The Boston College men’s hockey team fell to Providence on Friday night, losing in a shootout after skating to a 1-1 tie through regulation and overtime. The Eagles were outplayed for basically the entire 60 minutes, but Mitch Benson turned in his best performance of the season and Cutter Gauthier put home a power play goal to help BC get a result out of a game that they didn’t have much business being in.
Providence was by far the better team early on, forcing BC into a number of turnovers in their own zone and causing Benson to be sharp early on. The Friars had a big advantage in shots throughout the first period, but it was the Eagles who got on the board first. After Cam Burke drew a hooking penalty to put BC on the power play, Gauthier received a pass from Eamon Powell near the blue line and fired home a one-timer for his team leading eighth goal of the season to give BC a 1-0 lead. Providence got right back in the game a few minutes later, however, connecting on a great passing play that lead to a tap in goal right in front of Benson’s net. The period ended with that same 1-1 scoreline, although Providence could easily have had a few more goals if Benson had not been sharp from the opening faceoff.
The teams played a scoreless second period, but not one without drama. Things started to get a bit nasty between the two Hockey East rivals, with BC having two penalties reviewed for potentially being majors and both teams getting into big scrums after almost every whistle. BC killed three penalties during the middle period and had a power play chance of their own before one final pileup behind Providence’s net brought the period to a close with the same 1-1 score.
The third period was quite a bit tamer than the second, but the results were mostly the same. Charlie Leddy dodged what initially looked like a nasty injury early in the period, when he went hard into the boards while chasing down a loose puck. Leddy was down on the ice for a few minutes, but was eventually able to skate off under his own power. After heading down the tunnel for a diagnosis, Leddy returned just a few shifts later and continued taking his normal shifts on defense. Outside of that, the two teams skated for another scoreless 20 minutes to force overtime. Providence did have a few dangerous looks late in the period, but Benson stopped them all to keep the score tied at one.
After a mostly uneventful overtime, the two teams went to a shootout. Gauthier, Nikita Nesterenko, and Trevor Kuntar were all unable to score while Providence got a goal on their first attempt, and the Eagles dropped their third shootout of the season.
Despite a somewhat decent result (they do get a point for taking this into overtime), this was not a great game for BC. Providence was all over them early on and this one easily could have gotten out of hand if not for Mitch Benson’s efforts in net. BC will take on Providence again tomorrow, so they’ll have a chance to bounce back and improve their on ice performance in their penultimate game of the semester.