A pair of freshmen scored for the Boston College men’s hockey team, Mike Hardman added an empty net goal for his third of the season and Spencer Knight made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Eagles knocked off Providence 2-0 to move to 3-0 on the young season. It wasn’t the cleanest of games for BC, but they managed to close out another tough opponent
The first period started off pretty even and BC got the first two power play chances of the game, but the last seven or eight minutes belonged to the Friars. Providence had two good scoring chances at the end of BC’s second power play and carried that momentum forward, outshooting BC 15-6 after one. The Eagles had to kill off a penalty of their own after Marshall Warren got called for holding and struggled at times to break the puck out of their own zone. Spencer Knight made some big saves and had to be sharp throughout the period to keep things scoreless after one.
For 19 minutes and 39 seconds, the second period looked very similar to the first. BC struggled to get any kind of sustained pressure on Providence while the Friars spent a good chunk of time in the BC zone. Knight wasn’t as busy as he was in the first, but he still had to deal with traffic in front of his net and make some timely saves to keep the Eagles in it. Logan Hutsko did ring a post after picking up a loose rebound, but for the most part, BC struggled to get through the neutral zone with much speed to create their chances.
Finally, while it was looking like the two teams would be heading into the third period still scoreless, Matt Boldy sent an absolutely perfect cross ice pass to freshman Trevor Kuntar, who tried to jam the puck in at the post. Providence goalie Gabe Mollot-Hill did an excellent job getting across his crease to stop the first attempt, but Kuntar jumped on his own rebound and slid the puck into the net for his first collegiate goal and BC had a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
BC turned in their best period of the night in the third period, coming out strong and taking the play to Providence from the first shift. Just about eight minutes in, Nikita Nesterenko doubled the Eagles lead when he finished off a great passing play. Logan Hustko lead up the right win, drove to the net, and then dropped the puck to Jack McBain, who slid the puck over to Nesterenko who had a tap in on a wide open net.
Providence had a power play chance shortly after BC took their 2-0 lead, but BC managed to kill it without much difficultly and Providence couldn’t get much going offensively for the rest of the game. Mike Hardman added an empty net goal with a few seconds left in the game (after a spectacular miss by McBain) and the Eagles closed out Providence 3-0 for their third straight win to start the season.
Kuntar’s goal was the first of his career, Nesterenko’s was his first scored on a goalie (last week’s was an empty netter), and Knight’s shutout was the sixth of his career. This was a hard game to watch for about 35 minutes, but when BC finally did work themselves into it, they really took it to Providence and came away with a nice win over the #12 ranked Friars.
It wasn’t the prettiest game for BC, but they managed to play well enough through the first 40 minutes to take a lead into the third period and really imposed their will to close things out. It was Providence’s first game of the season, and as the NESN broadcast pointed out, it’s entirely possible that their conditioning wasn’t up to BC’s level in the third period, but full marks to BC for taking advantage of that if it was the case. They’ll look to do the same thing tomorrow night when they travel to Providence to close out the weekend series.