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Boston College Men’s Hockey Team Defeats Providence 4-1

A great bounce-back performance after Wednesday’s loss

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Coming off two straight losses that included an awful performance on Wednesday night, the Boston College men’s hockey team played one of their best games of the season, knocking off Providence 4-1 their second win over the Friars in just over a week. Christopher Brown score two for BC in a much needed win that kept them towards the top of the Hockey East standings.

The Eagles played about as good a first period as they could have hoped for, scoring twice and limiting the Friars to just a few good looks on goal. Brown got the scoring started for BC with a power play goal just a few minutes into the game. Michael Kim let a one-timer go after some quick passing from BC, allowing Brown to deflect the puck past Providence goalie Hayden Hawkey. After a long stretch of play that saw both teams struggle to get much going offensively, Graham McPhee found himself in the box as the Friars got their first power play chance of the game. It was the Eagles’ who took advantage of the situation, however, when David Cotton netted his team leading 14th goal of the season. Cotton picked up a loose puck at the Providence blue line and managed to get around the lone Providence defender before ripping a wicked wrist shot that beat Hawkey up high. Cotton has been a standout for BC in a season without many bright spots, and his fantastic individual effort sent the Eagles into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

Providence cut the deficit to one with a power play goal of their own just less than halfway through the second. A late rush on the man advantage lead to a scramble in front of Joe Woll. While no goal was originally called, the officials ruled it a good goal after a review and BC’s lead was cut in half. The two teams traded some decent chances over the rest of the period, with both sides getting a chance on the power play. Oliver Wahlstrom rang a puck off the post for BC and Woll was forced to make a few big stops, but the puck stayed out of the net and the Eagles took their 2-1 lead into the third.

Chris Grando gave the Eagles their two goal lead back just three minutes into the third. Grando took a loose puck from behind the net and up to the blue line, where he had enough time and space to get off a slapshot that found its way just under the crossbar. His shot may have been screened of confused Hawkey, who was unable to make a save on a shot he typically would have. A few penalties in short succession had the Eagles tasked with killing off 1:45 of a 5-on-3 shortly thereafter. After some strong play from the penalty killers took care of the first penalty, Christopher Brown was hooked on a breakaway after he picked up a loose puck just after coming off the bench. Brown was given a penalty shot, and he made no mistake, sliding the puck off his backhand past Hawkey to give BC a 4-1 lead. The Friars tried to press to get back in the game, but the Eagles kept them to the outside for the most part and were able to walk away with a surprisingly convincing 4-1 win.

There’s not a whole lot to dislike about this performance for BC, as they put together a really solid performance over the three periods. The Eagles scored on the power play, at even strength, and twice while shorthanded (including Brown’s penalty shot) and kept Providence from putting up too many dangerous scoring chances. When Providence did get a clean look on net, Joe Woll was up to the task, making his saves confidently and generally pushing the pucks he couldn’t catch into the corners. The win moves BC to 8-11-2 on the season (8-3-2 Hockey East) and gives them a chance to keep edging a bit closer towards the .500. They’ll play a home and home with a pretty good UMass Lowell side next weekend.