The Boston College men’s hockey team saw their season came to an end on Sunday, losing 4-1 to St. Cloud State in the Northeast Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 lead early on, but St. Cloud carried the play for the last 40 minutes and BC wasn’t able to do much of anything.
The two teams started the first period with almost nine full minutes of non-stop hockey, setting a great pace early on. After BC came up empty on a power play chance, Matt Boldy opened the scoring for the Eagles, scoring with about five and a half minutes left in the period. After some strong work along the boards from linemates Mike Hardman and Alex Newhook, Boldy picked up a loose puck and found himself all alone with St. Cloud goalie David Hrenak. Boldy fired a quick shot the beat Hrenak between his legs to give BC a 1-0 lead. The goal was originally listed as unassisted, but Hardman and Newhook were eventually credited with assists. Spencer Knight was the main story for BC for the remainder of the period, coming up with a few tough stops to keep the Eagles up a goal after 20 minutes of play.
St. Cloud tied things up about halfway through the second period, scoring off a rebound to level things at 1-1. St. Cloud controlled much more of the play in the second period, and the goal came after they spent a number of shifts primarily in BC’s defensive zone. The Eagles immediately killed a penalty after St. Cloud tied things up, with Knight making a big stop just as time expired on the man advantage, but they didn’t flip any momentum, as St. Cloud took the lead just a few minutes later. A scramble out in front of Knight ended up in a few chances on net, and the last one got past Knight and gave St. Cloud a 2-1 lead. They made it 3-1 with 44.7 second left in the period, scoring on a goal that created some controversy. A St. Cloud player snuck a puck past Knight on a play in tight that ended with some contact. The original call on the ice was for no goal and and goalie interference, but a lengthy review overturned that and gave St. Cloud a 3-1 lead after 2.
St. Cloud state closed out the game with a textbook third period, clogging up the neutral zone and giving BC nothing on the rush. They added a late empty net goal to ice things and BC‘s season came to an end with a 4-1 defeat.
St. Cloud was the better team for the majority of this game, plain and simple. BC was thoroughly outplayed for the last 40 minutes and didn’t seem to have any response to St. Cloud’s second period push. It was a frustrating game to watch, as the Eagles just couldn’t get anything going for extended periods of time, including a stretch in the third period where they went almost eight minutes without a shot on goal. This feels like it’s going to be a long offseason, with the last two games leaving a particularly bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
We’ll have more over the next few weeks as players make decisions to go pro or return to school, but for now, this is a tough way to have the season come to an end.