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Eagles Blow Past Maine, Clinch Hockey East Regular Season Crown

Six Goals in Final Two Periods Boost Eagles

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Quinnipiac vs Boston College Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Secondary scoring was the name of the game for Boston College tonight, as five different goal scorers from up and down the lineup propelled them to a 6-3 win over Maine.

BC fell behind after one period, after failing to convert on any of their three power play opportunities. Maine took advantage of a bad line change after killing off a BC man advantage, executing a perfect rush that ended with Veli Tiuraniemi firing a perfect wrist shot that beat Joe Woll over the shoulder and under the crossbar. BC had a handful of half chances the rest of the way, but nothing major developed and they found themselves trailing 1-0 after the first period.

Logan Hutsko turned things around almost immediately in the second period, stripping a Maine player of the puck in the neutral zone before skating around the same defenseman and beating Jeremy Swayman on a nice move in tight. It was Hutsko’s 11th goal of the season and continued his recent hot streak that has propelled him to the team lead in points. Hutsko has looked dangerous all season, so it’s nice to finally see his strong play translate into goals for the Eagles.

A less likely source of scoring for BC came from Kevin Lohan, the grad transfer from Michigan. Lohan, who is still recovering from a broken jaw suffered last month, scored twice in the middle frame, breaking an 81-game drought that lasted back to his time at Michigan. Lohan’s first came when he was given acres space behind Maine’s net. Lohan looked to make a pass in front, but the puck deflected off a defenseman’s stick and found its way past Swayman. His second came just about eight minutes later, this time on a deliberate attempt to score. Lohan took a pass from down low and, found himself all alone in the slot, and ripped a hard wrist shot past Swayman. Lohan, traditionally a stay at home defenseman, was mobbed by his teammates after both goals.

The Eagles and Black Bears traded goals early in the second, with Casey Carreau getting the first of his career on a perfect shot from the high slot before Emil Westerlund got one back for Maine. JD Dudek regained the three-goal lead for BC with his sixth goal of the season, burying the puck into a wide open net after a great bit of passing from Hutsko and David Cotton. After a chippy few minutes, BC found themselves on an extended 5-on-3 opportunity, which they did not waste a second time. Casey Fitzgerald stepped into a slap shot from the top of the circle and put the game to bed early for BC.

With the win, BC clinched the outright Hockey East regular season title with a game to go. It’s been a frustrating season at times for BC, but this serves as a nice reminder that even in an apparent down year, BC’s roster is plenty talented. With three straight convincing wins, they may be hitting their stride at exactly the right time.

Random Thoughts

  • Julius Mattila sat this game out with an apparent illness
  • This was about the third game in a row that the fourth line looked good, even if had a different structure to it tonight. Mike Booth joined Zach Walker and Carreau on the fourth line and they looked strong all night. Ron Greco, the usual center on the line played up in the lineup, centering Christopher Grando and Jake Tortora.
  • Lohan entered the night with four points on the season. A secondary assist on Carreau’s goal gave him three in the game. He was also, deservedly, announced as the game’s first star.
  • Woll made some big stops at the end of the second period to keep BC’s cushion headed into the intermission. The first and third goals came off of great, uncovered shots and the second was deflected, so none of the three were really on him. He’s another one who’s looked really strong lately, and BC needs that if they’re going to have any shot at prolonging their season.
  • BC had some major problems breaking the puck out in the first and it almost cost them a few times. Fortunately, they cleaned it up for the last 40 minutes.
  • Logan Hutsko makes something happen almost every time he touches the puck. He had a three point night of his own and could have had more. He’s going to be fun to watch over the course of his BC career.
  • Trophy presentations are never not fun.
  • Back at it tomorrow night, finishing up the regular season with one more against Maine.