The Boston College men’s hockey team earned their first win of the season Saturday night against the Merrimack College Warriors in the second part of a two-game series. The Saturday win followed a tight loss on Friday night at Merrimack.
Still 0-4 after a disheartening loss to No. 2 St. Cloud State last week, the Eagles looked to end the drought Friday night in their first Hockey East game in North Andover. However, the Warriors opened the scoring with a power play goal from Derek Petti halfway through the first period, the Eagles scrambling in front of the net. Another power play goal put the Warriors up by two, as defenseman Tyler Heidt blasted home a shot from the point halfway through the second.
BC was not discouraged, though, and began to mount a comeback late in the second. Sophomore Logan Hutsko converted on a centering pass from Julius Matilla with less than a minute left in the second to record his first goal of the season and cut BC’s deficit in half.
The Eagles continued to battle and had a number of close scoring opportunities. The final shot count was 32 for both teams, while the Eagles’ and Warriors’ centers also matched in face-off wins with 39 a piece. Nonetheless, a scoreless third period from both sides left the Eagles with a loss and 0-5 record.
Returning to the Heights Saturday night, the Eagles—dawning their golden sweaters for the first time this season—were able to turn their misfortunes around. There was an obvious level of physicality from BC that was evidently lacking in their first home game against St. Cloud. Additionally, electric offense from junior forward David Cotton and his seasoned line lead to four goals for BC. Cotton and his linemates—sophomore Logan Hutsko and junior Julius Matilla—combined for three goals, eight points, and a +7 rating on the night.
Junior JD Dudek first drew blood late in the first period, as he poked a Logan Hutsko rebound through the pads of Merrimack’s goalie Craig Pantano. The floodgates opened early in the second, as the Eagles scored three more times within the first eight minutes of the period. A patient Hutsko found Cotton with a centering pass to begin the onslaught just 44 seconds into the period. Julius Matilla split the defenders and overtook the goalie unopposed with a top-shelf backhanded shot minutes later. This was followed by a tic-tac-toe powerplay goal from Cotton, Matilla, and junior defenseman Casey Fitzgerald to wrap up BC’s scoring for the night. Cotton now leads the team with eight points this season on five goals and three assists.
A mistake behind the net by Fitzgerald and a sharp shot from Merrimack’s Logan Drevitch from the face-off dot late in the second gave the Warriors one tally in the matchup. Yet, a solid defense and notable performance from the Eagles’ junior goaltender Joseph Woll—who had 29 saves on the night—dashed any chance Merrimack might have had in surmounting a comeback.
Now, with their first win under their belt, BC sits at 1-5 overall and will look to improve upon their 1-1 conference record in order to move up from the bottom of the Hockey East standings. Their next matchup is a two-game series this Thursday and Friday at Conte against the Vermont Catamounts.
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