It was hard to tell if Ryan Edquist was excited or exhausted.
Edquist, a freshman goaltender from Lakeville, Minn., had a huge smile on his face outside the Boston College men’s hockey locker room. He had just earned a win in his first collegiate start, and was still trying to catch his breath from the rush of excitement. He dominated Colorado College for 60 minutes. After allowing a goal in the third minute of a man advantage, Edquist handily stamped out anything that came his way. Better yet, he got to do it in front of the home crowd.
“It was fun, the guys made it easy for me so it was easy for me to get in a rhythm a little bit, but it was a good experience,” Edquist said.
Despite only having to make 23 saves, Edquist’s task was not easy. The Eagles took nine penalties that led to power plays, forcing the rookie to have four skaters in front of him for almost a period’s worth of the game. On one hand, it made it a struggle because he repeatedly had to go up against odd-man rushes, all of which he stuffed out with ease.
Yet, throughout Friday’s 4-1 victory over the Tigers, BC’s strong defensive corps muscled the puck away from its net. In fact, on several power plays, the Eagles had more shorthanded attempts than the Tigers did at all. While that allowed Edquist to see plays develop, it also became an issue because he wouldn’t face action for many minutes at a time. And still, he handled it like a seasoned veteran.
Edquist is still trying to find his role here with the Eagles. He initially committed to Minnesota as a 15-year-old, but flipped this May because of better opportunities at BC. It wasn’t a matter of knowing he’d get playing time here at BC—far from it, in fact. The Eagles have had Joseph Woll lined up for them for many years. The third-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs and graduate of the United States National Development Program Team has impressed head coach Jerry York and staff since the moment he stepped foot on campus.
But it’s important to remember that the shoes Woll and Edquist have to fill—that of Thatcher Demko, the defending Mike Richter Award winner. To do that, the two need to constantly be fresh and bounce ideas off the other. Neither goaltender has a chance of succeeding, in Edquist’s estimation, unless they work together to get better. If that happens the way he thinks it will, the Eagles will have a dangerous duo for the next four years.
Edquist’s only problem now? Trying to get used to a much faster pace of life.
“The East Coast, I like it out here,” Edquist said. “I’ve been in Minnesota my whole life. It’s a lot more busy out here, I’ll be on the streets sometimes and, you know, I don’t think I could drive a car here.”
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor