Men's Hockey, Hockey, Winter, Sports

No. 1 BC Claims Regular Season Hockey East Championship with Win Over No. 17 UNH

No. 1 Boston College men’s hockey’s tilt against No. 17 New Hampshire on Sunday was not a typical game for the Eagles—both in terms of the final score and the stakes of the affair.

The last time that Boston College men’s hockey failed to score three goals in a game was on Nov. 11, in which they tallied a 2–2 tie against Maine. But on Sunday, that nearly four month long streak was snapped in BC’s low-scoring affair with UNH. The Eagles entered the game with a chance to grab the Hockey East Regular Season Championship, but the game was far from BC’s typical offensive showing.

With the Eagles’ only goal coming from BC’s Captain, Eamon Powell, the Eagles (27–5–1, 19–3–1 Hockey East) narrowly eked out No. 17 UNH (17–14–1, 10–11–1) 1–0 on Senior Night to claim the 2024 Regular Season Hockey East Championship. 

“It’s natural for people to be attracted to the top scorers, that’s the way it is,” Brown said when asked if the seniors get the appreciation that they deserve due to the firepower of the freshman class. “But in our locker room, everyone knows how valuable those guys are. They do so many things on and off the ice, so steady, so reliable on the ice.”

One of those seniors, Powell, capped off senior night with the one and only goal that the Eagles needed to take down UNH. After entering the third period with a scoreless scoreboard for the first time all season, the Eagles desperately needed a shot to find the back of the net, and Powell provided it. 

At the 7:22 mark, Powell ended the silent offensive affair. He took the puck from the Eagles’ own goal line and dished it to the side to Ryan Leonard, who sent it back to Powell. Powell took the puck in stride, then glided toward the net and potted a backhanded chip shot before jumping into the glass in celebration. 

“Our third was our best period by far,” Brown said. “We created some decent chances, and then, Eamon was able to capitalize and get the only one we needed, luckily.”

The Wildcats never responded to Powell’s goal, and the Eagles notched their lowest scoring win of the season thanks to the captain’s tally. 

Despite two power play chances for the Eagles, their offense remained stagnant through the first two periods.

“Another hard battle against New Hampshire,” Brown said. “Again, they did a great job on the forecheck and bottling up the neutral zone through the first 30 minutes. They created far too many turnovers to our liking.”

On the other end, the Wildcats were given four power play chances of their own, but Fowler anchored BC’s defense and penalty kill to keep the game knotted up at 0–0. Fowler ended the game with 27 saves and zero goals allowed.

“Fowler was, again, extremely strong the whole game, but really kept us 0–0 for that first 30 minutes,” Brown said.

BC’s seniors played key roles on both sides of the puck in the Eagles’ win, according to Brown. The Eagles’ defense on the penalty kill proved to be crucial in their win over the Wildcats, largely thanks to the contributions of the upperclassmen being honored.

“So many of them are penalty killers for us too, which was huge tonight,” Brown said of the upperclassmen’s contributions. “We had some great penalty kills, a lot of blocked shots, again just able to keep it 0–0 until we were able to break through.”

March 4, 2024