The Boston College men’s hockey team dropped their fifth straight game on Friday night, falling 2-1 to Maine in the first game of a two game series this weekend. The Black Bears held off a late BC push to knock off the Eagles, who are now very much facing the prospect of going on the road for quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament.
Maine struck first just under 14 minutes into the first, opening the scoring with a goal during some four-on-four play after the teams took matching penalties. An awful turnover during an attempted breakout gave the Black Bears a virtual breakaway, and Mitch Fossier managed to beat Joe Woll with a shot from right outside of the crease. The Eagles did very little on offense in the first 20 minutes, largely allowing Maine to control the puck and settling for shots from a distance when they did gain the offensive zone. BC did kill off a Maine power play and drew a penalty of their own in the dying seconds of the first, but the Black Bears took a 1-0 lead into the locker room during the first intermission.
The Eagles did mostly nothing with two power play opportunities early in the second period, then fell down 2-0 when Maine scored on a rebound at just under seven minutes in. BC had another power play opportunity later in the period where they again struggled to create many opportunities before Maine went on the man advantage with 2:16 left in the second. Playing shorthanded yielded some of the best chances of the first 40 minutes for BC, with Julius Mattila being stopped on a 2-on-1 rush and Casey Fitzgerald having his breakaway chance turned aside right after he was released from the penalty box. The Eagles were unable to finish their chances however, continuing a theme that has been present for the majority of this season.
It was more of the same for BC for the majority of the third period, as they generated very few scoring chances throughout. It took a later penalty against Maine and an empty net for BC to finally get on the board, as Aapeli Rasanen scored down low on a one timer on a pass from Logan Hutsko while the Eagles were playing at six-on-four with Woll on the bench. BC had their chances to tie it too, as a massive net front scramble ensued with ten seconds left in the game in the Maine crease. The Eagles controlled the puck and put some shots towards the net, but they were unable to complete the comeback and fell 2-1.
There’s just not much left to say about this iteration of BC, as it feels like we’ve seen this result several times over the first 30 games. The Eagles played mostly fine in their own end but struggled to break the puck out at times and it cost them. Joe Woll was hung out to dry on the first goal after a bad clearing attempt and the second goal came after Maine had some extended zone time. BC had some chances to get back in the game after falling behind 2-0, but were once again unable their goal scoring struggles. They’ll have a chance to avoid a season sweep at the hands of Maine tomorrow night, when they’ll again face the Black Bears on the road.