Hockey, Men's Hockey, Winter, Top Story, Sports

No. 1 Eagles Split Two-Game Series Against Northeastern With 3–1 Win at Matthews Arena

BOSTON, M.A. — One on one with Dylan Hryckowian, Eamon Powell made a crucial poke at the puck. 

Down 1–0 with 14:26 left in the second period, Powell didn’t let a coasting Hryckowian toe drag around him just after the start of No. 1 Boston College men’s hockey’s fourth power play of the game. Instead, Powell showcased his defensive expertise—sometimes underappreciated because of his role as captain of the Eagles. 

Powell’s defense was the reason that Will Smith could retrieve the puck and hurl a long pass to Gabe Perreault on the other end. His defense was the reason BC tied the game. 

After receiving Smith’s feed, Perreault juked side to side and lifted the puck to the upper shelf. While Perreault tallied the goal, Powell’s play in BC’s defensive zone, along with Smith’s full-ice dime, did not go overlooked.

“Their guy had Eamon turned around,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “He did a nice job of cutting back on Eamon, so Eamon finally got him with a lot of good stick work there and then [Smith] gave Gabe a pretty good connection. It was a great defensive stop, a great pass, and a great finish.”

Despite giving up an early goal, the Eagles used the energy from Perreault’s game-knotting tally to mount a comeback. BC (12–3–1, 5–2–1 Hockey East) shook off Friday’s rust and triumphed over the Huskies (4–8–1, 1–8–0) 3–1 at Matthews Arena on Saturday.

“We know how these teams play—so tenacious, so hard,” Brown said. “From the goalie out, they’re very good. Not sure why they had the slow start, but they’re gonna be a tough out for everybody.”

BC goaltender Jacob Fowler made a massive save at the 13:39 mark, fearlessly stretching out his arm and scooping up the puck. The rookie goaltender tallied six saves through the first 10 minutes of the game.

A scuffle between Aidan Hreschuk and Hryckowian resulted in 4-on-4 play with 9:32 left in the first, but a holding penalty on Jackson Dorrington gave the Eagles a power play. Despite leading in shots on goal 12–7 by the end of the penalty, BC did not score.

The Huskies grabbed the first lead of the game with an Alex Campbell tip-in off a feed from Dorrington with just under four minutes left in the first period. The bouncing puck leapt right over Fowler’s right pad and gave Northeastern a 1–0 lead.

Colby Ambrosio’s delayed penalty nearly resulted in a second goal for the Huskies at the end of the frame, as Gunnarwolfe Fontaine rifled a shot off the crossbar, and Northeastern skated into the second period with 1:55 left on the man advantage.

Just after getting off the penalty kill, the Eagles went right back on it after Aram Minnetian picked up a hooking call three minutes into the second frame. That disadvantage didn’t last long, though, as Cam Lund received a hooking penalty to make it 4-on-4. 

The matchup featured nine penalties.

“Different set, different structure,” Brown said of how BC coped with the penalties. “I thought we stayed in so tight that we didn’t really expand the ice. That was probably the reason [the power play] wasn’t as effective as it could have been.”

Despite not scoring on Lund’s misdemeanor, a Liam Walsh penalty two minutes later let BC back into the game.

Perreault received the puck from Smith after Powell made his pivotal poke check, and he tied the game 1–1. 

Tight chances for both BC and Northeastern ensued between the seven and five-minute mark of the second frame. 

First, Smith played a look to Leonard streaking across the middle, but he got denied. Just a minute later, Campbell slid a pass to Fontaine who couldn’t control the puck despite facing an empty net. 

Fowler remained a staple for BC, racking up 12 saves in the second frame alone, and 25 total.

“He’s got that in his DNA,” Brown said. “He was not happy after last night. He was not happy with himself, and he was fired up, played great today. It was a great response, [a] very mature response for a freshman.”

It took just under two minutes into the third period for Smith to make it 2–1. 

Smith recovered the puck from the right side of the crease after receiving it from Minnetian, and he tucked home his own rebound for his seventh goal of the season, silencing the students in the rafters section. 

Oskar Jellvik received the first penalty of the third frame for tripping at the 12:30 mark, but the Eagles killed off their fifth penalty of the game and retained their one-goal lead.

Tensions started to flare up, as Leonard shoved Andy Moore and then appeared to uppercut Dorrington which stopped play. 

But those tensions didn’t last after Lukas Gustafsson potted BC’s third goal with a chip shot over goaltender Cameron Whitehead’s shoulders, icing the game and securing BC’s victory. 

“We had better structure in our [defensive] zone,” Brown said. “We didn’t leave guys wide open in front of the net, like there were a few times [Friday] night.” 

December 3, 2023