The Boston College men’s hockey team bounced back nicely after two consecutive losses, knocking off a top 10 ranked Denver team 5-1. After a tough loss to Colorado College on Friday night, the Eagles put forth a complete 60 minute effort against Denver to get back on the win column. Five different players scored for the Eagles and the team defense took a big step forward as BC improved to 3-2-1 on the young season.
The two teams skated to a pretty even first period, with both BC and Denver getting a handful of decent chances, but ending scoreless after the first 20 minutes. Eric Dop had to be pretty sharp in net early on, particularly on an early penalty kill, but he managed to shake off a tough night on Friday and look very solid for the Eagles. BC had a power play chance of their own, and they rang a puck off the post later on in the period, and they came close to springing Nikita Nesterenko on a breakaway at one point, but they were also unable to get on the board through one period.
Drew Helleson got BC on the board a few minutes into the second period with a bit of a strange goal. Helleson got the puck at the blue line an flipped a shot on net the didn’t appear very threatening at all. Denver’s goalie got a blocker on the shot, but it directed up and over his back, landing behind him and sliding into the net to give BC a 1-0 lead. Trevor Kuntar doubled the lead later in the period when he fired a slap shot into the back of the net. The goal ended a flurry of chances for BC after Marc McLaughlin made a nice defensive play that lead to a breakaway that was stopped. The Eagles had a few more chances before Colby Ambrosio made an incredible play, kicking the puck to an open Kuntar in the slot for a one-timer. BC had a power play chance immediately after that goal, but they could not convert and went into the intermission up 2-0.
Denver got back into the game quickly in the third period, scoring just under two minutes in on a bit of a soft shot from in close that it looked liked Dop never really saw. There was a long stretch of action without many stoppages after that goal, but BC got a big power play chance with 6:40 left in the third when Helleson drew a tripping penalty all the way back behind his own net. Jack McBain made the chance count, scoring from right in front to put BC back up by two goals. Helleson wristed a high shot towards the net where McBain was standing basically by himself. McBain made a great play to deflect the puck on net, and stuck with it when it was stopped when he jammed it home to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead. Marshall Warren added an empty netter from his own end with just over two minutes to play and Nikita Nesterenko scored his third of the weekend on a breakaway shortly after that and BC took this one by a score of 5-1
The season is still early, but this was probably BC’s best 60 minute effort so far. They controlled most of the second period and even when Denver got a goal back in the third, they kept playing well and eventually grabbed a big insurance goal. Dop looked really solid in net and the defense didn’t really surrender a whole lot of dangerous chances to Denver. Overall, it was just a solid game and a nice way to bounce back after two straight losses. We’ll see if they can keep it up next weekend when BC heads to Vermont for two games.