UMass falls 3-0 to BC

BC’s three-goal second period powers them past UMass

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Parker Peters/ Daily Collegian

By Evan Marinofsky, Assistant Sports Editor

With Mullins Center packed almost to the brim, students yelling as loud as they could and two top-10 teams facing off with first place in Hockey East up for grabs, the stage was set for one of college hockey’s premier games of the season.

By the final buzzer, the mood was much different in the arena as three second-period goals propelled Boston College to a 3-0 win over the Massachusetts hockey team.

“It felt like when we were loose tonight in a couple of spots, BC took advantage,” head coach Greg Carvel said after the loss. “They’ve got the ability when they get chances to score, they finish, and that was to me a big difference in the game – their ability to finish their chances.”

After an even first period, No. 5 BC (16-7-0, 10-5-0 HEA) turned on the jets and, as Carvel alluded to, and began putting home its chances.

It started when Alex Newhook drove the No. 7 UMass (16-9-2, 9-6-2 HEA) net and ripped a shot that Matt Murray saved. The puck popped up in the air and only Newhook seemed to know where the biscuit was. The 16th overall selection in last year’s NHL Entry Draft knocked the puck off his hand to his stick and then into the net.

As Newhook celebrated, the referee got loud cheers from the Mullins faithful for his initial call of “no goal”. Those cheers came to an abrupt halt after they reversed the call and BC had the lead 1-0.

Carvel knew it was going to be a good goal the entire time.

“It was again, another skill play,” he said. “Bats it out of the air and into the net. Another skill goal.”

Midway through the period, BC struck once again as Logan Hutsko entered the UMass zone in a 2-on-1. Jake McLaughlin, the lone Minutemen defender back, gave the junior just enough room to backhand one right over Murray’s right shoulder and into the back of the net to extend the lead to 2-0.

“His job is to make that guy shoot the puck and it’s the goaltender’s job to save it on the short side,” Carvel said of McLaughlin’s work on the odd-man rush. “He did his job getting the guy to shoot the puck from a bad angle, but again, most players in this league aren’t going to score like that. But Husko can.”

UMass responded well after, producing a few scoring chances off of aggressive forechecking. But then with 1:34 to go in the second period, all of that vanished into thin air when BC added their third goal of the period.

Graham McPhee caught a pass from Jack McBain behind the net and McPhee roofed it over Murray.

Ironically enough, UMass outshot BC 10-8 in the middle 20 minutes. Yet at the end of that time frame, it was the Eagles who found themselves ahead 3-0.

That period was quite the teaching point for the Minutemen.

“I think it’s just us staying tight at all times,” Niko Hildenbrand said after the game. “You give a team like that who’s a skilled team, we’ve got a lot of respect for them, a skilled team time and space, and that’s what happens. It’s just us tightening up details and we’ll be ok.”

UMass finished the night outshooting the Eagles 30-27. But because so few of their chances came from high-danger areas, the Eagles and Spencer Knight were able to quell the UMass offensive front and shut them out.

“As much as we could,” BC coach Jerry York said of limiting UMass’ solid scoring attempts. “They’re still going to get good chances, they get their good chances. But when you play good teams, it’s going to go back and forth a little bit. They’re going to get a good chance, they’re going to make a good defensive play and so are we on the other end.”

The Minutemen find themselves in a bit of a scoring funk, having only scored one goal in their last three games. To say the bounces aren’t going their way would be an understatement.

“We needed something to go our way,” Carvel said. “We needed a bounce. We needed a puck to get in the back of the net. I think that would’ve helped us, especially early in the game.”

Evan Marinofsky can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @emarinofsky.