Boston College men’s hockey was looking for revenge against Quinnipiac as the Three Rivers Classic tournament opened in Pittsburgh, Penn., marking the second consecutive time the two teams have met on neutral ice. The last time the Bobcats and the Eagles played each other, BC was denied its national championship hopes as it lost 3-2 in the Frozen Four in April.
The Eagles previously played in the tournament in 2013, when they dominated the competition. They looked to continue the trend in their game with Quinnipiac, but they fell short, losing 3-1 to the Bobcats (11-7-2, 6-4-1 Eastern Collegiate Athletic). In their second consecutive loss since losing to Notre Dame on Dec. 10, the Eagles (13-7-1, 8-1-1 Hockey East) are leaving little margin for error if they hope to make the NCAA Tournament this season.
The first period was slow, with both teams unable to get the puck in the back of the net. Ryan Edquist started out the game in the goal, his third start of the season, actively moving out of the crease at a high rate. The first penalty of the night would go to Quinnipiac’s Connor Clifton, after checking J.D. Dudek into the boards. Clifton has a history of very aggressive and physical play, and BC looked to use that against him. The Eagles couldn’t capitalize on their first power play of the game as Quinnipiac showed why they’re sixth in the nation and first in their conference for penalty kills.
BC thought it had gained an early lead as Luke McInnis seemed to tip the puck into the goal during the first period. The light went off for an Eagles goal, but the ref called it as a miss and didn’t review it. It looked like BC would get another chance when Austin Cangelosi was given the opportunity to take a penalty shot, but it was blocked by Chris Truehl—it was the first penalty shot Cangelosi missed in his career. After two opportunities to take an early lead, the first period ended with both teams unable to get a point on the board.
The second period began disastrously for BC, as Cangelosi lost his eighth face off of the night to Clifton, an early showing how the rest of the period was going to go. With shot after shot on Edquist by the Bobcats, Quinnipiac came in aggressively and controlled the puck consistently. Quinnipiac capitalized on its amped physicality as Tanner MacMaster waited out Edquist and buried the puck into the back of the net. Edquist was fast on his left skate to try to keep up with MacMaster but he squeezed it past the BC blue line and bounce the puck off Scott Savage’s skate to get a one-score lead for the Bobcats.
After not capitalizing on a power play right after Quinnipiac’s goal, Graham McPhee was called for tripping, a dangerous penalty for the Eagles 17 minutes into the second period. After BC killed off the penalty, Cangelosi stole the puck from the Bobcats and passed it to McPhee immediately following his return to the ice after the end of his stay in the box. The two Eagles skated toward Truehl with no opposition and McPhee notched his first collegiate goal. With the goal only 30 seconds before the end of the second period, the Eagles headed into the third period with an even score of 1-1.
The start of the third period was the most promising for BC, as they came out stronger than in the first two. Clifton was called for interference after crashing into Dudek, hitting him just under his chin,sending him sliding into Bobcat territory, showcasing how rough of a player he can be. The Eagles were given their first power play of the period. After taking six shots, BC was unable to gain any more points with their advantage.
Michael Booth was sent into the box for hooking after getting tied up with Thomas Aldworth, resulting in a goal by Craig Martin and a second lead for the Bobcats. Soon after, Mike Campoli was sent into the box for interference, allowing Quinnipiac to capitalize on another power play, as Bo Pieper handcuffed Edquist and was able to get behind him to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead on the Eagles, the final score. After dominating the competition in 2013 in the Three Rivers Classic, BC will head into the consolation game after their first loss streak of the season.
Six players on BC’s roster were missing from the game, including Ryan Fitzgerald to injury, Casey Fitzgerald, Colin White, and Joe Woll to Team USA in the Junior Worlds Championship, and Jesper and Julius Mattila to Team Finland in the same tournament. Such a big gap in the roster proved fatal for the Eagles as they could have used the help from these players in their tough game against Quinnipiac.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff