Things are looking pretty dim for the men’s hockey team.
After riding through January on a four game winning streak, the Eagles looked like they were on the right track. They had climbed up to a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament field, and built themselves some breathing room in the Hockey East standings.
It’s all gone to hell since then. The Eagles are now 0-4-2 since their win against UNH on February 3rd, and they’ve fallen well below the NCAA tournament bubble. In addition, with one game left in the regular season, they no longer control their own destiny for the #1 seed in the Hockey East tournament.
On Thursday night, the Eagles looked, for a while, like they were going to be able to hang with the Riverhawks. But everything fell apart in the third period, and in the end it wasn’t close, with Lowell taking the 4-1 win at Conte Forum.
Lowell Goal #1 (PPG): 17:14 of the 2nd period
Chris Forney (Ryan Lohin, Dylan Zink)
UML 1, BC 0
The game started well enough, with BC and Lowell both having some decent chances in an exciting first period. Neither team could break through, though, and it took a Lowell power play to get things started.
BC had some tired legs. The Eagles had at least two golden opportunities to clear their end and get a line change, but both attempts were intercepted at the blue line by the Riverhawks. Lowell kept possession, and a shot from the blue line caught a deflection to beat Joe Woll for the goal.
Boston College Goal #1: 0:25 of the 3rd period
Austin Cangelosi (Matt Gaudreau)
BC 1, UML 1
And then, right at the beginning of the third period — hope!
Just 25 seconds in, Cangelosi does work along the boards and the puck trickles its way into the faceoff circle with Gaudreau streaking. He sends in a blast that Tyler Wall can’t handle, and Cangelosi is right there for the rebound.
He chips it in, and the Eagles were given new life with a whole period left to play.
Lowell Goal #2 (GWG): 3:34 of the 3rd period
Joe Gambardella (John Edwardh, C.J. Smith)
UML 2, BC 1
That new lift was short lived, however, and the “whole period left” went entirely to the Riverhawks.
Just a couple minutes after tying the game, the Eagles give up a terrible turnover in their own end. After gaining possession in the puck, it’s a simple one-timer pass from below the goal line, and Joe Woll doesn’t have a chance.
Lowell Goal #3: 13:15 of the 3rd period
C.J. Smith (John Edwardh, Joe Gambardella)
UML 3, BC 1
Several minutes later, another brutal turnover, and this is the dagger.
BC tries a stretch pass to clear their defensive zone, and it’s just not a good enough effort. It’s soft, and it’s right to a blue jersey.
Once again, with the Eagles turned the wrong way, it’s just a simple play for Lowell. Two passes, shot, and goal. And that just about ended the night for BC.
Lowell Goal #4: 16:31 of the 3rd period
Joe Gambardella (unassisted)
UML 4, BC 1 — FINAL
Lowell adds another in the final minutes to add salt to the wound, and gets a power play on top of it.
Connor Moore just can’t keep up with Gambardella and gets beat clean in a race for the puck. He takes a tripping penalty, but Gambardella still gets in on the breakaway. Poor Joe Woll does all he can to keep it a two goal game, but Gambardella finds his own rebound on the initial save, and that’s all she wrote.
BC is really in dire straights right now. They are still in good shape in the Hockey East standings. They’ll at least end up in the top three, and would probably still get the #1 seed with a win. But nationally it’s another story. The Eagles have plummeted to 18th in the Pairwise, and, more concerning than that, haven’t shown any signs of life with trophy season kicking off next week.
There’s still hope, but it’s fading fast. The Eagles absolutely need to find a way to win on Friday night.