The Boston College men’s hockey team dropped their first game of Hockey East play and saw their four-game win streak come to an end on Friday night when they fell 4-2 to Maine. The Eagles never really looked like they had their A-game in this one and Maine did enough to take advantage of that, scoring three goals in the third period to come away with the win.
The two teams skated to a scoreless first period without either side being able to consistently generate a whole lot of offense. BC had a few moments early on, with their best chance coming on a 2-on-0 rush that ended with Andre Gasseau being denied right on the doorstep. Jacob Fowler had to be sharp a few times in net for the Eagles, including on Maine’s two best scoring chances of the period which came off of a one-timer and a chance from out front just a few seconds apart. Despite the relative lack of grade A chances, there was a good pace to the opening 20 minutes with only a few whistles and no penalties as the teams remained scoreless after one.
Maine got on the board first about four and a half minutes into the second period, scoring on a tap in goal after Fowler stopped a one-timer but allowed it to leak past him and into the crease, where an open Maine player tapped it into the back of the net. The goal came just a few seconds after Cutter Gauthier fired one off the post for BC and almost gave the Eagles a lead of their own. Jack Malone tied things up on a power play just 96 seconds later, scoring on a power play tap in of his own after some great puck movement from Gauthier and Gabe Perreault to make it a 1-1 game. That was it for the scoring in the second, however, as the two teams continued to play a pretty even game. Will Smith was turned aside on a breakaway chance and Maine had a goal taken off the board due to an obvious offside call being missed and the game remained tied heading into the third.
BC killed a carryover power play to start the third period, but Maine regained their lead a few seconds later with a goal coming right off of an offensive zone faceoff to make it a 2-1 game. They doubled their lead a few minutes later when BC was caught in a bad line change and Maine converted on a 2-on-1 odd man rush. The Eagles started working themselves back into the game after falling behind by two with a few good shifts back-to-back and they were eventually rewarded when Ryan Leonard put home a goal off of a great pass front from Gabe Perreault to cut the lead to 3-2. BC continued to press after Leonard’s goal, but came up empty on a power play shortly thereafter and Maine did a good job keeping them from creating any truly dangerous looks. Greg Brown pulled Fowler with about two and a half minutes left, but the Eagles weren’t able to generate much even then and a late empty net goal from Maine put this one out of reach at 4-2.
This is definitely a bit of a let down after BC’s solid start to Hockey East play last weekend. This has never been an easy building for the Eagles to play in, but they still clearly didn’t look their best and some sloppy moments in the final period cost them a chance at a win. The loss drops them to 7-2-0 on the season and 2-1-0 in Hockey East play, and they’ll have a chance to salvage a series split tomorrow night when they run it back against Maine.