The University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s (4-2-1, 0-1-1 Hockey East) traditionally futile hockey team had a good start to its season. Then, Tuesday night at Kelley Rink, Boston College (6-1-0, 1-0-0 HEA) put up six goals on UMass in the second period on its way to a 7-0 win and everything was back to normal.
“Once you get in your conference, this the most important—the league games—and I thought our team responded very well tonight,” BC head coach Jerry York said of his team’s first conference win of the season. “Two points in our league is critical for us to start off our Hockey East schedule and I thought our team did a lot of outstanding things tonight. I feel good about where [our team is].”
BC dominated a scoreless first period. UMass didn’t put a shot on net until there was just over eight minutes left. The Minutemen’s start was worse than that stat would indicate, yet BC couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard. That wouldn’t continue.
A minute and half into the second period, Adam Gilmour broke the levees. The junior pickpocketed UMass defenseman Carmine Buono at center ice and strolled in wide left on goalie Nic Reynard before coming across the crease and tucking in his third gino of the year.
Travis Jeke doubled BC’s lead five minutes later thanks to some relentless forechecking by freshmen Christopher Brown and JD Dudek, and then Scott Savage got in on the action shortly thereafter with a snipe from the high slot at 8:11—his first goal in two years.
UMass undid a lot of the goodwill it built up from 4-1-1 start to the season entering Tuesday on BC’s fourth goal. Ryan Fitzgerald turned over Callum Fryer at BC’s blue line and took off with Miles Wood and Colin White on the rarely-seen three-on-zero rush, which resembled a miniature version of the famous “Flying V” from The Mighty Ducks. Neither Callum nor partner William Lagesson caught up with these flying Eagles, and Wood eventually fed Fitzgerald on the 3-0 breakaway for the easiest goal of his life.
BC’s fifth goal might have wiped out the rest of that UMass’ manufactured goodwill, both because it came 11 seconds after Fitzgerald’s and since White had no resistance from UMass’ defense or Pickney. The freshman took the puck deep in the UMass zone untouched and potted it farside on Pickney.
White finished with four points, leading the way on a night that BC’s Bracco-less freshman class combined for nine points total. “It’s a very good class, [and] they’re right on schedule to make a major impact on our team as the year goes by,” York said. “They’re fitting into our culture here at BC pretty well. I like how there’s no egos, it’s team first, and their effort in practice and in games has been fun for me to watch.”
White picked up his third apple of the night on the Eagles’ sixth goal of the middle stanza. Teddy Doherty’s power play shot was at least screened by and possibly deflected in off of Wood and past new coming netminder Alex Wakaluk. Like fellow freshman White, Wood was in the kitchen of Minutemen goaltenders all night long, regardless of who they brought in between the pipes.
“We wanted to accentuate getting blue paint on our skates,” York said of the second period onslaught. “Not many goals are scored from 35, 40 feet out, it’s more that blue paint area, and if you’re there, you can recover rebounds, take pucks to the net.”
BC’s second period avalanche was the first time that the program scored six goals in a period since Nov. 25, 1995, in a 10-4 win over St. Lawrence University. Doherty added another power play tally in the third period to put the Eagles up by a touchdown and an extra point.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor