The UConn men’s hockey team lost to Hockey East rival Boston College 2-1 in Boston on Tuesday night. The Huskies are now 3-7-1 on the season, with only one victory in their last seven games, and their conference record has now moved to a disappointing 2-4-1.
“It was a good college hockey game,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said after the loss. “It was fast-paced, pretty quick. We just weren’t able to tie it up.”
After a quiet first period, both teams came to life in the second. The Huskies jumped on the scoreboard first, something they’ve done well as of late, but then struggled to defend the lead.
A hooking penalty on the Eagles gave the Huskies their third power play of the night three minutes into the second period. Junior Karl El-Mir took the puck up the length of the ice, going behind the BC net before threading a pass to senior Jeff Wight in front of goal. Wight slapped it home for his third goal of the season. Goalie Adam Huska was also awarded an assist on the play.
Boston College (4-5-1, 4-1 HEA) quickly responded with a goal of their own, and a shorthanded one at that. UConn sophomore defenseman Philip Nyberg committed a costly turnover in the neutral zone after pressure from BC’s Logan Hutsko. Hutsko then passed to Julius Mattila, who beat Huska to knot up the game at 1-1 on the penalty kill. It’s the third shorthanded goal allowed for the Huskies this year.
Five minutes later, the Eagles added another goal, which would end up being the game-winner. Sophomore Benjamin Freeman set up a BC power play with a hooking penalty, and the Eagles’ Michael Kim took advantage, sniping a shot from the point through traffic to give BC a 2-1 lead.
Unlike the first two periods which were mostly controlled by the Eagles, the Huskies looked like the better team in the third. After being out-shot 29-17 in the first two, UConn outshot BC 11-7 in the final period, but couldn’t find the equalizer.
“Our best period of the night was in the third period,” Cavanaugh said. “I thought we were all over them. I have to give credit to [Boston College goalkeeper Ryan] Edquist. He made some big saves when he had to.”
Edquist finished with 27 saves. Huska also had an impressive night, especially in the first period, and recorded 34 saves in the game. After a rough outing in the Huskies’ last game against Vermont, it was a welcome bounce-back performance.
Special teams continue to plague the Huskies. With the one power-play goal in six opportunities on Tuesday, UConn is now just 1-21 on the power play in their past five games. They’ve also allowed three shorthanded goals on the season and their penalty kill has been inconsistent as of late.
The Eagles have now won five of the last six clashes with UConn. The Huskies will get a chance at redemption on Dec. 30 in Boston. Up next, UConn returns to the XL Center for a two-game series against Ohio State, beginning Friday night.
Andrew Morrison is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @asmor24