Men’s Hockey: Early deficit too much for Huskies

UConn forward Tage Thompson (29) prepares a pass during the Huskies 2-1 loss to Boston University on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

UConn forward Tage Thompson (29) prepares a pass during the Huskies 2-1 loss to Boston University on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

In just over a minute, the No. 11 Boston College men’s hockey team had already put two goals past UConn senior goaltender Rob Nichols. The Huskies were unable to come back from the early deficit, eventually falling to the Eagles by a score of 2-1 despite holding a 43-26 advantage in shots.

Boston College (16-9-2, 11-3-1 Hockey East) came out ready to play in front of their home crowd. Sophomore defender Michael Kim scored his fifth goal of the season 54 seconds into the game. Thirty seconds later, fellow sophomore JD Dudek doubled the Terrier lead with his tenth goal of the year.

It was a rough start for the Huskies and Nichols, who started Tuesday night after replacing a struggling Adam Huska in the second period of Friday’s loss to Vermont. Nichols ended up making 24 saves and only allowing two goals – a good night against the No. 11 team in the country.

UConn (9-10-6, 5-6-2 Hockey East) got a goal back in the second period, when sophomore Tage Thompson scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season, putting him in third place in all of Division I. Assists on the goal went to sophomore Maxim Letunov and freshman Philip Nyberg. It was Letunov’s 17th on the year, which leads UConn, and the fourth for Nyberg, who joined the team just this month.

Freshman goaltender Joseph Woll was spectacular in net for the Eagles, making 42 saves while allowing the single goal. Woll’s record improves to 12-8-1, and his save percentage increases to .925 with the performance.

The 2-1 loss was a much better result for UConn than November’s 5-2 defeat to BC. This time around, the Huskies were able to focus on offensive pressure and fire 43 shots on goal due to the early hole they found themselves in. Although they could not find the equalizing goal, UConn proved that they are better than the three-goal loss to the Eagles earlier this season at home would suggest.

BC remains at the top of the Hockey East standings, three points ahead of Boston University. UConn’s third consecutive loss has the Huskies stuck at 12 points, good for seventh in the conference.

The Huskies will look to get back on track on Friday night at the XL Center, where they will take on Vermont.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.