BC men’s hockey has looked okay in its first two games of the season, particularly given that 19 of the 25 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores, but the results haven’t been there for BC.
After playing Quinnipiac to a tight 1-1 draw last week and struggling to create offensive chances, the Eagles did pick up the offensive pace against #10 Wisconsin on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Eagles couldn’t cash in on the chances they created for themselves and watched Wisconsin pull away for a 5-2 win at Conte Forum.
Wisconsin Goal #1: 17:17 of the 1st period
Trent Frederic (Linus Weissbach)
UW 1, BC 0
BC’s first period was borderline excellent, so it was pretty frustrating to see them go down 1-0. The goal comes as a result of a turnover as the Eagles are trying to create something out of their own end.
A pass deflects off the stick of David Cotton — definitely a surprise — and right onto the waiting stick of Weissbach. One pass back to Frederic up high and a rip of a one timer, and that’s how quickly a game can change.
It was very #hockey.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 18:51 of the 1st period
Graham McPhee (Julius Mattila, Luke McInnis)
BC 1, UW 1
Fortunately for BC, they were able to respond before the end of the period to send the game into the locker room tied.
The tying goal came courtesy of a slew of penalties after a big scrum that saw the Eagles come out ahead on the penalty board thanks to a double minor to Trent Frederic. Graham McPhee took advantage but it was nothing fancy — he just skated from behind the net and tried his luck from an angle. It just beat Kyle Hayton over the shoulder, and the game was tied at 1-1.
Wisconsin Goal #2: 1:13 of the 2nd period
Tim Davison (Tarek Baker)
UW 2, BC 1
That was as close as the Eagles would make it, though. Early on in the 2nd period, BC fell behind for good, on yet another frustrating turn of events.
Just before this faceoff, the Badgers fired a shot on net that initially appeared to both the goal judge and the referee to have ended up in the net — the goal light went on and John Gravallese pointed to the goal. Then he immediately waved it off and play continued for a moment as everyone realized the puck was actually on top of the netting rather than underneath it.
The whistle blew and they reset for the faceoff, after which Tim Davison immediately put the puck where everyone thought it went in the first place with a goal off a possible deflection.
Wisconsin Goal #3 (GWG): 12:04 of the 2nd period
Seamus Malone (Will Johnson, Tyler Inamoto)
UW 3, BC 1
Two things on this goal, one good and one bad.
First, that is a nicely timed dive and block from the first BC defender. Johnson is forced to make a basically impossible pass from below the goal line. He’s able to, but that particular defender couldn’t have done much more than he did.
The other trailing defender, though, gets caught puck watching big time. I can’t tell who it is (he’s probably glad we can’t, although I’m sure Jerry noticed, eye surgery or not) but he just doesn’t defend anyone or anything. It allows Malone to pretty much camp out unmolested right on Woll’s doorstep for the easy poke in that gives Wisconsin its first insurance goal.
And the Badgers still weren’t done.
Wisconsin Goal #4: 5:12 of the 3rd period
Matthew Freytag (Peter Tischke)
UW 4, BC 1
This is the goal that really puts the game away for BC early in the third period.
BC was still in it, given the chances they were creating for themselves, but once the Badgers went up by three, that was too much.
Just a three on two, and Freytag takes what he’s given. BC’s got the two Wisconsin skaters without the puck on their radar, so Freytag just takes it himself. His shot from the dot beats Woll, and that was pretty much that.
Boston College Goal #2: 10:59 of the 3rd period
Christopher Grando (Logan Hutsko)
UW 4, BC 2
But if there’s one positive to take out of this game (as well as the Quinnipiac game), it’s that the Eagles really don’t seem to quit on the game once they go down. For all intents and purposes the game was over at 4-1, but they were still working to create chances and get themselves back in it.
And they nearly did. They got the first one here thanks to a beautiful feed across the slot from Hutsko to Grando. Hutsko in particular had an excellent game for BC and might have been the best player on the ice, so he was deserving of the point.
But BC couldn’t quite get any closer the rest of the game. Wisconsin put in an empty netter in the final minute to make the final score 5-2, which really was really less than the Eagles deserved. BC outshot the #10 Badgers in every period despite a 5-1 power play disadvantage — the story of the game was truly just that of converting on chances.
But there are no moral victories to be had in the short non-conference schedule. BC has a really tough start to the season, and they’ll need to avoid digging themselves much more of a Pairwise hole.
Their next opportunity is Sunday at 5pm against Providence, once again at Kelley Rink, as the Eagles will try once again to get that first win of the season.