Sometimes the ending is easy to see coming.
Logan Hutsko, the best player on the ice tonight by a country mile, scored his second goal of the night with 6.8 seconds left in overtime to give BC a huge win over Hockey East foe UMass Lowell. Hutsko buried a chance in front into the top corner of the net after taking a nice feed from David Cotton to lift the Eagles to victory and send the fans at Conte Forum into a state of ecstasy.
Here's the live call from ESPN3 of Logan Hutsko's overtime winner with 6.8 seconds remaining! pic.twitter.com/MbpsXVUXUl— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) February 10, 2018
Hutsko was the man of the night from the moment the puck dropped, looking dangerous every single time he touched the puck. He scored his first goal of the night just a few minutes into the third period, a crucial goal in its own right, to tie the game at 2. He also drew a five minute major penalty that lead to BC’s first goal, when he was boarded from behind by a Lowell defenseman. Hutsko looked a bit shaken up after taking a dirty hit, but was able to shake off any ill effects and return without missing a shift.
The first period was about as slow as it gets, with neither team able to generate much in terms of high danger scoring chances. BC and Lowell were both shut out on their only power play chances and except for one breakaway that Joe Woll turned away, neither goalie was really tested. Casey Carreau laid a big hit on a River Hawk forward and the fourth line looked active at times, but for the most part, the 0-0 score line after one was hard to argue with.
Aapeli Rasnanen scored the first goal of the night, giving BC a 1-0 lead in the second period with a goal coming on the five minute power play that followed the hit to Hutsko. Rasnanen redirected a Connor Moore shot from the point to put the Eagles in the lead. It was a short lived advantage for BC, as Lowell scored two goals in quick succession to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Joe Woll was a big reasons that the deficit wasn’t worse for Boston College, as he made a number of key stops on breakaways, rebounds, and odd man rushes to keep the score as close as it was.
With the general recapping out of the way, this was Logan Hutsko’s night. Hutsko has, for my money, arguably been BC’s forward for the last few weeks, and the freshman’s first real breakout game of his career came at the perfect time for BC. His two goals came from essentially the same spot, right in front of the net, as he continues to play well above his 5’10” listing. It’s hard to overstate just how much of a factor he was all night, and the Eagles will certainly be hoping for a few more games like this as they begin to close out their regular season schedule.
Joe Woll had himself a big game as well, making three or four clutch saves in the middle portion of the second period to keep the game from slipping away from BC. His defense didn’t do him any favors on the two goals - one coming on an open wrister from the slot and the other coming on a back door pass to an uncovered player on the power play - but Woll was good when they needed him most. His rebound control was excellent all night and his glove hand came up big on two different breakaway attempts by the River Hawks.
Also worth a mention is the play of the fourth line. The three man group of Zach Walker, Ron Greco, and Casey Carreau have been stapled to the bench for large stretches of games recently, but found themselves on the ice for key third period shifts tonight. It’s hard to say it wasn’t earned too, as Carreau threw a big hit early on and the line spent most of their time in the offensive zone. There isn’t a whole lot of scoring pop between the three of them, but playing with energy and keeping the puck 200 feet from Woll is enough to justify a few shifts late in the game.
Overall, BC really didn’t outplay Lowell, but at this point of the season, results are really all that matter and Hutsko and Woll did just enough to get them a badly needed two points. The Eagles snapped a brief two game losing streak in the process and give themselves some much needed momentum for the final stretch of the season. With Northeastern losing to UConn tonight, BC does extend their lead at the top of Hockey East to two points, with Providence moving into second place after knocking off Maine. The Eagles are back in action on Monday, when they take on Harvard in the consolation game of the Beanpot as they look to finally win a non-conference game.