Looking to move to .500 in Hockey East play, Boston College Men’s Hockey defeated UMass Lowell Tuesday night 3 to 2.
The Eagles wasted no time in getting the scoring underway, as freshman and 5th overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft Cutter Gauthier scored on a wrist shot from the left wing to make it a 1-0 game. He dominated the game when he was on the ice, generating multiple Grade A scoring chances.
After BC controlled the first seven minutes, the game became a slower-paced affair, as neither team generated a multitude of scoring opportunities for the next few minutes. Goaltender Mitch Benson was rarely tested but provided steady play nonetheless.
With 3 minutes remaining in the first period, sophomore Connor Joyce scored his first collegiate goal, slamming home a rebound in front of the net to grow the Eagles' advantage to two goals. Freshman Lukas Gustafsson picked up his second assist of the night with Joyce's goal.
The River Hawks came out of the first intermission determined to flip the script after a first period dominated by BC, and did just that. Owen Cole capitalized on a rebound in front of the Eagles net to cut the deficit in half.
The two teams traded scoring chances for the next ten minutes, but neither team was able to take advantage of them. Ten and a half minutes into the second period, BC winger Matt Argentina took a cross checking minor penalty to give UMass the game's first power play.
The River Hawks were unable to convert on the man advantage, but tied the game at 2 on a wrist shot by Zach Kaiser. Not long after, the teams played four-on-four as the teams received matching minor penalties. The extra room to skate failed to result in a goal for either team, and both teams headed to the locker room with the score tied at 2-2.
Through the first five minutes of the final period, neither team was able to generate much offense; the defense for both teams proved to be very effective. UMass defenseman Gabe Blanchard took an interference minor five minutes into the period, giving the Eagles their first power play of the night. However, what may have been the best scoring chance of that man advantage came for UMass, generating a shorthanded breakaway that Benson was able to make a key save on to keep the game tied.
As time was counting down on the power play, freshman and 5th round pick of the Boston Bruins Oskar Jellvik scored his first goal of the season, as he maneuvered around the defending UMass player with a spinning deke before firing it over the glove of goaltender Henry Welsch to put the Eagles back on top with thirteen and a half minutes remaining in the game.
Gauthier took a penalty halfway through the period to put the River Hawks back on the power play, but an interference penalty by a UMass forward 57 seconds later brought the game to 4 on 4. After their abbreviated power play, the focus for the Eagles shifted to increasing puck possession and stifling the opposing offense instead of continuing to attack the River Hawks' net. They executed that to perfection, as UMass' scoring chances were few and far between in the final minutes, even after they pulled their goalie to give themselves a man advantage.
The Eagles prevailed, moving to 5th place in Hockey East with a 4-3-1 conference record and 4-4-2 overall. They look to extend their winning streak to three games after a ten day break on Friday, November 25th. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 4:00 PM on home ice at Conte Forum.