Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

No. 3 BC Dismantles No. 8 Spartans 5–1 To Complete Sweep in Conte

Boston College men’s hockey’s second goal on Saturday all started with a tough shift from freshman forward Ryan Leonard late in the second frame.

Leonard skated deep into the neutral zone, and the costumed crowd appeared to beg for a penalty after Leonard got tripped up. Rather than staying down and pouting, however, Leonard got up and followed the play into the offensive end. 

From there, the right-handed stick got a fairly open look, but he couldn’t beat Michigan State goaltender Trey Augustine. The puck stayed in the zone, and while grinding for it behind the net, Leonard drew a holding penalty on Tommi Männistö. 

On the ensuing power play, Gabe Perreault made a nifty deke that he seamlessly turned into a lay-off pass to Cutter Gauthier. Gauthier fired a rocket into the top-right corner past a frozen Augustine, which sailed over the netminder’s shoulder and glove. 

No. 3 BC (5–1) defeated the No. 8 Spartans (5–3) by a score of 5–1, completing a weekend sweep thanks to 38 saves in net by freshman goaltender Jacob Fowler and two power-play goals. 

“Yeah, I think obviously anytime you jump up a level, it’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Fowler said. “So kind of settling into things has been a little bit harder than at different levels, but [I’m] pretty fortunate to have the staff and the groups we have in front of me, so they make my life easy.”

Fowler credited his teammates for battling out in front of him. 

“Yeah, had a lot of big blocks for some [penalty kill] having their sticks in lanes,” Fowler said. “So all those little details add up to our success tonight.”

The lone goal of the first period did not come from either of BC’s top two prolific scoring lines, nor did it come from Oskar Jellvik’s red-hot third line. 

It came from the fourth line—just its second on the year as a unit. 

Connor Joyce put a shot on goal and Augustine couldn’t control it. The rebound spilled out to Mike Posma, who shot it across the face of the net. Augustine could do little to stop the gliding puck, and BC took a 1–0 lead 13:28 into the game. 

A non-traditional unit was also on the ice when Gauthier scored his power-play goal. Perreault, Jellvik, Jack Malone, and Eamon Powell complemented Gauthier for a brand new lineup.

“We weren’t clicking especially on the power play—the first two power plays,” Brown said. “They just had no rhythm and didn’t create any offense. [We tried] and mix it up a little bit, get some new combinations.”

After the power play, Brown decided to switch Andre Gasseau and Perreault, marking the first big change in the offensive lineup since Gentry Shamburger replaced Jamie Armstrong after Armstrong suffered an injury at Quinnipiac

BC returned to its normal, even-strength lines during the third period. 

But the switched-up power-play unit got on the board once again in the final frame when Malone skated in on net and beat Augustine on his glove side 2:24 into the period.

“I don’t think we were tremendous on those power plays, but they had good finishes,” Brown said. “It was nice to get two goals out of it. Same with the lines, I thought they weren’t flat, but it wasn’t as crisp as we had been in the past. So sometimes you do change things up a little bit. … But it seemed to help us for a little while there. We changed the momentum.” 

Karsen Dorwart got one back while Fowler was sprawled out after trying to stop a previous attempt from Isaac Howard 9:38 into the third period, but that would be it in terms of scoring for the Spartans. 

Malone tallied his second goal of the night a minute before Dorwart’s goal, and Gauthier scored on an empty net with 52 seconds left, wrapping up the contest at a final score of 5–1. 

“Most of the night there was pressure all the time, and then we just kind of had to battle and grind and find ways to get the puck out because there weren’t a lot of clean tape-to-tape exits,” Brown said. “Good credit to Michigan State. That’s a heck of a hockey team.” 

Correction (Oct. 29, 2023 11:18 a.m.): This article previously incorrectly stated that BC’s goal in the first period was scored by the third line. It was corrected to state that the goal was scored by a member of BC’s fourth line.

October 28, 2023