After a couple weeks’ hiatus, the BC Eagles Men’s Hockey return to their home ice to take on Hockey East rival Providence. Needless to say it was a rough homecoming. Coming into this game, the Eagles and Friars each had a win to their name in the regular season series, but as we would learn from today, that tie was easily broken by the Friars.
Both clubs came out of the gates with a rather sluggish demeanor. It seemed as though there was a little rust attached to their blades and their mentality was still in ‘winter break’ mode. Nevertheless, BC was the first of both teams to have a sense of resurgence and were gradually able to get back into the swing of things. What started out as a game of ‘bully puck’ where both teams were simply battling for possession, BC eventually managed to gain an advantage in that field by keeping the puck in the PC zone for a majority of the period and racking up their SOG. The Eagles eventually saw an opportunity to draw first blood in their first powerplay opportunity. And boy did they deliver. After hounding the net with a couple of wrist shots, freshman Logan Hutsko was able to redirect team captain Casey Fitzgerald’s slapshot into the back of the net to give BC the go ahead lead. It was the spark the lit the engine as BC went on to outshoot PC 10-5 in the first.
However, BC’s engine must have been exposed to the north east cold in the second as their momentum cooled off very quickly. The first third of the second period saw a much more defensive BC squad with a lot of dump and skate type hockey and not much of an offensive pursuit. Naturally, Providence jumped as the chance to expose BC’s lax style of play and immediately turned the amp to eleven. The Friars began to deliver an onslaught of shots on goaltender Joseph Woll and on their fourth powerplay of the game, sophomore Kasper Bjorkqvist was able to find the back of the net to notch the game at one a piece. However, the tie would not hang around for long as eight seconds after the reset at center ice, Woll sloppily fields a ricochet of the boards and clears it right into PC’s Brandon Duhaime’ stick leaving him with an open net. In the blink of an eye, the match turned right into Providence’s favor and they remained relentless in their pursuit to tack on some more points. By the end of the period, the Friars easily took the lead in the shot count by outshooting BC 23-8 in the period. Plagued by penalties and sheer exhaustion, the Eagles headed into the third with a ton of work to do.
The third period was a simply a deja vu type period for the Eagles with a slight increase in their offensive presence, but just pure domination from the Friars. Providence had all of the momentum and they refused to concede any of it to the Eagles. Every time BC had an opportunity to strike it seemed as though the Friars had some type of counter. The sole BC powerplay in the period ended up extremely futile as Providence continued to clear the puck with ease and not allow BC to even fathom the idea of getting a shot on net. With no production coming from BC, Providence was able to skate circles around the Eagles before putting in two empty-netters to seal the deal.
It appears as though the Vegas funk that BC experienced last weekend is still showing some residual side effects. The Eagles will have one day to rest up before trying to bounce back from this loss against the UNH Wildcats this Sunday with puck drop set for 1 PM.