Secondary scoring and strong performance from goalie Spencer Knight were the keys tonight, as the Boston College men’s hockey team got up early and held on late in a 2-1 win over Merrimack. It was a bit of a surprise opponent for BC, as the Eagles were set to play Northeastern in a two game series this weekend before Hockey East had to juggle some of their games around.
Despite the sudden change to the schedule, Boston College came out on fire early in the first. After a few strong shifts to start the game, Logan Hustko found Eamon Powell on a perfect centering pass. Powell found himself all alone in front, and he made no mistakes, firing a wrist shot past Merrimack goalie Zachary Borgiel for the first goal of his collegiate career just 90 seconds into the game. BC continued to look dangerous after Powell’s goal, but Merrimack eventually started to work their way back into the game. Spencer Knight wasn’t overly busy in the first, but he did make a few nice stops to keep the Eagles up 1-0 at the end of the period.
Merrimack continued their improved play to start the second period, but they were still unable to solve Knight before BC found their legs and extended their lead. Freshman Danny Weight slid a rebound home into a wide open net for the first goal of his BC career, giving the fourth line a goal after they put together a pretty good stretch of shifts throughout the game. That was it in terms of scoring for the second period. Merrimack hit a few posts including one on the only power play chance of the period, but Knight and the Eagles kept their 2-0 lead heading into the third period.
Merrimack cut the lead to 2-1 just 2:47 into the third period, scoring a power play goal after a scramble in front of Spencer Knight. BC responded with a few scoring chances of their own, but the next big moment came when Trevor Kuntar got whistled for a charging penalty after he ran into the Merrimack goalie while trying to rush the net. Kuntar got a five minute penalty and a game misconduct, and BC was shorthanded for a long time with just 10:29 left to play. It took a seven saves from Knight, but the Eagles were able to successfully kill off the major, with Merrimack taking a penalty of their own near the end.
Merrimack had a few more chances near the end of the game, with Knight having to make one spectacular save going across his crease after Merrimack had pulled their goalie, but the Eagles were able to hold on to their lead and came out with a 2-1 win.
BC looked great to start this one, but to their opponent’s credit, Merrimack worked hard to get back into the game and had some real chances to tie things up in the third period. As it is, the Eagles move to 7-2 on the season and will look to sweep the impromptu weekend series when they face off with Merrimack again tomorrow at 4 PM.