The Boston College men’s hockey team bounced back after a winless weekend in Maine with a 5-4 overtime win against UConn to start their weekend series. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead but had to fight their way back into things later before eventually coming away as the overtime winners to get the weekend started on the right foot.
After a quiet start to the game, BC got on the board first with a power play goal thanks to Ryan Leonard. After a few decent chances earlier in the power play, Leonard scored with under 10 seconds to go on the man advantage, snapping a shot past the UConn goalie from the top of the left circle for his sixth goal of the season. Drew Fortescue doubled BC’s lead just a few minutes later when he fired home his second goal of his collegiate career from almost the same spot that Leonard scored from a few shifts earlier. The Eagles had a chance to extend their lead even further as the period went along, with Leonard firing a shot off the post and the team creating a few more chances, but it was UConn who managed to get a goal back after a shift where BC spent a lot of time in the attacking zone to make it a 2-1 game. BC got their two-goal lead back just a few shifts later, however, with Andre Gasseau scoring off of a one timer on the rush after Cutter Gauthier made a nice play to set him up and give the Eagles a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
UConn cut into the lead once again just over two minutes into the second period, scoring after BC was a bit slow on a line change and allowed UConn to rush the puck up ice with numbers, leading to an eventual shot that beat Jacob Fowler. They tied things up at three a few minutes later, converting on a bad turnover by Aram Minnetian from below his own goal line that lead to a shot and an eventual rebound that got past Fowler. The two teams played some back-and-forth hockey after that, with neither team scoring but both generating some chances until UConn scored their third unanswered goal with just under five minutes remaining in the period to take their first lead of the night. It was as bad a period as BC has played all season, and it had them chasing a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
The Eagles came up big on a penalty kill to start the third period before getting a power play chance of their own early on. After about 1:50 of generating nothing, Cutter Gauthier took a pass from Gabe Perreault and fired it at the net. The puck redirected off of a UConn player in front and went in, tying the game at four and giving Gauthier his ninth goal of the season just before time expired on the man advantage. The Eagles looked extremely dangerous in the minutes immediately following their tying goal and had a number of chances to take the lead back. UConn kept them from getting anything else, however, and play calmed down a bit from there. Jacob Fowler did come up big late in the third with a nice glove save and the two teams remained tied and headed into overtime.
The two teams combined to play an electric overtime, with great chances at both end. There was a post hit at each end before Gauthier ended things with his second goal of the game. The goal was mostly the work of Oskar Jellvik, however, as Jellvik made a great move to get around a defenseman and had a shot in close turned aside. Jellvik got to the loose puck and sent a pass through the crease past the still down and out UConn goalie right to Gauthier, who hammered it home to give BC a 5-4 win.
This one turned into a really entertaining game after BC looked like they might run away with things early on. The Eagles only played about 35 minutes of really good hockey tonight, but it was enough to come away with the result they wanted after a bit of a down weekend against Maine. They’ll go for the sweep tomorrow when they finish up this home-and-home series with a game at UConn.