malone broke Long Island’s shutout at the 7:41 mark of the first frame with a nifty goal to cap off his birthday night and BC debut. Andre Gasseau found Malone in the center of the attacking zone, and he sent the puck flying into the net for his first tally in a BC sweater, which sent the fans into a frenzy. 

“It was an awesome welcome to Conte,” Malone said. “And, you know, definitely fed off of the energy that we got. So, it was a great first experience.”

That was the spark that BC needed as just over a minute later, freshman defender Drew Fortescue added his name to the scoring sheet with a wrist shot from the left circle that slipped by Brandon Perrone’s glove to knot the game at two apiece with 6:47 left in the first frame. BC superfans could hardly contain their excitement as the puck rattled in the net, reinvigorating the Eagles’ momentum.

The second frame started in a tie, but that changed at the 9:46 mark as Gasseau potted his second goal of the season on a one-timer that gave Perrone practically no time to react. The score marked Gasseau’s second point of the contest and gave the Eagles their first lead of the matchup. 

“I think that playing with [Cutter Gauthier] and Gasser, it’s easy to create a lot of offense,” Malone said. “And, you know, they’re both responsible defensively so we can play both ends of the ice and create chances and try to spend some more time in the offensive zone than the defensive zone.” 

The onslaught of goals and celebration in the stands continued as Oskar Jellvik joined in to make it 4–2 BC with 6:51 remaining on another top-shelf snipe. The Eagles outshot Long Island 22–6 in the second period, and entered the final frame with all of the momentum on their side. 

After BC failed to score on its first power play in the third period, a tripping call gave the Eagles a second chance to record their fifth straight goal. But BC could not convert on that opportunity or the 23 total shots it recorded in the final period.

(Kellen Davis / Heights Staff)

But Fowler, who totaled 10 saves, and the Eagles’ backline held Long Island scoreless for the remainder of the matchup and coasted to their second win of the season.    

“I’m sure he was feeling that,” Brown said of Fowler on the pressure from the fans after allowing two early goals. “Shows his mental fortitude, [because] he really shut the door after that. It’s not easy for any goalie to give up two early, but especially a freshman in his first home game. So the fact that he shut them down for the last 50 minutes is a huge testament to his mental strength and the guys in front of him as well, picking him up and buckling down.”

October 14, 2023