UMass Takes First Half of Home-and-Home with BC
By JD Biagioni
Boston College outshot UMass 42-24, but Jake Gaudet’s late goal powered the Minutemen to a 3-1 victory, snapping the Eagles 10-game winning streak.
— UMass Hockey (@UMassHockey) January 11, 2020
Fitting for a game between the No. 4 and No. 10 teams in the nation, BC and UMass brought the intensity, and the tensions built as the game progressed. In the latter half of the third, there was plenty post-whistle jousting. The fans were also heavily invested, and a lot of UMass fans made their voices heard as the Minutemen gained momentum. A very vocal “U-Mass” chant could be heard at various points throughout the game.
“The UMass chant at the end of the third period was awesome,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said. “Don’t think for a minute that both teams didn’t feel that and realize that.”
BC had plenty of chances, particularly in the second when the Eagles outshot UMass 15-4, but Filip Lindberg turned away everything he saw on the evening, save for a nifty Alex Newhook goal late in the first. With BC trailing 1-0, Newhook took the puck up the right wing boards, split two UMass defenders with a deke and tucked the puck through Lindberg’s legs. The UMass goalie would get his revenge in the second, robbing Newhook with a glove save at point-blank range.
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) January 11, 2020
Spencer Knight returned from his stint with the US National Team at the World Juniors and was solid in goal. He made a few key stops on odd-man rushes and stood tall on extended possessions by the Minutemen.
Unfortunately, UMass’ pressure in the second half of the final period was just a bit too much to handle. UMass controlled play for about a two minute stretch, and it culminated with a bounding puck that Gaudet snuck the puck under Knight’s arm as the BC goalie sprawled across the crease.
Following the goal, the Eagles scrambled to even the score, putting eight-shots on goal in the final three minutes following Gaudet’s goal, but, like he’d been all night, Lindberg was up to the task.
Finally UMass iced the game with an empty-netter. Reed Lebster was able to flip the puck out of the UMass zone and it found its way to John Leonard who skated up to the BC goal untouched.
The loss, their first since November 1, drops the Eagles to 13-5. BC doesn’t have time to dwell on the loss, as a rematch is in store for Saturday night at the Mullins Center. The Eagles will also travel out there on January 31.