The Boston College men’s hockey team put together a dominant performance on Friday night, blowing out UMass Lowell 7-1. The Eagles got goals from 5 different players, including two goals night from Alex Newhook and Mike Hardman and used a dominant second period to turn a close game into a blowout. They also finally started to solve some of their power play woes, scoring three times on the man advantage.
BC came out strong in the first period, generating some A+ scoring chances early on. Matt Boldy and Colby Ambrosio were both denied on breakaway chances, but Drew Helleson got the Eagles on the board just 3:33 into the game. Helleson fired a wicked wrist shot just under the crossbar after a great shift by Ambrosio and Jack McBain, The lead didn’t last long, however, as Lowell picked up a shorthanded goal just about a minute later as BC continued to struggle on the power play. The Eagles second power play came a few minutes later and went much better, as Mike Hardman caught Lowell goalie Henry Welsch out of position after a Matt Boldy shot and managed to sneak the puck past him on a wraparound attempt. BC continued to put pressure on Lowell and had a few more great scoring chances, but they couldn’t get anything else past Welsch and had to settle for a 2-1 lead after one.
They did extend their lead right off the bat in the second period, thanks in large part to Spencer Knight’s puck handling ability. As a BC power play was winding down, Knight gathered the puck to make a long pass to Matt Boldy and managed to catch Lowell in the midst of a change. Boldy found an open Hardman to set up a 2-on-0 with Newhook, and Newhook put the puck into a wide open net off of a pass from his linemate. Things calmed down for a little bit after Newhook’s goal, until Casey Carreau stretched things out to a 4-1 lead with his fourth goal of the year. Marc McLaughlin forced a turnover with a great check and Carreau got off a quick shot that beat Welsch through traffic. Matt Boldy made it 5-1 just a few shifts later, after Trevor Kuntar had a great rush on the wing. Kuntar beat a defenseman to give himself some space, then found Boldy who ripped a perfect shot past Welsch. The Eagles killed off a late Lowell power play chance in order to take that lead into the third period.
BC kept their foot on the gas in the third period, when Alex Newhook scored his second of the night just over a minute in. Newhook fired a perfect wrist shot past Logan Neaton (who replaced Welsch after the second period) after UMass took an early penalty for BC’s third power play goal of the game. Mike Hardman got his second goal of the night with about seven minutes left in regulation, when he finished off a 2-on-1 play with Newhook. The line of Hardman, Newhook, and Boldy combined for five goals on the night and looked as dominant as they did towards the end of last season, something that should be awfully exciting to keep tabs on going forward.
The Eagles have mostly been winning their games recently, but this was their first truly dominant performance in a while. They looked dangerous from the opening puck drop and created dangers chances just about every time they had the puck. It was a nice bounce back win after last Saturday’s loss to BU, and they’ll look to make it a sweep when they play at Lowell tomorrow night.