The Boston College men’s hockey team used a monster first period to blow out UMass 7-3 and pick up their second straight win. The Eagles scored the first six goals of the game, including five in the first 20 minutes of play and looked about as good as they have at any point this season as they continue to attempt to rebound after a long winless streak that they finally broke on Monday.
After UMass controlled the first few shifts of the game, the Eagles got an early power play chance and the flow of the game instantly shifted. BC came up empty on their man advantage, but they created a few dangerous chances and carried the momentum over after it ended. They were in the offensive zone for several shifts in a row and were finally rewarded when a fantastic individual effort from Colby Ambrosio ended up in the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season. The Eagles doubled their lead after once again failing to convert on a power play opportunity, this time thanks to a great shift from their fourth line. After some extended zone time, Mike Posma was able to jump on a rebound right on the outside of the crease and slam it home to make it a 2-0 game. Nikita Nesterenko made it 3-0 just about a minute later, when he scored on a breakaway made possible by a fantastic play by Oskar Jellvik at his own blue line to get the puck into space and spring Nesterenko. Jellvik added a goal of his own before the period ended too, redirecting a shot from Eamon Powell from in close for his second of the season to give BC a 4-0 and Marshall Warren added one of his own with 90 second left in the period to give BC a five-goal lead after a truly dominant 20 minutes of hockey.
The second period started with a flurry of penalties, including a major against UMass for contact to the head that left Lukas Gustafsson banged up. Nikita Nesterenko scored on a perfect shot on the power play for his second of the night, but UMass got it right back with a shorthanded goal just a few seconds later to make it a 6-1 score. UMass made it 6-2 a few minutes later, when a puck snuck through Mitch Benson while BC was attempting to touch up for a delayed penalty. BC killed off a few penalties in the back half of the period to keep UMass from cutting into the lead any more, and the Eagles took a four-goal lead into the final period of play.
UMass threatened to make things interesting in the third period, scoring a power play goal with 8:52 left in regulation to make it a 6-3 game, but that was as close as they would get. Nikita Nesterenko completed his hat trick less than a minute later to put things away for good and put BC back up by four. UMass appeared to have added one final consolation goal with 17 seconds left to make it a 7-4 game, but it was overturned after a review and BC came away from this one with a 7-3 win in the first game of this home-and-home series
That’s two wins in a row now for the Eagles, who are showing some signs of life after going without a win for almost a month. There still a long ways off from where they probably want to be, but these have been two pretty solid games back-to-back, so hopefully they’ll be able to keep it up going forward. They’ll have a chance to do just that tomorrow night when they go for the sweep in Amherst.