Men’s Hockey Splits Weekend Slate
By: JD Biagioni
Where: Conte Forum
When: Friday, January 12, 2018
Result: 4-1 Providence
After BC kicked off the second half of the season with a disappointing last place finish in the Ice Vegas tournament, the Eagles returned home for a weekend slate of games against Providence and New Hampshire. Things started out well enough against the Friars; BC took a 1-0 lead to the locker room after the first period. Providence, however, stormed back with a pair of goals in the each of the final two frames to score a 4-1 victory over the Eagles.
Just past the midway point in the first, Providence received a bench minor for too many men on the ice. At 12:03, BC ’s Logan Hutsko netted the game’s first goal, his first since November 10th at Vermont, on a tip-in. David Cotton captained the power play and fed Casey Fitzgerald for the one-timer. Hutsko positioned himself in front of the net and deflected the puck past Providence’s Hayden Hawkey.
After the lone BC goal, there wasn’t much for the Conte Forum crowd to celebrate. Providence recorded a baffling 11 times as many shots on goal in the second as they did in the first (2 in the first and 22 in the second). The Friars didn’t score until 12 minutes into the second, but they potted two goals in under 10 seconds. Just seconds after Michael Karow went to the box for tripping, Providence shot the puck on net and it found a way in. The returning Joe Woll made the initial stop, but Brian Pinho freed the puck to Kasper Bjorkvist for the easy top-shelf finish.
Off the ensuing draw, Providence dumped the puck in and Greg Printz was able to get the puck away from Woll behind the net. Brandon Duhaime received Printz’ pass out front and tapped the puck into the empty net.
The game stated 2-1 Friars until the final minute of the game. Two empty-netters for Providence, one by Pinho and the other by Josh Wilkens, sent the crowd home disappointed.
Number to know: 6 – the length of David Cotton’s point streak, the longest of his career.
Who: New Hampshire
Where: Conte Forum
When: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Result: 5-2 BC
BC’s offense exploded for five goals, only the third time the Eagles have reached the five-goal plateau this season, in a nice bounce-back victory against UNH.
A very even first period saw each side take nine shots, four penalties, and one goal. BC kicked the scoring off with a shorty at 14:08 of the first. Graham McPhee picked up a loose puck in the UNH zone, flew towards the net, and roofed a backhand.
UNH got on the board with a power play goal from Benton Maass a few minutes after Jacob Tortora was whistled for boarding. Max Gildon established possession in the BC end and fired a shot wide. Michael McNicholas corralled the rebound and found Maass streaking down the off-wing side. He ripped a one-timer past Woll.
BC’s second goal, 1:11 into the second, actually developed late in the first. Anthony Wyse took a hooking penalty at 20:00 to close the first frame. Early in the second, Michael Kim held the puck at the left dot and fed Logan Hutsko near the goal mouth. Hutsko passed up the close-range shot and dumped the puck back to David Cotton between the dots. Cotton finished off the tic-tac-toe play by burying the puck.
A few minutes later, JD Dudek stretched the lead to two with the game’s first even-strength goal. Dudek fired a one-timer past Daniel Tirone off of a transition breakout with Chris Grando and Casey Carreau.
Later in the second, Graham McPhee scored his second tally of the night to give BC the 4-1 lead. Christopher Brown chased down a loose puck behind the net and dropped it out in front of the UNH net. Ron Greco attempted to sneak the puck past Tirone, but his shot caromed to McPhee. McPhee sidestepped the net-minder and snapped a shot into the back of the net.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to a manageable 2 with a few minutes remaining in the second. McNicholas won an offensive zone draw for UNH. Anthony Wyse received the puck off of face-off and rifled a slap-shot on net. The puck bounced of Marcus Vela and Vela was able to send the puck to Ara Nazarian. Nazarian collected the puck and beat Woll before he could slide across the crease.
Jacob Tortora put the game out of reach with six minutes to play in the third period. Dudek skated the puck out of the defensive zone and connected with Grando at the other blue line. Grando penetrated the zone and fired the puck across the ice to Tortora, who ripped a one-timer into the twine to put the Eagles up 5-2.
To close out January, BC has three games with the UMASS schools, two against Lowell and one versus Amherst.
Number to know: 5 – BC has scored five goals in both games versus UNH this season.