The Boston College men’s hockey team overcame a bit of a sloppy start (and sloppy middle) to knock of Brown 5-2 in their first game since November 19. The Eagles showed plenty of rust despite jumping out to an early lead, but a strong third period was enough to put away Brown and improve their record on the season to 8-5-2.
Marc McLaughlin got BC on the board first just under five minutes into the game with his tenth goal of the season when he redirected a centering pass into the back of the net from Patrick Giles. The long layoff didn’t seem to impact the senior captain at all, as he took over the team lead in goals and became the first Eagle in double digits on the season. The rest of the period felt exactly like you might expect a non-conference game being played on a Tuesday night to feel. Outside of one impressive stop from Eric Dop on a breakaway chance, neither team really created much in terms of offense and BC went into the break up by a goal.
Things picked up slightly in the second period after a slow first few minutes, as BC had a number of quality scoring chances while Brown put together one or two of their own. Nikita Nesterenko looked to have an easy goal after a great pass from Jack McBain, but he fired a shot over the top of the net. McBain got stopped on a great chance of his own a few shifts later when he tried to slam home a centering pass but was denied by a strong save by the Brown goalie. Dop did make a few nice saves during the period, but it was Brown who tied things up on a great shot with about five minutes left in the period. The score didn’t stay that way for long, however, as a Patrick Giles shot from the slot deflected into the net off of a Brown player’s stick to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead after two periods of play.
Colby Ambrosio gave the Eagles a two-goal lead early in the third period when he finished off a beautiful passing play for his fifth goal of the season. Ambrosio put home a one-timer after a few quick passes from his linemates Casey Carreau and Sam Sternschein to give the Eagles the insurance goal that they had been looking for just a few minutes into the final period. Nikita Nesterenko made it 4-1 with a one-timer of his own on a nice centering pass from Brandon Kruse to pretty much put things away with 15 minutes remaining. McLaughlin got his second goal of the night with six minutes, scoring on a breakaway that actually started with kick pass from Patrick Giles to Trevor Kuntar while Giles was playing without a stick. Brown got a goal back just a few seconds later to make it 5-2, but they never really threatened to cut the deficit any more and the Eagles came away with a solid win.
It was a bit shaky for a while there, but the third period was impressive enough to consider this a pretty good effort from BC, especially considering the long layoff between games. The big names showed up on the scoresheet along with a little bit of depth scoring and Eric Dop was good enough in net to get the win. It feels like that’s the formula it’s going to take going forward, and BC will get another chance to show that they’re capable of doing it in consecutive games when they travel down Comm. Ave to take on their rivals from BU on Friday night.