Marshall Warren scored an overtime winner for his first goal of the season, Logan Hutsko added two goals of his own, and freshman Henry Wilder made his collegiate debut in net as a shorthanded Boston College men’s hockey team gutted out a 4-3 overtime win against UConn to start their weekend. Down four of their most important players, the Eagles overcame a short bench and a pretty good Huskies team to keep their winning streak going to start the season.
With Wilder getting his first start in net, BC got off to a fast start in the first period, killing a penalty early on and generating dangerous chances on almost every shift. Logan Hutsko and Jack McBain were denied on chances in close before Colby Ambrosio got the scoring started about halfway through the period. Ambrosio picked up a loose puck after a UConn defenseman failed to make a clearing play and fired a quick shot past UConn goalie Tomas Vomacka. Vomacka did well to keep the score from getting even more out of hand before Ambrosio’s goal, but he wasn’t able to get a piece of the freshman’s shot. BC continued to look dangerous as the period went on, sandwiching an easy penalty kill between two pretty good looking power plays, but they couldn’t stretch their lead. With about three minutes left in the period, UConn tied things up after Marshall Warren lost a puck behind the net leading to a wide open shot from the slot that Wilder didn’t have much of a chance at. Both teams had a few more looks on net, and Wilder had to make a nice save with about 30 seconds to go, but BC had to be satisfied with a 1-1 tie after a period where they lead in shots by a 20-7 margin.
Boston College regained their lead just about three minutes into the second period when Logan Hutsko put in his second goal of the season. Nikita Nesterenko found Hutsko on a two-on-one, and Hutsko’s attempt trickled through Vomacka’s pads. The play was reviewed for a potential goaltender interference, as Hutsko made some contact with the goalie after his backhanded attempt, but the call stood and BC took a 2-1 lead. It was a quieter second period for the next 12 minutes or so before the first line combined for another nice goal, with Nesterenko once again finding Hutsko to finish things off. McBain hit Nesterenko with a nice centering pass in the slot, who then slid the puck to an uncovered Hutsko on the back post for an easy tap in and a 3-1 lead. UConn made a bit of a push after Hutsko’s second goal, but Wilder made some really impressive saves and kept the Huskies off the board to send BC into the second intermission with their two-goal lead.
UConn got back into the game early in the third, scoring a power play goal just over two minutes into the period. Wilder came up big early in the man advantage, making some difficult saves with some tired players on the ice, but he was screened and a shot from distance managed to get by him to make it a 3-2 game. UConn really took it to BC for the next chunk of the came, with the Eagles really struggling to get much going offensively and spending a lot of time in their own zone. They were rewarded for their efforts about halfway through the period, when a pass by Eamon Powell bounced off a ref’s skate and to a UConn player, who found a linemate open out front for the game tying goal. It was a bit of an unlucky play for Powell, but UConn certainly deserved the goal with the way that they had been playing through the first ten minutes of the period.
BC’s power play striggles continued down the stretch in this one, as the failed to convert on two advantages after UConn tied the score at three, making them 0-4 on the night. There were a few chances both ways as the Eagles did managed to get themselves back in the game a bit, but neither team could find a go-ahead goal and so they went to overtime.
It was BC’s first time skating in a three-on-three overtime and Marshall Warren made it a memorable one after 3:13. After a long, long shift spent mostly in his defensive end, Warren found the legs to jump into the play and join a two-on-onw with Marc McLaughlin. McLaughlin’s initial shot was turned away, but Warren finished his shift and the game by jumping on the rebound and jamming it into the net to cap off a 4-3 win for BC.
This was technically BC’s first Hockey East win of the season and it brought them to 5-0 on the year. Wilder looked very good in his first start and got a deserved first win of his college career. It’s a bit of a quick turnaround for the Eagles, as they face off with UConn again tomorrow afternoon at 3:30.